The union between fashion and technology has been here for several years, but so far, it hasn’t been very successful, with a few exceptions. Today, however, it seems more like a promising marriage between two completely different, yet complementing and corresponding industries, a match that soon will be perfectly harmonious. In 2015, fashion brands are increasingly embracing technology to join the wearable tech revolution.
Fashion designers around the world are now eyeing collaborations with tech companies and wearables, which were until recently ignored by fashion professionals, are slowly, but steadily becoming more appealing. Smart watches, however, are hardly the only thing fashion houses are so excited about. It may sound futuristic, but there are now more clothes, doubling as smartphones than ever. According to Francesca Rosella, creative director at London-based wearable technology clothing company CuteCircuit, all our gadgets will be soon integrated into our clothing. There are already jackets with radio and headphones on the market, but imagine a dress with built-in phone and Twitter feed.
And while there are many technology clothing companies that focus on their niche markets and can contribute little to the wearable revolution, huge fashion brands and designers also want a slice of the cake. Among the most innovative is Ralph Lauren, which introduced its sports shirt that can monitor the heartbeat, respiration and stress levels. It will soon be available at brand shops around the world. There’s also Tommy Hilfiger’s new jacket, which has integrated solar panels for charging your phone and tablet. Not all creations are ultra-successful and they aren’t supposed to be, as this is just the beginning of a long relationship between fashion and technology.
But why is this happening now? According to some experts, the fashion industry is finally realizing the amount of cash consumers are spending on gadgets – tech is now simply trendier than fashionable, designer outfits. Research company Euromonitor estimates that people in the UK spent £4.5 billion on smartphones in 2014, compared to £4.3 billion on designer labels. But it is also an emerging global trend that will see wearables and smart clothing become more popular than regular smaphones and clothes. And at this year’s CES technology show, you could see a range of fashion brands, from Louis Vuitton to Victoria’s Secret.
But mixing fashion and technology isn’t beneficial for only the businesses – we are now seeing more accessible designer fashion thanks to technology. It allows them to create customizable looks that are premium quality, yet at half the price. At brands’ online stores, customers can choose their perfect fit, preferred color, design, and fabric, while the company saves money from costs related to inventory, store size, and so on. For example, you can use a mobile app to customize your Adidas sneakers, try the Virtual Fitting Room at eShakti store, where a body scan will take all your measures instantly and precisely. Alton lane also has a virtual fitting room and you can also choose the fabric, the stitching, button holes or lining of your suit.
These are just a small fraction of fashion brands that are now embracing technology and we are certain that many more pleasant surprises are to come. Imagine your jacket telling you to calm down because your blood pressure and stress levels are too high. Or your children’s pants to tell you if they get enough exercise. And probably a coat that will give you information about air pollution… When it comes to the union between fashion and technology, the future seems bright.