Offering a unique, highly emotional and physical product made the fashion industry feel safe. Somehow. Not anymore.
To think about fashion as software and a collection of data obviously doesn’t fit with the creative work of fashion designers.
However, the ability to (freely) access and copy data combined with the access to modern production methods for all of us will substitute couture for code. Technology will lead to an unprecedented form of individualization. And this with high speed.
Modern hardware and software will not only empower users to create what they have in mind but also to produce it right away. In that case, copyright has to be rethought entirely. The time of mass production, a legitimate child of the industrial revolution, might be over somehow leapfrogging backward to made to order. Not a bad choice facing today’s negative impact of the fashion industry to the labor market and our environment. Smart fabrics, 3D printing, and bio-couture are right for revolutionizing the fashion market allowing for designs and features you wouldn’t dream of today.
But we are not finished yet. Despite its typical purpose fashion extends its functionality to health and fitness as well as to communication and security features. Repairing gets important. Last but not least the well-rehearsed rhythm of the fashion world is losing its beat. There is a new player on stage, the prosumer.
Musicians earn their money today on stage (again), with massive multimedia shows and, thanks to social media, well connected to their crowd. Where is the disrupting fashion show on stage?