As I sat down next to the founder of ElektroCouture, the first thing she shared with me was that, “when it comes to fashion there are a great many things that can be done with technology today”. Subconsciously touching her flashing necklace she added, “I want to inspire today’s women to embrace the ‘magic’ of technology”.
Named one of the top 100 most influential people in wearable tech worldwide, Lisa was raised in a Franconian craftsman family. Her creative background meant that Lisa was always destined to work with her hands.
Earlier in her career the German born designer left Berlin and headed to Melbourne, Australia. It was there that she spent 5 years working with start-up brands. Returning to Berlin Lisa became a huge part of the start-up tech culture and soon discovered Fab Lab. It was a place that connected her with like-minded individuals who assisted her in relearning her skills.
“I Am Nobody’s Competitor And Everybody’s Friend”.
It was when she felt that the time was right, that the ‘making things glow’ designer founded Elektro Couture. Built on a clear direction and entrepreneur spirit, Lang’s main objective was to enter the underserved market of fashion wearables. Elektro Couture became the first agency to pioneer bespoke innovative electronic wearable technology for the fashion industry. Since then, Lisa has made a name for herself through collaborations and the belief that she is ‘nobody’s competitor and everybody’s friend’.
Whilst talking to Lisa, it became quite clear that she is very passionate about making sure that the next generation is educated in a way that helps them understand both worlds- Fashion and Technology. She sees the bigger picture and believes that “it is the duty of design to make FashTech more human”.
When it comes to the nitty gritty, Lang considers R-T-W to be the “name of the game” when it comes to designing Fashion Technology collections. She wants to make sure that Elektro Couture will be one of the brands lighting the way for future labels to come. She is doing this by designing and creating innovative pieces that will entice the mainstream. As we get to know eachother, she makes it clear that she does not want Elektro Couture to be viewed as gimmicky fashion because it simply isn’t. She purposely designs and creates timeless keepsakes that are as far away from throwaway fashion as it can get.
“It Is The Duty of Design to Make FashTech More Human”.
As we delved deeper into the future of fashion and technology, Lang comes back to her belief that a fashion designer today needs to be multi-talented. The future should not be about bringing technology and fashion together, it should instead be about designers being well versed in both areas. She explains, “it is imperative for a designer to know how to work with their materials”.
Moving on we shared our mutual admiration for the designers who are currently making waves in the world of Fashion Technology. At FashNerd HQ we adore Iris van Herpen, and she lets us know that she loves Pauline van Dongen. It was then that the conversation went in the direction of whether it is a coincidence that the designers making a difference all seemed to be Dutch. On this Lang shared that she believed that Universities in the Netherlands are more progressive and therefore produce creatives who are unafraid to be different and challenge the norm- “they are evolving with Fashion and showing the rest of us the way”.
“The Apple Watch is Nothing New Nor is it Innovative”.
When we looked at the roots of Fashion technology, Lang strongly stated that ‘FashTech’ has not been an overnight success. She explains that Fashion Technology was something that was being implemented into fashion back in the 1920’s. With this revelation I must admit that I stared back at her with a look on my face that said ‘you what’. She continued, “back in the 1920’s fashion was exploring the world of tech. They came up with flashing buttons. So therefore it is not a trend that started recently, it is just that we never really acknowledged it as anything more than a passing trend until now.”
“It Is Imperative For a Designer to Know How to Work With Their Materials”.
After we had finished our lunch of white asparagus, potatoes and salad, I took a sip of my drink before asking her my final question. What does a top influencer in Fashion Tech think about the much hyped Apple Watch? Has Fashion really given it the green light? With a raised eyebrow she said, “the Apple Watch is nothing new nor is it innovative”. Clearly Ms Lang was not a fan of the Apple Watch. She continued, “Apple is in decline and they are no longer the holders of the holy grail so therefore the next generation” she said with a smile “should not get discouraged to enter the marker. It is hard because the design and technology industry is still finding itself. So all I can advise is that they should make sure that they surround themselves with people who support them”. With those positive words the interview came to an end.
As we parted ways with plans to catch up when she is next London, I felt I had made a friend. A friend who was unafraid to educate me, and funnily enough I found that quite refreshing. Picking the brain of Ms Lisa Lang was an enlightening experience that went beyond the usual everyday Fashion Tech waffle. Our discussion confirmed my thoughts that the future will soon be all about creating a fashion tech space that can run alongside all the Fashion Weeks worldwide. We need to normalise FashionTech and not allow it to simply be an afterthought. It needs to be given the same space as Eco-Fashion, so it can develop and spread its wings.
Curious about Elektro Couture’s latest collections? Their Capsule Collection is available for pre-order via their own platform.
Founding editor-in-chief of FashNerd.com, Muchaneta is currently one of the leading influencers writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology. She has also given talks at Premiere Vision, Munich Fabric Start and Pure London, to name a few. Besides working as a fashion innovation consultant for various fashion companies like LVMH Atelier, Muchaneta has also contributed to Vogue Business, is a senior contributor at The Interline and an associate lecturer at London College of Fashion, UAL.