Can Fashion Technology Be Stylish and Smart?

Technology and fashion aren’t obvious bed-mates, but technology is accelerating so fast that we are ALL wearing it in some way; whether it’s carrying phones with built in accelerometers (that monitor your movements) or designer brand iPhone cases.

The face of fashion-tech is changing. Last year, designer Diane Von Furstenberg collaborated with Google, having her models walk the New York Fashion Week runway wearing Google Glass. And former Burberry CEO, Angela Ahrendts, was poached by Apple to be their new retail chief.

This year, the third FashionWare catwalk show was held in Las Vegas. It showcased a number of high tech fashion brands, many of which qualified as stylish – something that is relatively new to the “wearables” market, which is traditionally function first, form second. (Disclaimer: I have presented twice for the show).

Fashion designer Amy Winters designed the Rainbow Winters collection, which combined technology with style.

“The first thing I ever made was an electroluminescent dress,” she said. “It starts to illuminate when you speak to it.” The dress is volume activated, and the louder the sound is around it, the brighter it glows. “I trained originally as a theater designer,“ she told us. “I came across this amazing flower with shape memory alloys; as you walked towards it, it would move! That inspired me to see what more you could do with fashion.”

Winters is a good example of a fashion-technology designer who understands how to incorporate science into style.

“I’ve used everything from water reactive fabric to sunlight reactive fabric,” she said. “A dress that is sunlight reactive will be one color insides, white for instance, and then purple outside.”

The majority of the fashion technology market falls into the wearables category. Things like fitness trackers and smartwatches. But recent news has showed how many of these items are evolving into high fashion.

Fitbit announced that they have teamed up with Tory Burch to create a gorgeous delicate gold Fitness Tracker, – out later this year. Another new brand was introduced, June by Netatmo, a French designed bracelet that comes in three colorways. It contains a jewel that measures sun exposure, and tells you – through their app – when you should put on more sunscreen.

Technology brands want to get involved with the lucrative fashion world, and they are opting for different ways to do this. Intel, for example, has just released details of a smart bracelet collaboration they are making with Opening Ceremony. CEO Brian Krzanich shared that he is creating “a competition to create the best wearable devices with $1.3 million in prize money.”

The future of fashion technology is not here just yet, but with such a large amount of change and development, it’s just a click and a Glasshole away.

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