Programs like Digital Fashion Pro let you design shirts, pants, scarves and hats.
Fashion design software — also referred to as CAD fashion software — lets novice and experienced designers alike create clothing and other garments in a virtual environment. A number of fashion design software solutions are available for Apple’s Macintosh computers. Features vary considerably from one product to the next, and prices range from around $100 to more than $1,000, as of the date of publication.
Fashion Toolbox is a software package intended for textile, apparel and accessories designers. Its features include a plaids and fabrics clipart gallery, a texture-mapping tool with 3D models, and a design specs workbook comprised of industry-standard forms for costing, making and fitting your designs. Fashion Toolbox runs on Macs when paired with Parallels Desktop or VMware. The full Fashion Toolbox package costs around $250, as of the date of publication.
Fashion CAD is a full-featured CAD system that includes software modules for pattern grading, pattern design, pattern detailing and marker layout. It also features live video demonstrations for each module, a 1,000-page manual and 90 days of free email support to help you while you familiarize yourself with the program. Fashion CAD is compatible with Intel Macs, Powermac G4s and Powermac G5s. All systems require 50 MB of free hard disk space, a three-button mouse and a display with a resolution of at least 1,024 by 768 pixels. A full download of Fashion CAD costs around $1,300.
Digital Fashion Pro
Digital Fashion Pro lets aspiring designers sketch and design clothing. Its features include vector clothing templates, a wide selection of fabrics, a 105-page training guide and step-by-step videos to help familiarize yourself with the software. The Basic version of Digital Fashion Pro includes women’s and men’s clothing templates for t-shirts, pants, polo sweaters and other basic tops. Upgraded versions of Digital Fashion Pro let you design items such as handbags, hats, swimwear, dresses, scarves and coats. The basic version of the software costs around $200, while upgraded versions start around $250. Macs require a copy of Parallels and 2 GB of free hard disk space in order to run Digital Fashion Pro.
OptiPlex 3D Runway
OptiPlex 3D Runway is a suite of software tools for the fashion designer. Its features include a fabric simulation system, virtual fittings for up to 65 different body types, a pattern maker and a 3D digitizer for transferring designs back and forth between 2D and 3D environments. OptiPlex 3D Runway requires 1 GB of RAM, 250 GB of available hard disk space and a Mac running Parallels or VMWare. OptiPlex doesn’t publish the cost of its 3D Runway suite online. Instead, potential customers must contact a local distributor for current prices.