FIT’S NEW COLOR WHEEL: The Fashion Institute of Technology is home to the first Archroma Color Center at a college or university.

As part of its plan to team with leading global universities, Archroma, a Swiss resource for color and specialty chemicals, has partnered with the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Textile Development and Marketing department through the Archroma Color Management service business. In the new Archroma Color Center, FIT students have access to color management tools for their design projects, while getting more hands-on experience that helps to prepare them for careers in the fashion and textiles industries.

Having had a relationship with FIT through the years, Archroma wanted to partner with an entity that connects with a lot of students and has great standing in the industry, according to Chris Hipps, global director of Archroma Color Management, which is housed in Charlotte, N.C. About 50 to 100 companies including American Eagle Outfitters are working with similar tools that the students are using.

“We want the students to be familiar with the modern tools that they will experience when they get out into the work world. Designers and fashion designers in particular really want to have an unlimited color range to choose from,” he said, adding that the Archroma Color Atlas has 4,320 new colors so that it really populates the color range, and formulas are established and engineered. “That’s important because designers not only need to be creative but then they need to design something that can also be produced from their global supply chain. We help them connect the dots between the inspiration for what they’re doing with their color palettes to the point where they’re communicating that color to their factories all over he world for their creative vision.”

Designed by FIT students under the guidance of Sean Cormier, an associate professor at the college’s Textile Development and Marketing program, the Archroma Color Center has a flip-through display that re-creates the 4,320 hue Color Atlas on one wall. Students also have access to a complete six-set Color Atlas that includes detachable fabric swatches that has also been donated to the lab. Colors from the physical Color Atlas by Archroma library can be searched by using the online tool. Students are also asked to use the library to research colors, then they dye sample fabrics and matching trim materials.

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