Fashion tech goes mainstream in Munich
Updated: Feb 26
The showcase features a number of existing products, including the citrus waste recycler Orange Fiber’s collaboration with Salvatore Ferragamo, which proved the quality and appeal of their waste to cellulose textile. Alongside this is Nadi X by Wearable X, the yoga legging that uses sensors and an App to guide your alignment during poses.
Other brands in the showcase include Flair Atelier, which offers shoppers ‘base designs’ that they can customise within a set of design parameters on their website. With mass customisation a key opportunity for product and brand differentiation, this business model looks to a changing consumer landscape, breaking the usual retail mould. Their website states that they “create a unique digital pattern with your name on it and send it to our tailors in Italy”, suggesting the use of Gerber or Lectra digital pattern cutting software, which no doubt helps them achieve the 2 week order to delivery time. It would be interesting to know if there is any other technology employed in the manufacturing process that would allow this business to scale and truly achieve mass customisation, or whether the remainder of the process is essentially manual, as per tradition.
Thesis Couture have used technology, broadly speaking, for R&D to design a sole for high heels that redistribute weight more effectively than standard heels, thereby reducing pain under the ball of the foot and shifting some of the weight back to the heel. Tackling the problem of foot pain by “using structural design and advanced materials” to replace the metal shank and cardboard in standard heels makes Thesis Couture’s development a smart leap in the engineering of a product that has barely changed for a hundred years.
On the speculative side, the PerFlex project bra is a ‘proof of concept’ that harnesses the customisable sizing and 3D printing of plastics by PerFlex, in collaboration with Brigitte Koch of the Technical University of Eindhoven.
The PerFlex website provides consumers with the option to combine parametric patterns made by designers with their body data to get a personalised 3D printed product at the same unit cost as a mass produced item – truly achieving mass customisation. This application of 3D printing combined with traditional textiles could be a game-changer.
The significance of this fashion tech showcase is the placement of products that have arguably been viewed as ‘futuristic’ amongst mainstream textiles at a trade show, throwing them into the commercial spotlight.
Along with the recent launch of Target’s Open House Garage – a testing ground for new fashion tech products that are not yet ready for widespread industry roll-out – it seems like commercial retailers and the industry at large are showing increasing interest in fashion tech products and innovations and their potential to woo consumers.
The Wardrobe of the Future runs from 4th-6th September 2018 at Munich Fabric Start’s KEYHOUSE.
Header Image: PerFlex