Words by Barbara Krasnoff
Our tech requirements are stressing today's fashion. Fortunately, a new generation of designers is looking to the future of tech-capable clothing.
Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, "Just remember, you can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." Most women would answer, "That is, assuming you do have pockets." It has become harder than ever to carry around mobile devices comfortably, especially as smartphone screens have grown to 5 inches or more. And it is not just your phones. What do you do with your earbuds, your power banks, and, well, your wallet?
Take heart: Things are changing. A whole new generation of innovative manufacturers is working hard to create clothing for women (and men) that is fashionable, practical, and capable of accommodating our smartphones, headphones, and other day-to-day technology. Plus, some of the new styles are incorporating the technology into the fabric itself.
In fact, so many designers are now trying to solve the issue of how to accommodate clothing to today's technology that there is an organization for them. Called Women of Wearables, it was created to connect and support women (and men) who work in wearable and fashion tech, as well as augmented reality, virtual reality, and Internet of Things. Started as a meet-up group in London, the community has grown and now boasts more than 10,000 members in 20 countries.
"Fashion is still very old fashioned," says Marija Butkovic, a founder and CEO of Women of Wearables. "It's adopting changes, especially technology changes, very slowly—but it's happening. Technology has penetrated into every aspect of our lives. It is just a matter of time until fashion will have to adopt technology."