Weekly Stories

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - UV Patch
Image source: L’Oréal

French beauty giant L’Oréal has developed a smart skin patch that monitors exposure to ultraviolet rays. The innovative beauty solution was unveiled at consumer technology show CES in Las Vegas this week.

My UV Patch is transparent, flexible, and thinner than a plaster. The stick-on wearable is infused with photosensitive blue dye that changes colour when exposed to UV rays. Wearers can then take a photo of the patch and upload it to an app for a full assessment.

The patch lasts for up to five days and can be worn anywhere on the body that’s exposed to the sun, making it ideal for use on vacations. Developed by L’Oréal’s US-based technology incubator, My UV Patch will launch under its sensitive skin brand La Roche Posay later this year, and will be available in 16 countries.

Generating much buzz at CES, it’s also worth looking back at recent developments in the suncare market – notably Spinali Design’s tech-enabled bikini. The launch of My UV Patch also confirms the trend towards more holistic, hassle-free ways of protecting the skin from the sun.

Guest post Stylus.com by Alice Leebur

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Modiface
Image source: PSFK

US virtual technologist ModiFace has unveiled an augmented reality mirror at this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. The touchscreen mirror simulates the effects of make-up, skincare, teeth whitening and anti-ageing products in high definition for a more realistic try-before-you-buy shopping experience.

An updated version of its 2014 concept the mirror uses advanced tracking technology to capture consumers’ facial features in 3D in real-time – allowing them to virtually try on cosmetics by selecting shades from a sidebar menu, or simply changing their facial expression. For example, they can change their lipstick just by puckering their mouth, or try a different eyeshadow by raising their brows.

The mirror can also stream live video tutorials, allowing users to follow step-by-step make-up tips – potentially allowing brands to broadcast from the shop floor itself.

he technology is immediately available for retailers to use in-store as well as on mobile apps. Brands already signed up to collaborate on the project include French beauty giant L’Oreal, Irish pharmaceutical company Allergan, and US beauty brand Jane Iredale.

Guest post Stylus.com by Marta PodeszwaKatie Baron

Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Nike 45 Grand
Image source: Nike 45 Grand, Soho

To promote its new advanced performance apparel range for women, Nike has opened an ultra tricked-out showroom and fitness studio in New York called 45 Grand – a reference to its SoHo address. All events and services are by personal appointment only, rendering it more covert club than sports shop.

Located in an overhauled former metal shop, the initiative is aimed at the city’s key influencers (press, celebrities, fashion/sportswear buyers and stylists) as well as the brand’s Nike Plus members. These ultra-fit consumers are highly engaged with its digital services, such as Nike+ Training Club, Fuel and running apps.

Designed by NY/London-based Rafael de Cardenas in collaboration with NY-based art director and fashion publicist Jen Brill, the minimal, club-like space offers a distinctly serious yet luxury take on fitness for women. Featuring lots of personalisation and try-before-you-buy experiences, a laboratory-style reception area and tiered seating/stage area surrounded by mirrors overlooking the gym signals a space that means business. Meanwhile, the soft, sci-fi styling of the private lounge on the mezzanine level – with pink banquettes, wooden herringbone flooring and hexagonal gold box tables – serves as a more relaxed meeting space.

Pushing the personal touch, guests are invited to have a gait analysis and to both preview and test the new products during a bespoke personalised training with a Nike coach (who also personalises their apps) – bringing remote digital concepts to life. Individualised welcome messages are displayed on digital panels on lockers, and guests can also join live expert classes.

Guest post Stylus.com by Katie Baron & Stefanie Dorfer

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Topshop Wearables
Image source: Digital Trends

With Apple seemingly determined to push the Apple Watch into fashion territory by collaborating with the likes of Hermès, it would be easy to think that wearables are only set to rise in the ranks of the fashion world. Thus far, however, most attempts at ‘stylish’ wearables have fallen flat, with common complaints being that they’re too gimmicky, impractical or simply unattractive. But in a new partnership with Barclaycard’s bPay, Topshop has created a line of accessories that utilise contactless payment technology and – most crucially to the style-savvy consumer – look current, fun and unassuming all at the same time.

The collection of small accessories, which includes smartphone cases, key rings and wristbands, each contain a bPay contactless chip. This is linked to the owner’s bPay digital wallet, meaning they can securely pay for items by just tapping their accessory on a contactless payment system.

It’s the design values that make this fashion-tech collaboration so appealing: instead of overcomplicating the tech elements (which seems to be a one-way route to gimmickry), Topshop and bPay have focused on creating a product that appears markedly non-tech-like. Those who consider items like the Apple Watch to be unattractive or out of their price range could easily be swayed by the unobtrusive nature of a colourful Topshop x bPay phone case, sticker or key ring. Perhaps the best way to lure the aesthetically minded into the world of wearables is to make them a bit less wearable.

In an industry that tends to see high-end brands dictating trends to the high street – the lower end of the fashion food chain – it’s interesting to see Topshop approaching the relatively unchartered territory of wearables, demonstrating more savvy than many luxury labels. Perhaps the high-street giant’s main demographic, the younger generation, is the main reason Topshop has got it so right.

However, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen wearables designed for the fashion-oriented. Topshop’s gimmick-free accessories are in a similar vein to the NFC-enabled jewellery showcased on Henry Holland’s S/S 16 runway, which he reportedly designed with a “vain, fashion-conscious customer” in mind. “We’re at the stage where [wearables have their] own kind of recognisable look,” he told Wareable.com. “People have been turned off by it.”

Taking non-recognisable wearables to a whole new level, though, is Project Jacquard. Set to release its first lines in spring 2016, this brainchild of Levi’s and Google uses smart textiles – but not as we know them. The products are created with conductive yarns, which, once interwoven with natural and synthetic yarns like cotton and polyester, make for decidedly ‘normal’-looking fabrics.

Meanwhile, Kovert Designs’ jewellery pieces are wearables with a difference, designed to give users a digital detox. Kovert’s founder Kate Unsworth describes the smart jewellery as a “modern-day pager”, devised to eliminate the urge to check one’s phone notifications constantly, and instead just be notified about the incoming messages, calls and updates that actually matter. Kovert’s pieces resemble costume jewellery but are far from gaudy – these are beautifully designed items that could easily be worn from day-to-day without losing their appeal.

Reported by Grace Howard

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - The New Stand
Image source: WWD

Based in New York’s bustling Union Square station, innovative retail concept The New Stand is providing commuters with convenience-based products, news, video content and digital deals that change on a daily basis. The move caters to modern consumers’ expectations of constant refreshes of information and inspiration.

Capitalising on the station’s daily flow of 150,000 visitors, the diminutive 150 sq ft concept aims to bring the ubiquitous subway newsstand into the modern era. It still serves print news and magazines from its moveable modular fixtures, but also provides content from media partners including Time Inc. and Broadly (media group Vice’s ‘women’s interest’ channel) via its accompanying app.

Furthering the relationship between content and product, chief executive Andrew Deitchman says the content on the app will eventually help to inform product choices, effectively rendering the concept a walk-in “shoppable magazine”.

Focused on utility and context, the store is stocked with modern takes on ‘essentials’ including cold-pressed juices, Help Remedies pharmaceuticals, Yeti Yoga Mats and Sir Richard’s Condoms. It will also offer contextual deals to app ‘members’, such as free promotional or discounted umbrellas when it’s raining.

A second, 300 sq ft location is due to open in luxury shopping centre Brookfield Place in downtown Manhattan next spring.

Guest post Stylus.com by Alison Gough & Katie Baron

Burberry's Regent St Store

Google Announces First Project Glass Hackathons in NYC And SF, Will Detail ‘Mirror API’
Google will hold two hackathons in the coming weeks for their Google Glass product. It’s the first opportunity for a group of developers to get together and develop for Glass. Techcrunch reports.

Luxury Retailers Leading the Way through In-store Technology
Sophisticated in-store technology is being used to capture the attention of shoppers, and luxury retailers are going the extra step to create a truly distinctive setting. The Guardian covers how luxury is setting the bar high for other retailers.

Smart Designs
This exhibit is more about the historical context and bringing things to light that people don’t think about. FIT does #FashionTech history, with its newest exhibit, as reviewed by the Financial Times.