American fashion through the eyes of … Sylvia Heisel

Recently named one of 25 forward-thinking designers defining the future of fashion, this young designer is a faithful attendee of Première Vision New York, where this January she’ll be presenting, for the second time, a poetic and high-tech wardrobe… At our invitation, she analysed some major trends driving fashion in the U.S.




What changes have you seen in the fashion world in the U.S. over the past five years?

I’m not sure I can define fashion movements in an overall way, but one thing is very certain, today fashion is driven by the deluge of pictures and videos we get on our iPhones. Five years ago, designers created a collection to show on the runways and feature in their ad campaigns, with these perfect photos designed to attract and seduce. But offering something beautiful isn’t enough anymore. You have to define your intentions, present the whole back story to your creative process, and believe strongly in your production methods.

What do you think of the young American generation?

It injects a huge amount of creative intensity. I meet a lot of very cutting-edge young designers who are very eager to reinvent fashion. I am amazed by the work they put in in terms of ecoresponsibility, and their willingness to propose something more than just beautiful clothes.

Innovation is the heart of creation. How is that reflected in collections?

Technology revolutionised how we sell fashion, and now it’s transforming how clothes are designed. The next revolutions will involve materials and production processes. Robots are already replacing designers, and new materials can create new sensations and functions. Increasingly, you’ll see clothes that will warm or cool your body, that will compensate for disabilities, that will display videos on your clothing sleeves…

And these clothes are going to be made in an environmentally respectful way?

Ecological research is steadily progressing. I’m constantly discovering new developments: bio-plastics that look like leather, textiles made from collagen and mycelium, which are mushrooms.

You address some of these issues yourself.

My work lies at the crossroads of fashion and technology. We’ve designed a platform that creates 3D printed clothing, with zero waste, and accessories made from renewable materials. The clothing I’ll present at Première Vision NY in January is very representative of my goals. This kind of research is very time consuming, but technological progress gives me the chance to show a garment representing a new step forward at each edition.

You’ll be attending the next edition of Première Vision NY. What will you be looking for?

The show is a unique blend of luxury, heritage and innovation where everyone can touch and feel the materials, but where they can also come together and share their experiences. For me, it’s a fabulous place to meet people and get inspired.


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Targeting a broad scope of activities, the show brings together the full breadth of the fashion industry’s activities: weavers, accessories manufacturers, manufacturers, tanners and textile design studios. Its seasonal shows – in January and July – are timed to meet the demands of a local market that works largely with Asian suppliers. Launched in 2000, the show now plays an important role in the American fashion industry. Each season, it presents numerous fashion forums and conferences, with a particular focus on a sustainable economy. Première Vision NY also works together with the CFDA – Council of Fashion Designers of America – and has a support program for young designers, which identifies exhibitors able to provide quantities tailored to their specific needs. The show focuses on developing links between American fashion and international exhibitors. This year, local brand Tome will work together with Subalpino, one of the major Italian exhibitors present at the show.

> More information about Première Vision New York

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