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Alvanon CEO on How Fashion Fit Movement Will Revitalize Major Apparel Hubs

In an effort to do its part for the fashion industry, Alvanon, the global leader in fit solutions for the fashion industry, launched its Fashion Fit Movement in May, a program designed to inspire renewed interest in technical skills and revitalize manufacturing in New York City, London and Hong Kong.

Alvanon has so far contributed to the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA) Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, the London-based Fashion Enter Stitching Academy, and is currently developing a partnership that will benefit the Hong Kong market.

With the Fashion Fit Movement well underway, Sourcing Journal spoke to Alvanon CEO and founding family member Janice Wang to see how things have progressed and what the movement will mean for manufacturing.

“The fit element touches every single part of the supply process, but it’s the one thing that’s forgotten,” Wang said. “I’m trying to change one particular aspect of the fashion industry and give back what we know.”

As its first donation under the movement, Alvanon gave the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI), an investment fund created to preserve garment manufacturing in New York City, its AlvaForm technical fit mannequins and AlvaBlock pattern templates. FMI then awarded the fit tools to NYC-based Werkstatt, a pattern service and sample room local designers can use for garment production.

“We want to make sure people who have the expertise have the right tools,” Wang said.

Wang noted that there is a general move to bring apparel manufacturing back to NYC. “All of these things are starting to come back,” she said. “But not for the volume product, but that doesn’t matter.”

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The problem, and part of the reason for launching the Fashion Fit Movement, according to Wang, is that people have begun to forget how to make things, some even feeling that making something is beneath them.

As such, Wang was keen to donate 50,000 pounds ($80,255) worth of fit forms and pattern blocks to Fashion Enter, a garment manufacturing and training center in North London to help “simplify the knowledge gap.”

Alvanon’s gift went to Fashion Enter’s Stitching Academy and to start its new Fashion Technology Academy, which helps the unemployed–or anyone looking to learn–develop stitching, pattern making and technical skills for the apparel industry.

The reason consumers go back to a brand is because of how the product fits, Wang explained, but the person who makes the pattern isn’t celebrated, she said.

“Alvanon exists to bring best practices to the apparel industry. We hope that we will be able to improve the industry by providing the best research, the best tools and the best training to industry professionals as well as the future generation entering the industry,” Wang said. “In the past 10/15 years we have lost a lot of experience based teaching and have seen a lean towards fashion and the creative aspects of the industry. But there is a groundswell of people wanting to learn how to make something. We hope to support the companies and academia, who are teaching and training the practical, technical and tactile: the patternmakers, the sewing professionals, the technical designers—basically the makers.”

The fit firm will further collaborate with CFDA this fall on professional development workshops, and will continue to support its FMI incubator.

Alvanon has plans to announce further partnerships as part of the Fashion Fit movement in the coming months, and Wang said the company will continue doing things to benefit the industry, whether in-kind or knowledge transfer. “If we can improve something,” she said. “It’s ethically irresponsible for us not to.”