Home Fashion Meet CuteCircuit: The British Fashion Tech Brand Loved By Fergie & Katy Perry

Meet CuteCircuit: The British Fashion Tech Brand Loved By Fergie & Katy Perry

22 min read
0
76

<div _ngcontent-c20 innerhtml="

Photo courtesy of CuteCircuit.

Katy Perry wearing CuteCircuit on the red carpet.

Nineties pop was all about baggy cargo pants, butterfly hair clips, and chokers.

Now though, stars wear internet-connected clothes.

Katy Perry caught the world’s attention in the first LED lit dress to hit the red carpet, while former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger wowed fans in the world’s first ‘Twitter dress’.

All because, a more than a decade ago, in the Italian world of haute couture, fashion designer Francesca Rosella had dreams bigger (and more outlandish) than your Spice Girls platform trainers.

“I proposed making an evening dress embroidered with electroluminescent thread that would light up in reaction to the wearer’s movement,” she tells Forbes.

“No one wanted to experiment with something so new.”

In her next role, at a German ready to wear label, the pioneer even proposed a purse with built-in GPS in case of theft or loss. But again, the idea was shot down.

How much those brands must be kicking themselves now.

Photo courtesy of CuteCircuit.

Nicole Scherzinger in CuteCircuit’s Twitter Dress.

CuteCircuit’s rise to connected success

In 2004 Rosella co-founded her luxury fashion brand CuteCircuit alongside Ryan Genz, a fellow graduate of Milan’s Interaction Design Institute Ivrea.

This, she says, was the world’s first wearable technology fashion brand, and made the world’s first internet-connected clothing.

Now her customers include supermodel Irina Shayk, hip-hop star Fergie and rock’s U2, giving heran early edge in the booming $33.9 million wearable technology market.

The brand has won awards for its Hug Shirt (the world’s first high tech haptic top), and its Galaxy Dress (still the world’s largest illuminated wearable display).

Its interactive garments have been displayed at New York Fashion Week, and its lines have even hit the High Street in iconic shops like London’s Selfridges.

Always looking to break new ground, last year, CuteCircuit even showed off the world’s first graphene dress.

“Our designs are not just concepts or science fiction, they are real magic,” says Rosella.

Photo courtesy of CuteCircuit

Mirror Handbag.

Persistence paid off

The designs might be magical, but it’s not been an easy ride to success.

Although the company first made a profit in 2006, the cost of such innovative experimentation saw CuteCircuit spend many more years in the red.

Only in recent years have profits soared, rocketing company finances from around -£50k in 2015 to £160k in the black in 2017 – success that last year prompted CuteCircuit to move from its modest Shoreditch offices in trendy east London to a new three-floor space in the city’s financial hub, Canary Wharf.

It was all about timing.

The fashion world just wasn’t ready when CuteCircuit first launched, Rosella says. But recent brand collaborations with Chanel and Converse show the market’s ripening.

In January 2018 alone, the company sold more than one hundred light-up ‘Mirror Handbags’ for £1,600 each (these display messages and Tweets from your smartphone).

Also currently available in CuteCircuit’s online shop is a delicately hand-pleated silk chiffon dress with hundreds of rechargeable Micro-LEDs (costing £2,500).

Earlier fan favorites have included tuxedos with illuminated collars, and the Nieves Dress, which sports thousands of controllable micro-LEDs and sequinned panels, says Rosella.

CuteCircuit items typically range from £2,00 to £4,500, and higher for bespoke couture requests, she adds.

Photo by Theodoros Chliapas

CuteCircuit at NYFW.

The opposite of fast fashion

All CuteCircuit items are designed to last, as clothes and as cultural objects, Rosella adds, with many on permanent display in museums like the Barbican Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and Museum at FIT.

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is currently displaying the SoundShirt, a garment that allows deaf audience members to feel the music during a concert through touch sensations; while CuteCircuit’s Infini-T-shirt, the latest version of their world’s first connect t-shirt, is being showcased at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London.

“The world of technology has many challenges to overcome in order to create sustainable products, yet an original Apple Macintosh sells to collectors for incredible prices at auctions,” says Rosella.

What will people pay for the first internet-connected evening gowns in 20 years time?

Photo courtesy of CuteCircuit.

CuteCircuit’s Galaxy Dress.

The opposite of fast fashion

All Cutecircuit items are designed to last, as clothes and cultural objects, says Rosella.

Indeed many are on permanent display in iconic museums like the Barbican Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and Museum at FIT.

The Smithsonian Design Museum is currently displaying the SoundShirt, a garment that allows deaf audience members to feel the music during a concert through touch sensations; while CuteCircuit’s Infini-T-shirt, the latest version of their world’s first connect t-shirt, is being showcased at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London.

The future of fashion, says Rosella, is about embracing its potential to allow personal expression as a “positive communication medium” – something many today feel is desperately lacking in our brave new digital world.

“The present state of social media tends to make people draw inward or away from social contact,” explains Rosella. “Fashion is the exact opposite of this. It makes people get out, dance, interact and surprise one another.”

In future, your smartphone could actually be part of your outfit. &nbsp;

“Our vision is that all the devices we need to carry today, such as cameras, phones and trackers, will disappear in favor of microtechnologies embedded into the fabric of our garments,” says Rosella.

“The ultimate frontier will be the body, and our clothes which will become an intelligent second skin – an intimately powerful interface to the people, places, and culture around us.”

It’s something other European leaders like Dutch fashion designer Pauline Van Dongen, and Croatia’s Women of Wearables founder Marija Butkovic are also embracing.

So long Nineties pedal pushers, and dragon motifs. The future of fashion has truly arrived.

&nbsp;

“>

Photo courtesy of CuteCircuit.

Katy Perry wearing CuteCircuit on the red carpet.

Nineties pop was all about baggy cargo pants, butterfly hair clips, and chokers.

Now though, stars wear internet-connected clothes.

Katy Perry caught the world’s attention in the first LED lit dress to hit the red carpet, while former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger wowed fans in the world’s first ‘Twitter dress’.

All because, a more than a decade ago, in the Italian world of haute couture, fashion designer Francesca Rosella had dreams bigger (and more outlandish) than your Spice Girls platform trainers.

“I proposed making an evening dress embroidered with electroluminescent thread that would light up in reaction to the wearer’s movement,” she tells Forbes.

“No one wanted to experiment with something so new.”

In her next role, at a German ready to wear label, the pioneer even proposed a purse with built-in GPS in case of theft or loss. But again, the idea was shot down.

How much those brands must be kicking themselves now.

Photo courtesy of CuteCircuit.

Nicole Scherzinger in CuteCircuit’s Twitter Dress.

CuteCircuit’s rise to connected success

In 2004 Rosella co-founded her luxury fashion brand CuteCircuit alongside Ryan Genz, a fellow graduate of Milan’s Interaction Design Institute Ivrea.

This, she says, was the world’s first wearable technology fashion brand, and made the world’s first internet-connected clothing.

Now her customers include supermodel Irina Shayk, hip-hop star Fergie and rock’s U2, giving heran early edge in the booming $33.9 million wearable technology market.

The brand has won awards for its Hug Shirt (the world’s first high tech haptic top), and its Galaxy Dress (still the world’s largest illuminated wearable display).

Its interactive garments have been displayed at New York Fashion Week, and its lines have even hit the High Street in iconic shops like London’s Selfridges.

Always looking to break new ground, last year, CuteCircuit even showed off the world’s first graphene dress.

“Our designs are not just concepts or science fiction, they are real magic,” says Rosella.

Photo courtesy of CuteCircuit

Mirror Handbag.

Persistence paid off

The designs might be magical, but it’s not been an easy ride to success.

Although the company first made a profit in 2006, the cost of such innovative experimentation saw CuteCircuit spend many more years in the red.

Only in recent years have profits soared, rocketing company finances from around -£50k in 2015 to £160k in the black in 2017 – success that last year prompted CuteCircuit to move from its modest Shoreditch offices in trendy east London to a new three-floor space in the city’s financial hub, Canary Wharf.

It was all about timing.

The fashion world just wasn’t ready when CuteCircuit first launched, Rosella says. But recent brand collaborations with Chanel and Converse show the market’s ripening.

In January 2018 alone, the company sold more than one hundred light-up ‘Mirror Handbags’ for £1,600 each (these display messages and Tweets from your smartphone).

Also currently available in CuteCircuit’s online shop is a delicately hand-pleated silk chiffon dress with hundreds of rechargeable Micro-LEDs (costing £2,500).

Earlier fan favorites have included tuxedos with illuminated collars, and the Nieves Dress, which sports thousands of controllable micro-LEDs and sequinned panels, says Rosella.

CuteCircuit items typically range from £2,00 to £4,500, and higher for bespoke couture requests, she adds.

Photo by Theodoros Chliapas

CuteCircuit at NYFW.

The opposite of fast fashion

All CuteCircuit items are designed to last, as clothes and as cultural objects, Rosella adds, with many on permanent display in museums like the Barbican Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and Museum at FIT.

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is currently displaying the SoundShirt, a garment that allows deaf audience members to feel the music during a concert through touch sensations; while CuteCircuit’s Infini-T-shirt, the latest version of their world’s first connect t-shirt, is being showcased at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London.

“The world of technology has many challenges to overcome in order to create sustainable products, yet an original Apple Macintosh sells to collectors for incredible prices at auctions,” says Rosella.

What will people pay for the first internet-connected evening gowns in 20 years time?

Photo courtesy of CuteCircuit.

CuteCircuit’s Galaxy Dress.

The opposite of fast fashion

All Cutecircuit items are designed to last, as clothes and cultural objects, says Rosella.

Indeed many are on permanent display in iconic museums like the Barbican Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and Museum at FIT.

The Smithsonian Design Museum is currently displaying the SoundShirt, a garment that allows deaf audience members to feel the music during a concert through touch sensations; while CuteCircuit’s Infini-T-shirt, the latest version of their world’s first connect t-shirt, is being showcased at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London.

The future of fashion, says Rosella, is about embracing its potential to allow personal expression as a “positive communication medium” – something many today feel is desperately lacking in our brave new digital world.

“The present state of social media tends to make people draw inward or away from social contact,” explains Rosella. “Fashion is the exact opposite of this. It makes people get out, dance, interact and surprise one another.”

In future, your smartphone could actually be part of your outfit.  

“Our vision is that all the devices we need to carry today, such as cameras, phones and trackers, will disappear in favor of microtechnologies embedded into the fabric of our garments,” says Rosella.

“The ultimate frontier will be the body, and our clothes which will become an intelligent second skin – an intimately powerful interface to the people, places, and culture around us.”

It’s something other European leaders like Dutch fashion designer Pauline Van Dongen, and Croatia’s Women of Wearables founder Marija Butkovic are also embracing.

So long Nineties pedal pushers, and dragon motifs. The future of fashion has truly arrived.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

For Saudi Military Vehicle Deal, Canada Weighs Jobs And Human Rights – NPR

Enlarge this image A light armored vehicle is part of a new monument at the Royal Canadian…