Mimaki & The Fashion Institute Of Technology Team Up

The partnership empowers students through digital textile, wide-format printing

Designer: Lilach Porges, Photographer: James Pitarresi (Image courtesy Mimaki)

The Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) MFA in fashion design program recently concluded an exciting collaboration with Mimaki to introduce 15 talented students to the immense potential of digital textile printing.

This partnership, known as the “2023 Mimaki Student Contest,” enabled participants to delve into the realm of custom prints and explore new horizons in fashion design.

FIT’s MFA in Fashion Design program provides students with a conducive environment to experiment and create under the guidance of experienced and dynamic faculty. The curriculum encompasses crucial aspects such as brand identity, legal considerations, and global supply chain insights, empowering students to focus their designs, develop prototypes, and carve their unique market niche.

With the support of Mimaki, this year’s students enjoyed additional resources and encouragement through hands-on digital printing experiences. Victoria Nelson Harris, the senior textile segment specialist at Mimaki, expressed her excitement for the collaboration, stating, “This partnership drives the demand for digital textile printing in the apparel industry and aligns with our commitment to minimizing environmental impact for a better future.”

According to Mimaki, the partnership between the company and FIT exemplifies the importance of vendors in the wide-format space supporting higher education institutions, especially those dedicated to the fashion industry.

2023 Mimaki Student Contest

In the contest, every contestant was tasked with designing one custom-printed garment. With an array of seven fabric choices, courtesy of Mimaki, students harnessed the power of Mimaki’s direct-to-fabric and dye sublimation printing technologies.

Alongside this creative adventure, designers enjoyed expert mentoring on mastering digital print file management, all while immersing themselves in invaluable industry experience throughout the entire collaborative endeavor.

In an impressive showcase of talent, the 2023 collections were assessed across design merit, sample quality, market appeal, creativity, and originality.

Ashleen Tuteja emerged as the winning designer, securing an impressive reward: up to $1,000 worth of fabric and a generous allowance of up to 50 yards of complimentary printing services for her senior thesis collection, slated for debut in spring 2024.

Designers: Ashleen Tuteja, Eunhae Cho, Lilach Porges (Image courtesy Mimaki)

Bryan Barrientos and Yoon Seo Lee claimed the runner-up positions, earning themselves a well-deserved prize of 10 yards of fabric and printing services each for their anticipated spring 2024 thesis collections.

Designers: Yoon Seo Lee, Bryan Barrientos, Eunhae Cho (Image courtesy Mimaki)

The 2022 senior designer winners, Valeria Watson and Lilach Porges, will showcase their collections during New York Fashion Week. Notably, Valeria had recently achieved recognition, securing the 2023 Bob Fisch Graduate Student Awards for Entrepreneurial Excellence and receiving a $25,000 prize.

Designer: Valeria Watson, Photographer: Yoon Seo Lee (Image courtesy Mimaki)
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Marie Fennema

Marie Fennema is the managing editor of GRAPHICS PRO, including GRAPHICS PRO Today, covering news and guidance in apparel decoration, awards and engraving, and sign and digital printing.

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