Wearable Technology: The Fastest Growing Trend in Fashion

Levi Strauss & Co.
May 10, 2016

It’s no longer just about wearing technology, it’s about styling it.
From the iWatch to the FitBit, wearable technology has fast become a popular accessory, but last week’s MET Gala incorporated that concept into fashion with this year’s Manus x Machina: Fashion Into Technology theme.
There was the “Cognitive Dress,” worn by model Karolina Kurkova, with its electrifying design of over 100 color-changing LED lights. The brainchild of designer Marchesa and tech giant IBM Watson, the couture gown tracked the emotions of Kurkova’s Twitter followers and then transmitted them through the lights on the dress.
Another tech-enhanced apparel example? Actress Claire Danes’ light blue Cinderella-style dress was a stunning mash-up of tech and fashion. Designed by Zac Posen, the fiber-optic woven organza gown literally lit up the red carpet.
Innovative advances like these are one step closer to taking wearable-tech apparel from red carpets and runways to ready-to-wear. Expect the tech-enhanced clothing trend to rise as more brands embrace the possibilities of merging technology into their garments while striking the perfect balance between function and style.
Here at Levi Strauss & Co., we’ve been working with Google on a collaboration known as Project Jacquard. The goal of Google’s Project Jacquard is to confront the historical limitations of wearable technologies by decoupling the touch interface from the digital device. Jacquard makes garments interactive — simple gestures like tapping or swiping send a wireless signal to the wearer’s mobile device and activate functionality, such as silencing phone calls or sending a text message.
This pioneering partnership is nothing new. We have been innovating since our inception. From updating our zippers in the 1940s to incorporating nylon into our jeans for added stretch in the 1960s, we have always believed in making the lives of our consumers as comfortable and easy as possible—without compromising the integrity of our garments.
We can’t predict what the future holds for fashion, but we know we’re planning to be on the frontlines.