Article in brief: The writer studies how technology improved prospects in fashion.
During the 90’s, fashion was a very tight-knit industry. Not everyone had the chance to attend a show and view the collections during a fashion week. It was one of the few known facts indeed; you’d have to personally know the designer, or be one of the brand’s loyal customers in order to get an invitation. But with the progression of technology and the introduction of the Internet, fashion is now more accessible to everyone, even those with little interest in fashion. Shows are now live-streamed on websites, while pictures from the front row are usually posted instantly on Instagram or Twitter. It’s simple to say that technological advancements have a hand in developing the way fashion works nowadays, from retail to design itself.
Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-a-Porter, is one of the most successful stories in E-commerce. Massenet was the first person to introduce the idea of selling clothes online, and has made a fortune out of it. Of course, many followed suit with her idea, which just solidifies her position in the industry. The concept of being able to purchase the item you want simply by the click of a few buttons is genius. In the early stages since the launch of Net-a-Porter, Massenet earned approximately AED 7 million. That was in the year 2000 alone! Net-a-Porter has come a long way since then, expanding into print magazine and beginning an online outlet: “The Outnet”.
One of the other interesting concepts introduced by technology for fashion design is printing on garments. And we’re not just talking about patterns. Mary Katrantzou, a London-based Greek fashion designer, has earned a fan following of buyers and editors alike. Her secret? Prints. Katrantzou is famous for a technique she’s been using since her days at Central Saint Martins: Scanning in an image into Photoshop to create those heart-achingly excellent prints. Not to mention, she tailors the dresses for the perfect size, at any size. In fact, her designs are so good that they immediately sell out everywhere in stores and even online. Imagine what a piece of art can be created to wear just by using Photoshop! The Greek designer is one of the many pioneers that integrated technology and design.
As shocking as it may sound, Apple is now considered to be another pioneer of integrated technology and fashion. With the release of their newest product, the iWatch, Apple has made headlines for its modish demeanor. The iWatch was showcased twice in Paris, squeezing in between the chaotic schedule of Paris Fashion Week. The first showcase was held in Colette Paris, while Apple hosted the second showcase in cooperation with Azzedine Alaia. It doesn’t end there; the iWatch made it on the cover of Vogue China, modeled by Liu Wen. “I saw the watches and thought they looked rather good; some are sporty and others are very classic and elegant. At the same time, they all have so many functions that would be useful in our daily life. I just thought that they combined technology, style and functionality,” says the editor of Vogue China, Angelica Cheung[i].
I go on to say that with fashion and technology combined, a lot can be achieved. And it seems that I’m not the only one who realized this important fact; several designers also took note. Brands like Tory Burch and Opening Ceremony have produced technology-infused fashion items whether in a collaboration or solely on their own. Tory Burch joined the trend in collaboration with Fitbit Flex on a fitness tracker band: “Wearable technology is an exciting new category,” she stated[ii]. There’s definitely going to be a lot of fuss surrounding this subject, but as for me, I’d love to own a few fashionable gadgets of my own.
Reem is a fashion fanatic. She used her talents of critiquing to start a blog called “We Voice Fashion” along with a partner that shares her views on the world of fashion and design. Through her column, she likes to explore fashion in a philosophical way at times.
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