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What’s new in fashtech?

Posted by Emma Sandham on 28th September 2017

In my last blog discussing the “Internet of Clothes”, I had a look at the newest fashion and wearable tech hitting the market following London Tech Week, and my trip to meet the inspiring Women of Wearables.

Now that London Fashion Week has come to an end, I want to revisit the industry and share a new ‘FashTech’ project that has really caught my eye, and is actually available to buy in shops next month…

So, here it is, the new ‘Commuter Trucker Jacket’ from Levi’s and Jacquard by Google.

The design is a simple, ready-to-wear, classic ‘Trucker’ style jacket from everyone’s trusted jean brand. However, what the jacket can do really epitomises everything that we want to see from ‘smart clothing.’

Aimed at commuters, the jacket has a small wearable ‘tag’ built into the sleeve. This acts as the central ‘hub’ for the workings of the jacket. Connected to an associated mobile app, the fabric also contains capacitive fibres that allows you to swipe and tap the sleeve like a touchscreen, triggering different commands.

Although the jacket is targeted more towards those who commute by bicycle, its futuristic solution means you don’t have to use your smartphone whilst on the move, you can simply answer a phone call by tapping your sleeve, turn up the music with a swipe and double-tap to have your new messages read out to you.

Looking to make an impact on safety, cutting down the number of bicycle accidents caused by people checking their phones on the move, Levi’s have created a stylish jacket, true to its brand, with real tech features.

Check out a demonstration in this rather ‘edgy’ video from Levi’s:


So, fancy getting one for your daily commute through London via Boris Bike?

Well, it’s going to set you back around £260. And unfortunately, it’s also been reported that the jacket can only be washed 10 times before all of the ‘smart’ features stop working. So, in my eyes, the jury is still out on this one until it’s been tried and tested by some real commuters.

However, if there’s anything to take from Levi’s and Google’s work here, it’s that fashion and technology can have a really great relationship. The brands working on bringing visions of practical, but stylish, smart clothing to market are the true pioneers and I hope to see much more of this in mainstream ‘fash-tech’ at next year’s London fashion Week…

Emma Sandham