Sweden’s innovation agency calls for new fashion tech applications

They have done it a couple of times before, but now it’s time again for Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova to call for new applications within the field of Fashion tech. This time they are looking for new services concerning production, consumption and use of fashion. Specifically that means projects that wants to transform organizations and institutions within fashion, working with tech to develop the digitalization of fashion in an innovative way. Last application date is Augusti 29th. Read more here.

The challenges of fashion going digital

So looking forward to today’s network meeting about the digitalization of fashion, arranged by Swedish Fashion Council and Stockholm University among others. How to match the ever moving and competitive fashion industry with the long-sightedness and perseverance that the digitalization requires? Well, that sure is a great challenge, especially when it comes to creating new business models. There’s also a great need for innovation and new ways of thinking not only when it comes to business models, but the whole way the fashion industry is organized in everything from creation and production to cross-industry cooperations. Among the speakers today are Michael Andersson och Julia Krantz from Volumental, Rickard Lindqvist from Atacac and Jonas Larsson from The Swedish School of Textiles in Borås.

Photo cred: Ivyrevel’ s Data Dress, a great example of the change fashion currently is going through.

 

Luxury first and tech second at fashion hack in Paris

A self heating jacket enabled with metallic threads coated in solar cells, a cotton shirt that repels oil, wine and coffee thanks to nano-encapsulated technology and a headband designed to induce lucid dreams. Those are just a few of the objects at ”Fashion Hack”, an exhibition that opened yesterday, at concept store Colette in Paris. For one week the 10 prototypes embedded with various types of new technologies, and created by fashion designers, will be on display in the store. Much like the ”Fashion Hackathon” held in Stockholm last spring, the aim is to merge tech and fashion in a meaningful way. But perhaps with more focus on luxury and couture.
The curator of the event is Carole Sabas, a correspondent for French Vogue and author of The Fashion Guides series.
– In opposition to the ‘wearables’ category, these fashion accessories are first and foremost luxury goods, crafted as couture objects. Their invisible perks are limited to a few features: a surprising comfort (re-engineered soles) or stunning experience (self-heating sheer fabric, enhanced listening…) No biometrics will be measured, no apps will be downloaded. Seamlessly merged with fashion, the tech factor is an inconspicuous bonus. A secret layer of convenience, second to fashion, she says to Fashion and Mash.
Like me, Sabas is frustrated about the lack of innovation in the fashion tech field at for instance this years CES.
– I couldn’t believe that I was seeing the same umbrellas that buzz you if it’s going to rain, rings that blink when you receive texts and belt that text you if you’re on the verge of eating too much, she said.
– The idea is to suggest to tech start-ups to collaborate with fashion designers if their intention is to target luxury stores alongside electronic retailing. It also invites fashion houses to reach out to tech people, in order to get ready for things like the wireless charging bags, smart eyeglasses, high heels 2:0, connected jackets and jewellery and other ‘hearables’ coming their way in a couple of seasons.

Photo cred: The Dream Band by Erik Halley and Luciding for Fashion Hack at Collete

Toronto event on future retail: when will Sweden follow?

I know, I tend to go on quite a lot about the future of retail these days, but hey, a lot is happening in that area right now. And too little here in Sweden I might add. On May 2nd, the city of Toronto and number of fashion oriented organizations and businesses, are holding a joint event in Toronto about the future of retail. And they are right to do it, because the boundaries between our digital and physical lives are blurring and that goes for retail as well with stores becoming more digitally friendly, for instance in how Augmented Reality is moving into dressing rooms. The Toronto event is just the kind of thing I would like to see happening in Sweden right now. But the problem is I just can’t hear anyone even talking about this right now. Why is that? I think it’s about time to start this conversation.

Photo: Rebecca Minkoff smart dressing room.

 

Back in business again

There hasn’t been much reporting from this swamped in work-blogger the last couple of days, but now I’m back! So, let’s round up the past week so far: Fashion Week in Stockholm happened, and I was there to witness talented designer Naim Josefi showing his aw17 collection covered in high tech steel sequins made with able assistance from Swedish 3D print jewelry brand Lumitoro. Meanwhile, Magazine Bon and Studio Bon assembled a group of experts to talk about the future of virtual reality in fashion, while Swedish Fashion Council launched the book ”Sista skriket” by Emma Veronica Johansson och Philip Warkander. This is basically a letter exchange between the two authors about the complexity of fashion, for instance the role of fashion in a digital age.
As always, I was hoping for more tech influence during fashion week but, as we say in Swedish, let’s ”hurry slowly”. These things need to happen organically and can’t be forced. Designers and tech companies need to find each other based on a genuine interest in each other and the in the genuine wish to create solutions to actual problems, rather than just keeping up with the latest trend, for anything good and truly innovative to happen. Luckily, there seem to be a lot of exciting things happening in this field in Sweden right now, so I guess we’ll just wait and see.
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Photo credit: Stil & Teknik

Iris Van Herpen tricks you into looking elsewhere

3D-print queen and dutch avantgarde designer Iris Van Herpen does it again. This time actually not using 3D-printing but 3D hand casting and expandable mylar fabric to create optical illusions. With her collection Between the Lines she creates patterns and blurs them, making new ones appear in between. Beautiful as ever. Check out the whole show here.
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