2019 image

The Top 3 Topics You Have to Focus on in 2019

As the new year starts, we started comprising the three topics that fashion tech experts will need to focus on for 2019. In the next year, there will be a continued focus on sustainability, preparation efforts for 5G will start to unfold and cybersecurity for wearables will become more important and a focus for many Internet of thing (IoT) companies.

Sustainability

Fashion brands are focusing more and more on sustainability as consumers place greater importance on the issue and align their wallets with their moral views. Elle UK dedicated their entire September issue to sustainability. While the average advertisements in the sustainability issue were not from brands specifically dedicated to the topic at hand, the September issue drove conversations on the issue.

One fashion brand, Stella McCartney, is attacking the issue head-on by embracing the circular economy and moving beyond the typical definition of sustainability. This fashion brand is tackling sustainability not only in an environmental context but also focusing on social sustainability.

A circular economy is designed to remove and eliminate as much waste and energy as possible from the lifecycle of products. This varies from the linear economy where any waste is typically disposed of and exists as the status quo for much of the fashion industry. By stepping into this circular economy, Stella McCartney has changed the way it consumes metals and is now “investing in low-impact, recycled or recyclable metals.” The company has also started working with recycled nylon and polyester, regenerated cashmere, viscose from sustainably managed forests, and organic cotton.

To achieve this circular economy we will rely on technology to develop new ways to utilize recycled materials and to track the lifecycle of garments and materials.

Preparation for 5G

Mobile companies are already preparing to unleash 5G in 2020 but what impact will that have on consumers? The Internet of Things (IoT) will enhance significantly due to the new 5G upgrade. This will improve the connections between your favorite devices and reduce latency — including connections between smart cars and smart clothing.

Beyond better internet speed and greater bandwidth, there will be much lower latency. For fashion companies, this could lead to a much greater retail shopping experience for consumers by providing in-store recommendations and personalization to consumers as they are shopping or trying clothes on.

Read more about what changes 5G will have in store for devices.

Cybersecurity for Wearable Devices

While the number of IoT devices has greatly expanded, it is time to take a greater look at the security of these devices and what information is being tracked by them. ResearchGate estimates that 24 billion devices will be connected by 2020 but that also means that 24 billion devices will be exposed to hacking by 2020.

There are many different ways in which wearable devices could have a big impact on the fashion tech and healthcare industry. But the overall success of wearable devices will be due to whether we can ensure those devices are properly secured. These devices tend to have limited computing power so having a strong security system can prove to be tricky for many device makers.

While there will be many other opportunities and focuses for fashion tech in 2019, we can guarantee that these will become a focus for many companies.

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Lisa Lang Named One of Forbes Europe's Top 50 Women In Tech List 2018

ThePowerHouse team has been quite busy lately. So busy, in fact, that a few months ago we just forgot to mention one big piece of news: Our Founder & CEO, Lisa Lang, was named one of Forbes Top 50 Women in Tech in Europe for 2018!

Lisa was beyond thrilled and humbled by this recognition which was announced on Ada Lovelace Day last October.

Forbes highlighted her work with the Berlin Geekettes, her work with the German government and collaborations with the European Union along with her work as a mentor for the Fashion Council Germany and H&M Fellowship Programme.Lisa Lang Forbes Top 50


Collective

Introduction to the Future - Collective

Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report:

Part 8: Introduction to the Future - Collective

The Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report is broken down into the past, present and the future. In the first four parts of our series, we focused on historical examples of FashionTech that exemplified how technology and mobility made an impact on fashion. We discussed how materials helped put humans on the moon, how travel created lasting fashion brands, how the zipper revolutionized the fashion industry and how bicycles brought more than just fashion changes but social advances for women.

After exploring these topics, we interview Cecile Poignant from TrendTablet. She is a critical figure of this report and developed a bespoke study which encapsulates the future 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 FashionTech.

As we move past the trends FREEDOM and POWER we now move onto a new trend that we foresee making up a large part of the future – COLLECTIVE.

In the midst of discussing FREEDOM we mentioned anonymity and wanting to protect ourselves both online and offline. While those things hold true in the current environment of tracking and surveyance, we also long to be a part of a greater whole, a community, and the overall collective.

Shared Living

For the majority of history, we have been living communally. It wasn’t until the 1500s that the monogamous structure between a man and women living alone with their children started to appear. Now, communal living is making a comeback as people start to reject the suburbanization approach that caught on after World War Two in the United States. Living in the suburbs was designed to be a bit more isolating while communal living removes the solitude by creating shared spaces around living quarters. While the media has millennials battling it out with baby boomers as to which will be more likely to lead a communal life, the fight for becoming the ‘Golden Girls’ generation sounds like something worth fighting for.

Communal living can also address some sustainability concerns that we see are common today making it easier to share things within a close network. 

Illustration of shared living experiences

Beyond the way we live, the way we work is also changing. Gallup has reported that the number of remote workers from 2012 to 2017 increased 4 percentage points. Not only are more people working remotely, but they are also working remotely for longer time periods. With this change in flexible working environments, there has been a rise of a population termed digital nomads. These individuals travel from place to place and work no longer living in one permanent space. Coliving spaces have even popped up to fulfill this need of the community for this group.

Growing isolation and loneliness is seen to be contributed by many factors but in the future, we’ll need to revisit our current structure of shared spaces and how we use technology individually.

Sharing Economy

The sharing economy or Uberization model which established a peer-to-peer exchange has now taken hold around the world. Bike-sharing, room-sharing, car-sharing, electric-moped sharing, scooter sharing are concepts that have changed the way products are utilized and are shifting the perception of mobility. Individuals no longer feel the need for personal ownership of goods when they can share those goods with others around them.

This type of model will only continue to grow as individuals want to leave a smaller impact on the environment and no longer see the value in individual ownership. In the future, there will be realizations of concepts similar to Mobuno by xoio and IUM (Institute of Urban Mobility). This autonomous ride-sharing vehicle works with mobile devices, pacts in tighter spaces than automobiles, and can be shared or used individually. The Mobuno provides the same degree of mobility experienced with normal automobiles but requires much, much less space — eliminating some of the urban congestion.

Reducing congestion in cities around the world is becoming a focus for architecture firms and they are mostly taking aim at cars and parking spaces. Recently, the firm Woods Bagot proposed the project More LA which reexamines how the city would look if parking spaces would be used for more productive purposes.

Beyond architects, automakers are also rethinking the design of automobiles for the future. Renault held a competition for students at Central Saint Martins to redesign the car of tomorrow. Students were asked to consider autonomous and modular car design for the rapidly changing urban infrastructure. The winning design resembles a “levitating bubble-shaped vehicle” covered in glass.

Expect the war on cars and parking to continue and to gain traction as congestion grows in cities.

When it comes to the future of fashion in the sharing economy, companies have been already capitalizing on the fact that people want to own fewer things. Mainly there are two different concepts: either rent a high-end luxury or find it at a reputable reseller. There’s the Vestaire Collective, Rent the Runway, and The Real Real, to name a few successful examples.

Life in Light & Color

Network, connectivity and transmission are all vital to any collective. These networks can be in the form of cities, brains, humans, and lights. Light is a way to speak about connectivity and transmission. Through optic fibres you can broadcast a lot of data and information to express your mood and feelings with light and color.

Smart City

Most of us are already being impacted by smart cities. It is estimated that 55% of the global population lived in a city during 2017. That number is expected to grow to 68% by 2050 according to UN reports.

But what makes a city a smart city?

A smart city uses technology, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of things (IoT) to collect data and in turn, improve upon the lives of its citizens and visitors. Smart cities have the ability to change traffic patterns to reduce congestion and directly impact mobility. They have the ability to report potholes, measure energy usage, air quality, and seamlessly connect these data points to provide useful information and take action – in theory.

FashionTech will play a large role in a smart city. IoT will make it easy for your doors to unlock and open when you approach them. Upgraded wifi services will provide more exact GPS locations. For older adults who are wearing life alert systems, their wearable devices could provide faster calls for help.

Restructuring living spaces and utilizing shared spaces can create a stronger sense of collectivity. Technology can also combat increasing loneliness by establishing offline connections to create a greater sense of community in the future.

Stay tuned for the next and final portion of the Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report by signing up for our newsletter.

Sources:

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

Anzoilotti, Eillie. 2018 November 29. The city of the future is one with way less parking. https://www.fastcompany.com/90273563/the-city-of-the-future-is-one-with-way-less-parking

Chokshi, Niraj.  2017 February 15. Out of the Office: More People Are Working Remotely, Survey Finds. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/15/us/remote-workers-work-from-home.html

Hitti, Natashah. 2017 September 21. Central Saint Martins students envision Renault’s “car of the future”, https://www.dezeen.com/2017/09/21/central-saint-martins-students-renault-car-of-the-future-transport-designjunction/

MBO Partners. A State Of Independence In America Research Brief. Digital Nomadism: A Rising Trend. https://www.mbopartners.com/uploads/files/state-of-independence-reports/StateofIndependence-ResearchBrief-DigitalNomads.pdf

Mobuno – Urban Mobility Concept. Xoio. 2017. https://xoio.de/en/mobuno-urban-mobility-concept/

Pofeldt, Elaine. 2018 August 30. Digital Nomadism Goes Mainstream. https://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2018/08/30/digital-nomadism-goes-mainstream/#518712da4553

Wikipedia contributors. “Sharing economy.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 Dec. 2018. Web. 7 Dec. 2018.


Up close with sewing machine

ThePowerHouse joins as expert advisors in State of Fashion Report by McKinsey and BoF

The Business of Fashion (BoF) and McKinsey & Company published their third annual The State of Fashion report. Each year these two companies collaborate on an all-encompassing report of what they predict will happen in the fashion industry for the next year. They interviewed experts and industry leaders around the world (including ThePowerHouse!), conducted studies and produced a well-written and researched report that gives fashion companies a good overview of what to expect in the year ahead.

This year, our Founder and CEO Lisa Lang provided her professional opinion to McKinsey & Company and discussed the role of microfactories. She is credited with saying, “microfactories will take off on the next few years and there is evidence of a few players already developing them.”

As companies strive to be ready for market quickly and to test things directly with consumers, microfactories provide a fast and nimble option. Having microfactories will also greatly reduce waste — providing a much more sustainable option for the future and reducing the sheer quantity of clothing produced. This is a topic we covered with Cécile Poignant in our interview with her as part of our Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report

The State of Fashion 2019 also discusses the end of personal ownership as pre-owned and rental based companies continue to be on trend. This is a topic that we cover on the next part of our series on the COLLECTIVE. Ideas around personal ownership are changing as individuals look for sustainable and affordable options. The BoF and McKinsey report reveal the role that second-hand stores will play in the future as they prognosticate a greater demand for already owned clothing.

To read the report in its entirety, view it online at McKinsey or The Business of Fashion. Also, check out our Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report for an in-depth look into our analysis of future fashion changes we foresee emerging from technology and mobility!

 

 


Clock

Lisa Lang Serves as Jury Member for Capital

This past summer Capital magazine reached out asking if our Founder & CEO Lisa Lang would judge some hand-selected watches. The categories ranged from Women’s, Travel, Smart, Sport, Most Innovative and even included some extremely expensive watches to judge.

While Lisa isn’t commonly a watch wearer she was happy to provide some feedback. You can see the results in the newest Capital Magazine and see some clips below.


Mobility Report about Power

Introduction to the Future - Power

Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report:

Part 7: Introduction to the Future - Power

Welcome to the seventh part of the Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report. This series is an in-depth focus on how technology has changed fashion in the past and a look at the global trends we see forming today that will affect the human experience of fashion in the near future.

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 and 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 ThePowerHouse, she encapsulated the major long-term trends on Fashion & Mobility within four angles: freedom, power, collective and exclusive.

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

To start at the very beginning of our series, please visit here. If you joined for the first part of our Introduction to the Future, you learned how FREEDOM will affect the future of fashion by utilizing technology to help humans live in a new age of mobility.

Now we move on to how the POWER of technology has the ability to transform the way we envision the relationship of one’s body with the outside. In the future, lines will blur between bodily enhancements, animate objects, and our individual selves. Power within mobility’s context also extends past ourselves into the realm of future space travel.

Enhancing Humans

Sometimes the greatest power we can find is within ourselves, yet we hardly take the time to marvel at the human body and its continuous evolution from birth to death. And believe it or not, we are already wearing something that is extremely technical: our skin. But think about how our skin could evolve into something greater. What is stopping our bodies from becoming the interface? Instead of using another device, we can simply use the largest organ of our bodies.

DuoSkin was a product collaboration by MIT Media Lab and Microsoft Research in which anyone could create customized devices that directly attached to the skin. By touching the on-skin device, users can manipulate a mobile device, display and share information.

But beyond our skin, our eyes are also great sources of power. In 2014, Samsung filed a patent on smart contact lenses that would provide an augmented reality superimposed over the real world. These smart lenses would include a built-in camera and sensors that could detect blinking motions. While the lenses haven’t come to market, this is just the beginning frontier for this emerging product and it is estimated that the smart contact lens market will grow by 67.7% over the next five years.

The trend of power is about seizing our individual strength and harnessing it to be something greater — akin to a superpower.

Skin as an interface
Using human emotion as power

Augmented Capacities

Beyond using technology to improve our intellectual and physical bodies, what if we also wanted to utilize the power of our emotions? Ye-Fei Chen created a tear gun that would take individual tears captive and turn them into a weapon. This new conceptual form of self-defense may be more symbolic in nature but opens the conversation of how emotions can be employed.

Technology can allow us to immerse ourselves with animate objects and beyond the boundaries of our physical bodies. A great example is the 3D printed car seat that was made to imitate human breathing in an autonomous vehicle. This seat was created by Audi and a team of design students from the Braunschweig University of Art. Instead of just being a mode of transportation they wanted to traverse the boundaries of what a car typically signifies to a human. What if the moving, breathing seat could become the emotional intersection between humans and a car?

High Technology

Power will be realized in the lab where new materials are grown and built for the future. Modern and highly resistant materials are being created similar the new material referred to as twistron harvesters. This material creates its own electricity and harvests energy from breathing and also ocean waves. While this thread isn’t totally ready to be worn and woven yet, it has the potential to make fashion more multidisciplinary — meaning that clothing will be equipped to provide protection and energy.

Sometimes the products of the future will need to be made on-the-go, as in during spaceflight. Growing a MarsBoot was a project commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art for the exhibition “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” and realized by Liz Ciokajlo from OurOwnsKIN and Maurizio Montali from Officina Corpuscoli. The project concerned the constraints of space travel to Mars and addressed the need to grow materials during space flight to reduce spacecraft load at launch. This project takes a low-tech and high-tech angle by using astronaut’s sweat and fungal mycelium to grow materials.

Space

Space tourism is still in its infancy but with private companies offering space tourism voyages in the near future — this quickly becomes a story about power. Only 24 people have visited the moon and in 2023, SpaceX’s first space tourist should be making a journey around the moon. What makes this about power? In short, money. One day space tourism may become affordable but at this rate, it will remain out of reach for the current world population minus one. This type of power is extraordinarily concentrated.

Space Travel in new age of mobility

This second trend – POWER – ensures that technology will immerse with fashion to create something greater than our current bodies can provide and take us to new reaches.

For the third trend in the future of fashion, we’ll be talking about: COLLECTIVE.

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/.

Design Students Join Forces with Audi to Design a Car Seat that “Breathes”. https://www.core77.com/projects/67557/Design-Students-Join-Forces-with-Audi-to-Design-a-Car-Seat-that-Breathes

Global Smart Contact Lenses Market by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2023. 2018 July 09. Innovate Insights. https://www.innovateinsights.com/report/global-smart-contact-lenses-market-by-manufacturers-regions/770/

Kao, Cindy Hsin-Liu. Roseway, Asta. Holz, Christian. Johns, Paul, Calvo, Andres. Schmandt, Chris. Duo Skin. http://duoskin.media.mit.edu/

Tear Gun – Yi Fei Chen. 2016. http://chenyifeidesign.com/tear-gun.html.

Wagner, Andrew. 2017 August 24. Science Mag. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/08/these-tangled-carbon-nanotubes-can-harvest-energy-directly-breathing-and-ocean-waves


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 fashion tech. 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 and 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 ThePowerHouse, 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 in 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 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 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