Nina Doll, a trendsetter in digital fashion, reveals her transition from traditional to digital design, emphasizing the boundless creativity it offers. She discusses the significant impact of technology on fashion’s future, her ventures into combining digital and physical designs. Nina’s insights explore the exciting evolution and potential of fashion in the digital world.



Coming from analog fashion, what inspired you to do CGI & 3D art and digital fashion?

My first touchpoint with digital fashion was actually a digital fashion “Browzwear” course during my studies. I then started to experiment with different CGI tools and programs and got hooked on Zbrush first, which is a software for sculpting. It just felt super natural to work in this program and one is able to create super interesting shapes and assets even if you are a complete beginner. Within this process I also started to teach myself CLO3D which is used for building the garments in 3D and then I started to combine the digital fashion with the super organic sculpts and loved it so much that I wanted to continue working with this.

Also graduating in fashion design and learning more and more about the industry the reality will hit you sooner or later and I knew that I didn’t want to work in the classic fashion industry the way it was and is. Of course, there are many stunning fashion designers and brands who are starting to change the industry and do amazing work but for me this new path just felt right.



What is the difference between analog and digital fashion? What do you like better about digital fashion?

With digital fashion there are no limitations, you can create whatever you want without having to think about how this could be produced in real life. Also, it allows me to try various different designs without using any physical resources.


How do you draw inspiration for your designs? Are there specific themes or elements that consistently influence your work?

When it comes to digital fashion, I love to draw inspiration from my analog design workflow and start with sketches and collages. In general, I also love to experiment with organic shapes and sculpts and not limit myself when I start working on them but rather let it kind of flow and then see where I could take this to.



How do you perceive the current trends in digital fashion design and where do you think the industry will go in the next few years?

When it comes to trends I only want to focus on technology and not on aesthetics. I think this is a very important part of creating and pushing the digital fashion industry forward. With technology evolving new use cases for digital fashion are coming up which will help to integrate digital fashion in the classic fashion industry. And this is also what I hope to see in the next few years, that both of them work together and create a symbiosis. This could be having physical collections, physical shows, using digital fashion as a part of your fashion production, being able to wear digital fashion more easily and many more things.


What has been your favorite or most memorable project so far, and why?

Oh that is so hard to answer, I need to split it up into different types of work. One project that was incredible special to me was designing and also making Zsá Zsás stage outfit for her support tour with Scooter. As I am coming from classic fashion design doing this sort of custom-made garments will always feel special. Also seeing your work come to life on a stage just hits a different spot. When it comes to digital work the most memorable was the Nike x Title campaign we did beginning of last year. This was the first time ever for me to not only design a digital artwork but to also be in front of the camera. I was beyond nervous but in the end it was so much fun and I was working next to the cutest talents and the best team. And last but not least during Berlin Fashion Week in February my collective SBLMTN Studio hosted our first phygital fashion performance which was a completely new experience for


What are your top 3 tips to stay motivated and inspired?

Take breaks and rest if needed, we can’t function 24/7.

Try new workflows and different approaches.

Collaborate with people who do something completely different than you (e.g. different skillset, different aesthetics, different working field).

What software and tools do you primarily use in your work, and why do you prefer them?

For everything that is textile related I work with CLO3D, for sculpting I work with Zbrush and for rendering and environments I work with C4D and redshift and as a last step Photoshop or After Effects for postproduction. Depending on the project it can be many more but these are my most used ones.



Do you use AI in your work? If so, in which processes do you use it?

So far I only used AI in a very few steps of my work. I regularly use an AI tool to scale up images and I worked with some text to image AIs as a new way to draw inspiration from.


What do you think about the future of AI in the creative fields of digital fashion design and CGI?

I do think that there will be so many interesting and useful tools that will make our work easier, especially when it comes to working with real life footage. Or just in general these little tasks that just need to be a part of the workflow but that are annoying and time consuming.

As with every new technology we just need to learn how to make it work for our own workflow and of course we also need to think and talk about challenges like for example how to protect our art from being copied by an AI. But at the end of the day, I also believe in human creativity.


Are there any specific projects or collaborations you would like to tackle in the coming years?

Even though I mainly work digital I would love to collab on some phygital fashion jobs. Adding a value to a physical garment with a digital layer or product is something I am extremely interested in. Also at the end of the day designing clothing will always have a special place in my heart.


Are there any tips and tricks that you would like to pass on to young or aspiring designers?

Don’t be afraid to try and don’t be afraid to fail, you will only learn something new. The scariest projects are the ones that make you grow most, you will figure it out while working on the job. Also talk to people, connect yourselves, listen and collaborate.



Join us for an insightful session with Nina Doll at Forward Festival 2024 in Hamburg. Get more information here.

Image Credits: © Nina Doll, 2024