UC Donors Power DAAP’s Fashion Technology Center

Support will drive the future of fashion

DAAP Fashion CenterIn 2019, Business of Fashion named The Myron E. Ullman, Jr. School of Design at DAAP as one of the Best Fashion Schools in the World — for good reason. Tucked away on the sixth floor of the college’s iconic building, is the school’s innovative Evelyn G. Burgoyne Fashion Technology Center.

Named for a generous benefactor, the futuristic center houses three labs for computer-aided design, textile innovation and apparel production. Within the center, plaques on machines remind users of the people who made the place possible — UC donors.

"If it were not for the generous support that we have received over the past few years from donors and corporate sponsors, we would have never been able to establish our state-of-the-art Fashion Technology Center, the Future Mobility Center, and our Makers Hub," says Gjoko Muratovski, Endowed Chair and Director of The Myron E. Ullman, Jr. School of Design. "All of these incredible facilities have been fully funded by donors."

Such support is allowing the college to drive the future of fashion.

"The fashion industry is changing, and technology is a huge part of the reason why," says Zachary Hoh, the Fashion Design Program Coordinator at the Ullman School of Design. "The Fashion Technology Center offers tools for students to lead that change."

Within the center, students can use cutting-edge technologies to produce smart apparel with conductive threads or embedded LED lights, circuits and sensors that monitor anything from posture to heart rate to hydration, says Ashley Kubley, who heads the Fashion Technology Center and is an Assistant Professor of Fashion Design.

"Students are using the same machines as industry manufacturers," Kubley explains. "They are able to produce sellable and sustainable prototypes — sustainable because through digital modeling they can create a custom and precise product without the need for multiple iterations."

Such precision eliminates the need for hundreds of garments to be created by allowing for the cost-effective and timely creation of a garment designed to fit the individual customer. The equipment in the center is also allowing students to design and manufacture their own textiles. Important, Kubley says, because of the difficulty of sourcing textiles.

"The Fashion Technology Center has enabled us to make things that we were never able to do before," Muratovski says. "It is almost unimaginable to believe that our students and faculty have access to the latest industry-grade technology and equipment that is beyond the reach even for many of our corporate partners. This center has completely transformed how we teach fashion design."

Muratovski and Ullman School of Design faculty say donors have made all the difference.

"I would like to give my most sincere thanks to them for believing in us, having faith in our vision, and for supporting us," Muratovski says. "Their gifts and donations have allowed us to change the very fabric of our Fashion Design program and enabled us to rise to the top of our field. When major gifts are tied to a strategic plan and a bold vision, transformative results follow. Their generous support will benefit generations of future designers."

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