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Teen hacker CyFi fronts Nicholas Kirkwood’s LFW debut

CyFi for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19
CyFi for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

Teenage hacker CyFi walked the runway at shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood’s first ever London Fashion Week show on September 16.

The 17-year-old US hacker, who was booked by Current Global to appear, was accompanied by actress and #MeToo activist, Rose McGowan. Their appearance was tied to an underlying political message from Kirkwood against conformity, with the topic of hacking seen throughout the show as both inspiration for the immersive experience and the shoe design itself.

The event began with McGowan as the leader of a resistance, surrounded by a stage environment crowded with screens and computers, so as to imply a dystopian future.

Rose McGowan for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

Models (or the NK19 resistance rebels) strutted down the runway, mingling among the set while ‘hacking’ computers and playing with VR headsets. To add to the immersive undertone, the show culminated with the undercover police force (known as the Anti-Creative PoliZe Force) then directing showgoers to the Evidence Room where they could explore the collection from up close.

CyFi, who is one of the leading female hackers in the world, began her coding career at the age of 10. These days, she uses hacking to teach children how to protect themselves online. Most notably, she runs the yearly r00tz Asylum conference, a hacking and cybersecurity event held during DEF CON in Vegas, to help children practice cryptography and reverse-engineering, and learn more about tech security and privacy.

Current Global also booked a hologram technology for the Kirkwood show experience, which was on display on entering the warehouse venue in Central London. The collection’s main shoe, a boot with neon yellow detail, was showcased in 3D by UK company Hologrm.

Nicholas Kirkwood SS19
Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

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Unmade: the London start-up ‘publishing’ clothing on-demand

Unmade

For those in London this festive season, there’s a pop-up shop in Covent Garden worth taking the time to visit. Unmade, as it’s called, is tucked down an unimposing side street off the main piazza. Away from the street entertainers and busy Christmas shoppers, it’s a minimal showcase of a knitwear brand currently considered one of London’s most disruptive start-ups.

Sweaters, scarves and a full-sized industrial knitting machine are on display. You can’t walk away with an item there and then, but you can use iPads to design your own and have it made especially for you thereafter.

And that’s the USP. The name “Unmade” comes from the fact no garment is finished until you, the shopper, come and complete it.

Born through frustration at the fashion industry’s stagnant approach to mass-consumption, it’s about bespoke, personalised knitwear, produced on-demand, yet at an industrial scale. Think of it as a 3D printer for fashion, yet using the same machines that make up the $200bn knitwear market worldwide.

Head on over to Forbes to read my interview with co-founder Ben Alun-Jones.