5 Trends That Will See Fashion and Technology Collide
Unless you have access to a fully functional crystal ball, trying to predict where an industry is headed can be tough. This is especially true in both fashion and technology, as both are likely to change at the drop of a hat.
Predicting trends from year to year, or season to season, is difficult, but trying to imagine what the fashion and technology world might look like in a decade is sheer madness. Luckily enough, we happen to be just a little crazy, so we are willing to take that plunge.
We don’t have a crystal ball at our disposal, but what we do have is the imagination to take a little look into the future to see what it might hold. If you want an idea of what might be en vogue in the coming years, please read on.
The growth of wearable technology
Alexander Wang’s Rocco Heat-Sensitive Color-Changing Fabric – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week show at the Brooklyn Navy Yard‘s Duggal Greenhouse
Lumoback – Worn around your lower back and core, Lumo Back can measure minute metrics,
like your posture, how many steps you take, how long you sit, and how you sleep.
Ringly creates beautiful smart jewelry and accessories that keep you effortlessly connected to the things that matter most. Our core belief is that technology can be more discreetly integrated into our lives. Ringly places style and simplicity above all else and our first product line is a collection of rings.
The fashion industry is looking to take this trend a step further using fabrics that contain sensors that react to their surroundings. Some fabrics will emit certain odors, while others react to the environment by changing color or texture. Imagine being able to move through the world like chameleon that changes based on the surroundings.
Clothes may soon also care about your health as much as you care about how they look on you. These fashions would work in the same way as smartwatches do, which is to read biofeedback so that you have access to your current health and wellness.
Active wear usually refers to such things as yoga pants and gym clothing, but pretty soon you may see your everyday clothes fall under that same umbrella.
Every week is fashion week
Digital Fashion Week is a mere blip on the radar at the moment, but as curiosity grows, it could well become something that can no longer be ignored.
The digital information age has delivered huge changes in the way that we receive information. People want to know what’s happening now, not a week from now. Fashion Week is an exciting event, but it’s one that may well fall prey to the need for immediate updates.
This is not a change that is likely to happen overnight, though, and it may begin with local events going global. We have already seen the arrival of live streaming of runway shows and the social media frenzy that they create. Making fashion a daily show where people get instant access to what’s hot and what’s not seems like a foregone conclusion at this point.
The reason this type of change is likely to happen is because of the benefit it can deliver to the brand. Fashion companies will be able to instantly gauge where their creations have been well received, which will then allow them to focus their efforts on the hottest markets. Everyone wins when this happens.
3D printing means having an in-home designer
Most households have access to a printer than can transfer online documents to paper, but imagine having a printer that creates physical products. That is exactly what 3D printers do, and it’s only a matter of time before we start using this technology to create the clothes that we wear on a daily basis.
We are still in the very early stages of this technology, but Forbes believes that 3D printing could be a $5.2 billion per year industry by the time this decade draws to a close.
While it may seem ridiculous to assume that we could affordably create a dress from a printer anytime soon, take a moment to think about where mobile technology was a decade ago. Smartphones were non-existent, and the only way to get online was via your desktop PC.
Mobile devices now dominate the landscape, changing the way in which we access information dramatically. Phones, laptops, and tablets are affordable to most now, giving the vast majority of people on the planet instant access to new ideas and information with the click of a button.
Imagine a designer being able to take a new product from design to production without having to leave their home. They will be able to design their piece, test it out with their 3D printer, and then sell the plans to the masses, all of whom can download the design to their own 3D printer. The cost of doing business will be greatly reduced, as will the cost of buying new fashions for the consumer.
N12: 3D Printed Bikini – Developed in partnership with Continuum Fashion, the N12 is the first fully 3D printed Bikini, ready to wear and available for purchase from the Conitnuum’s Shapeways Shop.
NEUROTiQ Fashion designer Kristin Neidlinger came up with this dress that lights up when a certain area of your brain is functioning.
Brand success via metadata
If you follow the news, you are probably aware of how the NSA uses metadata to track what we do. You may also be aware of the importance of metadata to websites, but how does any of that connect with the fashion industry?
It’s all a matter of paying attention to how customers interact with existing online product databases. The actions they perform and choices that they make give clues to which products they may respond well to in the future.
Gathering up all that information is relatively simple, but figuring out how to use it is where things get tricky. Finding solid patterns among all those digital footprints can be tough, and it is the brads who are able to make sense of it all who will have an edge over the competition.
Being profitable in the fashion industry, or any industry for that matter, often hinges on consistently being able to deliver what the consumer wants, and all while staying one step ahead of the competition. Sifting through metadata to find fashion trends will help fashion companies big and small be more profitable, whilst also keeping the customer happy.
Forget everything you think you know today
There is a little thing called Moore’s Law that basically states that the processing power of the average computer will double every 2 years. That is a trend that has more or less held true since the 70’s, and which may even be edging closer to every 18 months as opposed to 2 years.
If that trend continues, it stands to reason that computers made a decade from now will be 32 times more powerful than they are today.
What a brand does with all that power is what will separate them from the crowd. For example, if a large fashion brand is content to stick with the technology they have been using for the past 5 years, they may quickly find themselves brought down by a startup fashion brand that uses cutting edge, state of the art technology to do business.
The good news for fashion brands is that their industry thrives on change, as fashions that are hot can be obsolete overnight. They need to take the same approach to technology if they hope to survive in what is set to become an even more competitive industry than it is today.