The Intersection of Fashion & Tech

Two weeks ago I went to Boston for the first time, and since it was pouring rain my first day in Beantown, I made an obligatory visit to the Museum of Fine Arts to soak in artwork from all around the world.

Upon entering the museum, I was overwhelmed with the amount of exhibits offered. I didn’t know which one to start off with - should I look at modern and contemporary art and make my way to the classics? Or start from the beginning with art from Europe, Asia and America? After finally making a decision, I decided to start off with the classics and make my way up to the contemporary art. 

Now, I have to say I’m not a big fan of classical art. Don’t get me wrong, the way each painting is painted is absolutely breathtaking - the light brushstrokes, the fine detailing, etc - but the subjects painted around that time aren’t something of interest to me. I’m not keen on landscapes, portraits (unless it’s Van Gogh), and or battle scenes. 

What I am a sucker for is modern and contemporary art. I find the most moving pieces to be artists who were underappreciated during their time, and or were creating a style all their own. Two of my alltime favorites artists are Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock. I was beyond ecstatic to see both artists featured at the MFA, and it goes beyond saying that I felt like I was in heaven. 

Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m talking about art in the fashion section of my blog...right?

Well, that’s because my favorite exhibit at the MFA (aside from Picasso), and one I did not know was happening when I arrived, was a #techstyle exhibit. The exhibit featured various fashion items merged with the latest technology from a combination of well-known, indie and cult designers, in addition to fashion students. 

I can’t express how excited I was to randomly stumble by this exhibit. It was right up my alley - not just because I love fashion, but also because I work in the tech industry and have had many clients merging both worlds together seamlessly to create beautiful products. 

This exhibit offered a variety of mediums. While each piece consisted of some sort of textile, the type of technology that was used to create the piece differed. Some of that technology included LED and light fixtures, robotics, 3D printing, laser cutting, solar charging power, etc. 

It really is fascinating to see what we can create with technology. When you ask most people what comes to mind when they think of tech, their answer will have something to do with software, computers or nerdy gadgets. 

While we’ve seen fashion and technology merging for a few years now (DVF using Google Glass at her 2012 runway show, Rebecca Minkoff’s futuristic stores, and Hermès for Apple Watch), it’s still not as prominent in our minds as one might think. 

The problem is consumers are still a little hesitant to merge fashion with tech. We mostly see this with wearables - whether it’s smart jewelry, watches or phone charging bags. The consumers that make these purchases often do so because they are intrigued, but they rarely use these products after a few months. Why? Because these items aren’t timeless and the way the tech industry works today, you need to update your systems every year or two to consider your products competitive with what’s on the market.

Even so, over the next few years, we’ll continue to see all our fashion items transform and incorporate technology. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, this is our future. We’ll see more and more designers embrace what was once seen as a “geeky and nerdy” industry, continue to innovate and transcend design and bring their products to life.  

I know I’m excited about it. While fashion and tech are two very different industries, there really isn’t that much of a difference when it comes down to the design process, so in my mind it makes sense to blend the two together. 

What do you think about the merge of fashion and technology? Shoot me a note at hibitabella@gmail.com and let me know! Would love to hear your thoughts. 

xo, B