(PARIS, JANUARY 18, 2011) Lectra, a world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using soft materials-textiles, leather, industrial fabrics, and composites materials, brought together its “Privilege” partners for a third education conference. 52 participants representing 24 schools from 9 countries – Germany, Brazil, China, the United States, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland – met in Shanghai, China, in November 2010.
Lectra held its first two education conferences in Bordeaux, France. The company wanted to capitalize on its worldwide presence to organize this event in China, a key country in the fashion industry, which presents challenging opportunities and has one of the highest growth rates in the world. Lectra has been present in China since 1986, and in Shanghai in particular, where its headquarters for Greater China, its International Advanced Technology Center, and the Asia Call Center are located. With 90 employees divided among its five main offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Taipei (Taiwan), the Greater China subsidiary today maintains close ties with approximately 2,000 customers.
On the first day, participants were welcomed at Lectra’s Shanghai offices by Véronique Zoccoletto, Lectra’s Chief Human Capital Officer and Chief Information Officer, responsible for Lectra’s Education Program, and by Andreas A. Kim, Lectra’s Managing Director for Greater China and Japan.
“Our objective was to bring our participants together to encourage exchanges and to share and enrich experiences. This year, we thought it would be especially interesting to get them together for a two-day immersion in China and to address the training of future industry professionals with a global and innovative focus,” said Véronique Zoccoletto.
The morning was dedicated to the presentation of Lectra’s latest technological innovations. Two specialists from Lectra and X-Rite, a Lectra partner and the world leader in color measurement and management technology, showed how the perfect compatibility between Kaledo®—Lectra’s textile and fashion collections creation platform—and the ColorMunki™ and PANTONE® FASHION + HOME solutions by X-Rite, are able to solve the problem of color management.
Lectra also highlighted how fashion professionals can benefit from its Modaris® pattern-making solutions and 3D virtual prototyping for apparel, Modaris 3D Fit. Sandra Kuijpers, Professor at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in the Netherlands, who teaches these solutions, explained how integrating Modaris 3D Fit into its program had taken the Institute to a new level. She also presented the models created by her students, who were awarded prizes during a contest organized in cooperation with Lectra.
Lectra’s partners particularly appreciated their visit to one of the eight Chenfeng production centers, one of China’s ten most important apparel manufacturing companies. This group, which employs 6,400 people, is a best partner of major global brands and sees product quality as one of its top priorities. From the design department where Modaris is used, through the cutting phases using the Vector® automated cutting solutions, participants were able to assess the quality and the organization established by Chenfeng to optimize its production processes and make them more flexible.
On the second day, Mr. Xu Min Zhi, President of Donghua University, welcomed the participants at their Shanghai campus. Ms. Li Ke Ling, Dean of Donghua University’s Fashion Institute, presented the school’s teaching policy as well as the resources used to train highly qualified students, particularly with regard to new technologies.
Andreas Kim then gave an update on the evolution of apparel companies in China and on the new profiles being sought by Chinese companies. According to Mr. Kim, “Our industry professionals are adapting quickly in order to satisfy global demand but also to invest in the rapidly expanding domestic Chinese market. They are therefore seeking students who are increasingly qualified in collection development and design. With its innovative solutions, acclaimed by the fashion industry as a whole, Lectra is the ideal partner to assist the world of education in passing on to students the knowledge and best practices they will need in their future professional lives.”
His point was demonstrated by Celine U, Brand Manager, and Jessica Chan, Creation Manager, of Les Enphants, a Taiwanese company specializing in children’s fashion. Dedicated mainly to the rapidly expanding domestic market, this company is developing its own brand and world brand licenses and is reinforcing its teams to meet this objective, all from its headquarters in Shanghai.
Using the Asian example, Andreas Kim then led a round table discussion with representatives from TU Dresden University in Germany, De Monfort University in the United Kingdom, Florida State University in the United States, and the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in the Netherlands, who presented recruitment strategies favored by industry professionals in their different countries for a comparative perspective.
Finally, Cynthia Istook and Trevor Little from North Carolina State University in the United States and Ariel Vicentini from Senai Cetiqt in Brazil presented their training programs. These cover the overall collection development and production processes using the automated cutting and software solutions of Lectra’s latest generation Vectors, which both universities own.
At the end of the education conference, all participants praised Lectra’s initiative for organizing this valuable and useful event. Once again, it gave them the opportunity to cultivate fruitful exchanges with their international counterparts and to make new contacts in such an appealing environment as China.