What does the future of fashion look like? How can technology on our body support our work environment? How do designers and technologists can work better together?
These and many more questions arose at Wear It Festival in Berlin. Now in its third year, the event brought together 400 attendees, 40 speakers and 30 exhibitors to discuss the impact of technology on our industry.
With more than 102 million wearables sold in 2016 alone and projections forecasting 220 million in 2020, it’s clear that this is not just a fad. That said, we have reached a time where the consumer is not wowed by yet another fitness tracker, however good-looking it might be. But that’s not to say data doesn’t have a role to play. ‘We have to recognise the importance of data in the fashion industry,’ said award winning serial entrepreneur and author Sabine Seymour upon debuting her new company Supa.ai. The startup aims to turn your garments into IoT devices by developing a system of connected workout garments paired with an app. By using artificial intelligence, Supa becomes your personal AI, growing with your moves, diet and condition. It analyses what you put in and suggests recommendations tailored to the individual.
Elsewhere, we looked at how technology can evoke emotional in fashion. ‘Fashion’s killer app is emotion,’ said Amanda Parkes, Chief Innovation Officer at Fashion Tech Lab. The thought was echoed by FIA’s Matthew Drinkwater, who pointed to FIA’s collaboration with Richard Nicoll as an example where technology contributes to the aesthetic, rather than the function of the final product. Parkes also addressed the fast-fashion phenomenon and suggested that the industry should look at biology to produce more sustainable and biodegradable garments. ‘Fast-fashion should work like Snapchat,’ she said. ‘Clothes should have a predetermined lifecycle.’
Needless to say we felt in great company among these folks! Our Kristina Dimitrova presented three areas – products, retail spaces and the home – in which fashion companies can embrace technology to tap into the transformation economy. Unlike experiences, which are usually one-off events, transformations consist of series of events staged by companies to guide customers learning, taking action and eventually achieving their goals. This, she argued, will be expected more and more as our status of luxury moves away from owning pricey products towards choosing products that help us be our better selves.
Thank you to the whole Wear It team. We can’t wait to see you again next year!
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