The innovative designs of three Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) students are included in flat knitting machine builder Stoll's current Trend Collection for Autumn/Winter 2009-10, titled Nomads.These designs are the result of a competition held at FIT during the winter 2008 semester by Stoll America Knitting Machinery in the U.S. and Stoll's Germany-based Fashion and Technology department. The competition required FIT students to address the challenges of global mobility by designing garments that have multiple uses and function in a variety of climates. Stoll looked for designs with the sophistication necessary to provide its customers with up-to-date, innovative pieces that would also showcase the capabilities of Stoll's machines. From submissions of sketches by ten students, four designs by three students were selected for production. Casey Pyle, who graduated in 2008 with a degree in Fashion Design, created a catsuit that converts into a shoulder bag and a sweater that becomes a backpack. Hye Jin Choi, a 2008 Textile Development and Marketing graduate, designed a blouse that converts into a dress. Min Kwon, who is expected to graduate in 2009 with a degree in Fashion Design, contributed a top that can be worn as a skirt. Stoll provided both the expertise of its knitwear specialists and its extensive technology to help the three students turn their sketches into garments. The Nomads Trend Collection for Autumn/Winter 2009-10 can be downloaded and fabricated by Stoll customers. Jorg Hartmann, head of Fashion and Technology at Stoll, said, "We were very excited to see that a close cooperation between industry and education turned out to be equally beneficial. The students experienced a unique chance to work with knitwear specialists, and in exchange Stoll received valuable creative input from upcoming designers who challenged the technical capabilities of our equipment." "The winners of the Stoll's Trend Collection Autumn/Winter 2009-10 competition had the unique opportunity to collaborate with Stoll's development team in putting their designs into work," said Ann Denton, assistant professor, Textile Development and Marketing at FIT. "For a student pursuing a career in fashion, the experience of working side by side with industry professionals is extraordinarily valuable." Stoll has been working in close cooperation with FIT for over two decades as part of the company's global strategy to support educational institutions. "The Stoll-FIT collaboration has created a wealth of opportunities for FIT students," Denton added. "Our Fashion Design, Textile Development and Marketing, and Production Management students receive formal classroom training on Stoll M1 workstations in their knit classes. As part of their coursework, they develop a wide variety of fabrics and garments for production on our Stoll CMS machinery." In addition, many FIT students attend demonstrations of Stoll M1 and CMS equipment, allowing them to become increasingly familiar with the technology.
Stoll also has donated machinery and software to FIT's knitting lab, given talks at the college, trained faculty on software, provided technical assistance to students, and loaned a large library of samples for students to use as inspiration. "In the fields of knit design and product development, creativity alone is not sufficient," said Denton. "A strong command of knitting technology is also necessary, and FIT's ability to train students on state-of-the-art Stoll equipment is key to building this technical foundation. "When a creative individual has sophisticated technical skills, that person's design work can be tremendously exciting. In an increasingly competitive global economy, innovative design and product development is critically important to the fashion business. Stoll's longstanding collaboration with FIT helps build the skills our students need for career success in this challenging environment," Denton continued. Stoll is an international leading manufacturer of flat knitting machines and pattern preparation systems that looks back on a long and rich tradition. Now in its 135th year, the firm is owned by the fourth generation of the Stoll family. Today, Stoll employs a workforce of approximately 1,000 around the world. Of these, approximately 750 are based in Reutlingen, Germany. Flat knitting machine production takes place exclusively in Germany.Even the company's computers and control systems are developed and manufactured by Stoll. Overall, Stoll operates in more than 70 countries around the world and has sales offices in France, Italy, Japan, India, and the U.S. A Chinese subsidiary, the Stoll Fashion and Technology International Center, has been established in Shanghai. FIT, a leader in professional career-oriented education, is a selective college of art and design, business and technology of the State University of New York (SUNY), with 44 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, and MPS degrees. The college serves more than 10,000 students in such diverse areas as fashion design, advertising and marketing communications, toy design, home products development, and fashion merchandising management.