Curiosity drives my career as a fashion designer. I was curious about clothing, so I started making apparel in my living room. I got curious about code and hardware, so started reading books and making prototypes.
As a fashion designer, I work at the intersection of fashion and tech – linking old-world knitting, spinning, weaving and sewing with new-gen hacking, prototyping and open-source “making”.
Smart apparel and intelligent textiles are on their way to replacing the “dumb” clothing we wear today – I want to help shape that. I’ll use code to make things; other times I’ll work with fabric. Sometimes it’s 3D printers and electronics, and then some days it’s pencils and pens.
Clothing should be responsive to our bodies. Just imagine if we had clothing that regulated our temperature! What if we had tracking devices on our clothing? What if we had garments that could change color? That’s the future we want to design at Loomia, the New York fashion company I founded in 2013.
We recently finished a prototype of an industrial wearable we call Armor, which is designed to monitor bodily stress. It includes custom-printed textile circuits that use Arduino logic, as well as biometric and touch sensors, so that Armor can help to identify worker fatigue on industrial sites.
Making the piece only took a few weeks because as a fashion designer and a coder, I could do everything from programming the microcontroller to designing the laser-cutting files for the acrylic outer shell. When you can drive the machines, you can be so much more creative!
The building blocks of all of our innovations at Loomia require an understanding of code. I really believe if you get involved with code now, you’ll build the future of fashion.
Maddys’s path to becoming a fashion designer
>> Completed a scholarship, Teen Vogue
>> Interned at Tommy Hilfiger + Nylon magazine
>> Studied at creative tech residences: Autodesk, The School of Visual Arts and Undercurrent
>> Attended Parsons School of Design
>> Founded her business, Loomia