Need to Know
19 : 03 : 18

19.03.2018 Food : Fashion : Technology

Smart Stitch facilitates material re-use, adidas’s Deerupt is designed for social media, Sierra Leone uses blockchain to guarantee its presidential elections.

1. An Instagram-optimised sneaker design

Deerupt by adidas, US Deerupt by adidas, US
Deerupt by adidas, US Deerupt by adidas, US
Deerupt by adidas, US Deerupt by adidas, US

US – The silhouette for adidas’s new Deerupt style has been designed to mimic the pose favoured by sneaker-clad Instagrammers.

‘We increasingly see Instagram pictures where people shoot their sneakers with their foot planted down, making sure that the toe is pressed down,’ adidas global senior design director for its Originals line, Oddbjorn Stavseng, told Highsnobiety. ‘So when you see Deerupt, you’ll see this same ‘toe-down’ effect, which was a purposeful design choice.’

The shoe’s mesh-like exterior takes its design cues from the brand’s 1979 style, the Marathon, but has been re-imagined for the modern social media-conscious consumer. Deerupt’s lifestyle credentials are demonstrated on the adidas website, where a series of close-ups of the style emphasise its aesthetic value.

Until now it has predominantly been beauty brands such as Riley Rose that have looked to Instagram for inspiration in both the design and selection of products, but adidas is demonstrating the value brands across sectors can derive from the social media platform.

2. Open Meals believes digitalisation is the future of food

Sushi Transportation by Open Meals, Japan Sushi Teleportation by Open Meals, Japan
Sushi Teleportation by Open Meals, Japan Sushi Teleportation by Open Meals, Japan
Sushi Teleportation by Open Meals, Japan Sushi Teleportation by Open Meals, Japan

Japan – Online food database Open Meals has developed a project based on the concept of 3D printing food using ‘pixelated’ ingredients.

The system centres on a ‘foodbase’ – a digital database of food types broken down into their constituent parts so that they can be recreated as a series of edible gel cubes. Each of these ‘pixels’ is injected with flavour, colour and nutrients, and arranged in the appropriate pattern by a robotic arm so that they approximate real dishes.

Open Meals revealed a prototype of the printer at SXSW 2018, where it conducted what it claims was ‘the world’s first food data transmission’, instantly sending a piece of sushi from Tokyo to Austin. The brand believes that such technology could one day be used to transmit food from earth to off-world consumers.

Open Meals is one of a number of brands keen to re-examine modern methods of food production in order to transform the way we eat.

3. Sierra Leone’s blockchain-powered elections

Sierra Leone – The West African country is the first in the world to assure the legitimacy of its presidential elections through the blockchain ledger.

Votes were manually recorded by Agora, a Swiss company that offers digital voting solutions, using a permissioned rather than a public blockchain. While entries on a permissioned blockchain can be viewed by anyone the entries can only be validated by those with authorisation.

Sierra Leone has long been plagued by unscrupulous public sector officials, with the country ranked 29 over 100 in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2015, four percentage points below the sub-Saharan Africa’s average of 33 over 100.

In line with our Digital Citizens microtrend, consumers are growing frustrated with the lack of transparency and corruption that has infiltrated many political systems around the world.

Inside the Black Box (Supervised Learning) by Tom Pearson, London Inside the Black Box (Supervised Learning) by Tom Pearson, London

4. Smart Stitch develops dissolvable thread to ease the recycling process

Smart Stitch for the Global Change Award 2018

Shortlisted for the Global Changes Awards 2018, Smart Stitch is a new type of thread that dissolves at high temperatures in order to make garment recycling more efficient. Details such as zippers and buttons greatly increase the labour involved in recycling clothes as they often have to be manually removed. Smart Stitch accelerates this process and may even allow it to be industrialised. In addition, when used to replace regular seam stitches, the specialised thread means clothing can be more easily disassembled and repurposed into new garments, cutting the need for reproducing fabric.

The Global Change Awards, initiated by the H&M Foundation, champions engineers and designers attempting to shift the fashion industry towards a circular economy model by promoting sustainable innovation. To discover more about the brands playing an active role in this evolution, read our Fashion Futures 2017 report here.

5. Quality wins out in beauty sector

At a talk presented at Cosmoprof 2018, Euromonitor International explored how brands could better align their strategies to new consumer mindsets.

Irina Barbalova, global lead of beauty and personal care at Euromonitor, presented findings from the market research firm around emerging consumer values and their effects on the beauty industry. Among them was the continuing growth of premium beauty thanks to a less conspicuous form of consumption that prefers quality to quantity and the belief that materialism is a form of self-expression. ‘There is a new perception of value, which is based around things such as purpose, simplicity and transparency as well as holistic wellbeing, empowerment and experience,’ said Barbalova.

6. Thought-starter: Can industrial designers transform fashion?

By applying the same processes to clothing as they would to object design, industrial designers are bringing their specialisms to the field of fashion.

Jijibaba is a fashion label whose point of difference is that all of its pieces are created by a community of product and industrial designers. ‘Jijibaba’s ambition is to bring high-quality and functional clothing options to the market utilising ideas and approaches that emanate from the designers’ grounding in industrial design,’ reads the brand’s website. Its first collection featured such design luminaries as Jaime Hayon and Jasper Morrison.

Mini is another brand working to bring industrial design expertise to the field of fashion. ‘You have new things you can do in the world of fashion,’ said Sebastian Mackensen, senior vice-president of brand for Mini. ‘You have good justification to talk about your brand and bring it into communications and the media with a very high frequency cycle.’

The brand launched its second capsule collection, Beyond Native: Mini Fashion, at Pitti Immagine Uomo in Florence, and commissioned five up-and-coming designers to bring the collection to life.

For more on how brands are using industrial design to transform the fashion industry, see our microtrend Industrial Garments.

Jijibaba by Jaime Hayon Jijibaba by Jaime Hayon