Technology has seemingly shaped and defined the very cultural shifts which have led humanity to its current point. As one of the most invested-in industries in the world, the influence of technology is far-reaching. What happens when a culturally-defining phenomenon, such as technology, clashes with another?
Some recent trends in fashion give us an insight into the importance of technology in creating fashion.
Thought to have been an accessory to our distant ancestors over 40,000 years ago – though, the classic caveman was probably not strutting about with a Gucci snakeskin – the bag has been a prominent companion to humans. The purpose of the bag has varied with time, though – whilst initially used to transport essentials (food, rocks, and whatever else a caveman deemed ‘essential’), our reliance on technology has seen the contents of a bag go from rocks to our tech essentials.
So, while it remains important to ‘look cool’, a concept that is as fluid as it is recurring in terms of the lifecycle of fashion, accessories, and bags in particular have had to adapt to the practical needs of users. With its users in a nearly symbiotic relationship with technology, bags are becoming increasingly more like vehicles for humans’ everyday tech – or, more succinctly: a ‘tech survival kit’ as it was poetically named in ExpressVPN’s recent piece.
So, whether it’s aesthetically pleasing or not, the functionality of a bag has battled its way to a position of ultimate importance.
Originally an unflattering, messy piece of equipment exclusive to IT technicians, the presence of headphones in the fashion industry was a huge innovation. We can thank Dr. Dre for that, whose story is told brilliantly in Netflix’s biographical docuseries.
Nowadays, we don’t think twice when we see someone with a big set of headphones on walking about – if we did, we’d be thinking about headphones a lot of the time: just about everyone has a pair. But this wasn’t always the case; you would’ve got some more curious looks if you were wearing headphones when they were first invented. With wires hanging out, an extremely thin layer of protection, and a mouthpiece that didn’t work too well, early headphones weren’t exactly catwalk worthy. The demand for digital listening equipment and the human tendency to desire a fashionable aesthetic forced the ultimate intertwinement of the two industrial phenomena. The result?
Some pretty cool headphones.
Individual products aside, technology revolutionized the fashion industry in terms of production and supply. Imagine a world without a sewing machine, a clothes printer, or a heat press, or any of the vast range of technologies that are crucial to the clothing industry across the globe. Technology is a facilitator. Fashion pioneers rely on technology to implement their innovative ideas and designs into tangible products for lovers of the industry to indulge in. Whether the effect comes into play on the purpose of the item, the style of the item, or the production of an item, one thing is sure: technology permeates through fashion.