Technology has weaseled its way into nearly every part of our lives. We keep our phones with us 24/7 keeping us connected to the world, and that experience became a part of us with the inception of wireless data. But who would have thought that we would eventually be wearing this technology as part of our wardrobe?
Wearable technology raked in over $7 billion in sales last year in America, marking a 185% sales growth from 2014. These sales included Fitbits, Apple watches, and wearable cameras such as GoPros. As seen in these examples above, wearable technology gives off the impression of being limited to a fitness focused market, that tracks very important but often auxiliary information. Additionally, these devices aren’t exactly the most extravagant or ‘hype’ clothing/accessories that people would proudly flaunt at a fashion show. Although this is seen as one type of wearable technology, certain ever so popular fashion shows are beginning to explore new ways of incorporating technology into the new designs in fashion.
One example recently, the Met Gala in May of 2016, really demonstrated how technology has weaved its way into the fashion industry. Claire Dane appeared with a glow-in-the-dark Zac Posen dress and Karolína Kurková’s Marchesa wore the IBM Watson gown, based off of the design of the supercomputer. Although these are small examples of how technology has truly impacted a hugely popular fashion show, it foreshadows the imagination of what could happen. This idea is definitely not new since we have seen Lady Gaga and Katy Perry flying around stage, brightly lit up like a Christmas tree. We ultimately expect people to fly in on drones, or possibly have wearable transportation devices. There are jackets with navigation installed into them, essentially constantly sending over data and information to some type of program that knows where you are exactly at what time. Who knows at this point? Each day, technology is blowing people’s’ minds for what it can do to any industry. So is high technology really becoming the new high fashion?
But first off, why should you even care about this? The answer is because your closet will start to change before you know it. As we all know how fashion works, what shows up on the runway might end up in your closet in no time. And on top of that, at affordable prices for the common man.
Most of the wearable technology on the market is strongly driven by functionality and fitness over beauty and fashion. Fitness trackers being the leaders of this wearable technology hub, has reached nearly $4 billion in manufacturer sales. As seen in the model above, wearable tech is forecasted to reach new heights of revenue growth. Hopefully this market is driven by people who enjoy working out and staying fit rather than the market having a strong correlation to the obesity rates in America. I assume half the people in this class either have an Apple watch or a Fitbit despite its horrendous costs, given that we do also attend a school filled with affluent families.
One of the biggest concerns lies with the aesthetics of these blocks on our wrists. Is it fashionable enough or does it need to go through major revamps for its look? The answer could lie with simply incorporating and hiding it under already well known brands. The last time I walked into Fossil, a very popular and trendy watch store with a younger market appeal, I was looking for a regular watch to just casually wear. I saw their smartwatch collection and was super intrigued to see how it would look alongside their regular novelty watches. It was fascinating because there was so little difference that I could not even tell which was smart and which was dumb. Another example can be seen in Tory Burch as they have teamed with Fitbit to make a more appealing design. Tory Burch came out with a Fitbit holder that could essentially use the wrist strap designed by Tory Burch but at the same time have all of the functionality of the Fitbit. This is definitely a quick fix to the problem, except for the underlying costs that really take a toll on your wallet.
With technology’s invasion into our wardrobe, the discussion for security never can be left out of the question. Your phone can tell you exactly where you are using its navigation system and even communicate that to anyone with the technology as well. And now your jacket can do the same with a navigation system built into it.
It really is amazing to see how technology is making its appearance in the fashion industry, but can it continue to thrive or even grow to take over it? There definitely needs to be more work in balancing the aesthetics into fashion to make something more ‘hype,’ but people are definitely seeing the light in this. But is technology starting to dictate too much of our lives or is this all a good thing? Will wearable technology be able to succeed in this ever so cautious world that we live in?