EVENT RECAP | FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY

EVENT RECAP | FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY

Two months after we had first met the designers shortlisted for Festival of Curiosity’s studio residency, it was time to shine. The Chocolate Factory had been transformed from their usual work space to a full blown runway and guests were taking their seats in excitement, probably just as much as the designers and models backstage. Through their residency, the creatives – Ally Nolan, Maureen Sellina Laverty, Rebecca Marsden, Danielle Jordan, Dearbhla O’Beirne and Roisin Pierce – explored how new technologies can be integrated into fashion design. Each of the designers presented their unique vision of fashion and technology, which is why the jury (including our own Kristina Dimitrova), had an incredible difficult task of choosing a single winner. After much debate and discussion, the Future Fashion Design prize was awarded to TCD Master student Ally Nolan for her piece The Queen of the Night. See below the magnificent pieces from all six designers and the inspiration behind them. Ally Nolan – The Queen of the Night (Overall Winner; Most Creative Use of Technology) Design inspired by 18th-century crinolines and 1950s Dior; The 800 petals are laser cut at different depths, making the neoprene fabric semi transparent. When they are back lit with LED lights the detail on each petal is illuminated. Topped with a sheer mesh black bodice and a beret composed of battery powered petals. Maureen Laverty – Where’s my Arm Hole / My Head’s Stuck (Best Design Process) Organic jersey garments that interact with each other through sensors made using conductive fabric and stitching. The integrated pressure and stretch sensors between the top garments change the intensity and...
WEARABLE X LAUNCHES SMART YOGA PANTS

WEARABLE X LAUNCHES SMART YOGA PANTS

After announcing Nadi X in 2016 – activated yoga apparel with embedded technology – fashion technology studio Wearable X has just unveiled that people can now get their hands on a pair of the product. Nadi X is the first direct-to-consumer item from Wearable X, which has previously worked on branded projects such as Durex Fundawear and the Fox Alert Shirt. Using vibrational feedback, the pants guide the wearer towards accurate yoga poses. Nadi X have the ability to identify the pose the wearer is in and then provide real time feedback through gentle pulses that draw awareness to the focal points of each pose. The pants work with a companion iPhone app (with 30 poses and playlists to accompany them) and a battery, called the “Pulse”, which people have to clip behind the upper left knee in order to power the sensations in the pants. The frequency and intensity of each vibration rhythm encourage how to orient the body in each pose. Billie Whitehouse, co-founder and CEO of Wearable X shares that her team worked with more than 50 yogis across three different continents to understand the importance of alignment in time and space and create a useful product. While Nadi X cater for both beginners and pros, current price of $299 is likely to attract mainly serious yoga lovers at first. Still, the cost feels reasonable for technology embedded activewear. And when you compare Nadi’s price to the cost of hiring private a yoga instructor (which can be between $150 and $200 per hour), the offering sounds appealing. Nadi X should be the only guide you need for...
HOW FARFETCH IMAGINES THE STORE OF THE FUTURE

HOW FARFETCH IMAGINES THE STORE OF THE FUTURE

Earlier this year Farfetch, the leading ecommerce platform to shop the world’s greatest selection of luxury, announced its first conference – FarfetchOS – with the aim to drive change, demonstrate innovation, and revolutionise the future of luxury fashion. On 12th April, brands, retailers and press gathered in London’s iconic Design Museum to hear from key Farfetch figures such as founder José Neves and recently joined Dame Natalie Massenet about what the future of luxury may hold. In between the sessions, attendees got a tour of Farfetch’s Store of the Future, showing what the ecommerce unicorn has in store (pun intended). Store of the Future is a modular platform, or an operating system, if you like, where Farfetch will tailor technology solutions to each of its partner brands, each city and each store, humanising the retail experience, delivering personalisation to customers and empowering store staff. The BETA version of the Store of the Future, shown at the Design Museum, demonstrated how technology can be seamlessly woven into the customer experience and deliver a significant competitive advantage to retailers and brands. During the tour we were shown four key facets of the BETA Store of the Future experience. Each of them was chosen to show what will happen if you bring online data into a physical environment. Customer recognition: Farfetch has developed a universal log in so that consumers can actively ‘opt-in’ to data sharing to enhance their current and future shopping experiences across the store they are in and the Farfetch platform.  In the BETA example, Farfetch showed how a customer might use a QR code to enable identity recognition as...
HOW BRAGI IS CAPTURING THE HEARABLES MARKET

HOW BRAGI IS CAPTURING THE HEARABLES MARKET

If, for a moment, we leave the world of smart textiles and interactive garments, we’ll see that in the wearables tech industry, a lot of businesses are still focusing on smart watches, fitness trackers and other wrist-based devices. But there’s another player in the field, which has been quietly establishing domination. Hearables. Hearables, or connected ear-worn devices, can mean different things, from wireless earbuds to smart hearing aid devices. Such products were at prominent display at this year’s CES and, perhaps due to the reveal of Apple’s jack-less iPhone, the category is growing over eight times the rate of wrist-worn devices. Apart from Apple, there are a few players in the field trying to capture the consumer market, with one of the top being Bragi. Bragi started in 2014, with a Kickstarter that raised $3 million from 15,998 supporters, all of whom fantasised about a “smart” wireless earphone that could store music, track fitness, health and so much more. As a result, in 2016 Bragi released its first product, The Dash – smart, wireless earbuds that are for much more than just listening to music. Forget buttons. The Dash can be controlled through gestures such as nodding to accept a phone call or shaking to decline it. The earbuds are compatible with a smartphone app that lets you personalise them even further. It visualises the features of The Dash, showing your fitness status, heart rate, calories burnt, distance traveled and more. The ear is a better place than the wrist for collecting certain biometric data, which makes Bragi perfectly positioned to service the active, connected consumer of today. If...
ILLUMINATING THE RUNWAY WITH FIREFLY

ILLUMINATING THE RUNWAY WITH FIREFLY

One of the main challenges in fashion tech, especially when we talk about clothing, is washability. Even though there have been improvements in the area, garments with embedded technology are still difficult to take care of or specialised equipment. But that is set to change soon. MAS Holdings, an apparel technology company that works with major global brands in intimate apparel and sportswear, has unveiled a new sub-brand that embeds illumination into flexible fabrics and is completely washable. Firefly, as the new venture is called, is patented technology solution that can illuminate fashion, accessories, safety wear, and kids wear, among other products.   The solution mimicks bio-motion to light up on demand safely and effectively. Products integrating the Firefly illumination technology can stay lit for up to four hours. The LED lights can be activated as easy as pressing a button and recharged easily with a USB. This offers designers freedom to be more creative and expressive without worrying about special garment treatment. What’s more, Firefly is an opportunity for creative to innovate while also manufacture affordably and quickly through MAS’s globally integrated supply chain. “We have meticulously evolved over the years into high performance sports and swimwear towards the convergence of fashion, lifestyle and technology,“ says Nathan Sivagananathan, Chief Growth Officer at MAS. “Firefly, our groundbreaking illumination technology is merely scratching the surface. We are determined to continue cultivating change while enhancing the necessary and creating the unexpected.” Firefly is off to a flying start (pun intended). The company was selected as a CES® 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Fitness, Sports and Biotech product category. We can’t wait...
HOW TOMMY HILFIGER DOES SEE-NOW-BUY-NOW

HOW TOMMY HILFIGER DOES SEE-NOW-BUY-NOW

For his second collection with It girl Gigi Hadid, Tommy Hilfiger ditched the snowy streets of New York for the sunny Venice Beach in LA. Amongst celebs and industry heavyweights, the designer presented his AW17 line, bringing sporty vibes and beach spirit to the runway. This also marked the second collection Hilfiger is showcasing as see-now-buy-now, meaning as soon as the last model walked off Tommyland the 70s vibe t-shirts, skirts & dresses were available to buy in store and online. As this showed the company’s ongoing commitment to the runway-to-retail approach, we look back to see how the label shifted its entire operating model. Back in December Avery Baker, Tommy Hilfiger’s chief brand officer, gave a talk at Business of Fashion’s VOICES, discussing the challenges, processes and key learnings while creating the #TommyNow model. Baker advised brands to think entrepreneurial and embrace the risk, explaining that when the label announced it was going to do a see-now-buy-now show, no one had the process in place. But the fashion house quickly jumped on its feet and started collaborating across different departments more than ever before. Recognise that ideas can come from anywhere when there’s trust across teams and silos are eliminated. One of the key success factors was also bringing retail partners early on. Baker shared that it took the company a mere 6 weeks to get the products from the factory to the shop floors, which wouldn’t have been possible if retailers weren’t on board. And of course, we can’t ignore the Gigi factor. ‘She represents the new woman that demands social immediacy,’ said Baker, explaining that when...