With a background in fashion design, Jo Hughes accidently fell into a pool of IT technology over a decade ago when a graduate work placement found her, though admittedly sinking at first, swimming with aplomb. As is common with persons of creative leanings, she had also suffered from a bout of technophobia and it wasn’t until being thrown in the proverbial deep end that she realised that not only were computers not at all scary, they were really rather exciting, opening up a myriad of possibilities in the world of fashion.
In the ensuing years she immersed herself in all things apparel technology, becoming an expert in 3D garment design, a black belt in PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and a self taught guru in fashion drawing with Adobe Illustrator. She has since worked with some of the biggest names in apparel software and also fashion retailers and brands; as an application specialist, a business analyst, an implementation consultant, a trainer and as an evaluator and advisor. These endeavours have taken her across the globe from New York to Sri Lanka and even to places as random as Ekaterinberg (near Siberia, not particularly recommended as a destination unless you are looking to either freeze or bore yourself to death).
During this time, Jo has honed a unique skill as an interpreter between the creative design studio and the IT closet, having worn both shoes simultaneously, understanding the needs and frustrations of both the left and the right foot. An outspoken proponent (“argumentative”, “doesn’t shut up” and “pain in the arse” have also been bandied about) of useable solutions, Jo always has the end user in mind, whether that be contributing to R&D, evaluating solutions, writing functional specifications for customisations or implementing new business processes. She may be a thorn in the backside for those building and delivering the software but being a stout perfectionist has always paid off when a trail of happy users are scattered in her wake and a successful implementation results.
So well learned, well experienced and well travelled, Jo decided that she wanted a place where she could share her love of apparel technology with the wider world. A place where she could talk openly and frankly about the pros and cons; somewhere to share useful tips and tricks to help others make the best of the solutions out there; a home for new ideas, new introductions and new ways of thinking, all within the realms of fashion, apparel and technology.
And so Apparel Thing was born.