Category Archives: Fashion Design

designfuturist.com is now Live

Design Futurist recently launched a new website. This blog is now hosted at www.designfuturist.com/news. We hope you’ll find the new layout more comprehensive, up-to-date, and easy to navigate. We welcome your feedback and look forward making a difference with you!

NATALIA

Dangerous Chemicals In Your Clothing

Did you know that the products you wear contain dangerous chemicals that have a proven harmful effect on your health? Not only do we have to give careful consideration to the food we put in our bodies, we must consider the clothing and shoes we wear. Worst of all, children are the most vulnerable to the negative effects of chemicals that are added to otherwise perfectly safe materials. Two-year-old children are being exposed to dangerous levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in domestic products such as rubber clogs and sun creams, according to an EU investigation being studied by the government. So what can you do? Until these chemicals are banned, it is important to choose products certified organic.

Hormone disrupting chemicals used in household products

• Phthalates are used in the manufacture of rubber clogs, rubber boots, soap packaging, products made from PVC, bath mats and soft toys. They are also found in food products as a result of environmental pollution, according to the Danish study.

• Oestrogen-like substances, including chemicals known as parabens, occur in cosmetics, sun creams and moisturising lotions.

• Pesticides, such as DDT, dioxins and PCBs, are also known hormone-disruptors.

If you would like to lean about what the European Union is doing to regulate the this problem, please click here.

Recycled Fashion

Believe it or not, the fashion industry is responsible for a large part of the world’s pollution. From manufacturing to shipping, tons of toxic chemicals, CO2 and greenhouse gasses are discharged, and huge amounts of oil and energy are consumed.  That said, where can one go for stylish, yet eco-friendly clothing?  Enter Goodone, a British label that creates hip and trendy clothes made from recycled garments. 

Founded by two Brighton University graduates, Nin Castle and Phoebe Emerson, Goodone takes second-hand or throwaway clothing and repurposes them into new garments that don’t look obviously recycled.  Their style has an urban and edgy vibe, with each garment being unique since all textiles and prints come from used clothing.  All products are locally hand-made from individually chosen recycled garments or sourced from textile recycling factories.  What is innovative about Goodone is that they are providing a creative and sustainable solution to counteract the damage that the fashion industry has been wreaking upon the environment.  By using materials that already exist, they don’t need to consume more energy or expend more toxic waste in order to manufacture new products.  And unlike some other companies that have hopped on the recycling bandwagon, Goodone’s garments are not only eco-friendly and fashionable, but also completely realistic and wearable.  Now that’s fashion with a conscience.  WU

Dress Detective Gone Green

Although this is a project, the design idea is interesting enough for us to cover. All around us, the push for going green is visible. But have designers gone too far to try and capture the “green market”?

Designer Stephanie Sandstrom developed a dress that detects harmful emissions in the air. You can identify the smoggy days and areas when crinkles and kinks start to form on the dress. Powered entirely through sensors incorporated into the fabric, the wrinkles stop with higher quality air. This idea will allow you to stray away from the harmful air that lurks in the most precarious conditions, or to even make a statement about our declining air quality.

The harmful effects of global warming are changing our world and it is time for everyone to notice. But do ideas like this help us achieve the goal of becoming more “green-friendly. Instead of replacing ones wardrobe with fashion that senses smog, which would increase the carbon footprint, we suspect there are better ways of addressing the problem of air pollution.

You can learn more about the Dress along with other imaginative designs at the San Francisco Exploratorium’s 2nd Skin Exhibition through September 7, 2008. HANNA

MacGregor Golf: Interview with Innovator

Greg Norman

MacGregor Golf is a 100 year old golf company, one with a new CEO. Michael J. Setola shares with us his vision and strategy for keeping the innovative brand strong.

NATALIA: Please give folks a bit of insight as to what your role entails.
Michael: As CEO of MacGregor, my primary role is to manage the investments and direction of the company. As it relates to product, inventory is our largest investment, so I keep a keen eye on product and product development.

NATALIA: How did you first become interested in fashion?

Michael: Funny story, but my first job was with Hanes Underwear. I was selling boxers and white briefs. Suddenly for the first time, colored underwear came on the scene and I saw the effect of fashion on something as simple as underwear. I was hooked on the excitement of newness and the effect great product has on business.

NATALIA: How would you define good innovation?

Michael: Good innovation is the combo of design, merchandising and sell through to the consumer. It needs to be relevant as truly new, but have meaning to the consumer.

NATALIA: Is innovation important to you? MacGregor?

Michael: At both the Greg Norman collection and in our MacGregor Golf Club companies, innovation is what separates us from the field.

NATALIA: How is innovation realized in your business?

Michael: Design, product development, technical services and production all must work together to bring innovation to the market in sync.

NATALIA: Any challenges or successes you have had bringing innovative design to market?

Michael: There are always challenges in getting all these components firing at the same time. Often, one area is ahead or behind in the ability to deliver innovation, so a project may be delayed.

NATALIA: What are some of the current innovation projects you are working on?

Michael: In apparel, climate controlled fabrics are becoming more important for the active golfer. Body temperature regulating developments are in our market and improvements are in the works. In golf clubs, we have a new metal that we are introducing to the clubface for game improvement.

NATALIA: Do you feel technology in fashion is just a trend?

Michael: Everything is a trend. It’s just about how long it stays with us. Technology will be with us for a long time, the consumer likes it.


NATALIA: In a few words please share with us your vision for the future.

Michael: Companies that innovate and develop consumer centric products will excel even more in the future. The combination of economic challenges and modern expectations will raise the bar for products to succeed.

Michael J Setola

Step it Up

The Renegade Craft Fair was held in Brooklyn this past weekend, showcasing the talents of various arts-and-crafts vendors, and promoting the increasingly popular form of “do-it-yourself” design. Fashion companies, such as Threadless (http://threadless.com) and Urban Tailor (http://urbantailor.com) are jumping on the DIY bandwagon by allowing customers to design their own garments or create their own graphic tees online. User-friendly web pages allow customers to click and create customized clothing based on provided styles and textiles. With the help of Internet technology, customers can instantly create and preview their own customized clothing.
Sneaker goliath, Nike, takes this trend one step further with their latest creation: Nike PhotoID. Combining mobile technology with the DIY trend, Nike PhotoID allows fans to create sneakers based on snapshots taken by their cell phones. The new program analyzes dominant colors in the photograph and then transfers those colors into a sneaker template. An image of the shoe is sent back to the mobile phone, and users have the option to save it as a wallpaper or order the actual footwear. The customized color-ways are available on Nike’s classic 1985 Dunk high-top basketball sneakers. Currently, Nike PhotoID is only available in Europe. WU

BMW Fabric Car

Most automobiles are fabricated in hard plastic, glass and metal, requiring many parts and joints. The team at BMW has rethought this approach and presented a seamless skin concept. The outcome is both ergonomic and beautiful.

Design Futurist believes the best innovation not only makes objects more beautiful, it makes them more functional. General complaints from drivers have little to do with the surface and everything to do with poor durability, vulnerable electrical systems and complicated repairs.

Seamless design can mean more graceful lines, simpler parts, and fluid transitions. We hope BMW, extends this thought process to the internal design of future cars. NATALIA