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Tanya Tan, Moving Fashion Forward, Digitally

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

One woman’s passion to teach 3D software skills to aspiring designers

The future of fashion is augmented reality.

What this means is that if you are looking for a pair of pants, you can pop into a store that has the technologies to do body scanning and offer you custom-fit pants with the fabric, colour or style of your choice. Your information is captured and sent to the backend for processing.

Yes, it’s tomorrow’s made-to-order apparel.

An important software that connects designers to customers is a three-dimensional (3D) software which designers use to create their fashion pieces and send them off to the production houses for the final cut to customers.

Recognising the growing trend towards the use of 3D software in the fashion and retail industry, former graphic designer Tanya Tan, decided to push herself to learn one of the industry’s popular 3D garment simulation software. It was a gruelling two-year journey that she took during whatever spare time between work and family.

Tanya did not just want to learn to use the software, no, she wanted the certification to enable her to teach the software to aspiring designers and current garment industry professionals such as merchandisers, pattern makers and stylists, etc.

Finally, after much dogged determination, hard work and intensive training in an institution overseas, she attained the much coveted certification in 2019!

Tanya Tan conducts training for aspiring fashion designers on using CLO 3D software, feature story by Brilliant-Online
Tanya Tan is moving fashion forward, digitally using 3D software

From Art Director to Virtual Prototype Software Trainer

For Tanya who, at one time had been an art director in an agency, her three decades in the design industry gave her opportunities to use cutting edge software (in those days) for design work.

Over the years she became adept in working with design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Indesign, with rosters of clients that included the government agencies in Singapore, multinational corporations and large local businesses based elsewhere in Asia.

In 2013, Tanya set off on a new path to explore a different career. Encouraged by one of the government-subsidised learning opportunities, she signed up to be certified as a trainer.

She later found herself conducting training at a local fashion institute for aspiring fashion designers on how to use design software that she was already familiar with, yes, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, to design apparel, shoes and bags.

On The Road Less Travelled

This road less travelled has led her to becoming a highly-sought after design software trainer in Singapore’s small but growing fashion industry. Presently, she is a trainer certified to help the next generation of fashion designers express themselves in exciting 3D software.

Tanya conducts training at the Textile and Fashion Industry Training Centre ( in Singapore, the sunny island’s first continuing education and training centre for the local textile and fashion industry which aspires to be a global fashion school without boundaries.

She’s spearheading training in Virtual Prototyping for Apparel with CLO, a three-dimensional (3D) fashion design software program creating virtual, true-to life garment visualization with cutting-edge simulation technologies for the fashion industry, while at the same time exploring Virtual Prototyping for bags and shoes.

Virtually Tailor-Made

“Traditional design and manufacture of fashion apparel can be a painful, time-consuming process with lots of back-and-forth visits between the designer, pattern maker and seamstress before a satisfactory finished product is achieved,” says Tanya.

“This software enables designers to dress up a 3D avatar to view how the clothes will move and fit on this virtual mannequin. It can even adjust the design to different sizes with preset measurements or custom set measurements. Once ready, the file will be sent digitally to others in the production chain to work from – so there’s no need to use a physical mannequin and make endless adjustments to get apparel that fits like a glove.

“The beauty of this software is that it can be used by both small fashion houses and also big companies for mass-production.

“It’s a smooth, streamlined process that’s radically changing the industry, so it’s really pleasing to be at the forefront teaching it to my students, who will adopt it and go on to use it during their careers in the years ahead.”

Passion for Tomorrow’s Fashion Industry

It was quite a feat for Tanya to become a trainer of this technology and she has no plans to make it any easier for her trainees. To obtain their proficiency certification for CLO 3D software, Tanya’s students have to achieve nothing less than 100 percent in their assessment classes.

“This is a skill for them to stay in tomorrow’s fashion industry. So for those who have the passion for this industry, I want them to push themselves and go further in their career. The ability to do virtual prototyping is a game-changer, and especially for small businesses who want to actively participate in the world’s fashion industry, they need to go the extra mile.”

With age no barrier to Tanya’s enthusiasm for blazing a new path in her chosen craft, it looks like she’s well on its way to turning Singapore into a hotbed of creative design technology.


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