Immediacy seems to be a growing concept within the fashion industry. How so? Well, it’s only been days since Instagram added shoppability to their Explore page, and now British department store Harvey Nicholls is introducing something similar – but inside their brick and mortar stores.
Via touch screens, customers can experience videos with brand collaborations such as Calvin Klein, and simply touch the screen to get more info about products that they’re interested in – and then instantly add them to their digital shopping cart.
In a time where a lot of physical stores are struggling, and there’s definitely a need to find new ways to keep customers in there. But instead of inspiring more shopping in terms of quantity, maybe these innovations could be used to inspire better, more sustainable shopping instead?
Just a thought.
The fashion world is currently being flooded with all kinds of tech. Some of them aim to make online shopping easier, others to technically enhance the clothing itself, while yet others are all about the holy grail of it all: style.
That mysterious quality close to the concept of taste – hard to grasp, hard to just acquire. More like something you either have or don’t have, a personal trait that just seems magic in a way.
But what happens when technology starts to claim to know something about style? Is it even possible? Well, there are several attempts actually. Like Amazon’s style assistant Echo Look that analyses your outfit through a combination of algorithms and human fashion specialists. Meanwhile StitchFix sends users clothing suggestions by cross-referencing a client’s preferences with what others of similar age and demographic have bought. Meanwhile Matchesfashion.com works with personalized avatars that can try on digital clothing samples to help you see what it might look like on your body, while Net-a-Porter is trying a type of tech that will creep right into your data looking for info on what you plan to do next (events, trips and the likes) – and suggesting purchases accordingly, as reported in The Guardian.
But is that style though? And does all this help us require it? Well, I guess that depends on what we feed the algorithms. If we tell them to check for mass approval (likes on social media for instance or whatever has worked in the past) we will get just that and no progress at all. But on the other hand, are we comfortable programming algorithms to be audacious and bold the way our human style role models are?
Maybe that is the kind of trait we still prefer in humans.
Material innovation company Bolt Threads have done it again! After the collaborations with Stella McCartney, on the spider silk gold dress and the Falabella mushroom bag, they are now releasing their own first ever commercial product: the The Bolt Projects Mylo Driver Bag. The bag is handcrafted with canvas and leather grown from mycelium – the part of the mushrooms that grow underneath the ground. Apart from the bag being very stylish and is reported to be as strong as regular leather, it’s good news for the environment too. Creating it didn’t involve raising any livestock, creating any land erosion or methane emissions.
To create the bag Bolt Threads collaborated with Portland-based brand Chester Wallace, known for its handcrafting. At this point, the bags can be preordered on their Kickstarter page to be delivered to backers in the spring of 2019.
Photo credit: Bolt Threads
Photo credit: Bolt Threads
Photo credit: Bolt Threads
They have already brought solar charged jackets and an indestructible kevlar hoodie to the world. Now twin brothers Nick and Steve Tidball, the men behind the clothing brand Vollebak, is releasing the first edition of a graphene coated jacket.
So what’s the deal with graphene then? Well, actually it is the thinnest possible layer of graphite, the same material that’s used in pencils. It’s only one single atom (!) thick, and also the strongest, lightest and most conductive material there is. Which makes it suitable for a number of things, now including clothing.
The Vollebak jacket is reversible, and is coated with graphene on one side and the other not. Depending on how you wear it, the jacket will interact with both your body and your surroundings in different ways. For instance, the jacket will not only conduct your body heat, but it can also store it and thereby functioning like a radiator. Also, bacteria can’t grow on graphene.
“When clothing can start conducting heat and electricity all sorts of cool things can start happening. It means that over the next decade your clothing can start to become a platform for other innovations. And that’s really what we’re interested in”, the team says in a press release.
Buy, wear and throw away without climate guilt. A dress designed to die. That’s how Swedish Fashion Tech company Streamateria describes their new compostable dress, planned to be released in the fall. They have found a wood based material to work with and are now looking for collaborators interested in developing it. Not much else to report on this right now, but here’s a first look at the dress:
Screenshot from Streamateria, LinkedIn.
With the demise of several smart jewellery companies this year, it’s refreshing to see Swarg Tech’s new piece of smart jewellery Sahki, with its beautiful jewel embellishments. So what about the tech specs?
Well, apart from the fitness tracker and SOS trigger you see in most wearables, this one also has a child tracking mode and an integrated AI voice assistant to help you add items to your shopping list or switch on the lights for instance.
With the growing popularity of voice assistants, it is likely that the integration of them into smart jewllery might be a winning combo.
Asos have done it, and so have e-Bay. Tinkered with image recognition for clothing that is. Now it’s Google’s turn to launch a style discovery service called Style Match, where you simply point your camera towards an item you like and you get suggestions on where to buy it, or something similar, online. The service is part of Google Lens, their camera powered search engine that was released last year. This works not only for fashion, but for things like accessories and furniture as well, The Current reports.
Screenshot from Gadget 360-demo video.