A featured design from the Epson Digital Couture event by Vanesa Krongold.

PHOTOS: Epson Hosts Third Annual Digital Couture Event in NYC

LONG BEACH, Calif.—Epson hosts the third annual Digital Couture event in New York City. The one-day event took place on Feb. 7 in the city’s Chelsea neighborhood, offering visitors a glimpse at designer fashions created with Epson digital textile printing technology as a lead-up to New York Fashion Week. This year’s show featured 13 designer teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Latin America, all implementing the theme of “Textile Stories,” or illustrative depictions of culture and heritage, with their designs.

In addition to new design themes, this year’s Digital Couture show ushered in new additions and faces to the occasion. A fashion and technology forum took place before the Couture event at the nearby Chelsea Piers featuring opening remarks by Epson Global President Minoru Usui. The 2017 show marks the first time Usui has attended Digital Couture. Usui outlined the company’s evolution from digital photography to its current initiatives in textile printing technology, including the company’s recent establishment of textile innovation hubs in Como, Italy.

Following Usui’s remarks, a discussion panel featuring veterans of the fashion, importing, retail, and wholesale industries also provided attendees with insight on the impact of technology and a digital culture on apparel manufacturing, fashion, and design.

Along with discussions on the digital sphere, Usui commented after the forum about the rise of affordable customization in textile design.

“For the end user, we’ve now got an environment where they can completely customize products exactly suited to their need,” says Usui. “Designers can see their creativity in fabric almost instantly, at low cost.” 

Keith Kratzberg, president and CEO of Epson America points out that one major difference he’s noticed compared to prior years in the collections is the sophistication and complexity of designer patterns and substrates. This year’s show also featured a design collaboration between textile engineer Mark Sunderland and the Philadelphia University on a collection entitled “Second Skin.” The collection features layering of printed textiles, inspired by “nature’s perplexing and changing beauty,” according to Sunderland. The addition of a university team to the designer line-up reflects the company’s efforts to collaborate with institutions around the world. Usui points out that in addition Philadelphia University, Epson has collaborated with universities in Como, Italy and Kyoto, Japan.

“(The students) bring a deep knowledge of the materials, and they’ve helped us tremendously on the technical side,” states Usui, explaining the significance and inspiration behind the collaborations.

The at-capacity fashion show portion of the event took place later that evening in the InterActiveCorp (IAC) building. The Couture line-up featured a diverse array of dresses, jackets, pants, and accessories such as shoes and scarves, all decorated with Epson technology. A series of printers with printed textiles and transfer paper patterns were also prominently on display at the entrance of the building. Like previous years, the show boasted models on raised platforms which afforded attendees a chance to get an up-close look at the designers’ collections. The international roster of designers was also on-hand to describe their inspiration behind each design.

Scroll through the gallery below for pictures of the event.

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