Back in April 2018, we wrote about the partnership between Stockholm-based fashion tech company Neue and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. Supported by the Swedish Fashion Council, the collaboration, developed by Neue and FIT, translated two concepts; pleasuring self-love and ‘urban’ safety, into garments and accessories integrated with NEUE’s A2 fashion technology.
The three-month-long workshop successfully encouraged FIT Bachelor and Master students to explore the integration of technology into garments and being exposed to solder stations, cables, wires, hardware, sensors, touch material, electroluminescence lights, pincers and apps. and fashion business strategies, while transforming fashion consumers into fashion users simultaneously. On the fashion tech lab objectives project manager Kim Gustafsson, marketing director of Neue, said, “We have been educating the fashion industry for several years, and this kind of collaboration is the perfect platform for driving the market forward. It also sends a message to the fashion brands out there: it’s time to walk the walk; the fashion designers of tomorrow are on the move.”
On 12th June 2018, the project ended with an invite-only dinner at the Swedish Residence in New York. The attending press, industry leaders, the arts and academia were given a preview of the game-changing creations presented by the seven future professionals who participated in the program. Helping them disintegrate the borders between fashion and technology, was POC, an innovative company in the production of sports garments and gadgets, and BACK, an internationally renowned brand and key-player in the fashion industry in Sweden. Their guidance was vital in the end products which included a bag, garments and accessories designed to encourage shared ownership and increase user desirability.
The standout product was the vibrating panties and the electroluminescent wired dress. Controlled via the Swanki app, users can customise functions’ frequencies and intensities. The software also allows users to unlock exclusive rewards such as the brand’s Spotify playlist. The feature that wowed us most was how the software and interconnected rewards stayed with the owner, even after they passed the wearable garment along. Also worth a mention is the self-love auto masturbation glove which has a voice and app-controlled built-in haptic vibration.
Another product showcased at the dinner was the commuter backpack and cycling pants designed with a variety of haptic and visual technologies that made it possible to provide screen-free connectivity for the rider. By optimising the commuter’s lifestyle and road experience, Swedish startup NEUE’s technology successfully provided a platform for a shared infrastructure by challenging the concept of contemporary ownership.
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.