Leading up to New York Fashion Week, Epson America Inc. hosted its third annual Digital Couture Project Show at the IAC Building in Manhattan. Thirteen designers from the U.S., Canada and Latin America gathered to showcase their collections, all created from Epson dye-sublimation technology.
As models posed along the walkway, fashion and apparel industry experts clung to cocktails while grazing the colorful fabrics, rubbing shoulders with celebrities such as actress Kelly Rutherford and “The Real Housewives of New York City” star Dorinda Medley.
The event also introduced the Robustelli-Epson brand to the international fashion community with an array of high-quality textile samples on site. In June of 2016, Epson acquired Italian textile printer manufacturer Robustelli, increasing Epson's manufacturing capability to bring its digital inkjet textile printers to more customers worldwide.
“New technologies from Epson are allowing designers to push the boundaries of color and quality while simultaneously giving creative teams incredible versatility and productivity,” said Keith Kratzberg, president and CEO of Epson America, Inc. “With the market for worldwide digital textile printing expected to grow annually at almost 25%, this is a very exciting opportunity. Our goal with the Digital Couture event is to spotlight the power and potential that digital printing technology plays in the apparel industry.”
The designers produced dye-sublimated ensembles that followed the theme of “Textile Stories.” New York City-based designer Lindsay Degen blended her history of knitting and quilting with the new technology to create an optical illusion look. “Some things are printed, but look knitted. Some things are knitted, but look printed. Some things are printed denim with actual denim integrated into the pieces. My project is essentially about tricking your eye,” Degen said.
Another design team was Philadelphia University, the first U.S. university group to participate in the project. Led by department chair Mark Sunderland, the faculty and student group combined hand painted abstract florals with photo manipulated prints to craft a surreal visual of nature’s perplexing and changing beauty. “It’s exciting to be a part of history and show what Philly U students are capable of,” said senior fashion design student Maria Balestino.