The tools and resources were donated as part of Alvanon’s 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 has gifted AlvaForm fit mannequins and blocks to BF+DA’s manufacturing and training facilities, along with business expertise consisting of workshops and one-on-one tutoring sessions.
Debera Johnson, executive director of 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 said. “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 added 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 chief executive officer Janice Wang said, “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. 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.”
Last week, BF+DA was awarded a $486,000 research grant to support the link between sustainability and technology in apparel as 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.
The BF+DA was launched by Pratt Institute to provides designers with the resources they need to transform their ideas into successful businesses. It is supported by more than $2 million in initial funding pledged by Pratt Institute, the State of New York, New York City, and the borough of Brooklyn.
Alvanon’s Fashion Fit Movement revitalizes technical skills in New York City by working 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 U.S., such as the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Alvanon advising the apparel organizations on how to align their internal teams, processes and supply chains; more intimately engage their existing and target customers, and innovate to optimize profitability and achieve their growth objectives. Alvanon works with its clients across multiple apparel sectors in 89 countries. It operates from its head office in New York, European headquarters in London and Asia office in Hong Kong. It also has research, development and manufacturing facilities in Dongguan and Shenzhen, China.