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Philadelphia University to establish Fashion and Textiles Futures Center

The centre aims to advance the University's innovative and highly regarded fashion and textiles curricula and enhance partnerships with industry leaders.

20th October 2015

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Philadelphia, US


The centre aims to advance the University's innovative and highly regarded fashion and textiles curricula and enhance partnerships with industry leaders to more closely connect students to current and future jobs in an evolving marketplace, the university reports.

State-of-the-art facilities

The Philadelphia University Fashion and Textiles Futures Center will focus on the University's unique integration of education, research and practice.

It will provide state-of-the-art facilities to support student learning and foster collaboration, facilitate industry-sponsored projects, increase research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and help attract and retain world-class faculty. Work on the physical space will begin in late spring and will be completed by the start of the fall 2016 semester.

The plan includes enhanced collaborative design studios for students, fabrication laboratories, computer-aided design facilities and flexible active-learning classrooms. The educational programming will be further supported by the University's advanced digital printing facilities, among the best in the world, and the Grundy Materials Evaluation Laboratory.

Expanding experience

"The Fashion and Textiles Futures Center will expand experience for our students, faculty and partners," said Ron Kander, executive dean of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce.

"PhilaU fashion programmes are internationally ranked and our programmes in textiles and textile engineering are regarded as among the best in the nation. The new Center will enable us to continue our leadership in providing the best possible 21st-century professional education for our students and helping to define the industry needs of the future."

Retail-like space

The Fashion and Textiles Futures Center will include a retail-like space designed to mirror the workings of modern fashion and textile design firms and reflect the industry environments that students will work in after graduation. This area will be used to showcase the creative work of students and the University's industry partners and give fashion merchandising and management students the opportunity to hone marketing and merchandising skills by working on displays and presentations.

"Customers are always looking for new and innovative products and, as the apparel industry evolves, speed and flexibility are key factors that drive today's successes," said Matt Mandracchia, Vice President for Design Technologies and Process for PVH Corp., one of the leading apparel firms that includes such brands as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.

"Philadelphia University's Futures Center seeks to capitalize on these factors, providing a learning environment that promotes innovative thinking. Innovation supports speed and flexibility, helping students to learn and prepare for a fast-changing, product-centric career."

Supporting innovative curricula

The physical space will reflect and support the innovative curricula of these programmes as part of the University's signature Nexus Learning approach: teaching and learning that is active, collaborative, tied to the real world and infused with the liberal arts.

A fundraising campaign to support the Fashion and Textiles Futures Center has been initiated, and top industry executives from such firms as PVH, Waterworks and Weitzer are leading the effort. The campaign has been kicked off with a US 500,000 donation from PhilaU benefactor Maurice Kanbar '52 H'03.

In addition, a Leadership Committee representing diverse industry sectors and faculty members is being formed to guide and support the Fashion and Textiles Futures Center.

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