Fashion and Tech: The Unlikely Successful Marriage: Part 1

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Fashion and Technology may seem like an odd pair but in all actuality, they make perfect sense. If you have been paying attention to the fashion tech world you would have noticed an increase in fashion technology products and experiences emerging. And if you have been paying even closer attention, you have noticed that many of these companies start and fail fast.

So why hasn’t fashion technology made a bigger impact on the industry so far? With all the talented engineers and computer scientist surely we should be way more advanced by now, right?

That’s just the problem, fashion is not an engineering or computing problem alone. Fashion retail is comprised of many components that create the unique experience and customers. Interactions, information, rapport, conversation, encouragement, some persuasion and then an array of feelings are just a small bit of what makes up the complicated shopping experience for a customer. Fashion consumers aren’t tech consumers, what matters to normal “techies”  may not typically matter to the fashion customer whose focus flip flops between functionality, style, demand and trend. It is important for people with fashion experience to be on the design and development teams for the next fashion technologies alongside of engineers and programmers.

I am proposing is that the future of fashion technology relies more on the collaboration between data driven scientist and engineers and fashion veterans.There are a few myths that I can resolve for you right now if you are in doubt about the customer-engineer relationship and the need for fashion experts on the design team.

Wearable tech: Great feats of engineering, great fails of fashion  

 

Apple Watches

Myth: Apple Watches are an awesome fashion product that is the perfect combination of style and functionality. 

 

Truth: Not at all. Watches have a completely different function in fashion and because we all have smart phones, it is rarely to tell time. Watches are more about romantic notions and emblems of power than functionality. Apple created an amazing product but the acceptance into the fashion industry has been up and down and may take a long time before it is a staple in every fashionista’s closet.

 

Yup, this is what fashion and tech looks like without proper marriage counseling.


Solar Panel Jackets

Myth: Solar panel clothing is a good idea. Who wouldn’t want the latest technology in their jacket, its solves the problem of needing to charge an iPhone or Android but not having an outlet in sight. 

Tommy Hilfiger Jackets

Tommy Hilfiger Jackets

 

Truth: Not really. Functionality wise, it is a great idea however as a fashion product it’s not something customers are rushing out to buy. It restricts the customer to wearing the jacket strictly for the reason of gathering solar energy to perhaps charge a phone. The overall look of the jacket is odd and since Tommy Hilfiger launched his line of solar clothing in 2014, nothing at all has been said about them. There is room for this technology in the future if it looks… cooler.

Yea.... no.

Yea.... no.

Beats X Fendi Collaboration 

*Best Wearable Tech: Beats by Dre, Beats successfully created a trend and a demand. The headphones are an extension of an outfit, a look and the multiple colors provides customers with the option of self expression. Beats go way beyond functionality (everyone wearing Beats are not producers) and expand into a trendy statement piece.  Making beats an iconic fashion statement had much more to do with placement, marketing and intrinsic value than engineering. Beats are an experience and not just a product.

Match made in Beats Heaven 

 

Check out the next post to see part two of the Fashion and Tech Marriage. 

Jessica Couch

Fit technology and Retail innovation Consultant, writer, entrepreneur, creative , algorithim lover