As (still) a very niche and emerging industry, the Fashion & Technology revolution comes with a lot of stereotyping and myths. We take a look at three common misconceptions in the world of fashion tech.
MYTH 1 | TECH COMPANIES WILL BE LEADING THE WEARABLE TECH MOVEMENT
Tech companies may have been the firsts to invest the wearable ground for the past few years, but as we have seen with many products and notoriously the first version of Google Glass, technology by itself is not a strong enough factor for people invest in such products.
Rather than waiting for tech companies to miraculously design the wearable of our dreams, we should think of technology companies and tech as the enablers for creativity, especially when it comes to fashion tech products. Tech can bring the the intrinsic magic, the new usages. But these have to be discreetly incorporated into the design, so that wearing such products doesn't make you look like a weirdo coming out of a SciFi movie. On the other hand, design and fashion companies are the aesthetic enablers. If collaborations between these two is a continuous process and not a one off thing, it can lead to truly beautiful and useful pieces. Letting each part working on the product with their own expertise seems to be the most efficient way to bring a new product category to life, as the product itself is a mix between two very different industries.
MYTH 2 | BIG BRANDS CAN JUSTIFY HIGH PRICED WEARABLES
Unfortunately, when it comes to the high end products in fashion tech, such extraordinary prices are much harder to justify. Let's take the limited edition Apple Watch as an example. Apple is no stranger to the luxury sector - it was voted the most attractive brand to China's upper-class gift givers in February, overtaking iconic fashion giants like Gucci, Prada and Chanel. Even so, sales of the Apple Watch have fallen drastically since its launch in April, with the Edition version of the Watch being the least popular (and affordable, obviously). The fact that it's made of precious metals is not enough to justify a price tag multiplied by ten. Usage malfunctions and the lack of a killer app are also keeping consumers wallets in their pockets. And even Apple's celebrity army seems to have ditched their devices pretty soon, showing that the watch still hasn't achieved the “luxury fashion item” status among the wealthy audience that can afford it.
At the moment at least, technology alone doesn't justify an high end price point. The differentiation comes when the product benefits go above and beyond the product itself. A perfect example for this is Christophe & Co's Armill, whose CEO Aleksandr Bernhard says that the technology is secondary to the craftsmanship and engineering marvel of the piece and also optional. As a fashion tech product, the Armill acts as a key to access the world's most exclusive events and as a beacon to communicate with the wearer's personal assistant, medical professional or family member. When it comes to luxury fashion tech and extraordinary price points, Christophe & Co's proposition is something definitely see as a move in the right direction.
MYTH 3 | FASHION DOESN'T HAVE A PLACE IN THE WEARABLES MARKET
Having in mind that military, enterprise and medical sectors are the ones driving growth and investing the most in wearables, people assume that fashion doesn’t play an important role in the wearable tech space. However, for wearable tech to gain a mass market appeal it needs to be known and wanted by the consumer. This is where fashion becomes a fundamental force for driving such change. This is what we believe at INTERLACED, because wearables have to be wearable. Before being useful, before featuring a killer app, the item you are supposed to wear on your wrist, around your neck or anywhere on your body has to convey your own personal style, and this is a part that only fashion can do right.