It's finally time to put faces to the names behind KRSTN NDRSN. In our new blog series, I’ll introduce you to the amazing women who power our design agency. And who better to start with than our newest team member, Trudy Gardner?! 🎉
Trudy recently made a major career change! She went from being a pilot in the Canadian Armed Forces to a 3D intimates designer.
Talk about a career change!
We got the chance to interview her and learn about Trudy’s background, how she made the career switch, the role she’ll be playing on the team, and her innovative use of CLO3d software for fashion design. Read on to learn more!!!
Where did you go to school?
"The University of Waterloo after high school, and recently Toronto Film School."
What did you study?
"English Literature and recently Fashion Design."
When did you go about transitioning careers?
"I released from the military in 2019 and moved from the West Coast of Canada to the East Coast."
What has been your favorite part of making this job transition?
"Learning new skills on my own terms in my own time and having the flexibility to spend lots of time with my son as he grows up."
What made you decide to pursue a career in technical apparel design?
"I love breaking garments down into their individual components and understanding how they come together, especially for intimate apparel with all the complicated trims, hardware, and patterns. I know this is not an easy skill to master, and I figured there would always be a need I could fill in some capacity."
How long have you been in the fashion industry?
"I started studying fashion about 7 years ago, making patterns and clothing for my son. This continued to grow as a hobby, and I decided to do a diploma in Fashion Design out of pure interest and curiosity. Throughout the years I had a small business making baby clothing, then teaching sewing lessons out of my home and I started properly freelancing in 2020."
What other things do you like to do in your free time?
"Crossfit, mountain biking, sewing, and hanging out with my family."
"It's a tie between my whole career as a military pilot and becoming a mother!! I loved flying across the north and doing search and rescue throughout the Rockies, but nothing compares to the adventure of parenthood!"
Favorite brand or designer?
If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what could you see yourself doing?
"Good question! I don't know, I’m very fortunate to be doing exactly what I want to be doing!"
What’s your job title?
How did you come to join the KRSTN NDRSN team?
"I found Kristen’s blog while doing research about the industry, and reached out to her for advice. She was very forthcoming and generous with her knowledge. We then connected again through the Intimate Apparel Technical Collective and earlier this year she brought me onto the team to work as a 3D designer having seen me grow and develop my skills in Clo3D."
What’s it like working with a fully remote team?
"It's an incredible opportunity to connect with this amazing team without having to leave my home. I find I can really focus on work, without the distraction of a commute or the need to be in an office setting."
You and Kristen have never met in person, is that strange?
"I haven't even ever thought of this! I connect with a lot of people all around the world now and I guess it has become normalized."
What are your favorite parts of working with the team?
"I love being able to learn and get feedback from everyone else’s expertise, and I also love that I feel like my ideas are valued, even though I’m the newest member of the team."
What tasks do you spend most of your time doing?
"Working in Clo3D, making pattern changes after fittings, mocking up 3d models, and updating tech packs."
What’s your workspace like?
"I’m lucky to have a fairly spacious studio with a big window."
If you weren’t on the KRSTN NDRSN team, what other design role could you see yourself in?
"Well, I went from pilot to fashion designer, so I suppose it would have to be something completely different to both!"
For anyone that isn’t familiar, what is CLO3d?
"Basically, Clo3D is a 3d modeling software specifically designed for garment creation. You can draft and develop patterns in 2D and then apply that pattern with appropriate details such as fabrics and trims on a 3D model. You can also make changes relatively quickly, try different colorways, prints, and fabrics, view the grade of the garment, and check the points of measure, I continue to be blown away by the possibilities."
How does CLO3d help in the process of making apparel designs?
"It's mindblowing, it allows you to see how your pattern comes together on an appropriately scaled avatar, allowing you to make design and fit decisions with efficiency and accuracy."
When did you start using Clo3d?
"At the end of 2019, but really the time should be measured by hours spent in the program, which by rough calculation I’ve probably spent over a thousand hours."
What are some of the advantages of using CLO3d over more traditional methods of design, patternmaking, and sampling?
"Traditionally, patterns are drafted by hand on paper. Usually, patterns start from basic blocks, these have to be manipulated by the pattern maker according to the design intent. This can mean tracing off many different versions for different iterations. Once the pattern maker is happy with the pattern, they then have to cut out the paper, cut out the fabric, then sew the garment, then try it on and decide if fitting or style alterations are required. Once the notes are taken on fitting and style changes, these then have to be translated back to the paper draft, and the process begins again until the pattern and garment are finalized. With Clo3D, this whole process is digitized. First of all, the process is far more accurate since you can work with exact copies of your bocks, eliminating the errors that can be induced by hand tracing, also you can take extremely accurate measurements of lines and compare adjoining seams with a simple click, which significantly speeds up the drafting process. Then of course you can sew that garment and try it on an avatar in the 3D window, then apply changes immediately, and see the results while also saving every iteration of the garment for comparison."
What are your favorite features of CLO3d?
"Recently exploring the grade review feature has been a game changer. Not only can we assess how a base size comes together, but we can also assess how the graded pattern translates onto a range of avatar sizes all in a single file."
What are some of the best ways that apparel brands can utilize CLO3d?
"I see two main benefits to using 3D garments, the first being as I described above for garment development, and the second being for marketing purposes. High-quality photorealistic 3D renders can be used to test the market appetite for a given style. Brands can then make informed decisions on what products to invest in before spending the time energy and resources to create physical products."
What challenges have you encountered while using CLO3d software for fashion design?
"There is a learning curve to using the program, it can be glitchy and it crashes more often than I would like, especially if I’ve forgotten to save my work!"
How did you go about learning CLO3d and what other resources do you recommend?
"I started with the Clo3D Youtube channel, they have a very thorough basic training program, then I continued to consume all the information I could possibly find and I also reached out to anyone who would talk to me to learn how they were using the software. I’ve taken the FIT Clo certificate and both the basic and advanced Clo3D online workshops. The program really satisfies my thirst for continuous learning."
You teach workshops/classes for other designers on CLO3d. Where/how can people sign up to take those?
"I’ve recently launched an online course for called Clo3D Foundations for Intimate Apparel. It's designed to take you from a complete beginner to a functional intimatewear designer. It's really meant to be a beginner's shortcut to learning Clo specifically for intimates since it's very hard to find very much information in this area. Check it out here! "
How do you see the fashion industry using 3D technology in the future?
"I have no doubt that the implementation of the 3D process increases efficiency and reduces wasted resources, time, and money. I have also come to realize that the fashion industry is slow to buy in, and I’ve been exploring the reasons why for some time. For one thing, the processes are not already established and it is difficult to find individuals with the skill set to implement them. I feel really fortunate to be a part of Kristen’s team, which is small and agile with forward-thinking leadership, and therefore we are able to continue to maintain the current workflow while embracing these new capabilities."
Are there any tools/features we aren’t using that you’d like to see us lean into more?
"We currently use Clo3D in the development phase of our designs, we use it to communicate design intent, as well as garment changes for fit or style with each other and with our factories. I would love to see the brands we represent make use of rendered images for marketing purposes. Check out Adidas, Arcteryx, and even Slogii."
Trudy's journey is nothing short of inspiring. Her story shows that learning is a lifelong pursuit. So, if you're passionate about something, go for it! Take the plunge and chase your dreams.
For those interested in delving deeper into CLO3d, don’t forget to check out Trudy's class.
And stay tuned next week for a spotlight on our Designer, Jasmine Stroud. 🌟