Wired To Wear Exhibit

#MarleneGlows Showcased at First-Ever Wearable Technology Exhibit

ElektroCouture’s #MarleneGlows dress showcased in the first-ever exhibit dedicated to the future of wearable technology at the Museum of Science & Industry (MSI) in Chicago.

The year-long exhibit that opened last week is called “Wired to Wear” and features over 100 innovations from brands, designers, engineers, and artists across 15 countries bringing together the world's best examples of wearable technology. From haute couture showstoppers to prosthesis, this exhibit represents the wide-range of wearable technology and the unlimited possibilities that lie ahead for the industry.

“It’s important to show people how encompassing and inclusive wearable technology can be,” said Lisa Lang, Founder & CEO of ElektroCouture and ThePowerHouse. “While #MarleneGlows represents all that glitters and sparkles in the realm of fashion tech, there are limitless ways in which wearable technology can further advance medical devices, clothing, sports apparel, mobility and so much more.”

This newly opened exhibit will be open to the public until April 2020. Other items showcased at this exhibit include: Skin sensors, dresses that move based on adrenaline, a jet pack, self-lacing shoes and much more.

“Wearable technology has been steadily gaining momentum for years and is on the cusp of taking hold in mainstream society. We believe this is the absolute right time to show people the innovation underway and help our guests understand why their closet will look radically different in only a few years,” said David Mosena, president and chief executive officer, MSI. “We are thrilled to open Wired to Wear and are confident that the experience will redefine how people think about wearable technology and what it can become.”

This exhibit includes hands-on portions and is divided into three areas: personal, social and possible. With 8,000 square feet dedicated to wearable technology this exhibit represents the most cutting-edge technology in this field.

“‘Wired to Wear’ celebrates designers, makers, engineers and artists across titles and ages who are working together in the spirit of creativity and invention,” said Anthony Vitagliano, MSI’s vice president of exhibitions and experiences. “The story we’re telling is as much about the people who have explored this exciting mash-up of technology and our clothing as much as it is about the products themselves.”

MSI is one of the largest science museums in the world and offers unique interactive experiences that inspire inventive genius and foster curiosity. For more information on the exhibit and the museum, visit www.msichicago.org.


Marlene Glows in Google

FashionTech Meets Google Arts & Culture

We are proud to announce that our parent company, ElektroCouture, has some exciting news: ElektroCouture's glowing Marlene Dietrich dress has made it into Google Arts & Culture.

This exciting development marks the first contemporary FashionTech dress that Google has included in its online art collections and also means that millions of more individuals will learn about the story of Marlene and how ElektroCouture connected the past and future by creating Marlene's glowing dress.

The legendary style icon Marlene Dietrich was known as the master of lights. Marlene was an internationally acclaimed actress, a role model to many women, a live performer and much more — she was a FashionTech visionary. She dreamed of inventive and avant-garde ideas that were ahead of her time.

In her letters in 1958 to designer Jean Louis she wrote about a dress, which should glow and be interactive. Her wish for a glowing dress was clearly defined in her personal correspondence to Jean Louis she wrote:

If you are worried about the technical side, let me just say that I make the contact with my foot (on wire running to a small plate on the sole). The contact plate, which is fed electricity by the main line, is on the floor of the stage. This way, I can light up and take the light off at will. This will puzzle the people, which is good. They will not know if they imagine the light or if they are there.

The dress required a combination of new technology and traditional handiwork. In addition to working with tulle and embroidery, the dress leverages 3D printing and laser cutting and includes 151 LEDs, 313 flowers and 2371 specifically developed crystals from Swarovski. The dress glows in various patterns to match Dietrich’s different songs.

For ElektroCouture, recreating the dress was like reverse engineering. “Marlene told her designers what she exactly wanted and explained her vision. In modern times, we would do the same and it is the job of the fashion designer and technologist figure out a way,” says Lisa Lang, Founder & CEO of ThePowerHouse and ElektroCouture. Marlene wasn’t afraid to do any experiments and was very pragmatic. While in the first letter she explained her vision, in the second one she explained the technological process to achieve it.

Marlene’s designers made numerous sketches but the ElektroCouture team did not look at them while designing. “We wanted to make a dress relevant for 2017 not 1958. We did it with a modern approach and use of technology. Of course it had the sparkle and flowers that Marlene would have wanted,” mentioned Lang.

We couldn’t be prouder of the ElektroCouture team for this big accomplishment!

For all media and press queries, please visit here.


Image for an event called Prototyping the future

Join us at Bauhaus 4.0 - apply for Prototyping for the Future!

Germany is celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Bauhaus this year and to mark this special occasion an international design competition called, "beyond bauhaus - prototyping the future" is being held. Award prizes will be given to twenty innovative design concepts that focus on social issues and more specifically on making this "world a healthier, fairer, more sustainable and better place."

This competition is seeking projects from prototypes in the development stage to projects that have already been implemented; including basic research and materials science to product design, fashion, architecture, urban development, mobility and future technologies (for example: coding software or 3D printing processes).

There is a jury that will select the winners and our Founder & CEO, Lisa Lang, is one of the international members. Once the winners of the competition have been selected, prizes will be presented in Berlin at the end of August.

"I wanted to support this competition because I really believe in the need to create a more sustainable future and not just talking about more sustainable fashion but implementing sustainability in all stages of life," said Lisa Lang.

The German Foreign Federal Office, Lotto Stiftung Berlin and SAP SE are supporting this competition and for more information and to submit a project, please visit www.beyondbauhaus.com.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au1YkoNqYJA&feature=youtu.be


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 half 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 interviewed 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:

Written by Erinn Springer. Edited by Lion Blau. Trend forecasts by Cecile Poignant. Illustration provided by Kate Kilpatrick-Galbraith and 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

The Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report is broken down into the past, present and the future. In the first half 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 interviewed 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. From this structure and foundation, we 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.

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:

Written by Erinn Springer. Edited by Lion Blau. Trend forecasts by Cecile Poignant. Illustration provided by Kate Kilpatrick-Galbraith and 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

The Future Fashion & Mobility Trend Report is broken down into the past, present and the future. In the first half 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 interviewed 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. From this structure and foundation, we 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. In the first post, 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.

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Sources:

Written by Erinn Springer. Edited by Lion Blau. Trend forecasts by Cecile Poignant. Illustration provided by Kate Kilpatrick-Galbraith and to view more of her work go to https://www.instagram.com/vwolfeart/.

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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/

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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