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Based in Brescia in northern Italy, Santoni manufactures circular-knitting machines on which more than 90% of seamless garments are made. Developed from the technology used to make socks, circular-knitting machines eliminate the need to produce and then sew together pieces of cloth, thus making the seam obsolete. "With the Santoni, you're knitting the garment on the machine," says Chuck Nesbit, CEO of Sara Lee's intimates business, which produces Hanes and Playtex. "You're designing in a 3D world instead of in the flat, which is how garments have been designed for 10,000 years."
In 1999 Santoni came out with its biggest model to date, enabling whole T shirts to spew forth from its whirling-dervish arms, as well as seamless workout gear and sportswear. Business is good; sales have been growing 25% a year. But Santoni's future looks even brighter. Plans are under way for seamless coats and jackets. And who knows what some visionary could do with a machine that upends the manufacturing process? Wanted: one fashion designer who can think in 3D, to change the way we dress. --By Desa Philadelphia
Given the buzz attached to his name in the hallowed halls of Apple, Jonathan Ive might be expected to be something of an egomaniac. In fact, this shaved-headed, soft-spoken Brit is anything but. The only time you'll hear him use the word "I" is when he's naming some of the products he helped make famous: iMac, iBook, iPod.
Yet for all Ive's attempts to give away the credit to a design team he assembled, his fingerprints are all over Apple's five-year-long radical shift in hardware design. When the Cupertino, Calif., computer maker hired Ive in 1992, it was still cranking out beige-box desktops and creaky black plastic PowerBooks. When Steve Jobs appointed Ive vice president of industrial design in 1997, everything changed.
Ive began using materials, shapes and colors that had never been seen in the industry before. The original iMac broke the beige-box mold with curves, candy colors and a carrying handle. No one else has even tried to build a computer like the latest iMac, with a flat screen on a movable metal stalk. No one else has made inch-thin laptops out of titanium or aircraft-grade aluminum. Or a keyboard, now on the latest PowerBooks, that knows when it gets dark and lights up accordingly.
It's not as if Ive were trying to be radical--he's just sweating the details. "You deal with the needs and problems the product has," he says. "The result is often something you didn't expect." Unlike some designers, Ive uses his own products after they're finished. Doing so gives him ideas for updates to later models. Tweaks like making the movable track wheel on the iPod sensitive only to touch, so it doesn't jog when you do, are all the more successful because even though they're incredibly complex, we barely notice them. You could say the same for the self-effacing Ive. --By Chris Taylor/Cupertino
Judging from her work at certain fashion shows, it can sometimes seem as though makeup artist Pat McGrath learned her trade at a carnival. She has applied enough paint and glitter to render models' faces unrecognizable, put false eyelashes on eyebrows and used fake petals on eyelashes.