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The Influence of Technology on Fashion
At first glance, fashion and technology might not seem immediately compatible. In today’s world of fashion, however, technological influences are readily present. From high-tech fabrics to wearable technology accessories, fashion and technology are merging, and fashion is being redefined in innovative ways. Additionally, advances in technology have changed the way people shop for clothing and accessories. Below, we take a look at some of the many ways in which fashion and technology overlap today.
One of the most profound ways in which technology has impacted the fashion industry is accessibility. No longer is shopping limited to the brick and mortar stores within driving distance of a customer. Thanks to technology, shoppers can now browse and buy apparel, footwear, and accessories online from anywhere. The ability to purchase brands and items from all over the world via the Internet has connected consumers with retailers they might otherwise never have access to due to distance. Technology has made fashion more readily accessible to shoppers.
Not only has technology made fashion more accessible to a larger group of consumers, but technology has also become part of the very fabric of fashion. The workout apparel industry, for instance, now offers a wide range of athletic clothing made from high-tech fabrics designed to enhance the workout experience. Examples of athletic apparel brands utilizing high-tech fabrics include Under Amour, Nike, Lulumon, Champion, and North Face.
Nike and Champion both have various athletic apparel items with moisture wicking technology to whisk away sweat and keep you dry during workouts. Lulumon offers yoga and running clothing with “anti-stink” technology, as they put it. Some of their fabrics include Silverescent, which kills odor causing bacteria to prevent you from smelling bad during workouts and other athletic activities. The brand Under Amour makes use of compression technology in their fabrics to provide muscle support.
Other clothing brands, such as The North Face, have taken advantage of technology to develop warm fabrics that are incredibly light weight. The result is cold weather gear that keeps you warm in frigid temperatures without adding bulk. Runners can go out for a jog mid-winter sans heavy sweatshirts and coats that restrict movement. Streamlined running gear provides ease of movement without compromising warmth.
One other brand that has integrated fashion with technology through the use of high-tech fabrics is Spanx. In fact, the brand began out of the founder’s interest in creating high-tech undergarments that could dramatically improve the appearance of a woman’s physique by smoothing out problem areas. The high-tech fabrics used in Spanx shapewear have been so successful that a variety of apparel products are now available for both women and men.
Another way in which technology has merged with fashion is through high-tech accessories. One immediate example is the Apple watch. Apple elevated the watch from a standard time telling piece to an accessory that is simultaneously fashionable and high-tech. The sleek design of the Apple watch looks good on the wrist while also offering several convenient functions for users. Apple watches can be used for tracking daily activities, controlling music preferences, receiving and responding to notifications, and paying for things like groceries.
An additional example of wearable technology is Google Glass. Although initially stumbling over several hurdles, Google has not given up on its high-tech smart eyewear product. It was originally developed to work in conjunction with smartphones as a way of alerting users to incoming calls and emails. Google Glass has the flexibility to be worn as an accessory on its own or clipped onto prescription eye glasses. While Google eventually pulled the product, the current buzz is that a Google Glass 2 is now in the works, indicating wearable technology is still in.
An exciting way in which fashion and technology are working together is through online video streaming. Online retailers like Zappos make use of videos to show fashion products in action. For instance, Zappos shoppers can watch videos of various Fossil brand products that enable them to view the products in ways not possible from still photos. Video streaming makes it possible for shoppers to observe a real person using the product.
Virtual Dressing Rooms
One of the long standing challenges of online shopping has been the inability to try on clothing and accessories. Technology is changing all of that now. Virtual dressing rooms have made it possible for customers to see virtual versions of themselves trying on apparel and accessories, allowing them to view how the pieces will look when worn. Previously, this was only possible when shopping in person where actual physical dressing rooms are available. This is just one more example of how technology is making fashion more accessible in different ways.
Fashion has advanced in so many ways thanks to technology. People can now shop for brands like Banana Republic and Ann Taylor without ever stepping foot inside an actual store. Additionally, high-tech fabrics have made fashion functional in a variety of ways. Finally, wearable technology trends are just one more example of fashion and technology working together and us think that is exciting.