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Lectra's education congress honors three themes
Dec '11
Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using soft materials - textiles, leather, industrial fabrics and composites materials - held its fourth education congress in Cestas (France) on November 17 and 18, 2011.

Lectra's 2011 education congress welcomed 40 professors, education coordinators, department heads, and directors of 22 fashion schools and universities from Germany, Brazil, Canada, China, the United States, France, Holland, Italy, Great Britain, and Switzerland. This year, it was organized around three major themes: collaborative work, design, and 3D as applied to the fashion industry.

"This annual congress is an enriching time for sharing and exchanging and is the high point of the projects established by Lectra specifically for its Privilege partners. It is part of a comprehensive approach to providing active support to education which, throughout the year, translates into strong involvement and concrete action with our 850 schools and university partners," says Executive Committee member Veronique Zoccoletto, in charge of the Education Program.

Collaborative work, a new major stake for fashion companies and schools
Fashion companies are constantly seeking new solutions allowing them to reduce their costs, guarantee the quality of their products, and ensure faster time-to- market for their collections. Collaborative work has become a key element over the past few years in achieving these objectives.

This subject has thus become increasingly important for schools and universities, which must sensitize their students to this new way of working and communicating, and to the tools that support it.

During the congress, Allison Smith, project manager at Faconnable, the renowned French brand that specializes in top-of-the-range ready-to-wear for men and women, underlined the importance of sharing information company-wide in real time, to be able to develop collections quickly and to increase efficiency and competitiveness.

Cynthia Istook, professor and director of undergraduate programs in fashion at North Carolina State University, explained how her students share information especially by using solutions like Kaledo, Lectra's design software suite dedicated to the world of fashion. This university has also just acquired the Lectra Fashion PLM solution for its fashion and textile department in order to set up a collaborative environment which reflects that of the company in general.

Design: more than ever a core concern for fashion schools
The creative process was also highlighted by Francine Pairon, director of the Master's program for fashion and accessory design at the Institut Francais de la Mode (IFM). She explained how design constantly plays the edge between freedom and constraint, illustrating her point with work done by her students.

Craig Tudhope, CAD manager at American Eagle, emphasized the added value provided by Kaledo, which allows his design team to produce an increasing number of styles and fabrics (prints, knits, etc.) in record time.

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