Το ντύσιμο μας, τα μαλλιά μας, η στάση του σώματος σας, και γενικότερα η εξωτερική σας εμφάνιση στέλνουν κάποια μηνύματα. Στέλνουν μηνύματα για το πως αισθανόμαστε, πως σκεφτόμαστε, πώς βλέπουμε τον εαυτό μας, τη στάση κρατάμε απέναντι στην ζωή άλλα και πως σχετιζόμαστε με τους γύρω μας. Το πιάνουν όλο αυτό οι άντρες; Ναι και φυσικά το πιάνουν ενστικτωδώς οι περισσότεροι και οι πιο ψαγμένοι γιατί απλά έχουν ασχοληθεί! Έχετε αναρωτηθεί πως όμως ερμηνεύονται όλα αυτά από τους άντρες; Αν όχι είμαστε εμείς εδώ να σας καταποποιήσουμε !Φύγαμε Staxtopoutes μου…. Continue reading «Πώς ντύνεσαι; Και τι καταλαβαίνουν για εσένα οι άντρες;»
Amidst a shifting international fashion education landscape, Central Saint Martins tops both the BA and MA rankings in BoF’s second annual ranking of global fashion schools.
LONDON, United Kingdom — For the second year in a row, Central Saint Martins (CSM) has topped BoF’s global ranking of fashion schools, which this year has expanded to include 54 institutions across 17 countries, with more than 10,000 current students and alumni participating in our annual fashion education survey.
CSM’s BA Fashion programme is once again the top BA programme in the world. Not far behind is Kingston University, which climbed one spot to second place in the BA ranking, followed by a new entrant, Finland’s Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, which came third out of 50 BA programmes. The Finnish school, which is located in the outskirts of Helsinki and has only 60 students in each year of its BA programme, was distinguished by its long-term value — for which it ranked first out of all the BA courses.
Amongst the top 25 MA programmes, the Central Saint Martins MA programme climbed one place to knock the Royal College of Art (RCA) from the number one spot. The RCA slipped to number two, while the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM) in Paris came third, jumping an impressive four places from last year. (To view the full BA and MA rankings, please click here.)
CSM’s dominance can be attributed to its near unrivalled reputation with the industry and with employers, who ranked the school very highly. The school also showed marked improvement in student’s learning experience scores, with students and alumni showing a higher level of satisfaction with the school’s resources and teaching than in our 2015 survey, where CSM ranked near the bottom of the heap in the overall learning experience.
However, challenging times lie ahead for the storied institution and its British peers. Following the retirement of Willie Walters, BA fashion programme director, CSM is now bracing for the fallout of the UK’s ‘Brexit’ vote, which has many British fashion educators deeply worried.
“I’m worried about us leaving the EU and it becoming some ‘Little Britain’ situation again. I would be miserable if, when I leave, everything was to plummet and fall apart and some Draconian upper top management cage was to come down on my course. That’s why I want to leave now, while the new people can learn to be as strong as me to prevent that happening in their own time. Because I wasn’t me when I started off. I had to learn so much,” says Walters. “I want to pass [the baton] over while my team are fresh and young and they can grow into being really good at the job. I’m not happy to be leaving, but I’m happy to be leaving something great.”
Indeed, all British schools now face the potential loss of significant EU funding and talent following a ‘Brexit,’ which some observers believe won’t happen until 2019, creating growing uncertainty in the fashion education sector in the UK. To continue to attract the best -in-class students who have driven British schools to the top of both the BA and MA rankings, schools will have to support international students in overcoming barriers to studying in the UK — especially European students, who in a post-Brexit world may have to pay higher tuition fees and secure student visas like other international students.
Elsewhere in the survey, the lack of practical, applicable skills offered by schools is an on-going sore point — a core theme that emerged in last year’s study and a challenge facing fashion students the world over. The gap between student expectations regarding careers services and graduate experiences also persists. Only 69 percent of BA students were satisfied with their school’s careers services — in particular, students from institutions outside the major fashion capitals expressed a desire for better networking and recruitment.
For fashion education to truly modernise, it has to break down the barriers between creative and commerciality.
Similarly, only 55 percent of BA students were satisfied with their business training, and many expressed a desire for more advanced and diverse courses. According to Linda Loppa, director of strategy and vision for Polimoda, “For fashion education to truly modernise, it has to break down the barriers between creative and commerciality.”
The good news is there has been some improvement in perception of the calibre of the technology and business courses, a key failing identified in BoF’s 2015 report. Some schools in particular are taking proactive steps to innovate their education systems. This July, a new strategic alliance was announced between two French schools — École de la Chambre Syndicale, which specialises in creative and technical expertise, and IFM, known for its focus on management and luxury.
“The mix of vocational skills and academic culture is something which is absolutely not usual in France,” says Pascal Morand, executive president of France’s Fédération française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode, who oversaw the project. “We need to develop and to strengthen the academic policy of the French educational ecosystem,” he continues.
More wide-reaching change is still required throughout the fashion education sector.
Other institutions are connecting creativity and commerce by developing inter-disciplinary curricula that allow students to combine design training with more specialised and demanding business, technology and marketing courses. New York’s Parsons The New School of Design is a notable example, reworking courses to include outside electives in subjects such as business and media, as well as a BA in integrated design, which has a flexible curriculum encompassing classes from across the school.
However, more wide-reaching change is still required throughout the fashion education sector. By and large, students report that there remains a significant way to go until the education they are paying for meets their expectations. The purpose of BoF’s ranking is to provide objective, fact-based analysis of the fashion education system, assisting prospective students in making informed decisions in their pursuit of a higher fashion education and to act as a tool for universities and colleges to assess their offerings and engage in the debate surrounding fashion education.
The global fashion school rankings are part of BoF’s annual report on the state of fashion education, which includes in-depth analysis of key geographies and detailed profiles of the top 50 undergraduate and top 25 graduate fashion programmes. The study offers the world’s most comprehensive analysis of fashion education, based on a survey of more than 10,000 students and alumni and data gathered from 54 participating schools in 17 countries
Reporting for this article was contributed by Helena Pike.
To view the full State of Fashion Education Report and BoF Global Fashion School Rankings, and learn more about our ranking methodology, click here.
Source: BOF (Best of Fashion)
Γαλλίδα μοδίστρα και επιχειρηματίας, που κυριάρχησε για σχεδόν έξι δεκαετίες στον κόσμο της γυναικείας υψηλής ραπτικής, εισάγοντας επαναστατικές καινοτομίες, με δημιουργίες που θεωρούνται κλασικές. Καθιέρωσε το ύφασμα ζέρσεϊ, το ταγιέρ, το άνετο παντελόνι, τα κοντά σε γραμμή «καρέ» μαλλιά, τα αδιάβροχα, τα πουλόβερ με γυριστό λαιμό, τα φαντεζί ψεύτικα κοσμήματα και το απλό μαύρο φόρεμα.
Η Γκαμπριέλ Μπονέρ Σανέλ (Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel) γεννήθηκε στις 19 Αυγούστου 1883 στο Σομίρ της Δυτικής Γαλλίας. Ο πατέρας της, Αλμπέρ Σανέλ, ήταν περιοδεύων πωλητής ρούχων και εσωρούχων και η μητέρα της, Εζενί Ντεβόλ, πλύστρα σ’ ένα φιλανθρωπικό ίδρυμα για απόρους. Μετά το θάνατο της μητέρας της μπήκε εσωτερική σ’ ένα εκκλησιαστικό ίδρυμα, όπου έμαθε την τέχνη της μοδιστρικής.
Όταν δεν έπιανε τη βελόνα για να ράψει, τραγουδούσε σ’ ένα κλαμπ στο Μουλέν, όπου σύχναζαν αξιωματικοί του ιππικού. Εκεί ήταν που της κόλλησαν το χαϊδευτικό Κοκό (Coco), με το οποίο έγινε γνωστή τα επόμενα χρόνια. Το Κοκό, σύμφωνα με τους βιογράφους της, μπορεί να προέρχεται από τα δημοφιλή τραγούδια εκείνης της εποχής «Ko Ko Ri Ko» και «Qui qu’a vu Coco» ή ακόμα και από τη λέξη cocotte (κοκότα). Σύμφωνα με μια άλλη εκδοχή, που κυκλοφορούσε την εποχή της μεγάλης της δόξας στα παρισινά σαλόνια, η Σανέλ αποκλήθηκε Κοκό, επειδή διοργάνωσε τα καλύτερα πάρτι στο Παρίσι, όπου προσφερόταν άφθονη κοκαΐνη. Ή ίδια ήταν γνωστό ότι ήταν εθισμένη στις ναρκωτικές ουσίες και παρέμεινε ως το τέλος της ζωής της χρήστρια μορφίνης.
Το 1906 σ’ ένα κλαμπ, όπου εμφανιζόταν, γνώρισε τον Ετιέν Μπαλσάν, πρώην αξιωματικό του ιππικού και γόνο πλούσιας οικογένειας υφαντουργών, με τον οποίο πέρασε τρία χρόνια πλούσιας και τρυφηλής ζωής. Το 1909 δημιούργησε σχέση με τον φίλο του Μπαλσάν, τον άγγλο λογαχό Μπόι Κέιπελ, επίλεκτο μέλος της αγγλικής υψηλής κοινωνίας, ο οποίος χρηματοδότησε και τα πρώτα της σχέδια στον κόσμο της μόδας.
Η σταδιοδρομία της Σανέλ στον κόσμο της μόδας ξεκίνησε το 1913, όταν αποφάσισε να εγκαταλείψει το τραγούδι, στο οποίο, όπως διαπίστωσε κι η ίδια, δεν είχε καμία τύχη. Άνοιξε ένα μικρό κατάστημα στη Ντοβίλ, στο οποίο πουλούσε καπέλα που έφτιαχνε η ίδια. Σύντομα άρχισε να σχεδιάζει πουλόβερ, φούστες και διάφορα αξεσουάρ και να χρησιμοποιεί το ζέρσεϊ. Το 1914 άνοιξε το πρώτο της κατάστημα στο Παρίσι και το 1916 ίδρυσε τον οίκο υψηλής ραπτικής «Chanel». Μέσα σε πέντε χρόνια είχε επιβληθεί, προκαλώντας επανάσταση στο γυναικείο ντύσιμο, με ένα απλό και άνετο στυλ, που ο συνεταίρος της Πολ Πουαρέ αποκαλούσε «φτωχοπροδρομισμό πολυτελείας» («le misérabilisme de luxe»).
Η απλότητα και η άνεση των ρούχων της τονίζονταν από τα ασυνήθιστα τότε φαντεζί ψεύτικα κοσμήματα. Επέβαλε τα μάλλινα ρούχα, το φόρεμα – σεμιζιέ, το απλό μαύρο φόρεμα, την κοντή πλισέ φούστα, το πανταλόνι για πρωινή και βραδινή εμφάνιση. Το 1926 σχεδίασε το πρώτο της ταγιέρ, ενώ από το 1922 είχε συνδυάσει τις δημιουργίες της με το άρωμα «5».
Το 1935 άρχισε να παράγει υφάσματα ζέρσεϊ σε δικό της εργοστάσιο. Την περίοδο του Μεσοπολέμου, ο Οίκος της ήταν από τους μεγαλύτερους στο Παρίσι, με κύκλο εργασιών 120 εκατομμυρίων γαλλικών φράγκων της εποχής και οι επιχειρήσεις της (οίκος μόδας, εργοστάσιο υφασμάτων, εργαστήρια παραγωγής αρωμάτων και κοσμημάτων) απασχολούσαν 3.500 άτομα.
Το 1938 αποσύρθηκε και κατά τη διάρκεια της γερμανικής κατοχής στη Γαλλία έκλεισε τις επιχειρήσεις και άφησε στο δρόμο χιλιάδες εργαζομένους. Κατηγορήθηκε για σχέσεις με τους Ναζί, αλλά η εις βάρος της δικαστική έρευνα δεν προχώρησε μετά το τέλος του πολέμου. Πάντως, ήταν γνωστή η ερωτική της σχέση με τον στρατηγό των Ες-Ες Βάλτερ Σέλενμπεργκ.
Το 1954 επανήλθε στο προσκήνιο της υψηλής ραπτικής, όταν παρουσίασε ολοκληρωμένο το κλασικό «ταγιέρ Σανέλ», με την κομψή, άνετη φούστα και τη χαρακτηριστική ζακέτα χωρίς πέτα, φινιρισμένη με σειρήτια.
Η Κοκό Σανέλ πέθανε στο Παρίσι στις 10 Ιανουαρίου 1971, σε ηλικία 87 ετών. Ο Οίκος της εξακολούθησε να λειτουργεί και μετά το θάνατό της, παραμένοντας πιστός στην παράδοση του «στυλ Σανέλ». Το 1977 δημιουργήθηκε η πρώτη συλλογή σινιέ έτοιμων ενδυμάτων (πρετ -α- πορτέ), με προορισμό την αγορά των ΗΠΑ. Τον επόμενο χρόνο άνοιξε το πρώτο κατάστημα ετοίμων ενδυμάτων στο Παρίσι και τα επόμενα χρόνια σε πολλές χώρες του κόσμου.
Designers must integrate software, sensors, processors and new synthetic and biological materials into their toolkit, argues Todd Harple.
NEW YORK, United States — It’s New York Fashion Week, and there is a frenzy backstage as models are worked into their dresses and mob the assembled engineers for instructions of how to operate the technology that magically transforms a subtle gesture into a glowing garment suggestive of the bioluminescence of jellyfish. I know there’s not enough time for them to do their work. Almost instinctively, I find the designer and bargain for 20 more minutes.
While I wonder to myself how I got here, backstage at a runway show, I also know I am witnessing what may be the harbinger of how a fourth industrial revolution is set to change fashion, resulting in a new materiality of computation that will transform a certain slice of fashion designers into the “developers” of a whole new category of clothing. By driving new partnerships in tools, materials and technologies, this revolution has the potential to dramatically reshape how we produce fashion at a scale not seen since the invention of the jacquard loom.
The jacquard loom, as it happens, inspired the earliest computers. Ever since, textile development and technology have been on an interwoven path — sometimes more loosely knit, but becoming increasingly tighter in the last five years. Around that time, my colleagues and I embarked on a project in our labs to look at “fashion tech,” which at the time was a fringe term. These were pioneers daring to — sometimes literally — weave together technology and clothing to drive new ways of thinking about the “shape” of computation. But as we looked around the fashion industry, it became clear that designers lacked the tools to harness the potential of new technologies.
For a start, all facets of technology needed to be more malleable. Batteries, processors and sensors, in particular, had to evolve from being bulky and rigid to being softer, flexible and stretchable. Thus, I began to champion “Puck [rigid], Patch [flexible], Apparel [integrated],” an internal mantra to describe what I felt would be the material transformations of sensing and computation.
As our technologies have steadily become smaller, faster and more energy efficient — a progression known in the tech industry as Moore’s Law — we’ve gone on to launch a computer the size of a postage stamp and worked with a fashion tech designer to demonstrate its capabilities. In this case we were able to show dresses that were generated not just from sketches and traditional materials, but forward-looking tools (body scans and Computer Assisted Design renderings) and materials (in this case, 3-D printed nylon). At the same time, we integrated a variety of sensors (proximity, brain-wave activity, heart-rate, etc.) that allowed the garments themselves to sense and communicate in ways that showed how fashion — inspired in part by biology — might become the interface between people and the world around them.
Eventually, a meeting between Intel and the CFDA lent support to the idea that if technology could fit more seamlessly into designs, then it would be more valuable to fashion designers. The realisation helped birth the Intel Curie module, which has since made its way down the catwalk, embedded into a slew of designs that could help wearers adapt, interpret and respond to the world around them, for example, by “sensing” adrenaline or allowing subtle gestures to illuminate a garment.
As the relationship between fashion and technology continues to evolve, we will need to reimagine research and development, supply chains, business models and more. But perhaps more than anything, as fashion and technology merge, we must embrace a new strand of collaborative transdisciplinary design expertise and integrate software, sensors, processors and synthetic and biological materials into a designer’s tool kit.
Technology will inform the warp and weft of the fabric of fashion’s future. This will trigger discussions not just about fashion as an increasingly literal interface between people, our biology and the world around us, but also about the implications that data will generate for access, health, privacy and self-expression as we look ahead. We are indeed on the precipice of a fourth industrial revolution.
Todd Harple is the director of pathfinding and innovation strategy at Intel.
The views expressed in Op-Ed pieces are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Business of Fashion.
Source: BOF (Best of Fashion)
The beginnings of a fundamental transformation in the way we create, communicate and consume fashion are already taking shape.
LONDON, United Kingdom — In the 18th and 19th centuries, the first and second industrial revolutions harnessed water, steam and electric power to mechanise the making of clothing, challenging the traditional system of craft-based production. In the mid-20th century, a third industrial revolution — in information technology and data analysis — radically changed the business of fashion once again, giving rise to fast fashion giants like Inditex and forcing the industry to rethink its ‘broken’ system for the age of Instagram.
Now, a fourth industrial revolution — powered by a constellation of new innovations across the physical, digital and biological worlds, from 3D printing and artificial intelligence to advances in biomaterials — is driving a new wave of change across the economy, with major implications for fashion.
«We have yet to grasp fully the speed and breadth of this new revolution. Consider the unlimited possibilities of having billions of people connected by mobile devices,” Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (which chose the fourth industrial revolution as the theme for its annual summit this year) wrote in a book on the subject. “Think about the staggering confluence of emerging technology breakthroughs, covering wide-ranging fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of things, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing.”
The fourth industrial revolution will transform all industries. But fashion, in particular, stands to benefit most from advances in materials science, opening up a wide range of new functional and aesthetic possibilities for garments.
BoF and fashion industry leaders explore what the fourth industrial revolution means for fashion at the VOICES New York event supported by QIC Global Real Estate in June 2016.
“That’s where this materials revolution is happening: we can start to demand interactivity from textiles and fibres themselves,” explained Amanda Parkes, co-founder and chief of technology and research at Manufacture NY, speaking at BoF’s VOICES event at New York’s Spring Studios in June. Some new fabrics will have computing embedded into their fibres at the microscopic level, resulting in garments that can do things like adapt to temperature changes or store energy like a battery.
In the last few years, materials science has yielded breakthroughs like Shrilk, a transparent, compostable material made from discarded shrimp shells and proteins derived from silk, which is as strong as aluminium but half the weight. Qmilk, a new kind of thread made out of sour milk, is resistant to bacteria and fire. What’s more, power-generating and power-storing materials “exist already at the laboratory scale,” says Aimee Rose, chief technology officer at the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America. “We’ve demonstrated we can create a fibre that stores energy and can act as a battery — but how do we get that into clothing?”
Getting these innovations out of labs and into the hands of consumers will require collaboration between scientists, manufacturers and designers with a specific understanding of what consumers want and how these inventions can deliver. “How do we get the current tech wearables out of the hands of the technology people who have no idea other than if I can’t hit a billion people it’s not going to happen — quote Mark Zuckerberg — but into the hands of people who are thinking about how to create this unique application?” asked Alan Marcus, head of information, communication and technology agenda at the World Economic Forum.
“Thinking about the relationship around explicit functionality and the target audience you’re going after — that’s what fashion companies are so good at,” said Parkes, who predicts that the best companies will take these innovations and create a product that is personalised to the specific needs of a niche audience.
While a technology product like an iPhone can be marketed to 70-year-old men and 14-year-old girls alike, fashion designers “have your woman or man that you’re designing for — and that man isn’t everybody and that woman isn’t everybody,” says Todd Harple, director of pathfinding and innovation strategy at Intel.
We have yet to grasp fully the speed and breadth of this new revolution.
As well as giving birth to new consumer products, the technological innovations of the fourth industrial revolution have the potential to solve deeper systemic problems facing the fashion industry at large. For one, demand for raw materials like leather already outstrips global supply, and climate change is exacerbating materials scarcity by depleting the environments needed to produce materials on which fashion businesses depend, such as cashmere and silk.
According to Suzanne Lee, creative director of Modern Meadow, a New York-based start-up that’s developing lab-grown leather (and other materials), biotechnology could help. “The way that animals are intensively farmed means that the quality of the hides is dropping,” she explained. “You’ve got more scars you need to cut around, so there’s more waste. There can be between 30 to 80 percent wastage on one animal hide. From an efficiency standpoint, from a manufacturing standpoint, that’s a massive problem.”
Materials innovation “will help us continue to ensure access and availability to the highest quality raw materials we rely on,” added Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering, which launched an in-house innovation lab in 2014 to research and develop “greener” materials solutions.
Materials science could also reconcile growing consumer demand for more products with the drive to clamp down on waste — in the US alone, about 10.5 million tons of clothing are sent to landfills each year. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are currently building a 3D printer that could print jewellery made from shrimp chitin (a waste product). “Wear it for the summer and at the end of the summer, throw it in the ocean and it dissolves in salt water,” suggested Parkes. “Market it as, ‘This really will be gone in three months, wear it now while you can.’ It’s what Snapchat is — it creates a buzz.”
Indeed, 3D printing — the process of making a physical object by printing it layer by layer from a digital drawing — could disrupt fashion’s current manufacturing methods by enabling companies to quickly create complex products without specialist machinery. This could radically shorten the design-to-manufacturing cycle, meaning companies can test more prototypes before rolling out a product or manufacture in a way that more closely responds to demand.
As the cost of 3D printers and the materials they require continues to fall — the cost of the average 3D-printed object will drop by 50 percent from 2013 to 2018 — producing products in small quantities will become more cost-effective, paving the way for more customisation in fashion. Already, brands like Adidas and Nike are using 3D printing to enable shoppers to customise the way their shoes fit.
Artificial intelligence will also play a key role in the fourth industrial revolution, by automating functions currently performed by people, radically altering industries from transportation to healthcare to finance. In a trend-driven industry like fashion, the ability to quickly make complex data-driven decisions could help companies predict whether a new product will become a bestseller, or how long a trend will last.
By analysing large amounts of data — such as customers’ online purchasing histories, social media trends and potentially even data gathered from new “smart garments” — AI could help designers predict what customers need and want from new fashion products. Furthermore, AI could use data from stores and e-commerce platforms to help retailers more accurately align supply and demand — thus reducing waste and retrieving lost sales.
Innovative fashion products could also solve problems in other industries, such as health — an area already being targeted by wearables like Fitbit and the Apple Watch. Last year, Intel partnered with Chromat, a New York label known for costuming stars including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, to create a dress with an outer frame that changed its appearance in response to factors like the wearer’s breathing, sweat and body temperature. According to Todd Harple, this opens up a whole new conversation around clothing and health: “If I have my mother and she’s elderly, I want to know when she’s afraid or anxious — how might I do that without being bothersome? Or if I have a child that I’m providing care for who has autism, wouldn’t I like to know when he’s focused or not? These are all possible through the garments,” he said.
As for how long it will take for consumers to feel the impact of these breakthroughs, “You’re assuming there’s going to be this big ‘killer app’ — that’s the language of technology, and I don’t believe that that’s necessarily going to happen. I think slowly we’ll start to see these things slip into the things we do daily,” predicted Harple. Indeed, the fourth industrial revolution will yield new systems — which link up clothing with the body, its environment and other technology devices — rather than singular ‘killer’ inventions.
But barriers remain — particularly in the fashion industry. “One is mindset, which is, ‘We don’t need it, everything’s fine.’ That’s definitely changing,” said Suzanne Lee, who moved from working at a fashion company to Modern Meadow. “There is no R&D and innovation in fashion,” she added, pointing to Net-a-Porter’s early struggles to convince luxury brands to sell online as an example of the conservative nature of the industry. “Some brands are just lazy. They want to wait for someone else to go do it, or they’re just looking to use something as a quick marketing ploy.”
The speed at which fashion companies churn out new products — and the resulting short-term, trend-driven mindset of many in the industry — is another major hurdle. In biotechnology, the timeline to develop an idea and take it to market can be eight to 15 years. “Fashion doesn’t really have a history inside of its corporations of having R&D that goes two, five, 10 years out,” said Parkes.
“There’s a disconnect between the vision for what we’re doing and the expectation of when it’s going to happen,” added Lee. “I see this as a field of materials that really are going to evolve over the coming years and decades… In terms of taking a multi-year, complex science project and putting fashion money behind it, I can’t think of many examples of brands that can afford to do that.”
The Revolutionary Fibres and Textiles Manufacturing Institute, a private-public partnership in the US, has earmarked $300 million for grants for organisations working with new materials. According to Parkes, who is involved with the project, “we quite frankly want more fashion companies.” Designers need to be having conversations with technologists, and answering questions scientists have — even basic things like, if we put this fibre in your knitting machine, will it break? “We want you to be thinking more about the integration of textile engineering much more into owning your own supply chain around your yarns, fibres and textiles,” said Parkes.
Some partnerships between fashion and technology businesses are already springing up. Earlier this year, Levi’s released a jacket in collaboration with Google, which had Google’s Project jacquard technology woven into the fabric, so that the wearer can control their phone by touching the sleeve. “Google was essential in helping us merge the gap between the denim industry and the digital world,” Paul Dillinger, vice president of global product innovation at Levi Strauss & Co., told BoF.
The technological shifts of the fourth industrial revolution will also throw up new challenges around design protections, security and ethics. 3D printing, by giving companies the tools to manufacture products quickly and cheaply, could make it even more difficult for luxury companies to protect their designs and stop knock-offs flooding the market.
“I think there’s a lot of things that need to be tackled with regards to how we treat patents and intellectual property in this space,” said Harple. “I could pull on a sweater that has solar [panels] on it that’s charging my phone — how do I patent that? Is that a garment?”
Garments that track the physical and emotional state of the wearer could provide companies with invaluable data about their consumers, but also raise issues around privacy and security. When developing new products, ethical questions like these need to be “principal features, rather than a potential bug,” said Marcus of the World Economic Forum. “Different governments are reacting in different ways to the ethics of some of these things… From a competitiveness standpoint, the fashion industry needs to be at the table in those conversations.”
To learn more about VOICES, BoF’s new annual gathering for big thinkers, visit our VOICES website, where you can find all the details and apply to attend our invitation-only global gathering in December, in partnership with QIC Global Real Estate, hosted at the Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire in the picturesque English countryside, one hour from London.
Source: BOF (Best of Fashion)