There are sectors where innovation is part of everyday life, where competition is brought to such a high level that it often requires extreme and experimental solutions.
Some of them will remain style exercises, others will become part of our normality.
Formula 1 is perhaps the most striking example of this concept. Perhaps not many will remember the 1976 Tyrrel 6-wheel experiment, but all benefit from solutions born for the races were then introduced on regular cars. We speak for example of the energy recovery systems when braking or safety systems such as ABS, ESP and crush-proof tanks.
This contamination affects many sectors, just think of the telemetry used in hospitals or the breathable sole, inspired by the radiator design of a McLaren.
The example above takes us to another sector where innovation guides many of the customer choices: fashion design.
For several years, technology has become a main part of the world of fashion, making sales processes, the choice of materials, or the fight against counterfeiting, move forward. Until it became an integral part of the product itself thanks to the Digital Fashion concept. In the next few lines we will go deeper into digital evolutions, in a sector that accounts for over 1700 billion dollars every year.
Fashion shows and sales techniques in the digital age
The first edition of Milan Digital Fashion Week ended a few weeks ago, a streaming version of the famous week dedicated to fashion, in which media, buyers and fans of the sector were able to watch the fashion shows remotely, respecting the rules of social distancing imposed by COVID-19. It seems that the result has been significantly greater than expected and that it could be repeated in the future.
If in this case digital has provided a solution to a sudden problem, in other cases it is evident that it is slowly leading to a profound transformation of the processes of some important companies. We refer in particular to the impact that online sales are having compared to the diffusion of physical stores. Important names such as Zara or Armani are making agreements to move online a significant portion of their sales.
The founder of Alibaba, one of the largest online clothing markets, has been buying physical shopping malls for some years to carry on his idea of transforming the sector. Linking the offline world, still deeply rooted in China, to the online one. A unique experience, in which the former allows the customer to physically try on a piece of clothing, which is then sent directly to the home as a purchase made on the web. Thus transforming the physical store into a showcase of the digital one.
Another solution, which aims to bring customers who need to try on a garment before purchasing, is the one proposed by the startup Naiz fit. Using a selfie uploaded by the customer, a software calculates the right size to order.
Smart Clothes: technology shapes the clothes of the future
We have seen how digital is changing the way products are presented and sold, but in some cases technology is merging with the product itself. We are talking about Smart Clothes, a sector that has gone from being the land of conquest of small startups, to representing entire divisions of important companies. Let’s see some examples.
For some years it has created the area called The Human Fit, born together with the Rogatis brand. The first product resulting from this collaboration is a men’s suit, which allows you to unlock your smartphone, exchange digital business cards and interact with electronic devices with a simple contact between the button-shaped sensors on the sleeve and your devices.
This Sydney-based startup has patented the Nadi X pants, dedicated to yoga enthusiasts. Thanks to a special technology they are able to produce localized vibrations when taking wrong positions during the exercises. The sensors are then connected with an app that presents yoga tutorials and classes, in order to allow you to improve your technique.
This German company presented a shirt designed to monitor and record information about the heartbeat and other biological activities of athletes during their performances. The sensors are perfectly integrated in the fabric and send data to an app thanks to a small device applied on the shirt
Always in the sports field, the Sensoria company has developed a new type of running sock, which thanks to the pressure sensors applied on the sole of the foot, it collects information about the step, the style of running, the time taken and the distance. This data is then processed by an app that works like a digital coach and helps you understand how to improve your running posture.
Digital clothes: a provocation or the answer to a need of our society?
So far we have seen examples where technology has been applied to “increase” the user experience in existing clothing products.
What if digital technology itself becomes a product? Let’s see how this is happening.
For several years Louis Vuitton has winked at the videogames market. We think it was a forward-looking vision, in fact we talked in a previous article about how much the numbers of the market for personalized skins for online characters are growing.
Thus the partnership was born between the famous high fashion brand and Leagues of Legends. Alongside physical products created in the style of the video game, creative director Nicolas Ghesquière has signed a series of digital skins for the characters of the Riot Games’ title. For some it may seem like a well- orchestrated marketing operation, for others the understanding of how for an important slice of consumers, their avatar is now a digital extension of their way of being and attention to their appearance in the virtual world is in some cases higher than that dedicated in the physical world.
Following this logical path, we meet a company called Carlings, which offers an entire collection of digital clothing. Let’s see how it works. You ust take a selfie, choose a digital product from the company’s catalog, adapt the size to your photograph and then share it on social media.
For many it may seem something extremely eccentric. But let’s think about what amount of money is linked to influencer marketing through social media today. In this way, the followers of a digital celebrity will be able to dress, even if only virtually and for the share of a post, in the exact same way and without ever leaving home. This company seems to have understood before others how much the spirit of emulation is influencing the market choices of the public.
We now add the concept of limited edition to the recipe, another ingredient very frequent in recent years, obtaining the product presented by the fashion house The Fabricant. Richard Ma, the CEO of Quantstamp of San Francisco spent $ 9500 to buy his wife a unique digital dress, perfectly adaptable to the digital image of the woman and that could be shared via social media.
In an age where our online image is often seen by the rest of the world for longer than our physical image is, we assume that experiments like this will become increasingly more frequent.
Another purpose is that followed by the CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Global, Daniel Grieder, who stated that from 2022 the presentation of its collections will be entirely digital, through an innovative 3D platform. This will allow the company to drastically reduce the costs for the production and presentation of the samples to be included in the catalog, the time of realization of the new collections and the environmental sustainability of the whole process. According to the company, no one will notice the difference compared to the current catalog.
What we have just presented are in some cases extreme innovations, as we mentioned at the beginning of the article, of which probably only a part will come into our daily lives. But at the same time they are important signs of how the digital and fashion worlds are approaching and experimenting.
Bitmonds’ Digital Fashion: the point of contact between physical and digital
The wearability aspect of the Bitmonds project fits into this context. An interactive digital collectible that, through the infinitesimal thickness of a screen, becomes the ideal point of contact between the physical and the digital world.
As we have described in the following article, digitization allows us to definitively defeat one of the main problems of the fashion world: counterfeiting.
A digital collectible can never be falsified, because its use is linked to portals and apps that simply would not recognize a fake. An image of a Bitmonds worn on a smartwatch would be easily and quickly exposed, because it would not be interactive and could not give access to the functionality of the original product.
How many people would be able to identify a fake watch in seconds? We think that digital will over time completely redefine the concept of “value” of an asset.
Wearing a Bitmonds allows you to customize and enrich your outfit with a limited edition digital accessory, certified by the registration on the Blockchain of your data (ID number, graphic characteristics and purity).
Choosing the Bitmonds to wear every day, to show the world your own passion or the mood of the day, today becomes normal like choosing a tie, a pair of shoes, a handbag or simply the cover of your smartphone.
With the advantage of having a truly exclusive accessory. In fact, there will never be two Bitmonds in the world characterized by the same graphic characteristics and purity.
All the features that represent the concept of “value” in the world of fashion are collected in a single product: exclusivity, authenticity, innovation, customization.
With the additional element that it cannot be ruined by a glass of wine fallen by mistake, be forgotten on the restaurant table or stolen.
So many qualities in one product.
If, like us, you believe this is the future, help spread the information on this sector by sharing this article!
Euromonitor Market Research: https://blog.euromonitor.com/global-apparel-footwear-valued-us-1-7-trillion-2017-millions-of-used-clothing-disposed-every-year/
The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jun/10/zara-owner-to-close-up-to-1200-fashion-stores-around-the-world
Fashion Network: https://ww.fashionnetwork.com/news/Armani-and-ynap-unveil-distribution-model-for-the-future-,1233124.html
The Korea Herald: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20150910001220
Vogue Business: https://www.voguebusiness.com/technology/tommy-hilfiger-pvh-corp-3d-design-digital-clothing-innovation-sustainability