Fashion Needs To Step Up Technology Education

I ran across an interesting article about the fashion industry and its approach to new technologies. Is the industry keeping up with what can only be described as science-fictional technologies?

Fashion has undergone a rapid transformation over the past decade, with companies evolving their business models to meet the fast-pace of the digital world by changing runway to retail cycles, strengthening e-commerce offerings and dedicating entire teams to social media in a bid to keep pace with ever-changing consumer values.

But is fashion education keeping pace?

to try to keep pace with the changes in technology would be impossible on an undergraduate course, said Christopher New, pathway leader of the fashion menswear BA at Central Saint Martins. "Our courses focus on design, not manufacturing, and technology is so far advanced now in garment construction, that it would be impossible for us to cover this in a three year course,” New told BoF. “We do require students to be proficient in most aspects of CAD drawing for fashion — so they know the basics of a garment ‘tech pack’ — mainly using the fashion drawing tools from Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop...”

Some progress is being made, albeit slowly, with some fashion colleges attempting to bridge the gap by establishing innovation labs, where students can engage with and explore the different options within technology. Parsons and London College of Fashion have installed digital labs to increase students' familiarity of digital practices, allowing students to experiment and work on specific projects within the space of wearables, the Internet of things and haptics technology — digital interactions involving touch.

“There is a growing awareness that we as an institution have to prepare them for what that [new] eco-system is going to be like,” Matthew Drinkwater, head of fashion innovation agency at London College of Fashion.

As technovelgy readers know, keeping up with advances in fashion is almost as easy as reading - if you're reading science fiction. Here are a few examples to get you fashionistas started:


Author (Publication Date)

Neal Stephenson (1992)
Neal Stephenson (1992)
Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle) (1974)
H.G. Wells (1899)
J.G. Ballard (1970)
Frank Herbert (1965)
Gordon R. Dickson (1960)
George RR Martin (1977)
Bruce Sterling (1988)
David H. Keller (1928)
Margaret Atwood (2003)
Neal Stephenson (1995)
J.G. Ballard (1970)
Frank Herbert (1965)
Philip K. Dick (1954)
William Gibson (1984)
Gary Shteyngart (2011)
Philip K. Dick (1977)
Margaret Atwood (2003)
Steve Perry (1986)
Philip K. Dick (1953)
Murray Leinster (1945)
Philip K. Dick (1969)
Stanislaw Lem (1961)
Jack Vance (1952)
Jack Vance (1952)
Frank Herbert (1965)
Frank Herbert (1969)
Harry Harrison (1970)
Frank Herbert (1965)

Via Business of Fashion.

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