A Recap on Who Kicked Down Walls and Took Names in 2016

For FashNerd.com, 2016 was the year that people made things happen.

With less than 24 hours remaining, we find ourselves impatient for 2017 to begin. That does not mean that 2016 wasn’t an exciting year for us, because it was. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”null”]In 2016 #fashiontech didn’t endure the suspicion of 2014 or suffer the label bestowed upon it in 2015[/inlinetweet] 2016 was instead the year that people made things happen!

The Best of FashNerd 2016

At FashNerd.com, we love being one of the voices talking the language of fashion tech. This  is something that affords us the luxury of being able to experience and write about an area of fashion that is finding its voice. So where do we begin? Well, I think we should start with the visionary strategists who were kicking down walls and taking names in 2016.

THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE IDEA

Emel & Aris founder Rana Nakhal Solset

Fashion Tech Recap 2016
Emel & Aris founder Rana Nakhal Solset

2016 for her was the year that she brought her luxury smart coat to market. It was great to meet someone who could talk me through their idea and then at the end of it all show me a product that actually works. Her forward thinking approach left us wanting to see what 2017 will bring from this British lifestyle brand.

WiseWear founder Gerry Wilmink

Fashion Tech Recap 2016
Iris Apfel with Gerry Wilmink

Wilmink is the man behind next generation WiseWear products that fuse fashion with a thread of technology. In 2016 we found ourselves in awe of how Wilmink rose from WiseWear being an idea in 2015 to the must have a tech product in Saks Fifth Ave in New York in 2016. Wisewear is definitely a smart jewelry collection that we never saw coming and Iris Apfel collaborating with the brand is just the icing on the cake.

Loomia founder Madison Maxey

Fashion Tech Recap 2016

Brooklyn based smart fabric engineer got global recognition this year for her pioneering work in high tech fabric. Listed as year Forbes 30 Under 30, Madison Maxey was high in demand 2016. Demonstrating leadership and a strong belief in her vision, Maddy is the business woman to watch in 2017.

FASHION TECH INSIGHTS

At FashNerd.com we try to write the kind of insightful content that brings awareness of the ideas forming and impacting the merge of fashion and technology sectors. In 2016 we have achieved this with the help of contributors like, Sam Radford, Miranda Hoogervorst and Jonathan Kohl who are able to write about pivotal moments in the fashion tech space. Our most well received insightful articles of 2016 were:

(1) The 3 part series by Jonathan Kohl: Kohl’s articles explore the implications surrounding designing for Smart Fabrics. 

(2) The Blockchain article by FashNerd.com founder Muchaneta Kapfunde: This an article were she delves into how Blockchain Technology is set to revolutionize the fashion industry.

(3) The Convergence of Fashion article by FashNerd.com founder Mano ten Napel: In his article ten Napel takes a look at a world where the pace of technology developments is influencing the Internet of Things (IoT) and with that, our daily lives, one thing is empirical, nobody wants to make things harder than necessary.

THE COLLABORATIONS

If 2015 was the year that Fashion Tech shrugged off its gadgetry stigma, then 2016 was the year we witnessed both the worlds of fashion and technology come together in a way that pushed boundaries. They did not only only collaborate, many managed to bring product to market. 2016 also introduced us to visionary collaborations that packed the kind of punch that we want to see evolve into something more into 2017.

Kassim Denim x Neue Labs

Fashion Tech Recap 2016

In 2016, Denim artisans Kassim, took center stage at Denim Premiere Vision in Paris. Promising to change denim’s future forever, Kassim partnered up with Neue Labs, a Swedish company known for fostering digital technology innovation. Together, the denim label and the tech company, came up with a product that has the power to change the game and question the rules. With plans to change our favorite wardrobe staple forever, we cannot wait to see what they bring to the table in 2017.

Adidas X Parley

Fashion Tech Recap 2016
Adidas X Parley

Since Bionic Yarn, a New York City-based start-up, made a name for itself by making fabric from recycled ocean plastic, a worthy fashion trend was born. In 2016, Adidas worked with Parley for the Oceans, a company founded by Cyrill Gutsch to create sustainable shoes. Working with the plastic waste from the coast of Africa, Parley make it into thread used to  create sea form green trainers. We fell in love with the new design, not only because it looked good, but also because it was entirely made out of recycled plastic all fused together with bio-waste-powered steam. We can only hope that in 2017 brands like Adidas will continue exploring this side of sustainable fashion so it become the normal practice in the not too distant future.

Hussein Chalayan x Intel

Fashion Tech Recap 2016
Paris Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 2017 (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Fashion Week is proving to be the place for collaborations between luxury and technology.  In 2016 this was no difference. The most read collab took place during Paris Fashion Week. It was a collaboration between Hussein Chalayan x Intel. The duo unleashed never-seen-before Intel powered wearables during Chalayan Spring/Summer 2017 runway show. Designed to interpret stress with creative visualizations, the wearables were a great example of technology and luxury fashion converging. We look forward to runway collaborations with technology companies becoming more than catwalk froth in 2017.

THE HEADLINERS

As our 2016 recap comes to an end, it makes sense to finish off with the FashNerd headliners that not only started conversations but engaged our audience in 2016. The best of FashNerd.com includes:

Plastic Bottles Ethically Re-engineered Into Waste-free Shoes

Mycelium, Redefining Leather With The Power of Organic Technology

When ‘Functional Fashion’ Takes A Whole New Meaning!

2017 PREDICTIONS

With quite a few products finally released in 2016, what does 2017 hold? Well, we predict that fashion houses will introduce R&D departments to their brand strategy. Focusing mainly on the merge of fashion and technology, we look forward to fashion investing in change that can only be for the better. This step could mean a lot of positive change could be taking place sooner than we think. Also, we foresee Retail Tech pushing boundaries. This  significant shift is already taking shape with high street brand Zara. Who recently announcement that they will be introducing self service till points and touch screens in changing rooms.

Lastly, we look forward to technology, giving the fashion industry the opportunity to become more transparent. Especially when it comes to tracking and displaying their supply chain information. We hope that 2017 will shape up to be the year where our products could potentially have a digital ‘passport’. What this will mean is that technology could make transparency between fashion and consumer the norm sooner rather than later, and we look forward to that.

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Muchaneta Kapfunde

Founding editor-in-chief at FashNerd.com
Founding editor-in-chief & WearableTechStylist of FashNerd.com, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology and a regular contributor to digital news sites like Wareable.
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