Could 2015 be considered the year that the fashion industry commandeered the wearable technology world or was it that technology was no longer leaving fashion behind? I think it all comes down to strategy. The fashion industry has come to realise that fashion tech is where it’s future most likely lies, and technology has come to accept that without fashion their great ideas will not succeed in wooing consumers who want to invest in good looking products.
That’s probably why it comes as no surprise that the most popular creations so far have been the collaborations between fashion brands and technology. Think Topshop x Barclays, BaubleBar x Misfit, Kate Spade x Everpurse and G-Star Raw x Bionic Yarn. They have proven to be the backbone of fashion tech because the fashion brands are familiar to the mainstream consumers. It is no secret that people are programmed to buy in to labels that they know and trust, so therefore, unless it is a PR gimmick, fashion and technology partnerships are capable of successfully introducing customers to technology. I believe in baby steps, because they produce longevity. You do not want to woo a customer for a moment, you want them to become a return customer who will not only continually buy your brand but will also rave about it to others.
Also, collaborations are building the way for fashion tech labels like Vinaya, Jawbone and Oura. These are brands that are challenging the outdated perspective that wearables are bulky, ugly devices. When it comes to fashion tech brands establishing themselves in 2015, it was bringing on the sleek, trendy and smart wearables to the unsuspecting consumers. With Fashion Tech wooing mainstream consumers, this was the year we found ourselves cheering on the likes of Studio XO’s glowing slip dress, CuteCircuit’s LED clutches, Rebecca Minkoff’s wearable tech collection and Swarovski-studded Misfit Shine.
As 2016 looms, we hail established labels like Levi’s getting in on the action by working with NY start up Project Jacquard. We also admire brands like Joe’s Jeans, who came up with #HELLO jeans in August 2015 and LikeAGlove’s smart leggings that brag built-in conducive fibres that contour themselves to your body.
With a few weeks left of 2015, I am pleased to admit that this was the year I witnessed amazing growth within the fashion tech industry. I most look forward to seeing how designers will continue to utilise 3D printing in their creations. As for tech-ing up my wardrobe I cannot wait to own the Neyya ring, so I can rule my phone, TV and other smart devices and my ‘it bag’ of 2016 will be the Kate Spade x Everpurse bag because it is stylish with just the right amount of sass.