If there are two (materialistic) things that make the world go round, it's fashion and technology. Everywhere we turn, there are references to both right before our eyes; we can't escape it, but we quite like it that way. So, in celebration of both, we've put together the best of when technology and fashion have met and collaborated.
The fashion industry and technology industry are now merging more than ever before, and we're not at all surprised considering they are two of the leading industries in the world - they were bound to run into each others' paths at some point. We're certain that this year will be the year that this innovative pairing really kicks off, making the works of fashion and technology in 2018 something to look forward to. In celebration of this, we have looked back at the best outcomes of when fashion and technology have collaborated in the past.
Google x Levi's Jacquard Trucker Jacket
One of our all-time favourite examples of fashion and textile technology, the Jacquard Trucker jacket by Google x Levi's is one of the coolest jackets around. The first of its kind, this jacket is fully kitted out with tech specs making it the most wearable, everyday jacket with a techy-twist. This jacket is 'technically' designed for the commuting cyclist in mind, however, it's so cool that anyone would want this whether they're cycling to work or chilling at home.
With the focus on staying connected whilst on the move, the three main focuses of the jacket are communication, navigation and music. Each of the jackets has a snap tag on the sleeve that, when connected, allows the innovative Jacquard threads in the jacket cuff to connect with your mobile device. You can then control, through the actions on the cuff (cool, right?), your incoming calls, texts, navigations and music. Costing around £250, you can buy this fashion and textile technology jacket right now.
See more on the Google x Levi's collaboration here.
Nike HyperAdapt 1.0
It was only a matter of time before Nike jumped on board with the technology collaborations, and this collab, released in 2016, saw the creation of the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0. This shoe was the first self-lacing shoe of its kind. It's designed for the foot to slip in and, with the press of a button, the nylon laces contract and loosen, therefore 'lacing' and 'unlacing'. The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 came in three colourways of deep black, crisp white, and a smooth grey.
This innovative shoe featured the lettering E.A.R.L on the tongue, standing for Electro Adaptive Reactive Lacing. On the sole, you will also find the lettering MT2, standing for Mark Parker (Nike's CEO), Tinker Hatfield (Vice President for Design and Special Projects of Nike) and Tiffany Beers (Senior Innovator at Nike). The finishing touch to these shoes are the midsoles that light up when the shoes are in action. This design feature may sound cool, but if you're not a fan of, quite literally, flashy trainers, this may just put you right off.
This year Nike will be releasing new colourways of this shoe, so keep your eyes peeled for the digitalised camouflage print in red, green and grey.
Read more and check out the video here.
The Nemen L.E.D. Jacket
Nemen is an Italian designer that creates high-quality garments through its tailoring and craftsmanship heritage. They want all of their designs to be influenced by innovative fabrics and technologies to keep their work fresh and exciting.
The Nemen L.E.D Jacket was created as an experimental project to test the use of technical functionalities in sportswear garments. In this sportswear jacket, there are optical fibres within the fabric which enables the whole surface area to light up through its system of LED lights. These are charged by two rechargeable lithium batteries. The jacket has a powerful life of eight hours before you need to plug it back in. In addition to the lights, the sports jacket is made of fabric which has an aluminium coating making sure no cold or wind can penetrate it and a warmer lining to keep the body heat in. In this fashion and textile technology, there's no chance of anyone missing you whilst you're wearing this.
adidas Futurecraft 4D
The adidas Futurecraft 4D is potentially the best thing to come out of 3D printing. 3D printing is the method that's widely grown in popularity, but before this, the way it's been used in the fashion world has been less than practical. Designers have created dresses for the catwalk out of 3D printing techniques that were so fragile the model had to walk incredibly slow to prevent it shattering, let alone being able to sit down!
With technologies improving, adidas came up with a way to use alternate materials under the 3D printing method that are highly durable and actually improve the shoe rather than act as a mere gimmick. Science and technology lead fashion forward as adidas take this method to new places. The idea that a shoe can be born out of liquid is crazy, right? But it's just as possible as it crazy, and of course, adidas become the first to achieve it. By liquidating the 3D printing process, they have innovated the already innovative technique to boast the very best of what fashion x technology can produce. The base material for this process is carbon, made to be durable for the ultimate cushioning, providing controlled energy return for further endurance.
To read more on the adidas Futurecraft 4D's, and to watch the video on their creation, click here.
Bergmeyer featuring E Ink Prism
Here is a prime example of where technology has got involved with fashion without really thinking about the fashionable side of it. Never the less, this pretty cool invention and design by Bergmeyer featuring E Ink Prism is something to behold. Together, they have shown us what science and technology leading fashion results in.
The idea behind this dress was to demonstrate how ePaper technology could be used in many different markets. This advanced technology, which was showcased at the Display Week 2017 and in January's CES 2018 in Las Vegas, aimed to show how the static materials could be manipulated through advanced technology, and we think they proved their point. Although the dress design could do with a little more work to make it a bit more...wearable, we're still big fans.
Google Artworks Live Case
Artworks Live Case is a collaborative space run by Google that features designers and artists' interpretations of artwork exclusively for the Pixel phone. As a means of promotion for the Pixel phone, Google works with many recognised names in the creative industry to plaster their original work on the phone cases, sold on the website for up to as much as £40. So far, they have worked with the likes of Opening Ceremony (in 2016), an American own label, online retailer and blog, to create limited edition phone cases, giving Pixel fans the opportunity to have OC designs on their phones.
Other notable collaborations are Haw-Lin, a creative studio offering services from graphic designs to creative direction that have previously worked with the likes of Apple and Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh among others. Mimi Wade is another name: a British American whose own label is stocked in Selfridges, London and Opening Ceremony in LA and NYC, whilst Sadie Williams is currently featured as one of their designers - a fashion and textile designer names in Forbe's '30 Under 30'.
To shop the current range of Google Live Cases, click here.
Dolce & Gabbana x SMEG
Perhaps a little tongue and cheek, and very subjective with the designs, but last year (2017), Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana collaborated with Italian home appliance manufacturer Smeg. Together, Dolce & Gabbana and Smeg created a series of appliances from juices, toasters, blenders, mixers and coffee machines, all designed with their bright, colourful eye. These appliances were displayed in the Harrods window display over the Christmas Period. This collection, titled 'Sicily My Love', was the follow up of Dolce & Gabbana's x Smeg's 2016 collaboration where they created 100 one-off hand-painted refrigerators. Cool, right?
Read more about this collection here.
Apple Watch x Hèrmes
Fashion designing and garment technology may seem like rare collaborations, however, they're much more common than you might first think. There are fashion x technology collabs everywhere. Take the Apple Watch, for example. This piece of tech was created to be worn and to look good, to add to an outfit for added style. If this doesn't tick your fashion x technology collaboration box, then the Apple Watch x Hèrmes will.
Hermès, the high-end luxury French designer brand, teamed up with Apple to create a series of Apple Watches. A considerable price mark up from the Apple Watches alone, these watches feature in versions of designs made of Fauve Barenia leather, Ébène Barenia leather, Noir Swift Leather and Etoupe Swift Leather. Whether you'd want to spend thousands more on one of these Apple watches than a standard one is up to you, but either way, it's good to see that such high-end brands are catching on to this technology collaborative trend.
Read more and buy them here.
Fitbit x Public School
Another example of a fashion accessory driven by technology is the Fitbit - the fitness tracker accessory that took 2017 by storm. These are small fitness trackers that can be inserted into Fitbit necklaces and bracelets, designed to look fashionable as they work. Fitbit has previously collaborated with American brand Public School to release a limited run of the fitness accessory, celebrating the minimal, sleek designs of Public School combined with the discrete tech from Fitbit. Together, they created the Axis band in stainless steel and the Type III Paracord bracelet in black.
See more on this Fitbit x Public School collaboration here.
On That Note
We hope that by taking a look at some of our favourite fashion and technology collaborations, you are inspired to try something out that could work for you. Whether it's styling a Fitbit watch or wearing a jacket that you can control through the cuff on your right arm, there must be something here that takes your fancy. Perhaps you're a technology and fashion lover and the next new big creation will come from your mind. We know there are no limits to what can be created, because, let's face it, what can be cooler than growing a shoe from some liquid?