My fashion & technology journey began in grad school. There, I used CAD tools to streamline my work to create avant-garde runway looks. My graduate thesis work was featured by WWD, Elle and Esquire. Weeks after finishing my MFA, I was in Barcelona and then Istanbul troubleshooting the CAD pattern department for one of Turkey’s largest manufacturers of cut and sew knitwear. A year later, I joined Gerber Technology’s software product management team. Between the beginning of grad school and joining the team at Gerber, I also taught as an adjunct professor, interned full-time at Marchesa for five months and led pattern development for a start-up womenswear label in New York. My greatest achievement in that period was managing to sleep a few times.
SCAD Hosts Graduation Fashion Show - Women's Wear Daily (2014)
I joined Gerber in August 2015 to fill the newly created position of Product Owner and Evangelist of AccuMark 3D. AccuMark 3D is a 3D pattern design tool launched in May of 2015. In less than two years I was given the title of Product Manager. In those roles, I traveled to over 40 cities in 15 countries to provide customer support, sales support, training, and product demonstrations. I worked with brands and firms of all sizes as they took on digital transformation projects. I used insight from these customer visits to create actionable enhancement requests, specifications, and user stories for engineers based in California, Connecticut, Texas, New York, and Slovakia. I vacated my position at Gerber in 2019 but remain a 3D pattern design thought leader.
How To Win in 3D & Rock Your Implementation - Product Innovation Apparel (2021)
As my career flows along, Global Garment Engineering (GGE) remains a constant. Dr. Pat Trautman is the owner and operator of GGE. She was my graduate professor, my thesis chair, and remains a valued mentor. Together, we offer concierge services and training to the apparel and film industries. In 2017, I collaborated with Gerber and GGE to produce premium replicas of original costumes worn by Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya and others in The Greatest Showman. Another opportunity to integrate fashion and technology, we created production patterns from physical garments using CAD systems. With GGE, I moved on to complete similar projects for Bohemian Rhapsody, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and BRIDGERTON.
Gerber's Digital Solutions Brings The Greatest Showman to Life - Twentieth Century Fox (2017)
My number one career goal is to be the person people want to work with. It’s a goal that grows as I do and keeps me humbly on track in a wide variety of jobs. Almost a decade after first working together, Azede Jean-Pierre continues to pull me aboard for exciting projects. Azede is an incredibly talented designer known for dressing Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, and Solange Knowles. In 2020, I developed original womenswear patterns for her exclusive collaboration with an Italian heritage brand. I’ve also built great working relationships in circles outside of fashion. In 2016, I served on an advisory board for Medexus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Today, I’m an ambassador for Medexus. In this role, I’ve created and led virtual programs for family audiences, conducted product demonstrations with story-telling and completed several public speaking engagements.
Azede Jean-Pierre Spring/Summer 2015 - Patterns, illustrations, and 3D simulation by Christian L Harris.
Off the clock, my time is spent working on a variety of projects. Annually, I complete over 100 hours of volunteer community service. The lion’s share of that time goes to the Tennessee Hemophilia and Bleeding Disorders Foundation. For my work there, I have received an award for outstanding children’s program leadership, an award for camp staff member of the year and another for camp counselor of the year. At home, my time is spent studying and making garments. My living room is a workspace with six sewing machines, a cutting table and a well stocked library. My independent work usually consists of portfolio pieces and custom garments for men and women. I’ve also spent a considerable amount of time designing, engineering, and constructing garments in extended sizes.
Christian L Harris - Custom XXXL Men's Shirt - 3D simulation by NOFORM.
I use learnings from my work in the field and at home to give students and cross-functional professionals information they need to succeed. To date, I have addressed classrooms and audiences at Cornell University, Pratt Institute, Savannah College of Art & Design, Clark Atlanta University, Woodbury University, SIGGRAPH, Georgia Legislative Black Caucus and other bodies.
Shanghai, China (2017)
Milan, Italy (2018)
I’ll end with my favorite quote, from one of my favorite people. This runs on a marquee through my mind every day.
“You can't just be talented... You also have to become necessary to people, by working hard and well and bringing more than your bones and your skin to the project. Don't just show up. Transform the work, yourself, and everybody around you. Be needed. Be interesting. Be something no one else can be... and consistently.”