APPAREL FUTURES: FIVE LEARNINGS FROM FIVE FUTURISTS

APPAREL FUTURES: FIVE LEARNINGS FROM FIVE FUTURISTS

If it feels like a year since the last BDYHAX conference, that’s because it has been. As Austin is preparing for another three-day celebration of human enhancement, transhumanism, biohacking, we look back at last year’s Apparel Futures panel and extrapolate some key learnings that are still very much relevant today. The “Apparel Futures” panel brought together influencers from media, fashion design, and academia: Valerie Vacante Founder of Collabsco and Contributor to Futur404, Kristina Dimitrova (Founder and Editor in Chief of INTERLACED), Bushra Burge (Founder of Bushra Burge Studio),  Birce Ozkan (Interaction Designer, Luminous) and  Kristin Neidlinger (Founder of SENSOREE) shared their experiences and learnings when it comes to designing the future of fashion. Purpose The fashion tech industry is at a crossroad. In the past, designers and tinkerers merged technology and fashion with the tact of Dr. Frankenstein. This resulted in clothing that was neither useful, nor fashionable. The cure, according to the panelists, is to create with purpose. A great example of this is Project Jacquard, a Google/Levi collaboration that is trying to “weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile.” The Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket uses this technology to make biking safer. With simple gestures or touch, the cyclist can interact with his or her phone to answer calls or access navigation information. This is the type of integration the panelists emphasised when talking about blending tech and fashion with a purpose. Collaboration When designers and engineers don’t collaborate from the inception of a project, you get gadgets like Google Glass. It clearly looks like a technology-first, design-second product. With many brands feeling the sting as a...