The Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) MFA program in Fashion Design recently collaborated with Mimaki, a leading manufacturer of wide-format printers. This collaboration, called the 2023 Mimaki Student Contest, allowed fifteen talented students to explore the potential of digital textile printing and discover new possibilities in fashion design.
FIT’s MFA program in Fashion Design is known for providing a supportive environment for students to experiment and create, guided by experienced and dynamic faculty. The curriculum covers important aspects such as brand identity, legal considerations, and insights into the global supply chain. This empowers students to focus their designs, develop prototypes, and carve out their own unique market niche.
With the support of Mimaki, this year’s students had access to additional resources and encouragement through hands-on experience with digital printing. Victoria Nelson Harris, Mimaki’s senior textile segment specialist, expressed her excitement for the collaboration, saying, “This partnership promotes the demand for digital textile printing in the apparel industry and aligns with our commitment to minimizing environmental impact for a better future.”
In the Mimaki Contest, each contestant was tasked with designing a custom printed garment. With a selection of seven fabric choices provided by Mimaki, students utilized the cutting-edge direct-to-fabric and dye sublimation printing technologies offered by Mimaki. Throughout this creative process, designers received expert mentoring on managing digital print files, gaining valuable industry experience.
The collections from the 2023 Mimaki Student Contest were evaluated based on design merit, sample quality, market appeal, creativity, and originality. Ashleen Tuteja emerged as the winning designer, earning an impressive reward: up to $1000 worth of fabric and a generous allowance of up to 50 yards of complimentary printing services for her senior thesis collection, set to debut in spring 2024.
Bryan Barrientos and Yoon Seo Lee claimed the runner-up positions, receiving a well-deserved prize of 10 yards of fabric and printing services each for their anticipated spring 2024 thesis collections.