Since the launch of the Apple Watch, wearable technology, or smart design, has begun to play an increasingly important role in the future for fashion. And it’s not only for designers looking to innovate within the field, but also as a means of solving issues around sustainability within the industry and enhancing the capabilities of wearers in their everyday life.
Set against the backdrop of the Ghost in the Shell release, these brands offered a vision of the future where fuction is married with style. We bring you the need to know names in wearable technology.
Launched in 2010, Brooklyn-based fashion house Chromat was founded by Becca McCharen-Tran with a view to designing clothes that enhanced the body’s performance. While a background in architecture undoubtedly ensured that McCharentran’s execution of design is pitch perfect, the innovation of ideas is entirely new. With a focus on performance-enhancing design, the brand became famous for the Adrenaline dress; composed of printed panels, and powered by Intel. As the dress senses adrenaline in the wearer, it expands itself fully to create a protective nexus around the wearer, mirroring the fight-or-flight mode the body is experiencing inside. Other key pieces include the Mindfiles dress, where 3D technology is used to create the perfect fit for the wearer, alongside laser bras and harnesses that employ electroluminescence and LEDs.
The world’s first wearable technology brand, CuteCircuit introduced experimental design into fashion as early as 2004. With an emphasis on smart textiles, the Creative Director Francesca Rosella and CEO Ryan Genz weave innovation into the core of their designs. Notable examples include the Nieves Dress, a couture piece composed of thousands micro-LEDs and sequinned panels, controlled by the wearer via a remote app. Their ready-to-wear designs include the Honeycomb dress, which also uses a remote app to change the colour of the dress. A core ethos of the brand is that their products are ‘designed for sustainability’ and they have introduced a ‘return for recycling’ option to reward customers for thinking through an environmental lens.
Formed out of grave concerns about climate change, Aerochromics founder Nikolas Bentel has created an ecosystem of interconnected objects, designed to help navigate and protect the environment. His pollution jumpers are fitting for an age where major cities are often troubled by air quality; using Aerochromic dye, fabric begins to change from black to white at 60 AQI (Air Quality Index). The shirt’s pattern is completely revealed at 160 AQI. An easy way for users to tune into their surroundings and make positive changes.
Another designer to bring an architectural background to fashion, Silvia Fado explores high-performance sportswear and high-fashion footwear. Her designs emphasise impact absorption, using new and innovative methods to alleviate the pain and optimise the output for athletes. Made from a mix of neoprene, leather, wood and stainless steel, these shoes combine traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge technologies, such as 3D printing and laser cutting, to offer a unique new form of footwear.
Biosensing and wireless communication technologies are at the heart of Wisewear’s designs. With an emphasis on fusing sophisticated new computing capabilities into everyday wear, the aim is to put intelligent design at the core of a user’s fashion experience. Of particular note are their socialite smart bracelets, with capabilities to send out distress signals when needed, as well as providing real-time mobile notifications and activity tracking.