How Can We Make Fashion Tech, Fashion Relevant?

Fashion technology is slowly beginning to be seen as the smarter, cooler and connected cousin of traditional fashion.

When it comes to fashion tech becoming fashion relevant, I have to say that there has been noticeable elements of progress. Fashion technology is slowly beginning to be seen as the smarter, cooler and connected cousin of traditional fashion. Why? Because technological clothing is full of so many possibilities that will allow our wardrobe to be inextricably intertwined with garments designed to motivate us into making positive associations with the fashion tech movement.

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Although still in its infancy, wearables are impacting the fashion mainstream, young designers are applying tech solutions to their creative thinking, and retail stores are transforming their stores using the latest tech available. It is this expansion of advancements in technology that will inspire the integration of technology into our apparel by visionary brands that dare to challenge conventional ways. In doing so, they will gain the attention of the kind of consumers who dictate fashion relevance. They are the new generation of convenience, who demand more out of technology. A jacket that lights up will not satisfy their hunger for fashion tech infused clothes, they want more than that. They do not care about technology that has the ability to track their health status, this is not something that wows them, instead they want technological tools that can be seamlessly integrated into their lifestyle.

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With such high expectations the advancement of smart textiles can only be a good thing. Its role in fashion tech will definitely be a significant one,, especially when it comes to tech garments becoming ‘fashion relevant’. Why? Well, with the potential of fashion science coming to light, it seems that not many of us were aware that there was a new source of inspiration in fashion tech town. The last few years has introduced us to hi-tech fabrics, smart fabrics, intelligent interfaces, and sensory fibres. What makes this new generation of material fantastic is that it can be combined with traditional products, which in my opinion, gives it the kind of advancement power to redefine the clothes that we wear, making our wardrobe sustainable and long lasting.

Project Jacquard, Google’s new venture to weave touch controls into textiles
Project Jacquard, Google’s new venture to weave touch controls into textiles

Another aspect that could strengthen fashion tech’s relevance is the exploration of ambient intelligence- an emerging discipline that infuses the settings in which we live with intelligence. This approach can be used to identify opportunities for continued growth and development. So as devices grow smaller, they will become more connected and more integrated into our environment and therefore making the technology disappear into our everyday apparel through systems and technologies that include embedded (integrated devices), context aware (when devices recognize you and your situational context), personalized (when devices are tailored to your needs), adaptive (devices that change in response to you) and anticipatory (devices that can anticipate your desires without conscious mediation).

ALSO READ: Technology, Rewiring The Fashion Industry

Which brings us back to can we make fashion tech, fashion relevant? Yes we can. Fashion will always see reason and end up investing in young visionaries, who are today the foundation of a new emerging industry. The future is going to be built on their talent and their ability to harness advanced technologies. We need to nurture these creatives, turn them into triple threats that can work across industries and understand other disciplines such as engineering, electronics and science. In the end, fashion relevancy survives on the need to forge fresh alliances and appeal to new markets, and today this new market is fashion technology.

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