Jan

02

Fashion Merchandising in the World of Smart Clothes

by Kaycee Hale

Fashion design futurists. Apparel manufacturing visionaries. Textile design creators. Very soon, our wardrobe selections will be more than trendsetting, stylish pieces of cloth that simply drape our bodies.

Smart clothing is becoming a mainstay in the curricula of fiber science and apparel design majors at the best fashion colleges worldwide. Two major apparel and footwear manufacturers have already perfected performance apparel.

The Nike+ running shoe contains sensors that connect to the user’s iPod, and the Numetrex heart sensing bra uses electronic modules and silver-coated electrodes to pick up a person’s heart rate. Up to now, these design elements have mostly been innovations in the sports apparel arenas. Not any more.

Now, apparel is being engineered to check our vital signs, monitor our surroundings, fight harmful bacteria, and power our mobile devices. Interestingly enough, these discussions and conferences are being held not only by fashion designers and textile manufacturers, but also by global business leaders who see the day-to-day applications as profitable.

It’s truly the “fashion meets function” era of research and development in sustainable production processes, performance apparel, and functional garments.

Other major 21st century fashion merchandising trends have impacted the apparel and accessories industries such as digital printing, new synthetic fibers, clothing design mass customization, e-commerce, and the rapid growth of social media platforms. Yep, these days–there really is an app for that.

Have you seen the line of clothing from Lume? What can be controlled is the color of the clothes. This will make the clothing much more versatile and able to go with many more outfits.

If you want to check out an entire list of companies involved in wearable smart clothing, gifts and gadgets, check out CrunchWear.com.

User needs and customer satisfaction will be the driving force that propels this type of fashion merchandising to the forefront of many corporate fashion design enterprises. The key seems to be finding the right balance of fashion and function.

Oh yeah–and check out the Evy of California Hello Kitty apparel. It’s a real hit with the younger kids.

 

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