Solange, Janelle Monae, even Miley Cyrus all contributed to the fashion era of today. It is both dreamy in colour, edgy in aesthetic and retro in appearance. It has very few bounds, and is pushed further with every Insta post. It takes notes from the past and moulds it into the present with cut, shape, styling and attitude never seen before.
Yes, millennials have been serving up delicious fashion, and the buffet is rich with choice.
But what about the next generation? Not just the Gen Z’s but the Alphas. Generation Alpha, the children of millennials were, and will all be born post 2000. Today, members of this generation are still babies or young kids.
Digi Day already reports that they’ll be the most powerful market players in terms of spending power and will most likely be the generation to live the longest.
Will they be true to their ‘Alpha’ name – Type A’s who do things their way? A completely new way, dressing in a manner never fathomed before? Perhaps.
Or, creativity might just become extinct considering the advancements in tech and its current incorporation into fashion.
Making clothes more practical
If we look at some of the best new designs dreamed up by inventors in 2018, as named in the most recent issue of TIME Magazine, the message is clear cut: clothing that works better on and for the human body, is the new black.
That is, tech being utilised to make clothing more practical, more durable and more sustainable.
A smarter than ever Reebok sports bra, pantyhose that won’t rip (ever!), bracelets that curb bad habits, glow in the dark jackets for joggers, and makeup sets that almost apply your makeup for you.
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In the future, #clothes will adapt to people—not the other way around. At least, that’s the promise of #ZOZOSUIT, the flagship product from @zozoglobal, a Japanese retailer. The stretchy black #bodysuits are covered in white dots, which enables consumers to make a “3-D scan” of their bodies in the comfort of their own home, via a companion mobile app. Users can then order custom-fit clothes—such as $58 jeans and $22 T-shirts—based on a set of super-specific measurements. “This is a new era,” says ZOZO founder and CEO @yusaku2020, whose larger goal is to do away with #fashion’s long-held idea of standardized sizing, which often excludes many #body types. Since its launch in Japan in April, ZOZO has shipped over 1 million ZOZOSUITs; now the brand is looking to expand its customization technology into footwear. See the full list of 50 groundbreaking #inventions that are changing the way we #live, #work, #play and #think about what’s possible, on TIME.com.
Gen Alpha grew up, tablet in hand.
And as our world becomes predominantly tech ruled, we gravitate to and demand more streamlined products. It needs to work now, be efficient and fast. No exceptions.
However, fashion is not streamlined, and it doesn’t always have to work. Fashion is art, is imagination, is flawed. If everything is just about retractable, anti-theft pockets, and no-wash, anti-sweat fabrics, it might all just become a bit bland, robotic and even clinical.
Keeping creativity alive
Tech-enhanced clothing might be lit, but that won’t automatically equate a wardrobe that’s fire. Gen Z’s nano-influencers could, however, change the direction fashion’s heading in.
Nano-influencers will most likely be the next set of influencers. They run those Insta accounts with around 1-2K followers. Maybe less. They have smaller numbers, but big proportionate engagement.
Their followers are friends, friends of friends, people they gym with, exes who orbit them and people they work with.
More likely to trust them, followers regard these accounts as more authentic, which means they are more likely to be influenced on a micro-level. Fashion accounts run by small-time influencers feel more relatable and attainable compared to, say, an Insta-star with 225K followers.
It’s a girl-next-door approach, essentially.
Micro-level influencing done by nanos could keep fashion ‘alive’ by injecting a different point of view offered by those bigger accounts, as they aren’t sponsored or cannot necessarily afford high-end tech clothing and gadgets.
To an extent, millennials inspired a lot of Gen Zers to forego hyper-consumerist culture, trading in mass-produced crap for a nostalgic aesthetic offered by items like fannypacks, FILAs and vintage t-shirts.
Gen Z nanos might have an easier task of passing the baton as they are up against a generation who better relate to screens than to IRL human faces.
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