In the age of instant everything, ready-to-wear collections are increasingly tired by the time they’ve stepped off the catwalk onto the shop floor. Now, Epson is hoping to offer fashion designers shorter lead times and the ability to print patterned fabric as easily as if it was a line sheet.
The electronic company kicked off New York Fashion Week on Feb. 10 with “Digital Couture,” a presentation that showcased clothing made using dye-sublimation printers. Applying its expertise to the world of fashion, Epson handpicked 11 designers from around the world to create collections using its SureColor F-Series, high-speed printers that use heat to transfer dye onto fabrics. Curated by stylist Sofia Karvela, featured designers included Maggie Barry from Los Angeles, Chilean Marco Antonio Farias and Ay Not Dead from Argentina.
“This technology gives both young entrepreneurs just starting out in the fashion world as well as established fashion brands a way to produce their art in an efficient and affordable manner. It provides a whole new level of creative and functional versatility,” said Agustin Chacon, VP of subsidiary sales and operations for Epson America, Inc.
Epson isn’t the first technology behemoth to dip into fashion. Canon, Kodak, Sony and Fujifilm offer dye-sublimation printers, too, but with small models averaging at $25,000 and high-volume models costing as much as $300,000, Epson is banking on its F7070 and F6070 ($9,000 and $20,000 respectively) offering fashion designers more bang for their buck.