Category Archives: Shopping

Hip-tech Pop Culture

When I see performers like Kanye West and Lady Gaga sporting light up clothing and accessories I can’t help but think that this could be a glimpse into the near future of fashion.  The visceral use of the technology lends itself in performance but could there actually be a real world purpose? Yes, but not yet. A new technology called Lumalive has emerged, and like most fashion technology collaborations, Lumalive is best suited as marketing buzz. Until there are more fashion designers that understand material technology and see the big picture, we will continue to see frivolous high-tech innovations.

Lumalive is a branch off product from Phillips, and specializes in pieces of clothing with embedded LED lights that can create moving images within the textile itself. So far, they have been pushing the idea that this is an eye catching way to promote your company, product or event.  The images that are created within the garment are very generic and look like a scrolling movie theater marquee. None the less, the experience is visually stimulating, and as this technology evolves the images will become more complex.

It seems inevitable that its novelty will wear off and that Lumalive will make its way into mainstream retail. Considering how fast trends in fashion move people may just crave a light bright garment for back to school.  Now the idea of illuminating clothing becoming accessible doesn’t seem to be so Tron-esque anymore.

CABEZAS

design-futurist-natalia-fabric-display-philips

Fashion Jobs of the Future

Chair of Fashion at Parsons, Simon Collins, moderates an informative panel of fashion industry leaders selected to discuss future careers in a fast-changing fashion industry. NATALIA

DESIGN FUTURST tv Sustainable Series

Our top 5 global brands designing beautiful sustainable fashion.

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

iPhone Odyssey

Apple's new iPhone 3G

Apple's new iPhone 3G

iPhone Odyssey
One New Yorker’s quest for Apple’s new iPhone 3G

Monday, July 7, 2008 – WASHINGTON

12:45 – Visit local AT&T store to check phone upgrade status. Everything is cool, but the sales guy warns that I should get there early on Friday if I want the iPhone. Last time they sold out before lunchtime. I didn’t think it would be a big deal.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 – NEW YORK

10:00 – Download and read gizmodo.com’s “iPhone Survival Guide.” It says to go bring energy bars and bottled water and be prepared to camp out. Also, the AT&T account holder must be present. Since I’m on a family plan, that means I have to go back to DC and persuade my mother to wake up early on Friday and camp out at AT&T with me. I decide to make a weekend vacation out of it.

17:30 – Book bus ticket to DC, check AT&T’s website for iPhone checklist.

Thursday, July 10, 2008 – NEW YORK

16:30 – Leave work early and go to Penn Station. The bus is jam packed. After being stuck in traffic for an hour, the bus finally exits out of NYC.

22:35 – Finally arrive home.

00:45 – Set alarm for 6:30. Go to bed early in preparation for the long day ahead.

Friday, July 11, 2008 – WASHINGTON

7:45 – Arrive at local shopping mall. The parking garage seems rather full for 8 in the morning. I get a little nervous.

7:50 – Enter mall and run to AT&T store in time to see a long line snaking around the corner. We queue up behind a skinhead with major tattoos. He says he’s not worried. He’s gone through all this a year before for the first generation iPhone. He’s an iPhone veteran.

8:00 – The doors open exactly at 8, and the line finally moves. An AT&T salesperson walks by, explaining that they only let a few people in at once, and you must register your phone in the store, which takes about 15 minutes. I do the math; it’s going to be a long morning. I survey the barely moving line. Judging by appearances only, it looks to be mostly comprised of young/middle-aged professionals. I idly wonder if they are all skipping work this morning.

8AM queue at AT&T

8AM queue at AT&T

Getting closer!

Getting closer!

10:00 – Two hours later, we are ushered into AT&T. The sales rep asks what can he do for us today. I reply that I’m here to buy an iPhone. Like, duh, as if he didn’t know that already. He hands me my new iPhone 3G, but tells me that I can’t use it yet since it’s not activated. Apparently, the computer systems are down so everyone has to activate their phones at home through iTunes. Okay, that’s cool, as long as I can still get my phone.

10:20 – I walk out of AT&T feeling accomplished. The line is even longer than when we arrived over two hours ago. I proudly hold my yet-to-function iPhone. I’m dying to try it out to see if it lives up to all the hype.

11:00 – I try to set up my phone as per the instructions. I hook it up to my MacBook Pro and watch it connecting to iTunes. Ten minutes later, a memo box pops up. The network connection has timed out. I guess it can’t handle a million people trying to activate their phones all at once. Looks like I’ll have to wait to try out my new phone.

17:30 – I attempt to activate my phone again. This time I am lucky as it hooks right up to iTunes. Fifteen minutes later, my phone is finally activated! I set it up so that all my emails, contacts, and calendars are seamlessly synced to my phone. Then I upload music, photos, and videos.

Syncing iPhone to laptop

Syncing iPhone to laptop

18:20 – Eight hours after leaving AT&T, my new iPhone is fully loaded and ready to go. Now I can enjoy spending the rest of my weekend customizing my phone.

Monday, July 14, 2008 – NEW YORK

10:00 – Back in New York and back at work. Everyone is talking about the new iPhone. The New York Times reports that Apple sold over one million in the first weekend. My co-worker complains that he waited for three hours on Friday at AT&T, only to find that it was sold out. Another co-worker says that on Saturday, the line at the 14th St Apple Store went all the way down past Jeffrey’s. Yeah, sounds like it was one hell of a weekend for all parties involved. But every time I pick up my new iPhone 3G, I remember that it was all worth it.  WU

The End

The End

Sent from my iPhone

The Future of Bottled Water is Dry


Saving our environment is talk. The sale of bottled water has not declined since its introduction. A few facts from the Water Quality Association:

* Bottled water sales and consumption continue to rise, according to statistics released April 9, 2007, by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC).

* Total US bottled water volume exceeded 8.25 billion gallons in 2006, a 9.5 percent increase over the prior year.

* Wholesale dollar sales for bottled water exceeded $10.8 billion in 2006, an 8.5 percent increase over the $10 billion in 2005.

My goal as a designer is to inspire and lead. It is evident that people are still consuming bottled water. This may be the result of too few alternatives. Forget your Nalgene (www.nalgene-outdoor.com/store) water bottle at home and your next alternative is bottled water. Tap water has earned such a bad reputation, spending 2 dollars on 12oz of water seems normal.

As a solution, I propose:

* Providing consumers with easy Internet based access to the quality of their local water supply.

* A nationwide roll out of water fountains. Yes, water fountains. Prior to the ubiquitous plastic Poland Springs water bottle, your average citizen was happy to use a public water fountain.

Some disagree with me because there is no money to be made by giving filtered water away for free. My reply, because it is not in a bottle does not mean it needs to be distributed freely. An example:

A few visionary restaurants in New York and California have offered filtered tap water as an alternative to bottled water. The filtered water costs the same as bottled water, yet has none of the environmental set-backs.

As the cost of producing and shipping bottle water surges and consumer awareness towards the environment increases, the popularity of bottled beverages will decrease.

I am currently designing filtered water fountains for the public space and welcome the feedback of water drinkers, beverage companies, city planners or filtration companies everywhere. NATALIA

Interesting Links

http://www.globalpackagegallery.com/main.php/v/bev/bottled+water/

http://www.wqa.org

Dye Sustainable

European textiles fair Pitti Filati opens next week in Florence, as many spinners are busily preparing for the upcoming season’s latest trends.  According to many fashion forecasters, color will play a big role this Fall/Winter.  Simultaneously, the trend for “green” fashion remains strong, as demand for organic fibers has slowly increased over the past few years.  As a result, spinners are looking towards more sustainable methods of production.

Scottish company Todd & Duncan plan to introduce an organic cashmere range, while Italian spinners Loro Festa will present organic merino wool.  Since bold and intense colors will play a large role in the upcoming season, many companies are looking to the Global Organic Textile Standard, and only using dyes that have been approved organic.  

The goal of these companies is to attract and retain buyers for organic yarns.  The market is strong in Japan and in select European countries, although it is nearly non-existent in America.  To keep organic fibers in the fashion market, spinners must stay innovative and develop new methods of producing sustainable textiles that will capture the interest of the fashion industry.  WU