Savile Row’s wearable tech future: why bespoke tailoring makes sense

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.