We no longer have to wait for who’s who to attend Fashion Week and eventually trickle down information to the rest of us concerning what is in. Advancements such as live streaming of shows has increased the interconnectivity of the shows, opening up the audience to more than just the industry insiders and designated media. Not to mention social media making fashion no longer exclusive.Online Experience
We all know about the surge of the fashion blogs [ehem] and the rise of the bloggers in recent years. And while it may appear to be all fun and games, they have become some of the best sources for opinions or information on the latest trends, best buys, or even new designers to keep your eye on. But that’s not all. There are applications that help curate your personal look book, provide options for the closest store to you, as well as payment options to get said outfit hassle free. [Read from the comfort of your couch/bed/office meeting that should have been an email]. It’s these 24/7 retail therapy experiences, which allows the consumer to get advice and sniff out better deals all at their fingertips.
Smart Fitting Rooms
Because online experience continues to improve in efficiency, retail-stores have had to find new ways to entice customers to come into the stores. The answer has come in the form of ‘Magic Mirrors’. Luxury stores are working with companies such as Intel, who have released the ‘MemoMi’. They are slowly incorporating mirrors such as these to offer in-depth information to items, colour and size options of similar garments in the store, alternative sizes, changing the colour option or the clothes you’ve tried on whilst wearing them, as well as, sharing the background information of the designer. According to a study carried out by Contact Lab and Exane BNP Paribas, Ralph Lauren is the best example of successfully incorporating tech in stores for fully-functioning smart fitting rooms. Working with Oak Labs, the store has not only managed to triple its sales through presenting images and options to clients, but it has also been able to gather impactful data from the physical world. For example, they can tell the clothes that go to the changing room often but are never purchased, time spent in fitting room per session and what that means in terms of conversion into sales. This and so much more is all thanks to Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology on the tags of the clothes. Adidas too have trialled their own interactive fitting room known as ‘CyberFIT’. Other companies also utilising the RFID Tech include, TopMan and Burberry’s London flagship store.Omni channel benefits
After you’ve had a successful shopping experience at an online store, say TDS, the information or experience doesn’t carry forward to your next shopping experience on another site or physical apparel store. Omni channels want to give customers their data and experiences to utilise across brands, devices, and formats. In exchange the store would be able to benefit from data such as merchandise tracking and consumer behaviour. SaaS Software by Detego is just an example of an omni channel product that promotes consumer engagement by offering ‘endless shelf, click & reserve, same-day delivery, and a positive shopping experience over all channels’.Eco-friendly advancements
One of the major issues that has come up in the fashion industry is waste management and reducing the negative impact the industry has had on the environment. There are formulas for biodegradable clothes that erode after some time that already exist that were created with the aim of reducing the carbon foot print, prevent excess dumping in other markets …aka … Second hand Clothing industry as well as supply the demand for ethical, environmental-friendly apparel. Take for example the use of nanotechnology to create colourful clothing without the harmful pigment dyes that increase our overall carbon and water footprint.Protective Fashion
While technology may look like it has leaned on fashion to gain popularity (we’re looking at you Google glasses) fashion also looks to technology for wearable machines to improve the quality of life. There are designs in the work such as Swedish bicycle helmet – the Hövding – which inflates in the event of an emergency like an airbag or the Smoke Dress by Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht to camouflage the wearer from unwanted approaches. There’s also a malaria-fighting dress in the works by Matilda Ceesay, using smart fabrics that have been pre-infused with insecticides crystals. This is based in promising research that shows this would be a more viable solution as this method is more durable and safer approach.
The collaboration of fashion and technology is an impressive collaboration that can do more than do the basic necessity of covering up. All signs point to the fact that this collaboration will lead to more solutions and expansions that will meet customers’ demands without mass destruction. We’re excited to see what will come next but even more enthusiastic to highlight the progress and inspiration happening right now.