ProjectJacquard

While classic tailoring on Savile Row might look the same as it has for hundreds of years, technology is starting to be incorporated at as a way of making the bespoke suit all the more personalised.

“Clients are getting younger, and we need to keep up to keep ahead,” Rachel Alice Smith, a self-employed coat maker at Norton and Sons, told me. She was hired by Google’s Project Jacquard team to create a prototype jacket featuring its conductive thread. The result includes a touch panel on the sleeve that was included in the launch video for Jacquard and Levi’s partnership announcement in late May.

That product might be a one-off for now, but it has since been taken on tour by Ivan Poupyrev, technical program lead at Google’s Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) group, as a means of demonstrating the potential of the technology to other brands in the fashion world.

“The idea of incorporating a beautiful craft and tradition into the future of technology is exciting and something unexpected. We don’t seek out change on Savile Row but I think it’s possible to keep our heritage and still bring a new market of clients to the street,” says Smith.

Read the rest of her interview with me over at Forbes.