Freedom - Mobility Report

Introduction to the Future - Freedom

Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report:

Part 6: Introduction to the Future - Freedom

In the first part of our series, we focused on some of the more momentous historical examples of FashionTech. Starting with how materials helped put humans on the moon to how travel in the 1800s led to new materials and changes in fashion. We’ve covered a classic example of innovation through iteration: the zipper; the zipper was developed over time by multiple people and is still one of the most common fasteners that we use today. Our last historical case was based on how bicycles brought more than just fashion changes, but also social advances for women.

After covering several topics in fashion history, examining the future of fashion felt like the natural next step.

We will now take a look at the global trends we see forming today that will affect the human experience of fashion in the near future, all under the umbrella of mobility — physical, mental, digital.

To forecast the future, we asked Cecile Poignant who is a critical figure of this report to develop a bespoke study. She has been forecasting trends for over 30 years, she is a collector of thoughts, ideas, pictures, signals, and movements. With her collection, she then starts connecting glimpses of the future. The modern world doesn’t stop moving, and the fashion of the future will mold itself according to the needs of this world. For The PowerHouse, she encapsulated the major long-term trends on Fashion & Mobility within four angles: freedom, power, collective and exclusive.

She provided the structure and the foundation of this report and, of course, we wanted to intermingle our expertise into it. The result is a combination of Cecile’s expertise in trend forecasting and our expertise on Fashion Tech. 

Today we start with the first trend – FREEDOM.

A Silent Mood

We are living in a very noisy world. Audio noise, video noise, information noise, mobility noise, and ambient noise are all competing for the precious resource of our attention. Recently the World Health Organization for the European Region declared environmental noise as among the “top environmental risks to health.” The WHO also released new guidelines on environmental noise pollution for the first time since 1999 and includes new sources of pollution which include wind turbines and “leisure noise” or music at nightclubs, concerts, pubs, fitness classes, live sporting events and through personal listening devices. Environmental noise has long-term impacts which can include hearing loss and lead to social isolation.

The more we experience noisy environments, the more freedom from noise will characterize our overall idea of what freedom means and the more freedom will be synonymous of finding a way to be in a silent mood.

Many products have already been introduced in the wake of open office plans and the need for more silence for example, noise-canceling headphones. These headphones boost the signal-to-noise ratio and have been credited with helping people focus and are increasingly being used as sleep aids for some. Earbuds are also becoming more technically advanced. Flare Audio has just unveiled new earbuds that use metal to block sound instead of foam which absorbs sound. While headphones and earplugs aren’t new revelations they have been modernized to become more efficient yet remain easy to incorporate into daily life.  

Silent Mood - Mobility Report

We are now living in the “attention economy” where tech companies are competing for as much of your attention as possible. The more technology comes, the more – even if we love it – we need to have the choice of disconnection and privacy. This choice protects ourselves from the vibes and disturbances coming from outside.

We can imagine that to protect ourselves, we’re going to use advanced hoodies that function as a second envelope around our head and that will give us the feeling of being free from demands on our attention.

New Minimalism

Because of the foreign noise and distractions that we experience on a normal basis, we will see an emergence of a “New Minimalism”. The focus of New Minimalism will be about overcoming these disturbances: whether that’s on a browser, on a commute to work, in a crowded park space or while sitting at a dinner table. It’s important to note, that this new minimalism is much different than the minimalism experienced in the 80s and technology will be at the core of the future of fashion.

“It’s not decorative, it’s about things efficient, very pure, sometimes a bit massive. So simple that it’s really evident. Of course, it’s about functionality but also about protection. We can imagine easily that in the future all the tech will be inside the garment. Just like it’s starting today with Jacquard by Google. The common devices that we use now may end up being inside the garment or inside our mind to make it easier to manipulate and control.”

— Cecile Poignant

New Minimalism - Mobility Report

Through technological advancements we aren’t simply producing better products, we are also benefiting from a peace of mind. Sustainability is the new “sex sells” in the fashion industry and has been receiving lots of attention over the past year. There is wide recognition of the importance of sustainability being the focus of new products, which can only be achieved through new technology. Recently Nike developed Nike FlyLeather which consists of up to 50 percent recycled natural leather fiber. They were able to take a very classical item and produce it using fewer materials than ever before. Technology has the capability to free our products and in turn, consumers from being forced to destroy the environment.

Beyond this, the New Minimalism is about apparel and accessories that are effortless but goal-oriented and efficient. But how will this translate into design? Details will become very important but more sparse at the same time. There will be changes in the way stitches are made to how buttons will be hidden under the fabric devising a sort of blind or hidden design.

Hoodie Freedom - Mobility Report

Stay Anonymous

Freedom and anonymity will go hand-in-hand as face surveillance becomes naturalized in more cities. While we are constantly being monitored and tracked online, the lines will continue to blur between our online and offline selves. Being able to disconnect and become anonymous will become harder and harder to pull off. Soon, we will want to have the freedom to disconnect from the global web and other people with the idea in mind that we can become lost if we want to. This will result in hidden pockets, oversized hoodies, and backpacks that integrate into garments.

Protect Oneself

Apart from the environmental pollution mentioned above, we will also need clothing to protect against other environmental and technological influences which can include rain, sun, x-rays, radio waves and more. Google has already filed patents for “radio frequency shielded clothing” in which an individual can place a mobile device in their clothing but be shielded from any radio frequencies that may come off the electronic device. This type of garment or shield will be extremely important in 2020 when 5G will be available on most mobile devices.

While some garments are made to protect, others can help heal. Cell Solution is patented German fiber technology which is basically vitamin infused cellulose textiles that transfer Vitamin E to human skin. It helps regulate human skin moisture balance, repairs and regenerates skin, and helps detoxify free radicals.

There is also the material called Graphene which is the only material in the world to be awarded a Nobel Prize. It’s the strongest material that has ever been tested and conducts both heat and electricity, plus it’s also flexible and almost transparent. While how this can be utilized into accessories and clothing has only started to come to fruition — material technologists are eager. This material could give a lot of fluidity in the way we interact with the world, the way we travel and move about in a city. Vollebak is pretty much the only company that has started researching and testing it in clothing with the Graphene Jacket but they included the big disclosure that it was mostly still a part of research.

Low Tech Transportation & Protection

This story of Freedom is also very much about low tech transportation and reducing exposure to air pollutants. Norman Foster proposed an architecture project with elevated bike roads in London, called SkyCycle. The whole idea was to construct upper roads where people can use bikes and also any kind of low tech transportation made with wheels: monowheel, skateboards, rollerblades and scooters, and commute around the city faster. This will encourage freedom from cars and emission-producing vehicles to rely on using your own individual energy for transportation. For now, the longest bike bridge is in China in a city that has low smog pollution and was built to encourage greener modes of transportation and prioritize bicycles over the use of cars.

As cities continue to grow and remain congested, alternative routes of transportation will come into view coupled with the idea that we need to be away from sources of pollution or protected from it. Air pollutants tend to be more concentrated closer to the ground which has a greater impact on smaller children. In a recent study by the World Health Organization, they found that 90 percent or 1.8 billion children are breathing toxic air leading to brain damage and health defects. Air pollution is so terrible that some are considering it to be the new tobacco to help individuals understand the dire need of curbing this pollution. Recent studies show that air pollution is killing 7 million people every year while damaging the health of others.

We will need to wear masks that are designed for protection. This could potentially be a part of a helmet that can protect your head and also your respiratory system or a simple mask. Right now it is common to see individuals in China or Japan wearing a facemask on the street to protect their respiratory systems from pollutants and infections. “Smog Couture” hit China Fashion Week in 2014 but will likely expand to other countries as pollution levels continue to rise.

China Cycleway - Mobility Report

This first trend – FREEDOM – is seeing that the future of fashion will utilize technology to help humans live with freedom in a new age of mobility. New products will be developed to keep us protected from the confines of the current health of our planet.

In the next part of our series, we’ll be focusing on the second long-term trend: POWER.

Stay tuned and sign up for our newsletter to get our blog posts delivered to your inbox.

Sources:

Illustration provided by Kate Kilpatrick-Galbraith. To view more of her work go to https://www.instagram.com/vwolfeart/.

Cell Solution® SKIN CARE – Vitamin E. Cell Solution. 02/2018. http://www.cellsolution.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Eng-SKIN-CARE-Cell-Solution.pdf

Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region (2018). World Health Organization Europ. 2018. http://www.euro.who.int/en/publications/abstracts/environmental-noise-guidelines-for-the-european-region-2018

Hickman, Matt. 09 February 2017. World’s longest elevated bike path opens in southeast China. https://www.mnn.com/green-tech/transportation/blogs/china-cycleway

Ghebreyesus, Tedros Adhanom. 27 October 2018. Air pollution is the new tobacco. Time to tackle this epidemic. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/27/air-pollution-is-the-new-tobacco-time-to-tackle-this-epidemic

Graphene Jacket. Part jacket. Part science experiment. Made with the only material in the world with a Nobel Prize. Vollebak. https://www.vollebak.com/product/graphene-jacket-1/

RT. 20 October 2014. Smog couture: Facemasks on catwalk at China’s fashion week. https://www.rt.com/news/200443-china-facemask-catwalk-pollution/

Social Gas Mask. Snug Design. October 10, 2016. http://www.snupdesign.com/social-gas-mask-2787/

Taylor, Matthew. 29 October 2018. 90% of world’s children are breathing toxic air, WHO study finds. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/29/air-pollution-worlds-children-breathing-toxic-air-who-study-finds

What is Nike FlyLeather? Nike News. September 14, 2018. https://news.nike.com/news/what-is-nike-flyleather

William P. Alberth, Jr.John Cipolla. 2012. Patent Identifier No. US9362618B2. Location: United States Patent Office. https://patents.google.com/patent/US9362618

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, November 14). Graphene. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:24, November 14, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Graphene&oldid=868728411

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, November 4). Noise-cancelling headphones. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:24, November 5, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Noise-cancelling_headphones&oldid=867290208


ThePowerHouse The Future is Now

ThePowerHouse Event Calendar - November 2018

Seems like things are speeding up instead of slowing down for the next month as we head into November. The team at ThePowerHouse has some more stops around the world.

Women in Tech, November 7

This company is an international nonprofit that is dedicated to closing the gender gap and help push women to embrace technology. ThePowerHouse is excited to help in this endeavor.  For this event, Women in Tech is holding an awards ceremony and has chosen our Founder & CEO Lisa Lang to be one of the judges.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN FASHIONTECH TO ME?, November 13

ThePowerHouse is going to LA! Here our Creative Director Lion Blau and Founder & CEO Lisa Lang will be holding an immersive workshop for fashion students. They’ll be talking about the past, present and future of FashionTech to inspire students to start integrating technology into their fashion pieces. There will also be a ‘gadgethon’ to present some real pieces of FashionTech history, including ElektroCouture’s Marlene dress. The final portion of this event will be a Q&A section.

The event is sponsored by Goethe Institute LA and hosted by the FIDM Library. For tickets and more information click here.

ReMode, November 13-14

During this trip to LA, Lisa will also be on a panel at a conference called ReMode. While in its first year, this conference promises to be a global event that brings together fashion’s brightest and boldest to make changes in fashion for the better. For this panel, she’ll be joined by Billie Whitehouse and Todd Harple.

SME Assembly, November 19 - 21

With a quick turnaround in Berlin, Lisa will be heading to Graz in Austria. This event is invitation-only from the European Union and the first time that ThePowerHouse will be in attendance. For more information on this trip visit SME Assembly.


Cecile Poignant Interview

Foreseeing the Future with Trend Forecaster Cecile Poignant

Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report

Part 5: Foreseeing the Future with Trend Forecaster Cécile Poignant

For the next portion of the Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report series, we sat down with Cécile Poignant, the editor-in-chief of the Trendtablet. Cécile has been one of the leading fashion trend forecasters for over 30 years and provided information on the future trends that she sees coming as a direct result of mobility.

While we stan Cécile for being Cécile, we are also fascinated by her openness and curiosity for change. She works hard to see these changes become a reality and it’s something to be admired.

Before we step into the insights of our report, get to know Cécile a bit more.

When did you start trend forecasting?

I started trend forecasting something like 30 years ago. The reason why I started this job was that I was already connecting the dots. All the time. That was my passion and by serendipity and very good fortune, I discovered that this could be a profession. So this is why I started to connect the dots and share my thoughts with people to help them better understand the changes in the world and better understand the changes in the future. To be more ready for those changes and to not be afraid of it.

What is one of your favorite fashion trends that have been a direct result of technology?

I would say more than trends, its more about objects, more about materials. One of the things that I really enjoy a lot is the idea of the zipper. The zipper has really changed the way we dress. The way we exercise, the way we do sports, the way we just love. I think this is one of the major fashion tech changes.

Then there was, of course, the invention of lycra in the 60s, which has given us a lot of comfort in the way we are wearing our clothes every day. Our underwear. Also, leggings, yoga pants so for me. Lycra was really a game changer for me in fashion.

When we come to more recent time, I would that one of the fashion trends that I think is very interesting is the light weight of the sneakers. In recent years, sneakers are getting lighter and lighter which gives us the possibility to be more active, to walk much more and also the sneakers are becoming more like regular shoes. So it means that today, because of the technology and the light weight of the shoes, you can have beautiful shoes that you can wear with an evening dress, or with very regular pants during the day or a dress can be worn today with sneakers.

The next big move that I see would be about graphene. It’s in development. It’s not so easy to build something with it today but it will be a major game changer in the fashion industry soon. Something that will be really important in the e-textile world in 10 years to come.

What excites you the most about the future of fashion?

The fact that it is the future (after a short laugh). The fact that it will reflect the changes of our society. The need for freedom, the need for anonymity, the need for not being connected, the need for being connected, the fact that I think fabric will be the new device. We are always used to having the smartphone in our pocket but the next step is to not have them in our pocket because we already have the textile on our body. So maybe it’ll be our sleeve that is our device but we will no longer need those smartphones. So this is something that is very exciting about the future.

What is the most important change you see needs to happen in fashion?

I would say the most important change without a doubt is sustainability. There is no Planet B, we have been damaging the planet so much, we have been producing bad quality products in large amounts. We have been inventing a new continent just to fill it up with plastic. So we really need to focus on sustainability and I mean, it’s really a very big challenge that is going to be super interesting. The way we will invent new bio-materials, the way we are going to skip out of leather and go into leather-like developments, the way we are going to change the process of dying by maybe using bacterias instead of using bad technical products. Sustainability will bring us better quality, better design. Sometimes less clothing, and to me, this is really the big challenge, not just in fashion but everywhere.

How do you think companies like ThePowerHouse can empower the fashion industry?

I think there is a real need of understanding better what technology can bring to fashion. For many people today it is still like a little light — it switches on, it switches off. It’s more like a gadget but fashion tech really can be much more than that. And I think a company like ThePowerHouse has the capacity to be a bridge between fashion and technology to be a connector between different actors in the fashion and tech industry.

I think FashionTech companies can really be a game changer and bring knowledge and reality into a very old world. The fashion world is very old and has not changed much over many years. So I think people with the knowledge of what technology can do, people that are makers and not just dreamers, like the ThePowerHouse, can really do a lot of things for the future of fashion.

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Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report: Technology Brings Social Change

Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report:

Technology Brings Social Change

Part 4: How Women's Rights & Technology Ride Together

The Future Mobility Trend Report is a collection of short stories, facts, and anecdotes about historical changes in fashion tech. Our series is a deep dive into some of the greatest changes in fashion that were born out of technological advancements. The first part of the series covered how materials allowed humans to travel into space. The second part of the series focused on innovation out of necessity. The previous post discussed how innovation through iteration led to the development of the zipper. This is the fourth installment of our series.

There are many times throughout history where technology changed more than simply fashion  — it has also pushed and tested normal societal views. For women, there’s no greater case of that then when bicycles came along.

When bicycles first arrived on the scene, the construction of the bicycles made it impossible for a woman to mount in the traditional and modest clothing of that time, plus the earliest models of the bicycle weren’t super user-friendly. However, this changed after the introduction of the “safety bicycle” in the 1880s and 1890s. Now this safety bicycle, this was a fiiiine vehicle. Before it, there were the “penny-farthing” machines, which had a really high back tire and a tiny front tire. With the development of the safety bicycle, the bicycle went from being a dangerous toy to being a serious mode of transportation for people of all ages including women.

But not everyone was happy about the independence the bicycle bestowed women.

Haters had a field day when women started riding bikes. Columnists wrote many ridiculous things, including the Sunday Herald in 1891 saying, “I think the most vicious thing I ever saw in all my life is a woman on a bicycle—and Washington is full of them. I had thought that cigarette smoking was the worst thing a woman could do, but I have changed my mind.” Gasp! Vicious bicycle riding women going crazy around cities. Yikes.

Actually, the vicious part was the response to women riding bicycles. People would hurl insults and objects. Papers tried to dissuade women from riding them with the fear of death, sharing stories of women dying from their dress interfering with the bike. While non-women-bicycle-enthusiasts thought the answer was that women shouldn’t ride bikes, the bicycle enthusiasts simply thought – hey, corsets and huge dresses are great and all but we could just wear something different.

“Interest in conventional dress is rapidly disappearing and forms a less interesting topic of conversation among the fair sex than ever before. Now we hear on all sides, ‘what kind of a bicycle costume have you; if your skirt narrow or wide, and your leggings a good fit about the ankles?’,” wrote in the Los Angeles Daily Herald.

Bicycle costumes made their way into the mainstream. There was an overall mindset that a bicycle costume was practical and functional. This created a bit more leniency with it than what the response to bloomers, which were just loose-fitting knee-length or ankle-length knickers, created when they were first introduced in the 1850s. The need for bicycle costumes also led to additional accessories to make sure a woman was fully and modestly clothed at all times while on a bicycle.

“Bicycle leggings, gaiters, boots and shoes of special design are shown in the shoe stores and department stores in great variety,” says a writer in the New York World. “The fashionable makers of custom shoes find an incidental boom in their business directly connected with the bicycle craze and some of their finest and costliest work is in the line of laced or buttoned leggings and boots of extra length in the legs.”

Womenswear was changing due to the need for a new costume. Newspapers written by mostly men would post tips on how one should look while riding a bike: including how one’s skirt should look, how one’s leggings should look, how one’s boots should look, what colors one should wear, and how to fold a skirt properly on a bike and more.

In 1895, Ida M. Rew patented an Athletic Suit for Ladies. This was a response to limit the harassment women would receive while wearing pants or bloomers while on a bicycle. In the patent she wrote: “The objects of my invention are to provide a safe, reliable, and easy lady’s suit, graceful in outline, hygienic in construction, light in weight, and of handsome and modest appearance, and while constructed mainly with reference to producing a perfect garment for lady cyclists it may be, nevertheless, admirably adapted to general athletic use.”

In other words (that aren’t dripping with 1890s oppression), she wanted to create an outfit that included a full skirt but hid trousers under the skirt which were then attached to a bodice. This would keep men happy and women, well, modest.

Many women weren’t super happy with this kind of compromise because it was a compromise. During this time, women weren’t just trying to get on bikes, they were also fighting for the right to vote. Suffragettes were battling for women’s rights and the popularity with the bicycle was a chance for women to shed the typical dress of the day and start wearing something more practical, like pants! Two of the leading suffragettes in the United States, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were both quoted saying, “woman is riding to suffrage on the bicycle.”

Bloomers were invented in 1851 but not widely accepted or really accepted at all. Many countries and American cities and states, outlawed the wearing of bloomers or pants on women. But as the bicycling craze took hold, the practicality of bloomers took a greater hold.

Some women preferred to just go full-on pants mode while others favored the more subtle approach of Rew’s patented athleisure. But regardless, women in athletic wear helped pave the way to women wearing trousers from day-to-day.

Still it’d be hard to attribute just one cause to what really led women to wear pants daily but it seems that the right culmination of technological advances, function, and feminism brought about one of the greatest changes in fashion during the twentieth century.

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Sources:

Illustration provided by Kate Kilpatrick-Galbraith. To view more of her work go to https://www.instagram.com/vwolfeart/.

Adrienne LaFrance. 2014, June 26. How the Bicycle Paved the Way for Women’s Rights https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/the-technology-craze-of-the-1890s-that-forever-changed-womens-rights/373535/

Christine Ro. 2018, April 15. How Cycling Clothing Opened Doors for Women https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/how-cycling-clothing-opened-doors-for-women/558017/

Rew, Ida M. 1895. Patent Identifier No. 545,173. Location: United States Patent Office. 

The herald. [microfilm reel] (Los Angeles [Calif.]), 02 June 1895. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042461/1895-06-02/ed-1/seq-7/>

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, September 18). History of the bicycle. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:35, October 10, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=History_of_the_bicycle&oldid=860121564

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, May 22). Safety bicycle. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:08, October 12, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Safety_bicycle&oldid=842403980

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, July 4). Women and trousers. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:08, October 12, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Women_and_trousers&oldid=848859140


Illustration of the zipper

Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report: Innovation Through Iteration

Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report:

Innovation Through Iteration

Part 3: The Revolutionary Zipper

The Future Mobility Trend Report is a collection of short stories, facts, and anecdotes about historical changes in fashion tech. Our series is a deep dive into some of the greatest changes in fashion that were born out of technological advancements. The first part of the series covered how materials allowed humans to travel into space. The second part of the series focused on innovation out of necessity. This is the third installment of our series.

It’s kind of hard to imagine life without the zipper. No really. Think about just a simple pair of jeans. Yeah, buttons always seem like such a great idea when you are trying a new pair of button jeans in the dressing room but then two months after buying this button-crotch enclosed pair of jeans and you are trying to figure out what in the world you were thinking. Now you don’t just use zippers on jeans, they also can be found on: coats, jackets, backpacks, purses, tents, sleeping bags, suitcases and can even be found on simple plastic Ziploc bags to more specialty clothing like spacesuits, hazmat suits, and scuba diving dry suits.

There are many names for the zipper: zip, fly, clasp locker, hookless fastener, separable fastener, slide fastener. Some of these names are sexier than others but the word “zipper” is actually onomatopoetic because it was named for the sound that the contraption makes.

What’s even more interesting about the zipper was that it wasn’t just one invention. The creation of the zipper was a long and drawn out process. It involved many different inventors, patents and multiple iterations until it finally became the zipper that we know and use today.

Whitcomb Judson is credited as the Father of the Zipper, but 42 years before he invented the “Clasp Locker”, Elias Howe received a patent for the “Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure” in 1851. Howe’s device was more like a drawstring rather than a slide fastener, but no need to worry about Howe’s legacy or Wikipedia page. He also invented the sewing machine.

In general, Judson’s device was way more complicated than Howe’s and included a hook-and-eye shoe fastener. He debuted it at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and it received very little fanfare. But he did open the Universal Fastener Company. A man by the name of Gideon Sundback started working at the company. A few years later, he improved upon this Clasp Locker and received a patent in 1917 for the “Separable Fastener”. And this is where we can trace the roots of the zipper that we use today.

What were the differences between the Clasp Locker and the Separable Fastener?

Well, the separable fastener increased the number of locking elements from 4 per inch to 10 to 11 per inch. For every inch, there were 10 locking elements which included 2 rows of interlocking teeth that would attach together with a slider.

Zippers weren’t used on clothing until 1925 on the Perfecto leather jacket by Schott NYC. Before this, the main use was for closing boots and tobacco pouches.

Then there was a breakthrough — Self Help Clothing. Yes, there was a campaign to push the zipper amongst children because, with the zipper, they no longer needed to be so dependent on parents. At one point, the zipper even went to war with the button in the “Battle of the Fly” in 1937 which pinpoints when it won over French fashion designers. Then Esquire magazine wrote that it was the “Newest Tailoring Idea for Men.”

While the zipper is the most common fastener used today, it has continued to see some improvements. After Sundback’s revisions, more breakthroughs for the zipper came later including zippers that open at both ends making the zipper a classic example of innovation through iteration.

For the next part of our Future Mobility Trend Report, we’ll be discussing how bicycles made an impact on women’s clothing. Sign up for our newsletter below in the footer to be one of the first to receive it!

Sources:

Illustration provided by Kate Kilpatrick-Galbraith. To view more of her work go to https://www.instagram.com/vwolfeart/.

Mary Bellis. 2018, September 24. The History of the Zipper https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-the-zipper-4066245

Troy Patterson. 2017, August 27. The Innovation that Changed Fashion Forever. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-25/history-of-the-zipper-an-innovation-that-changed-fashion-forever

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, September 5). Whitcomb L. Judson. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10:34, October 2, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Whitcomb_L._Judson&oldid=859296599

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, September 5). Zipper. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:17, September 27, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Zipper&oldid=858149487


ThePowerHouse The Future is Now

ThePowerHouse Event Calendar – October 2018

ThePowerHouse has had quite a busy September. Our founder and CEO, Lisa Lang, spoke at DMEXCO with on a panel with Evrythng CEO Niall Murphy and Henkel CEO Rahmyn Kress with Seb Josphe from Digiday UK moderating.
This lively panel focused on the internet of things and what your smart products can tell you. Check out the engaging discussion below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0vc23GMzj0&feature=youtu.be&t=3m30s

In the next month, Lisa will be speaking a few more times.

Entrepreneurship Summit, October 6-7
First up, she’ll be at the Entrepreneurship Summit here in Berlin from October 6-7, 2018. Lisa is one of the keynote speakers and her talk with focus on how she is digitizing the fashion industry. She’ll be speaking on October 6 at 3:35 pm at the Audimax stage. She’ll also be doing another speech before her keynote to present an award for their international Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition.

Unternehmensgesprächen Charlottenburg – Wilmersdorf, October 10
A few days later, Lisa will be giving a talk about the impact of digitalization on the fashion industry. This talk will happen on October 10 between 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Unternehmensgesprächen Charlottenburg – Wilmersdorf and the evening will focus on the "Impact of digitization on the established companies in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf".

This event is at the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institute on Einsteinufer 37 in the auditorium on the ground floor.

SoT: Challenging the Default Setting - October 22

A talk on how Berlin companies can promote better representation within their own companies and how progress can be made. Lisa will be joined by Katy Campbell (APX by Axel Springer and Porsche), Stacia Carr (Director of Sizing, Zalando), Maru Winnacker (Founder and Partner, Super Group), Jag Singh (Managing Director, Techstars Berlin), and Mayra Frank (Marketing Lead, Google for Entrepreneurs Germany). Tickets for the event can be reserved here.

Portuguese Women in Tech Event – October 27

Next, Lisa will be heading to Porto for a Portuguese Women in Tech award. At this event, 9 awards will be given for the following categories: Founder, Developer, Data & Analytics Expert, Product Manager, Lead Designer, HR & Talent Acquisition Pro, Marketing & Sales Expert, Community Leader, Best Startup in Portugal started by a Woman. Lisa will be giving a talk to all of the women candidates before the awards as she continues to support other women in tech.

Women in Tech AwardsWomen in Tech


Travel Mobility Series

Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report: Innovation out of Necessity

Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report:

Innovation out of Necessity

Part 2: Travel Technology & Style

For the second part of our trend report series, we are focusing on how people traveled before space expeditions. Not long before we were traveling to space, we were getting around this planet with trunks of luggage. Yeah, so your luggage today may have biometric locks, can be tracked around the world, weighs itself, has a bluetooth speaker, acts as a power source, has a security alarm and is, of course, indestructible with a lifetime guarantee. But before all of these modern-day features, luggage simply was used to haul around your stuff and at best, protect it from the rain and bandits. Trunks didn’t need to survive a zombie apocalypse or airport security, they were just used to transport your goods.

During the 1600-1800s traveling just for the leisure and fun of it started becoming “a thing” — sometimes known as the Grand Tour where young, wealthy 20-somethings (mostly men) would travel around Europe. Eventually, over time, more and more individuals started participating in this type of travel, but overall, this travel required trunks of luggage that would fit on different modes of transportation that existed at this time.

One trunk maker from this time period is still making waves in the fashion industry today. When Louis Vuitton went to Paris at the age of 16, he started working for Monsieur Maréchal who was a master trunk craftsmen. After some years working there, he left to create his own goods. The first trunk he introduced was called The Trianon Canvas in 1958. This trunk differed from others because it had a flat top and bottom making them easier to stack and transport. Before this, trunks would have a rounded top so that rainwater wouldn’t collect on them. But these trunks also were created with the gray Trianon material which made the trunks much more lightweight and airtight.

 

Textiles Deconstructed

Trianon: Coated canvas that was commonly used on many of Louis Vuitton’s trunks and is still used today. This coated canvas is much more lightweight than leather and has a scratch resistant property to it.

 

Beyond the creation of this coated canvas material, the Vuitton’s would go on to create and patent an unpickable lock. The single lock system has two spring buckles on the trunks. This invention was viewed as revolutionary at the time as people needed to keep their trunks safe while traveling. Louis Vuitton’s son, Georges, who later took over the company, patented the lock and even challenged Harry Houdini to escape from the trunk. While this would have been a great PR stunt, it never happened but the lock system is still in use today.

Since its conception, Louis Vuitton solved specific problems that were caused by traveling. Over time the company has proved that they were material science and hardware innovators. They have also become a luxury fashion staple around the world.

But not everyone traveled so luxuriously.

In 1873, Around the World in 80 Days was published by Jules Verne. Verne’s fictional character believes he can, obviously, travel around the world in 80 days and is put up to the challenge by a friend. The rest of the adventure ensues. Fifteen years later a real-life journalist, Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, with the pen name Nellie Bly tries to convince her editor that she was equipped for this mission. At first, her editor denies her the chance because he believed she would need many trunks of luggage and a chaperone (insert eye roll).

Yet Bly insisted she would only carry one small handbag and was more than well suited to handle the expedition on her own. Finally a year later, the editor at the New York World laments stemming from numerous threats by Bly to go to another paper (fun fact: she was a boss and a bit ambitious for the times). This change in heart only gave Nellie Bly two days notice to prepare for her trip.

Bly’s first instinct was to go directly to her tailor, Ghormley’s, and request that a new dress be made that evening. During the visit at Ghormley’s, the tailor took the time to show fabrics and explain the varying properties that might be important for the travel ahead. They decided upon plain blue broadcloth with trimmed plaid camels-hair — it was viewed to be the “most durable and suitable combination”.

After Ghormley’s, she went to another tailor and had another dress made that was much lighter since it’s always helpful to have more than one option. Unfortunately, that dress didn’t fit in the small leather Gladstone bag she would use on the journey. This bag measured approximately 40 cm by 43 cm and was quite small. In her own written account, she said, “Packing that bag was the most difficult undertaking of my life; there was so much to go into such little space.”

In the end, Bly only took the dress that she was wearing, a plaid Scotch ulster overcoat and a cap which was later famously worn by Sherlock Holmes, several pairs of underwear and only small items that fit into the bag. This was mostly pens and paper to write about the adventure.

She completed the journey in 72 days – again, ‘cause she was a boss. Along the route, she even met Jules Verne and went to his home in France. They shared dialogue and a little wine before she had to continue on in her journey.

While Bly and her tailor didn’t have time to create an entirely new material, she pushed the limits of what was possible and what individuals were perceived to be capable of at that time. She pushed this idea of traveling and exploration — she made it a continuous story on the front page news for over 72 days.

The need or desire to travel is still more alive than ever, and it’s going to continue pushing technology advancements and fashion along to adapt to our needs. Just like the spacesuit had to be made for a space expedition, or a waterproof trunk had to be made to safely transport goods, our needs are going to continue to evolve along with the technology required.

Stay tuned for the next part of our Future Mobility Trend Report Series – sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the page to be the first to receive it.

Sources:

Illustration provided by Kate Kilpatrick-Galbraith. To view more of her work go to https://www.instagram.com/vwolfeart/.

Louis Vuitton. Legendary History. https://eu.louisvuitton.com/eng-e1/la-maison/a-legendary-history#tumbler.

LV Trunks. http://www.lvtrunks.com/history#.W6IhYhMzbBL.

Maria Popova. How to Pack Like Pioneering Journalist Nellie Bly, Who Circumnavigated the Globe in 1889 with Just a Small Duffle Bag. https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/05/02/eighty-days-nellie-bly/

Nellie Bly. 1890. AROUND THE WORLD IN SEVENTY-TWO DAYS. http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/bly/world/world.html

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, September 1). Around the World in Eighty Days. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:10, September 12, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Around_the_World_in_Eighty_Days&oldid=857496530

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, September 19). Louis Vuitton. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10:06, September 19, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Louis_Vuitton&oldid=860240922

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, September 10). Nellie Bly. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:10, September 12, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nellie_Bly&oldid=858972085


Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report: How Materials Can Save Us

Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report:

How Materials Can Save Us

Part 1: Space Suits

The mobility series is a collection of short stories, facts, and anecdotes about historical changes in fashion tech. The series is a deep dive into some of the greatest changes in fashion that were born out of technological advancements. To start the series: One of the greatest examples of technology and mobility making an impact on clothing — space travel.

Yet, it’s important to understand that the spacesuit was such an integral part of the mission to travel in space – without it – the travel itself would have not been possible.

The space suit made its first appearance in movies and television shows but then quickly became a reality as great advances in technology were made. The advances were also coupled with the space race that started in 1957 and shortly thereafter, helped push the first Apollo mission attempt in 1961.

Innovation

The production of the first NASA space suit for humans, called the A-7L, started with a competition. NASA asked companies to submit proposals and then decided to have two companies work together to produce the suit. NASA preferred the suit design from the International Latex Corporation, which was a division of Playtex. Yes, that’s right, a bra-maker was hired to create a spacesuit! But NASA was keen on the backpack design and program management experience of Hamilton Standard Division of United Aircraft Corporation. So they hired both companies.

Unfortunately, the plan to incorporate cooperation didn’t work at first. The two companies had issues forming a working relationship. In response, NASA split the space suit program into three different divisions which then led to the successful creation of the A-7L using a mix of companies to create different parts of the finished suit.

Why is this suit so fascinating? Well, the A-7L is the most photographed space suit in history. It was the one worn by Neil Armstrong as he landed on the moon. It protected and transported astronauts for Apollo 7 to Apollo 14. Also, it led to the creation of Beta cloth, a fabric with Teflon-coated microfibers. This material was fire resistant and was the outermost layer or cover layer of the suit. After the deadly Apollo 1 fire that killed all three crew members before launch, adding fire resistant material to the space suit became rather crucial.

Technology

But this Beta cloth was only 1 of the essential 13 required layers of the spacesuit. The suit also consisted of 2 layers of aluminized Kapton film separated by Beta marquisette laminate, 2 layers of nonwoven Dacron, 5 layers of aluminized Mylar and a rubber coated nylon.

For Apollo 13, red stripes of Beta cloth were added to the outside of the suits for one simple reason: To distinguish the astronauts in photos. NASA and the media had a tough time sorting out who’s who in photos – an issue that no modern-day facial recognition program could fix.

Besides the smart materials that were used in the suit, the suit ultimately had to be markedly mobile.

The astronaut’s wardrobe had to withstand extreme moon conditions from severe heat at 150°C and severe cold at -130°C in the shade. It also included technical features such as the oxygen supply and a cooling system with tubes that circulated water around the astronaut. At the same time, it had to be flexible enough to allow for maximum movement. Oh, and it had to protect against UV-radiation. Basically, the spacesuit was a fully functioning one-man spacecraft and created a life-sustaining environment (in this case, life-sustaining meant only 6 hours of primary life support and 30 minutes of backup life support).

As if all of this wasn’t mesmerizing enough, the production of the spacesuit had to be absolutely precise. There wasn’t any room for error. A stitching error greater than 0,79mm would deem an unworthy spacesuit.

Before being launched into space, the suit had to be x-rayed twice to ensure that no pins were left behind in the suit by a seamstress.

Textiles Deconstructed

Dacron: Also known as Polyethylene terephthalate, more commonly referred to as polyester. It is used as fibres in clothing, in containers for foods and liquids and has many other purposes. For the spacesuit, it was used as a spacer material. It was patented in 1941 but today DuPont Teijin Films US is the owner of the trademarks.

Kapton: Used for thermal blankets and insulation on a spacecraft, on flexible electronics and as a build surface for 3D printing. In the A-7L, it was used for reflective insulation. Created and patented by Dupont in the 1960s.

Beta marquisette: Separated the reflective surfaces and acted as a spacer in spacesuits.

Mylar: For the spacesuits, it was used for reflective insulation but it can also be used for its strength, stability, insulation, reflectivity and transparency.  Developed in the 1950s by DuPont, Imperial Chemical Industries, and Hoechst.

Beyond all of these fashion tech advancements, NASA has continued to have an impact on modern-day fashion. And we aren’t talking about printed  NASA t-shirts.

Materials originally developed for NASA are now finding their way back into women’s undergarments. Sportswear label, Reebok, recently picked up on a substance called “Shear Thickening Fluid”, developed by chemists at the University of Delaware as an armor technology for protective garments and spacesuits. The gel-like material that remains liquid when in a still-  or slow-moving state and becomes solid at high velocity was recently incorporated into a sports bra by Reebok-designer Danielle Witek. This innovation has the potential to change the entire activewear industry.

Stay tuned for the next part of our Mobility Series!

Sources:

Illustration provided by Kate Kilpatrick-Galbraith. To view more of her work go to https://www.instagram.com/vwolfeart/.

Chaikin, Andrew. 2013, November. Neil Armstrong’s Spacesuit Was Made by a Bra Manufacturer. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/neil-armstrongs-spacesuit-was-made-by-a-bra-manufacturer-3652414/

Thomas, Kenneth S. and McMann, Herald J. U.S. Spacesuits. Springer Science & Business Media, 23 Nov 2011. Google Books. Web. 08 Sep. 2018. http://books.google.com

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, July 26). Apollo/Skylab A7L. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:24, September 10, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Apollo/Skylab_A7L&oldid=852140373

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, August 24). BoPET. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:26, September 10, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=BoPET&oldid=856336721

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, September 2). Kapton. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:24, September 10, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kapton&oldid=857652671

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, August 20). Polyethylene terephthalate. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:25, September 10, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Polyethylene_terephthalate&oldid=855771940


ThePowerHouse The Future is Now

ThePowerHouse Event Calendar - September 2018

ThePowerHouse crew has quite a busy September up ahead! Here's a list of the events and visits we have planned for this month.

DMEXCO, September 12-13
Our Founder & CEO, Lisa Lang, will be on a panel at DMEXCO to talk about what your smart product can tell you. She’ll be joined by Niall Murphy and Rahmyn Kress while Seb Joseph will be moderating the panel on September 13 at 1:20pm.
If you are in the Cologne area and would like to join, email us at social@thepowerhouse.group! We have four vouchers for the event that we can share.

WeWork Ku’damm, September 13
On that same day, our Creative Technology Lead, Jim Unterweger, will be on a panel at WeWork Ku'damm. The panel will last from 9:00-11:30am and is hosted by W Lounge, Start Alliance and Berlin Partner. During this panel and business breakfast, a discussion will focus on the advanced materials ecosystem within Berlin.
You can register for this event here.


You Create, We Knit event information

You Create, We Knit!

At this year's Berlin Fashion Week, we have created a very special treat for the guests of Bikini Berlin: we’re enabling you to become your own knitting artist!

As a first-time exclusive release, ElektroCouture is giving guests access to our knitting machines. At the event you’ll be able to create your own designs, turn your handwriting into knitting patterns and even pick your own color combinations — you become the designer of your own personalized scarf!

Taking place on 05.07. – 07.07, you’ll find a special workshop set up in the heart of Bikini Berlin on the ground floor. There you’ll find workstations where you can draw your own designs on our tablets or use prepared patterns to create your own digital designs. Use this opportunity to create a unique present for yourself or for your family and friends!  You'll also be meeting the team behind ElektroCouture since we'll be helping you with the design process. 

The results of each design will be knitted into a wonderful wool scarf, shipping to you within 20 business days after your purchase.

All scarves are 100% Merino Wool, OEKO-TEX® Standard, and made in Germany.

Where:
Bikini Berlin, Groundfloor
Budapester Str. 38
10787 Berlin

When:
July 5-7, 2018
10:00am to 8:00pm

For more information visit the event on Facebook.