by Lauren Brousell

Style, tech converge at 2015 New York Fashion Week

Sep 18, 2015

The 2015 New York Fashion Week featured new collections from many top designers, and some savvy companies set their products apart by building cutting edge technology into clothing and accessories.

Tech meets style at New York Fashion Week

Technology made some unexpected appearances on the catwalks at the recent New York Fashion Week (NYFW) shows. From stylish wearable devices, to drones and live streams, designers didn’t just set trends for the next season, they demonstrated how technology can fit into the fabric of people’s everyday lives.

Futuristic clothing on the catwalk

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Image by Google Official Blog

At the 2015 NYFW, designer Zac Posen teamed up with 22-year-old creative technologist, Madison Maxey, to create an LED dress as part of his Zac by Zac Posen clothing line, which was coded to light up in different patterns. Shown here on Google’s Official Blog, the black dress with multicolored lights sewn underneath displays patterns designed by young girls around the world through, a programming language, on the Made with Code website. (Maxey is also a fashion engineer and coding mentor at Made with Code, a Google program that aims to inspire more girls to code.)

Wearable technology from head to toe

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Designer Rebecca Minkoff, already a leader in the fashion-technology world, added more wearable styles to her collection at Fashion Week. She partnered with Casemate, a smartphone case maker, on a few products. One is a wristlet (shown here), meant to carry cards and small items, that has a built in iPhone charger ($120). The partnership also produced another iPhone 6/6s case with a built in charger ($80) and Apple Watch wristbands ($100). Most of the new products can be preordered or are available now.

Drones fly over Fashion Week

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Image by Rebecca Minkoff Twitter account

In addition to the hordes of fashion photographers, writers and bloggers, there was an unexpected presence at the Rebecca Minkoff show. A 4k Yuneec Typhoon drone carrying a GoPro camera flew overhead (shown here from Rebecca Minkoff Twitter account), recording aerial footage of the models who walked the runway. Intel was behind the drones, and it also launched them at other Fashion Week events, to record attendee arrivals and 360-degree views of the catwalks. It wasn’t the first year a drone appeared at Fashion Week, but they were more widely used this time around.

A front row seat with social media and mobile apps

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Thanks to social media, it’s easier and easier each year to follow NYFW. It used to be an exclusive privilege for media, celebrities and prominent bloggers to be invited to watch fashion shows in person, but today anyone can view the action as it unfolds. For example, NYFW was Snapchat’s featured Story during the last week. Designer Tommy Hilfiger featured 360 degree camera views from backstage, using the new Twitter Halo functionality, and posted them to the company’s feed with the hashtag #tommyspring16. Live broadcasts appeared on Periscope from brands including Ralph Lauren and BCBG. On Instagram, DKNY ran a campaign that used Instagram Direct messages to give feedback to followers on their own clothing via the hashtag #DKNYSS16. And an official NYFW mobile app, called NYFW: The Shows (for iOS and Android), featured schedules, social media coverage, live video and maps to find fashion show venues.

Live streams from the streets of New York

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Aside from the live broadcasts on mobile apps such as Periscope, and the content on other social media platforms, many fashion shows were available as live streams online, so people could watch from their smartphones and computers. While this isn’t a new practice — the streams were available in past years — it is becoming more widespread and opens NYFW to many more people across the globe. For example, designer Tory Burch live streamed the entire presentation of her latest clothing line. The NYFW team broadcast select shows online, including Calvin Klein and Betsy Johnson events. The organization also broadcast shows for passersby on monitors on 14th street in New York City.

3D printed style

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Talented designers and seamstresses didn’t make all of the clothing at NYFW; 3D printers did some of the work, as well. The Chromat Momentum line made its debut and included 3D printed, responsive-designed clothing. The Chromat Adrenaline Dress, made of neoprene and carbon fiber, can detect a person’s adrenaline while wearing it and expand the fabric accordingly. Another example is the Mutatio line of 3D printed heels, created by designer Francis Bitonti for footwear brand, United Nude. The heel component of the shoe is 3D printed, and they’re plated with gold (shown here on the

Smart mirrors for high tech shopping

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Image by Memomi

Digital imaging software maker MemoMi’s “MemoryMirror” is powered by Intel processors, and it lets people see 360 degree views of themselves and also provides different color options for the clothing they try on. For example, if a woman tries on a red dress, the mirror lets her see what it looks like from all angles. And she can see it in black, blue, pink or any other available color option. It also lets people save the images and video of themselves to compare different outfits side by side and share them with friends for feedback.