Intel x CFDA: When Design Aesthetics Collide With Technology Innovation

Intel has done it again. This time round the technology giant has jumped into bed with CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, a not-for-profit trade association. Managing to stir up some excitement within the fashion community, Intel x CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund collaboration has challenged 10 designers to bring the two worlds of design and technology together using the Intel Curie module.

By developing ideas that integrate Intel’s button-sized technology, the designers have been challenged to think about Intel technology’s capabilities, what they could make possible with it and the added value they can bring to an everyday consumer. On the collab, Intel Fashion Technologist Sandra Lopez told Digital Trends, “The perspective of our philosophy is that, in order to make wearables ‘wantable,’ you need to partner with the fashion industry at large. What Silicon Valley and Intel are good at is solving problems through technology by adding functional elements to it. Where we are challenged is the design aesthetics and different ways of incorporating the technology in ways we couldn’t possibly have imagined.”

ALSO READ: Intel Disrupts and Transforms the Fashion Industry

This is not the first time that CFDA and Intel have jumped into bed together. Back in 2014 they entered into a strategic collaboration with the goal to create a community for technology developers and fashion designers. Focusing on wearable technology, they hoped that by working together they will be able to scale the convergence of the two industries. On this Steven Kolb, CEO of CFDA, stated, “CFDA’s commitments are to drive innovation in the fashion industry and as we look at the power of technology and its influence on fashion, we believe technology will need to be part of the fashion industry’s DNA. That’s why we are excited to announce a strategic collaboration with Intel on wearable technology in which we can bring together unique”

Morgan Lane
Morgan Lane

The Intel x CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund collaboration was always destined to bring about different ideas from the participating designers. Some are doable, others require a lot more imagination to make them believable. The standout brands taking on the challenge of fusing technology and fashion include Morgan Lane. The lingerie label’s came up with the idea of integrating the Intel chip into their famous silk sleeping mask. By doing so, their product, working with a Dreamcatcher app, will track the wearers brain waves, sleep cycles and body temperature. Morgan Lane hopes that by collecting this data they will be able to offer their customers biofeedback that would help them be able to sleep better.

Critically acclaimed fashion label Rochambeau.
Critically acclaimed fashion label Rochambeau studio.

Another label taking on the challenge is critically acclaimed fashion label Rochambeau. Creative duo Joshua Cooper and Laurence Chandler’s response to the challenge was to come up with an article of clothing that encourages social intimacy. Their plan is to integrate Curie into a garment so it has the ability to disable two wearers’ smartphones when they are 5 feet from one another. The whole point behind their idea is for “the garment to create the platform for true conversation and interaction.”

Intel CFDA
The Bright BMBR smart jacket by Rochambeau a collab with Avery Dennison and EVRYTHNG

With great ideas being brought forward, our favourite answer to Intel x CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund challenge was presented by New Orlean’s Krewe Du Optic. With smart glasses conjuring up memories of Google’s Glass and more recently Snapchat’s Specs, designer Stirling Barrett’s idea is designing a pair of sunglasses that have the ability to record moments throughout a wearer’s day is a great one. We love the idea of being able to relive our daily key moments on demand.

KREWE's handmade quality combines optimum lenses for complete eye protection, Italian acetate and premium hinges through our 100% handmade process.
KREWE’s handmade quality glasses

So who is to gain the most from this partnership? Well, if one was to take a closer look at Intel’s strategy you would come to realise that by collaborating with CFDA, whose membership consists of more than 500 of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry and accessory design, means that Intel will remain relevant within the fashion industry.

With the challenge set to be concluded next month, we look forward to hearing more on the designer’s interpretation of the brief they were given. We are sure that Intel cannot wait to build relationships with the most innovative designers among the ten. As for the talent that gets handpicked, Intel promises to support their product development and help make their ideas a reality.

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