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Ortiz Industry on How to Take Fashion High Tech

A common struggle for small and large apparel companies alike is finding a manufacturer that can bring their ideas to life. Quite often they’re told the technology does not exist, or it’s just not possible to do exactly what they’re asking, and the design team has to return to the drawing board. Claire Ortiz, CEO of Ortiz Industry, a Los Angeles-based brand that infuses its men’s and women’s clothing with the latest fabric technologies, offered a simple solution; “Go back to the mills and challenge them on the technologies that they say may not be in existence.”

Speaking Tuesday at Magic’s “High-Tech Fashion: Fashion for the Future” seminar, Ortiz said brands today need to approach mills as a collaborator and not as a customer. Furthermore, she suggested going beyond the mills to “the spinners, the weavers and the dyers — the actual folks that are the suppliers to the mills. Go directly to the fiber sources.”

“I was told for years in the industry that if a fabric is waterproof it couldn’t be breathable,” Ortiz said. “It actually can be. We can make fabrics and replace TPUs that do act as membrane, breathable fabric.” In fact, Ortiz Industry has partnered with the National Alopecia Areata Foundation to create a second skin fabric that’s hydrophobic and hydrophilic, as well as antimicrobial, stain resistant and features UV 50+ protection from UVA and UVB rays.

“So many things are possible. Challenge every ‘no’ and talk to R&D teams,” she added.