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Editor's pick product technology

Loewe unveils 3D printed bracelet in new menswear campaign

Loewe's autumn/winter 2017/18 menswear campaign featuring the 3D printed bracelet by VOJD Studios
Loewe’s autumn/winter 2017/18 menswear campaign featuring the 3D printed bracelet by VOJD Studios

Loewe has teamed up with Berlin-based VOJD Studios, which specialises in 3D printed luxury goods, to produce a bracelet made from a newly developed ceramics material. The design was unveiled as part of the Spanish brand’s autumn/winter 2017/18 menswear campaign shot by Steven Meisel.

Made from VOJD’s ceramics compound, a durable and flexible powder-based material processed via selective laser sintering, it is printed in one piece as an oversized interlocking chain, which then requires no assembly.

“Loewe approached us with the idea of a bracelet they really wanted to work on but couldn’t realise with other technologies because it would have been too heavy if made of metal. We managed to realise it through 3D printing in our ceramics compound – once metalised the final piece looks like metal,” VOJD Studio explains.

Loewe's autumn/winter 2017/18 menswear campaign featuring the 3D printed bracelet by VOJD Studios
Loewe’s autumn/winter 2017/18 menswear campaign featuring the 3D printed bracelet by VOJD Studios

The company offers consulting on material, finishing and technology suitability, as well as design, development, prototyping, manufacturing and finishing. It has already worked with other fashion houses including Alexander McQueen, Carolina Herrera and Akris on integrating 3D printing into their collections. A big long-term focus centres around personalisation.

“3D printing is already starting to re-shape several industries, including fashion, by introducing new possibilities and concepts. Probably one of the most talked-about features of the technology is its ability to build customised and personalised pieces, since each one is printed separately and there is no mold requiring the manufacturing of a large number of identical products. In the near future, this can lead to an increased role of the consumer in the ideation and creation of the final product they desire,” the team adds.

“Besides that, 3D printing enables design solutions and complexities impossible for other technologies. This, combined with the introduction of new materials and material properties over the next years, can direct the aesthetics of the future and transform most creative industries.”

Loewe's autumn/winter 2017/18 menswear campaign featuring the 3D printed bracelet by VOJD Studios
Loewe’s autumn/winter 2017/18 menswear campaign featuring the 3D printed bracelet by VOJD Studios
Loewe's autumn/winter 2017/18 menswear campaign featuring the 3D printed bracelet by VOJD Studios
Loewe’s autumn/winter 2017/18 menswear campaign featuring the 3D printed bracelet by VOJD Studios
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digital snippets e-commerce Editor's pick social media technology

All the digital activity (outside of live streaming) happening this #NYFW

If watching dozens of Hyperlapse videos from day one of New York Fashion Week is already starting to grate, here are some of the other digitally-enabled or tech-themed plans that might appeal instead…

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  • For those in New York looking to explore what else wearables currently offer, it’s worth checking out Chelsea concept store, Story’s new Style.tech installation in partnership with Intel. There’s everything from Ringly to Cute Circuit pieces on show, as well as 3D-printed heels from Continuum and more. It’s open until October 5
  • Back to Rebecca Minkoff, and social media is helping with decision making for tomorrow’s show. The designer posted an Instagram shot featuring two looks from the spring 2015 collection – a printed or an indigo pair of dungarees. The one that got the most likes will walk down the catwalk
  • Tommy Hilfiger is also focusing on social with the announcement of an initiative called First Timers, which will bring together “a diverse group of digital influencers from different fields and areas of expertise outside the fashion industry to document the unique experience of viewing a fashion show for the first time”. More details are reportedly set to follow on that soon
  • BCBG Max Azria meanwhile partnered up with Liketoknow.it to make its new collection shoppable instantly via Instagram today. Followers were encouraged to first sign up to Liketoknow.it and then to ‘like’ any image featuring the LTK link in the caption to receive an email with details of how to buy said piece online. This initiative came together in the end, but was a little confusing initially – reports around the campaign didn’t make it entirely clear the images wouldn’t be posted on the BCBG account but on that of a series of influencers involved. Finding them wasn’t therefore as straightforward as it could have been, although a significant number of them are now all featured on the @liketktit page as well
  • Michael Kors is expanding its All Access Kors social program this season – with behind-the-scenes photographs, in-depth stories on design inspirations and videos of the show all featured on Destination Kors. New for SS15 however is also the announcement of a campaign specific to China-based platforms Weixin and WeChat. Here users will be able to personalise a range of All Access Kors imagery – adding their name or uploading a photo that then becomes a bold silhouette against the New York City skyline. Shaking the phone or swiping the screen then reveals a different silhouette or city angle
  • Last but not least, here’s a particularly fab reminder from Véronique Hyland at The Cut for editors to spare us the typically poor fashion week images on Instagram. “The blurry runway photo is not really, strictly speaking, a picture — anyone who wants to can see better photos instantaneously online. No, the blurry runway shot is a trophy. It says, ‘I came, I saw, I sat front row, within 100 feet of Vanessa Hudgens’,” she writes.
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technology

More detail on what the Opening Ceremony x Intel smart bracelet may look like

OpeningCeremony_YokoOno

While the exact details of Intel’s new smart bracelet, created in partnership with Opening Ceremony and carried by Barneys New York, are yet to be determined, a few hints were revealed during CES as to what it might be like.

Speaking at a press conference during the Vegas show, Susan Barber, art director at Opening Ceremony, said: “We want to emphasise the tech aspects of the bracelet but so that it doesn’t feel like hardware. It has to be something we’ll be excited to wear [ourselves].”

This fits in with a broader theme at CES this week for more appealing design in the wearables space. Speaking on a separate occasion, Mike Bell, VP and GM of Intel’s New Devices Group, said: “If we want the premise of wearable technology to come forward we really have to think about going back to the drawing board with the hardware, moving beyond the idea of a square block on your wrist.”

While Intel reportedly has a rough prototype already developed, Opening Ceremony will have full input on both the functionality and the design to go to market with. Barber said work is yet to truly start on it, but ideas are percolating.

The team will be looking to both the past and the future for inspiration, she revealed. The aesthetic for instance will be informed by other partnerships the company has been involved in, including a project with Yoko Ono based on a series of her drawings titled ‘Fashions for Men” from 1969 (as featured above).

The recent capsule collection Opening Ceremony created for Spike Jonze’s new film, Her (as featured below), will also serve as inspiration. Said Barber: “This product is supposed to make your life more seamless and more effortless, and be beautiful at the same time. If technology and design are totally separate you don’t get to bridge that gap.”

Matthew Woolsey, SVP digital at Barneys, agreed: “A lot of functionality is very appealing, but the design elements are going to be paramount in terms of how our customer engages with it. The product needs to stand on its own, and the Opening Ceremony creative vision will be incredibly important to making that happen.”

As for who it’s aimed at, Barber said they are exploring all options at the moment, but are unlikely to make it gender specific. “It certainly won’t be pink or purple,” she said, mocking the stereotyped approach the technology industry often has to appealing to women. The goal with the device is also to speak to a broad generational audience. It is expected to hit in the autumn.

OpeningCeremony_SpikeJonze3 OpeningCeremony_SpikeJonze1OpeningCeremony_SpikeJonze2

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technology

Wearables key message at CES, Intel leads fashion charge

Intel_wearables_OpeningCeremony_Barneys

If there’s one key theme at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, it’s wearables. Smart watches, fitness wristbands, earbuds, the works. Functionality is being heavily discussed, but even more so is design. The tech industry, it seems, has finally figured out that aesthetics are what’s going to make the difference when it comes to something people actually want to wear if we want to move this sector forward. An obvious statement to those of us in the fashion industry, but arguably not something anyone has yet done something about.

Enter Intel, who is aiming to change all of that, and with any luck in a beautiful way. It’s launching a smart bracelet later this year in partnership with Opening Ceremony and carried by Barneys New York.

Rather than “fashion” being an afterthought, as is more common with technology partnerships – a bit of branding slapped on, or some neat product placement during fashion week – Opening Ceremony will play an integral part in what the item looks like as well as how it functions using Intel’s tech.

“Our shared vision is to accelerate wearable technology innovation and create products that both enhance peoples’ lives and are desirable to wear,” said Ayse Ildeniz, vice president of business development and strategy at Intel’s New Devices Group. Speaking at the press conference today, she added: “The smart wearables we see on the market today are very much led by technology companies. But what we wear are personal things, reflections of ourselves and we often get emotionally connected to them. The fashion industry must therefore be in the driving seat. Without the aesthetics and the design, wearables are not going to become a big thing.”

Daniella Vitale, COO of Barneys New York agrees: “One of the greatest opportunities for wearable technology as a concept to be successful is fairly simple – to design a beautiful accessory that our customers would desire.”

Intel’s initiative will not be exclusive with Opening Ceremony and Barneys, suggesting further brands are being approached. The CFDA is accordingly also involved, having entered into a strategic collaboration with Intel to create a community for technology developers and fashion designers to network, match-make, cultivate and exchange ideas on wearable technology.

Interestingly Ildeniz said the most important thing for all those involved was to be humble. Once the egos go out the room, there’s a good chance technology and fashion can work pretty well together, she suggested.