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Get an Inside Look at Fashion Software Clo3D - and Our Certificate

June 23, 2021

Parsons Fashion Professor Julian Guthrie is launching a Clo3D Virtual Fashion Design certificate this Fall. Clo3D is a  software that allows designers to create true-to-life garments, digitally. Guthrie earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in fashion at Parsons and has worked in the industry for more than 20 years. He spoke to us about his experience with this innovative software and why it's important for both experienced and novice designers to master it.


Clo3D One of Julian Guthrie's designs using Clo3D.


How have you seen fashion technology change over the years?

I first learned how to sew when I was 13 years old… I’m 43. Just thinking over that period of time, from when Illustrator and Photoshop were such an important thing in fashion... to me, Clo3D has been revolutionary. I didn’t hear of it until 2019. But since then, I’ve been hooked on it because of the capabilities. It’s incredibly user-friendly – you can use it on Mac and you can use it on PCs. Clo basically is the complete package. It can do so much.



How has Clo3D helped your career?

It opens up so many possibilities when you stay on top of current technology, period. Basically 2020 is when I started teaching myself because of the pandemic. I also do freelance pattern-making, so that was my real push. I was like, Ok, if I can get this down, I can maybe start reaching out to past clients and start relationships with new clients and tell them I have this new technology. You can give me your fit models’ measurements and I can customize an avatar. So it really helped me not worry about having a full sewing studio. It was really freeing in that part.

Also, it can really cut down costs. I don’t have to deal with buying muslin, pens, or scissors. Also thinking of how frequently those things have to be replenished, sharpened—It’s minimal now because I can do so much digitally. And time! I can make a blazer jacket in a day or half a day if I have body patterns built that I can reference and manipulate. It can be a huge time-saver.

What advice do you have for students learning Clo3D?

Try to put in as much time as you possibly can in doing it. Be patient with yourself in learning it. Depending on what people’s backgrounds are, there will be a learning curve. I’m mindful that in continuing education courses, you might have people who are not in that field. For them, I’d say be patient with yourself because you’re learning the software and you’re also learning the language of fashion. If you’re already in the world of fashion, I’d still say be patient. Because there’s a lot to memorize and retain.

Also find your niche in it. I set up the certificate to give a broad overview – each course will focus on certain areas of the program. It’s really about learning the tools of the program – there’s no conceptual development component. The Fashion Design certificate is geared to be hands-on pattern-making and sewing. We’ll still be doing pattern-making and sewing—it’s just virtual.

What is like teaching online?

It’s so much easier! Depending on how you were positioned in the classroom, you may be forced to look at patterns upside down. Some people might be seeing it sideways. Clearly when we’re doing it digitally, everyone’s looking at it from the same perspective. As we were going through the tools, each tool was a new “oh my god, I can do that!” It was just a succession of “oh my gods”!

There’s much more freedom to experiment. In Clo, if I do three different garment manipulations, it would take 10 minutes. Whereas if I had to do it by hand, I would have to cut it, tape it, put it back together. It would be a much more time-consuming thing. People won’t do certain things because they’re scared it won’t come out right and they don’t want to waste time or resources. The time commitment required to explore is not as much time.



What is unique about teaching Continuing and Professional Education courses?

In teaching continuing education courses, what I found is a common thread is the desire to do it. The inquiry to really learn, the desire to learn, and how they can apply it. They regard it from the practical sense. That audience has an idea of what they want to do, so they’re more about "how can I apply this?"

What was your approach when putting together the certificate?

I’ve done my research! I’ve seen what others are doing, what from the BFA we thought was important to cover, how I use it—looking at all those different things, I thought Parsons would have the most kick-ass Clo3D certificate.

Check out the first class in the certificate, Fundamentals of Clo3D.


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