Elise By Olsen’s Wallet mag unpicks fashion tech, with contributions from Issey Miyake and Neri Oxman
Issue eight of the glossy publication features the so-called Titans of Tech exploring the possible impacts of technological innovation in the fashion industry.
- Jenny Brewer
- 3 August 2020
- Reading Time
- 2 minute read
Publishing prodigy Elise By Olsen has gathered quite the star-studded contributor list for issue eight of Wallet. Themed Titans of Tech, it features labels and studios who are pushing boundaries in the realms of technological innovation for the fashion industry, such as Issey Miyake, Neri Oxman, Alexander McQueen, Fecal Matter, Iris van Herpen, Hermés and Google’s We Wear Culture. The issue explores how tech is not only affecting every step of the chain from production to promotion, but also aesthetics, and asks if it might “dramatically impact the way we actually live – and dress in – our lives”.
“Technology is no longer just an element, but a condition of fashion,” Elise writes in her editor’s letter. “Today, digital fashion retail platforms consider themselves primarily as tech companies whose technological innovation can be marketed to clients far beyond the fashion circuit. Inversely, there are tech companies who almost overnight have come to structure the very basis of the fashion industry. Instagram is the current prime example of this, initially a portfolio-type image-sharing app for creatives, which, after a billion dollar acquisition by Facebook in 2012, has merged into a fashion publishing, news, retail, advertising, and networking platform all under one roof. This challenges some of the most historically ingrained elements of fashion promotion, as evidenced with the exodus from print advertising by many luxury brands.”
Meanwhile, Elise says that fashion, like most industries, is moving towards “dematerialisation, digital streamlining and data-driven predictions,” yet conversely, the sector’s emergent technologies “prove again and again that fashion remains deeply physical, embodied, and irrational”.
To delve into specifics, Elise and the Wallet team invited 20 fashion practitioners – the aforementioned labels and designers, alongside Thom Browne, Jade Andrews, Hanifa, Bless, and more – to interpret the theme of fashion-tech in “philosophical, conceptual and aesthetic terms... They have all involved and activated technology in their work in fashion,” Elise explains, “albeit on different terms – and highlight a broader observation that technology no longer carries a particular ‘look’.”
The issue also features three Q&As with “Titans of Tech”: fashion designer Ying Gao, who is working with mechanical technologies and innovation; chief digital officer of LVMH, Ian Rogers; and designer Natsai Audrey Chieza, who is working at the intersection of biotechnology and material science.
Wallet issue eight is out now, designed by Morteza Vaseghi.