USB necklace now at Paris concept store, colette.
In a presentation Label Networks delivered in Washington D.C. last year, one of the presentation slides that created a great deal of conversation was when we talked about the mash-up culture of youth markets of 13-25-year-olds and how important technology is to them -going so far as key technology devices that also act as an important accessory component when developing one’s overall fashion style.
We started tracking what we call “wearable technologies” back in 2008, when working on our first Snowboarding Profile Report, because many outerwear brands in 2007 and 2008 were starting to use technology pieces as key features in their garments. Today, such brands include Burton’s iPod-enabled jackets, O’Neill’s Navjacket with a built-in GPS and very cool “friend-finder,” plus the others such as Sessions, Bonfire, and The North Face who all have GPS or avalanche-transceiver devices embedded into their garments.
We’ve also written about wearable technologies in other industries such as Nike’s USB-enabled Sportsband and their iPod Nano compatible running shoes.
Katy Perry’s LED dress from CuteCircuit.
Many fashion designers and technology experts are pairing up, creating a whole new genre of accessories and fashion styles aimed for today’s new generation of tech-savvy fashion-players. Yet it remains the people in the market itself that continue to push trends of some of the most evolutionary and artistic creations of wearable technologies as indicated in various images we captured in Tokyo, New York City, Barcelona, and Las Vegas.
For example, creating masterpieces with crystals to personalize mobile phones is a full-on business in Tokyo as one’s mobile phone not only acts as a connector, but a symbol of cool. Synth-punk kids from New York City wearing Nintendo game controllers as a necklaces, indicating a retro yet new-school flair for gaming and accessorizing; or iced-out iPods as a necklace and overall key accessory.
This month, Paris’ concept store colette is featuring Nicolas Jaar, a house music producer at only 20 years-old, and his USB necklace which features compilations from his own label. (Which leads to another rising trend of young people continuing to create more of their own music, including Soul Keita, 17, from Ethiopia, who is also featured on Jaar’s USB necklace.)
Another interesting fashion brand company on the rise is CuteCircuit, best known for creating Katy Perry’s LED light dress, and our favorite, the mobile phone little black dress called the M-Dress.
The M Dress–mobile phone in the sleeve.
The M-Dress uses a SIM card to allow the wearer to make and receive calls (in your sleeve), but the dress itself acts as a soft electronics mobile phone.
LED light dresses and costumes are also featured in the new movie “Tron: Legacy 2010.” And as WWD recently reported, more celebs (especially younger ones) are sporting space-influenced or animated costume-like outfits as red carpet iconic pieces.
The Twirkle T-shirt by Cute Circuit. Lights up at night and creates different light moods as the body moves.
Another concept that works for day or night is the Twirkle T-shirt collection. In the day, it’s simply a sparkly graphic T with stars or vinyl records, but at night, the graphics are actual LED lights, which twinkle based on the flow of the person’s body as they wear the T-shirt.
Wearable technologies have created new excitement for fashion, accessories, and footwear, and for today’s youth culture markets, you can expect even more creative collaborations between technology and fashion to re-define the meaning of style.