Fashion Goes Digital at the Third Annual Epson Digital Couture Project Event
Double digit growth from 2016 to 2021 is making digital textile printing one of the most exciting market opportunities in the visual communications market. According to a recent report by Smithers Pira, “The Future of Digital Textile Printing to 2021”, the global market is valued at €1.17 billion in 2016 with growth forecast at an annual average of 12.3% though 2021. This will see the market more than double in value over five years, reaching €2.42 billion in 2021.
The volume of fabric printed with digital inkjet equipment continues to grow according to the same report. Smithers’ analysis shows that digitally-printed fabrics will grow from 870 million square meters in 2016 to 1.95 billion square meters in 2021 — a 17.5% CAGR.
The greatest acceleration across the study period will be in clothing, which has the key sub-segments of fashion, haute couture and sportswear. Epson, acknowledging this huge market opportunity, brought digital textile printing to the fashion design community in a one-day event in New York City on February 7. Its third annual Epson Digital Couture Project event, leading up to Fashion Week in New York City, is built around the theme “Textile Stories.” This year 13 design teams from North and Latin America leveraged Epson’s textile printing solutions in a one-of-a-kind fashion presentation, showcasing the design possibilities fueled by digital technology.
“In the high-fashion business, nothing stands still. The designer’s vision is constantly advancing, ultimately creating and driving fashion trends that change how we look and feel,” says Keith Kratzberg, president and CEO, Epson America, Inc. “Our goal with the Digital Couture event is to spotlight the power and potential that digital printing technology plays in the apparel industry. From haute couture to sports team apparel, Epson technology gives designers and apparel manufacturers the digital platform necessary to launch the next great design.”
At the Digital Couture Project event, each designer or design team told a story through their collection via textiles created with Epson dye-sublimation and direct-to-fabric printing technology. The event featured collections from 13 designers from North and Latin America:
1. Argentina – Vanesa Krongold: Born in Buenos Aires, Vanessa Krongold is a 2010 graduate of Universidad de Palermo, with a degree in Textile and Garment Design and Fashion Production. She also studied at London’s Central Saint Martins School of Design. Her first collection, Paraíso Google, released in 2012, was a part of the Ciudad Emergente festival, which supports new designers as well as emerging bands.
2. Brazil – Daniel Barreira: Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Daniel Vecchio Barreira is a self-taught designer who started working in fashion by chance. As a young designer, he drew silks for surfboards before moving on to clothing and denim. And he’s never stopped. In his factory, Daniel creates and produces for Brazil’s best brands, overseeing the entire production process, from laundry, dyeing and transfer to cut, sewing and finishing. He has also successfully launched his own brand, UQBAR, which showcases his passion and inspiration and aims to delight the senses of every fashion lover.
3. Canada – Sarah Stevenson: Textile and clothing designer Sarah Stevenson founded her namesake label in 2010. Sarah Stevenson Design is a luxury womenswear brand that focuses on original fabrics featuring Sarah’s own artwork. Sarah received the 2014 Swarovski Emerging Talent Award at the inaugural Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards and, in 2013, won the Toronto Fashion Incubator New Label’s competition and the Suzanne Roger’s Award for Most Promising New Label. Her approach to clothing as “Wearable Art” has garnered significant media attention and has been featured in such magazines as Vogue Italia, Women’s Wear Daily, Elle, Fashion and Flare. Sarah has a Master’s degree in textile and clothing design from Instituto Europeo di Design in Milan, Italy.
4. Chile – Daniela Hoehmann: Daniela Hoehmann is the designer behind the brand Roberta. Daniela has a degree in International Business and later studied two years of industrial design in Diego Portales University. Following this, she enrolled in the clothing design program at INACAP for her second degree—and the one that would lead her down her professional path. Her love for clothing came later – after passing through several careers – and it’s become her life. Daniela’s biggest influences are her mother’s eccentric taste for fashion, mixed with the embroidery and knitting that her grandmother taught her.
5. Colombia – Ricardo Pava: As the founder of one of Colombia’s most prestigious male fashion brands, Ricardo Pava has advised and dressed businessmen, politicians, artists and celebrities around the world since 1991. After studying Art History on L’Instituto Secoli in Florence, Italy, Ricardo’s entrepreneurship, dedication and love for fashion – and for his country – took him back to Colombia, where he earned his degree in Fashion Design and Marketing at Arturo Tejada Cano School in Bogota in 1988.
6. Costa Rica – Daniel Del Barco and Sonia Chang: A fashion icon in her country, Costa Rican designer Sonia Chang’s designs have walked down runways around the world, both in shows and in renowned fashion festivals. With a career of more than 30 years, Sonia’s designs are recognized for their elegance and sophistication. Her garments are sold in Spain, New York and Central America.
Costa Rican shoe designer Daniel Del Barco has revolutionized the Costa Rican industry with his unique and sophisticated designs. His career has taken him around the globe, from studying fashion in Italy, Colombia and Mexico, to dressing high-profile personalities, such as Yuri and Maria Conchita Alonso. He is also responsible for the shoe designs of Miss Costa Rica contestants.
7. Dominican Republic – Carlos de Moya: Dominican fashion designer, publicist and college teacher Carlos De Moya has presented his collections in DominicanaModa, Panama, Miami, Alaska and many national fashion shows. He won Best Female Prêt-à-Porter collection in DominicanaModa in 2009 with his collection En Point. He’s the designer of the national Dominican suit, is responsible for dressing popular figures in music and show business, designing costumes for the Spanish world premiere of the Broadway musicals Saturday Night Fever and Hairspray, and the Casandra awards in 2009 and 2010, and has worked on some industrial production projects for important Dominican companies.
8. Ecuador – Miguel Moyano, Alex Polo and Maria Susana Rivadeneira Simball: Miguel Angel Moyano is a 28-yearold fashion designer from the Ecuadorian city of Ambato who lives in Colombia. He finished his professional studies in Medelli and he exhibited his first collections at the fashion event Colombiamoda when he was still a student.
He received the award for new designer, granted by the magazine Revista Cromos, in 2012. He was a finalist at Arts of Fashion in 2013 and he achieved the best ECAES (exams to determine the quality of higher education) in 2014. Moyano has exhibited his work in Medellin, Bogota, Mexico, San Francisco, and Ecuador.
In 2013. he established the brand Moyano, which has become a narrative of his own experience as a migrant and the transition of rural toward urban, where fabric turns into a means to reinterpret the past and culture, telling in this way stories for the future.
9. Mexico – Leonardo Mena: Born in Purisima del Rincon, Leonardo Mena is the ninth of 12 kids born to Maria del Carmen Mena and Ramon Lopez, a humble couple from Jalisco. From the age of four, Leonardo has maintained a love for art, one that initially took him from painting in children’s contests to fashion, dressing up his friends’ Barbie dolls, turning little pieces of fabric into dresses. When he was 10, his parents signed him up for drawing lessons where he showcased his talent. At 11, he won his first municipal prize with a painting called “Eva en el paraíso.” This filled him with motivation, and he has kept practicing and improving his creations.
10. Peru – Susan Wagner: Susan Wagner’s design work started by reclaiming and updating traditional Peruvian embroidery techniques. In 2005, she created her own brand that linked popular art with designs using traditional, modern and alternative materials. In her collections, she prioritizes the use of natural Peruvian fibers and recycled materials, as well as organic inks and limited-edition prints. She has participated in events and art exhibitions such as Perú Moda, Lima’s Fashion Week, Paris’s Ethical Fashion Show and she has had a stand in Paris’s Prêt-à-Porter. Her work was presented in Madrid’s 2010 Bienal Iberoamericana de Diseño, and she has collaborated with the Spanish brand Cuso Barcelonaand well as museums such as Museo Larco and MATE Museo Mario Testino in Lima.
11. United States – Lindsay Degen: Lindsay Degen began creating her quirky knits at the age of 13, when her grandmother gave her a set of knitting needles and taught her how to stitch. Lindsay attended the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as Central Saint Martins in London. After graduating, she moved to New York City to create DEGEN, her crafty, concept-based collections. She has gone on to design and produce an entire section of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, collaborate with Converse and My Little Pony, be named to Forbes "30 under 30," begin a baby line and, most recently, become a knitting professor at Parsons School of Design.
12. United States – Sarah Richards: Designer Sarah Richards was born and raised in Manhattan. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design, focusing on apparel and textile design. Her brand, RICHARDS, is a clothing line conceptualized and designed in her Brooklyn studio and produced in New York City. Founded in 2012, her brand offers contemporary staples for men and women, cut exclusively from prints designed by Sarah.
13. United States – Kanbar College of Design Engineering and Commerce, Philadelphia University: Mark A. Sunderland is Textile Engineer+Strategist and Robert J. Reichlin High-Performance Apparel Chair. He is also the team director for the Philadelphia University collection featured in Epson’s Digital Couture Project. He has over 30 years of experience in the field of engineered advance textile materials, apparel products, commerce and operations, and has produced fabrics and apparel for the advance fabric performance and fashion apparel retail market, working with nationally recognized brands and labels.
“For the third year in a row, the Epson Digital Couture event showcases how digital textile printing helps designers expand their vision for creativity without limits,” says Agustin Chacon, Epson America’s vice president of international marketing. “The future of fashion and technology is in the process of being shaped, and we are excited to be at the forefront of the industry – providing designers with printing solutions that offer a host of new and exciting opportunities.”
Epson’s Digital Textile Printing Solutions
Epson’s dye-sublimation and direct-to-garment printing technologies allow entrepreneurs and established fashion brands to print on a variety of fabrics in real-time, including cotton and synthetic fibers.
The Epson SureColor F-Series dye-sublimation printing technology provides designers an accessible means to bring their ideas and inspiration to life with unsurpassable quality. The SureColor F-Series leverage Epson UltraChrome DS ink with an all new high density Black ink to deliver black density with better tonal transitions and grayscale, plus rich colors and smooth gradations onto fabric. Including a Wasatch SoftRIP workflow with specialty features for textile and fashion printing, the SureColor F-Series enables designers to create and print original designs with greater flexibility and control.
The Epson SureColor F2000 Series direct-to-garment (DTG) ink jet printers deliver industrial-level production, image quality, and reliability. With the ability to print directly onto garments ranging from 100 percent cotton to 50/50 fabric blends, the SureColor F2000 offers fashion entrepreneurs a quality, affordable printing solution. The Epson SureColor F2000 Standard Edition is a high-speed CMYK-only model and the White Edition offers the added benefit of white ink for printing on dark or color fabrics.
Robustelli, part of the Epson Group, specializes in the development, manufacture, and sale of digital inkjet textile printers, notably the Monna Lisa series, which it began developing with Epson in 2003. This product has established a strong brand image by providing beautiful gradations and color reproduction. Robustelli augments the acquisition of For.Tex, also of Como, Italy – a trusted provider of dyes, thickeners and treatment agents for printing, which joined the Epson Group in 2015. In bringing aboard these companies, Epson has established the Textile Solution Center in Como, Italy, a city that is transforming itself from a traditional silk-making center to one that is leading the charge of state-of-the-art technology in fashion.
For more information about Digital Couture, visit www.epson.com/nyfw.
Denise Gustavson is the Editorial Director and Special Projects Editor for the Printing & Packaging Group, which includes Printing Impressions, packagePRINTING, In-plant Graphics and Wide-Format Impressions magazines, among other brands. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Wide-Format Impressions.