My name is Kim, a fourth years student at AMFI and I am a 3D Designer within iNDiViDUALS. In my job role, I use CLO 3D as a design tool.
For me the design process can go different ways. Sometimes I start by sketching on paper and then creating my patterns, but sometimes I directly sketch in CLO 3D or collaging. The best combination is combining different programs at the same time, then the designs are getting more dept and the process can be a lot quicker because the result is faster visualized. Most of the time I start by making my patterns in Modaris, a vector-based program. For the next step, I import the patterns in CLO. I love working with CLO, this is because I can really quick adjust the patterns and see directly how the design will look, without making any toiles. Another pro for me about working in 3D is that is much more sustainable because you don’t make any toiles in real fabric.
Working as a 3D designer gives me lot of space to experiment with design but also with the program. A lot of things that are not possible in real life are possible in 3D, (background that are not possible with a photoshoot in real life, think about space f.e.). Next to that, it gives me a lot of freedom, whenever I am inspired or have a new idea, I can grab my laptop and start designing. Also, the errors in the program are sometimes really inspiring and fun to look at.
For me the hard part of working with 3D is getting in depth. I always want to create something as realistic as possible. This is also very much in contrast with the fashion industry. In our industry a lot of photoshop is used and I am trying to make it as human as possible, with the avatar, background but also the fabric properties. It is the details that is making it hard but also the most realistic. Sometimes, it takes a few hours to let the fabric drape in the most realistic way, or fold the pleats in the right direction. I have been working with the programs for a year now, and only now I am able to create the garment more in dept.
Even though I have found my own ways to create nice results, I stilI have a long way to go.
A lot of people would describe this job role as something like: “oh, you make sure the company uses sustainable fabrics and no animals are hurt…”. Well, yes and no. These are only some of the elements which fall under this job description. The overall goal of the CR Manager is to implement the “value over profit” mentality, which we as an entire company decided to focus on during the second phase of our project.
The Corporate Responsibility Manager job role is one that is becoming more and more exercised and important in the fashion industry. It has become a critical component to a company’s operating ethos, its values and purpose.
As Gen25 is the generation of a new, re-launched, reinvented iNDiViDUALS, we are giving great importance to social and environmental responsibility internally as well as externally. This means that my job is to develop a strategy which helps the company operate in an ethical and sustainable way. This strategy should not be forced, it should derive from our values, purpose and goals while acting as the ‘voice of reason’ behind all of our decision making. This has to be clear to all members of our team, as well as to our consumers and target group.
“Corporate Social Responsibility is not a goal to be pursued in itself but, rather, an integral part of the day-to-day operations of a company that focuses on long-term value creation.” - Forbes, 2017
By being the CR Manager of the re-launched iNDiViDUALS, my involvement with all the different departments and their developments is more intense than ever. As we are putting such significance on environmental and social impacts of the industry and have decided to communicate this with our consumer and other members of the industry, it is very important for me to be up to speed on all of our plans and developments in order to make sure it does not contradict with what is at the core of new iNDiViDUALS.
Before iNDiViDUALS I have never done anything remotely close to this position. At first I was a bit sceptical because of preconceived ideas I had of the role. Now, looking back I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to explore this field and experiment with creative and alternative approaches, perspectives and strategies. Also, on a personal level, I work way better when I have a clear overview of the projects and activities going on, so this job role ended up being the perfect blend of my skills, tasks and aspirations.
Sourcing for sustainable fabrics is a big part of the collection development for iNDiViDUALS. Long lead-times, high minimum order quantities and high prices makes the task very challenging. Another big challenge is the tight schedule. How can we find suppliers, source the hangers on time and order the selected fabrics within a few weeks so we can meet the deadlines?
Knowing that sustainability is a key element of our company, there is no way we can use unsustainable fabrics to create our collection. From A to Z, everything that our garments are made of, has to reach our standards. How do we measure that? By creating a benchmark for sustainable fibres and trims, we select the fabrics for the collection. If the fabric we have found does not fit within our benchmark, no matter how beautiful, no way we will use this fabric for our designs.
Working with NO STOCK policy makes the buying process even more difficult. We have to count the exact amount of fabrics we need, to make sure we are not creating any waste. Even more so, we decided to buy the fabrics from the company that sell the stock from another companies or designers, to help them to get rid of their own stock. In past generations, iNDiViDUALS has collected some meters of stock fabrics itself. To give deadstock a second life, we decided to use these fabrics for toiles and first production samples. This way we are also very economical, which then saves money for further experimentation.
Once the ordered fabrics are received we begin IN HOUSE fabric testing. It is important to test fabrics to be able to create the care labels for your garments. It is a time consuming and discrete task, for which good preparation and teamwork are necessary.
Why is it fun to be a “BOSS” of fabrics?
Well, no fabrics means no garments. Sounds simple, but it’s a challenging and important task during the development of the collection. Working closely with designers and trying to make it happen makes it very exciting. Inspirational trips such as to Premiere Vision and Texworld in Paris, where you see all the latest fabric trends and innovations, makes this task very important from the very beginning of this course. Daily contact with suppliers inside and outside the Netherlands, makes it possible to broaden our network and learn how to communicate and work professionally… And of course when you receive the production samples which are made from the actual material, is when you feel that final rush of “yes, I nailed it”!
A subtle protest against the conventional fashion industry. By focusing on corporate well-being and addressing the unrealistic measures of success.
There is this view within many industries that needs to change, that maybe it should not be about surviving but about thriving. People today are afraid that they will be seen as lazy as opposed to a highly valuable member of a community if they, when highly needed, take a step back and rest. In our current stressed society, we have a distorted view on what feeling successful or accomplished actually means, and most of us are associated with the idea that you always need to be “busy”. So we overwork ourselves, from the mind down to the body until ultimately, we get burned out.
Rather than adding into a culture of toxic competition, we can use our power to aspire change from within, to hopefully reach creative professionals that feel overworked and/or burned out and give them something to relate to.
First we need to focus on a culture change within the industry, then the product. Because change comes from within.
“Embrace the idea that an experiment could possibly fail, this is crucial for any successful process. It’s ok to not be ok. We all need time to develop and reflect to be able to create from our imagination. Taking a step back, away from the stress and chaos, we can observe things from a different perspective at a slower pace, and connect the dots. These moments are a key ingredient to reaching a fruitful outcome, but also to keep up motivation and increase creativity. Feeling fit and healthy both mentally and physically, make a huge difference in your decision-making.”