NEW YORK CITY – November 22, 2016— Aspiring and talented fashion designers in New York City and surrounding areas are benefiting from additional tools and business consulting resources supplied by Alvanon to the Brooklyn Fashion+Design Accelerator. The tools and resources were donated as part of Alvanon’s own initiative to help restore technical skills to New York City and other global fashion hubs, including Hong Kong and London.
The BF+DA is a hub for ethical fashion and design that provides designers with the resources they need to transform their ideas into successful businesses. It offers a Certificate in Design Entrepreneurship and houses a small-run factory equipped with the latest technology in garment production, 3D manufacturing and start to finish services ranging from pattern and grading to sampling.
As part of the collaboration, Alvanon, the Global Apparel Business Expert, has gifted AlvaForm fit mannequins and blocks to BF+DA’s vibrant manufacturing and training facilities, along with business expertise consisting of workshops and one-on-one tutoring sessions.
According to Debera Johnson, executive director, BF+DA, Alvanon’s tools and intellectual resources support the organization’s intent to “fill the gap for upcoming designers from ‘made-by-designer’ to ‘made-by-others.’
“That’s a difficult gap to cross,” Johnson says. “BF+DA gives designers access to production sources so they can make just 20 or 100 of something. Once they are ready, they can go to larger manufacturers. We want to provide that path for them. Our goal is to be an innovation space, from design to prototype and production, to viability to market. We are helping people accelerate to success.”
Johnson adds that designers at the Accelerator have opportunities to interact with pattern makers, sewers and knitwear developers, an experience that can benefit them throughout their careers.
Alvanon CEO Janice Wang adds: “The process of designing and the process of making are totally intertwined. At BF+DA, designers actually see the intricate work of patternmaking and sewing. They see the skills necessary to make, and the pride and satisfaction that comes from transforming a conceptual work of art into a physical reality.”
Wang also notes that the BF+DA’s success as an accelerator demonstrates that local fashion businesses do not necessarily have to compete with offshore businesses.
“It’s important to regenerate the idea that ‘made in New York,’ ‘made in Brooklyn’ and ‘made locally’ do not have to compete with ‘made overseas,’” she says. “The nice thing about being in New York is that you have a lot of people with experience, which means that collaborators like Alvanon consultants can come in and talk about concepts such as sizing and fit.”
An additional note about BF+DA:
On November 16, 2016, the BF+DA was awarded a $486K research grant to support the link between sustainability and technology in apparel. The grant is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce investing $15 million in entrepreneurs across the nation to move ideas to market and promote American innovation.
Residents employing their skills at BF+DA workshop.
Debera Johnson, Executive Director, BF+DA.
Retail space at BF+DA.
The Fashion Fit Movement
Alvanon’s Fashion Fit Movement revitalizes technical skills in New York City for current and future generations. The company works with Industry and educational Institutions that support the same initiative by supplying them with necessary tools and industry expertise. Alvanon launched its Fit Movement in 2012 by granting a two year mentorship to designer and namesake brand, Carrie Parry. Since then, Alvanon has supplied grants and mentoring to a variety of fashion organizations and small businesses, including patternmaker Werkstatt, and associations that support the reshoring of apparel manufacturing jobs to the US, such as the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).