Is Silicon Valley Changing The Fashion World And What California Startups Are Missing?

Is Silicon Valley Changing The Fashion World And What California Startups Are Missing?
Is Silicon Valley Changing The Fashion World And What California Startups Are Missing?
Anonim

Fashionable startups in Silicon Valley pursue quite good goals - to create affordable, functional, comfortable and environmentally friendly things. And so far there is only one serious but that prevents these projects from becoming full-fledged participants in fashion processes - design. According to fashion industry insiders, clothes and accessories often look too restrained, and sometimes simply inconspicuous. If this problem is solved in the near future, then Silicon Valley has every chance of becoming a significant part of global fashion.

Eucalyptus pulp and wool sneakers are produced by the Allbirds startup. In 2014, he appeared on the Kickstarter platform and in just a few days raised about $ 100,000. One of the founders of the brand, a native of New Zealand Tim Brown, is a former football player. He set himself the goal of creating comfortable shoes from natural materials for adherents of an active lifestyle. The brand was launched in 2016, and in 2018, Nordstrom department store began selling shoes on its website (sales, I must say, lasted only a few months). The pair for an adult cost $ 95, and the kids' sneakers cost $ 55.

Allbirds Sneakers
Allbirds Sneakers

Allbirds Sneakers © Allbirds press materials

Another example is the Atoms sneakers, which were invented by Sidra Qasim and Wakas Ali. They are an order of magnitude more expensive than the Allbirds and look as neutral as possible. According to the idea, the buyer is brought not only the shoes and special socks ordered by him, but three more pairs close to his size, so that he can choose the most comfortable option. Many netizens have commented that paying $ 179 for an apparently unremarkable sneaker is rather strange - and perhaps they were right.

Atoms Sneakers
Atoms Sneakers

Atoms Sneakers © wearatoms.com

Function over form is still the unspoken slogan of the technology world. As many Western publications reasonably note, it seems that all these convenient things are designed directly for the inhabitants of Silicon Valley. The same Atoms sneakers fit perfectly into the image of a conventional engineer working at Apple. But they are unlikely to be able to compete with Balenciaga or Yeezy.

Silicon Valley Fashion Week was held in 2016?!. Punctuation marks are not a typo, but part of the name of the event, and they demonstrate a rather sober attitude of the organizers to their own initiative. For three days, visitors could see performances with robots and drones, clothes with LEDs, dresses made of technological fabrics that fit equally well on girls with a variety of shapes.

Photo: sv-fashionweek.splashthat.com
Photo: sv-fashionweek.splashthat.com

1 of 7 © sv-fashionweek.splashthat.com © sv-fashionweek.splashthat.com © sv-fashionweek.splashthat.com © sv-fashionweek.splashthat.com © sv-fashionweek.splashthat.com

Organizer of Silicon Valley Fashion Week ?! - Chris Lindland, founder of the Betabrand project. The point of the latter is to select various fashionable inventions on a crowdfunding platform and launch the most successful ones into production, tracking what people really want to buy. Betabrand's bestsellers include “office” trousers made of fabric so soft that they can be worn for yoga classes, travel items, shoes with “the world's most comfortable heels” with a special insole that remembers the shape of the foot. But, again, looking at the unassuming appearance of these high-tech things, you understand that outside of Silicon Valley they are unlikely to be in mass demand.

Betabrand Shoes
Betabrand Shoes

Betabrand shoes © betabrand.com

The Rothy's brand is one of the few cases where fashion and progress have successfully combined. Roth Martin and Stephen Hawthornthwaite have come up with a technology that uses recycled plastic and rubber to create shoes that are breathable. Shoes can be machine washed and when they become unusable they should be sent to Rothy's office for recycling. The brand now offers three designs: ballet flats, pointed toe shoes and loafers. The color palette is wide (there is even a leopard print), and the price is quite affordable: $ 165 for loafers, $ 145 for pointed shoes and $ 125 for ballet flats. Importantly, unlike many similar eco-friendly counterparts, Rothy's shoes are beautiful and clearly intended for a wide audience.

Rothy's shoes
Rothy's shoes

Rothy's shoes © facebook.com/pg/rothys

The Everlane project also serves a good purpose with design in mind. The store cooperates only with those factories whose ethics are 100% sure. Everlane management knows the conditions under which this or that thing was produced, and on the site you can read not only about each production you are interested in, but also about the materials. At the same time, the Everlane assortment is also aimed at a mass audience: things that are quite laconic and at the same time beautiful are made of high-quality materials like organic cotton or Mongolian cashmere.

In the beginning, Everlane offered only one T-shirt, but today it is a full-fledged brand with seasonal collections of clothing and footwear, men and women lines. In addition, the brand currently has one store each in New York and San Francisco.

However, both Rothy's and Everlane are just exceptions that prove the rule: so far few people manage to harmoniously combine the world of fashion and technology.

Everlane brand
Everlane brand

1 of 3 Brand Everlane © facebook.com/pg/Everlane Brand Everlane © facebook.com/pg/Everlane Brand Everlane © facebook.com/pg/Everlane

At the same time, Silicon Valley, like the fashion industry, has its own trendsetters, which may be able to positively influence the products of California startups. Oddly enough, but technological geniuses, in the minds of the majority, despise fashion, buy designer brands and generally do not ignore the fashion industry. The same Mark Zuckerberg wears gray Brunello Cucinelli T-shirts, which, by the way, are sewn to order for him. Kevin Systrom and Larry Page choose Lanvin sneakers, Mark Benioff has been seen in Christian Louboutin sneakers many times, Apple chief designer Jonathan Ive attended the iPhone X presentation in the company of Virgil Abloh, creative director of the Off-White and Louis Vuitton brands, Tim Cook sits in the front row men's show by Roberto Cavalli, and Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel was on the cover of Italian L'Uomo Vogue back in 2015.

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg © David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Late last year, The Guardian named Silicon Valley the new Hollywood, and its inhabitants - the new stars that people want to look up to and be like, including in the way they dress. And if they have changed their attitude to fashion, then, perhaps, over time, the things that create in the valley will also change. After all, Apple and Hermès released not only smart watches, but also really beautiful watches, appropriate both on the wrist of a geek from Palo Alto and a fashionable Parisian Instagram blogger.>

Popular by topic