Every spring and fall, the fashion industry and its fans turn their eyes toward the runway to see incredible new designs, uncover trends and celebrate intricate workmanship. Like the seasons themselves, fashion is in a constant state of evolution, though the changes are not limited to apparel. The entire industry is being transformed by technology that will fundamentally evolve the way we think about fashion.
Over the past month, Intel technology took to the catwalks in New York and Paris for their Spring/Summer 2017 Fashion Weeks. At Intel, we’re establishing our role as fashion’s leading partner for the delivery of life-changing innovations. Through partnerships with industry innovators, we’re working to transform and grow the fashion industry with intelligent capabilities. From a reinvented runway experience, to beautiful connected accessories, to retail solutions that better the shopping experience, technology is enabling fashion to enter its most innovative and surprising moment yet.
Fashion Week has long been limited to the industry elite, but technology is prompting fashion to reimagine itself. This year at New York Fashion Week, Intel and IMG helped democratize access to fashion through virtual reality, transporting viewers at home to the front rows of 13 live runway shows. Powered by Voke, this experience enabled designers – including Erin Fetherston, Prabal Gurung and Marissa Webb – to not just share their innovative designs with the invite-only crowd, but to engage directly with emerging audiences and fashion fans from every corner of the globe.
Reimagining the concept of a health tracker to focus on total health and wellness, luxury designer TOME debuted a bracelet and sustainable bag powered by Intel technology. The bracelet allows wearers to stay connected on the go and the bag detects ambient temperature, toxic gases and barometric pressure to send helpful alerts. Loose luxury designers BAJA East showcased how technology can fit into everyday wear with an Intel-powered connected shoe that tracks and interprets fitness data.
Intel also collaborated with ByReveal and The Shop at NYFW to showcase the power of analytics, which is reinventing the brick-and-mortar experience and powering new value-added services. Fashion retailers have enormous new opportunities to engage with customers through data that provide deeper insights into buying habits, creating stronger brand loyalty and greater business efficiency.
Following a successful week in New York, Intel entered the European fashion market through a collaboration with prolific designer Hussein Chalayan. During Chalayan’s runway show at Paris Fashion Week, we introduced biosensing glasses and belts that work together to help the wearer with awareness and proactive management of stress. The result was not only an amazing visual experience for showgoers, but an exciting step forward in creating desirable, tech-infused wearables that empower the wearer to understand and respond to the world around them.
Technological transformation of the fashion industry – from glass becoming glasses, to clocks becoming watches, to the invention of the sewing machine – has been largely incremental over the past few hundred years. But as technology becomes smaller, smarter and more connected, it’s creating an entirely new world of immersive experiences and solutions that will rapidly transform and grow the fashion industry. It will also change the way we look at our clothing and accessories from things we simply put on to things that improve our lives.
At Intel, we’re evolving in our role as fashion’s leading partner for the creation of this ecosystem. As Fashion Month comes to a close, we’re thrilled with the fashion industry’s embrace of this technological paradigm shift and are more enthusiastic than ever about Intel’s role as a fashion change agent.
Sandra E. Lopez is vice president in the New Technology Group and oversees strategic relationships and business development within its New Devices Group at Intel Corporation.