Fashion

These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.

Ten up-and-coming designers were tasked with incorporating Intel technology into everyday clothing.
These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.
Image credit: CoffeeAndMilk | Getty Images
5 min read

When it comes to the fashion world, technology seems to fit right in. Intel partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the Vogue Fashion Fund for their annual CVFF Design Challenge, empowering 10 up-and-coming designers to create unique wearables that incorporate Intel's Curie technology, which provides computing power for wearable devices in a chip the size of a shirt button.

In addition to incorporating the chip, designers were challenged to have their creation showcase a personal memory, enhance an emotional connection to an event or elevate an experience.

Among 10 final contestants, Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock of Brock Collection took home the $400,000 prize and a year of mentorship with their custom design. The runners up were designers Stirling Barrett of Krewe du Optic and Adam Selman. Read on to see what the winners came up with and to check out the other futuristic design concepts.

Related: These 15 Companies Are Bringing Tech to Fashion

These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.

A hand-carved horn label that provides personalized styling tips.

A hand-carved horn label that provides personalized styling tips.
Image credit: BFA

Winners Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock are the brains behind luxury womenswear label, Brock.

The nostalgic duo was inspired by their childhoods growing up in the country. To incorporate this memory, they embedded the Intel Curie chip into a hand-carved horn label that lives on the back of a coat. The chip connects to an app that gives personalized styling tips to its wearer.

Image Credit: BFA
These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.

Sunglasses that double as a camera.

Sunglasses that double as a camera.
Image credit: BFA

Sunglass company Krewe Du Optic and its designer and challenge runner-up Stirling Barrett strive to preserve the culture of New Orleans through its frames. 

Using the Intel Curie chip to support his vision of preservation, he envisions sunglasses that capture memories in a more “natural-feeling way” than using a smartphone. Essentially, the sunglasses have a small camera and are able to take photos throughout the wearer’s day.

 

These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.

A brooch that notifies the wearer of appointments, emails, Uber rides and more.

A brooch that notifies the wearer of appointments, emails, Uber rides and more.
Image credit: BFA

Runner-up Adam Selman is a costume designer, most recognized for creating Rihanna’s red carpet looks and on-stage getups.

Combining the efficiency and helpfulness that technology has to offer with his sense of fashion, Selman has designed a rose-shaped brooch with the Intel Curie chip that helps notify a wearer when it’s time for an appointment, an email is received, an Uber has arrived and more. The brooch will sync to a smartphone to light up or vibrate whenever it gets one of these notifications.

Image Credit: BFA
These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.

A silk mask that helps wearers sleep better.

A silk mask that helps wearers sleep better.
Image credit: BFA

Inspired by her favorite childhood film The Wizard of Oz, up-and-coming fashion designer and artist Morgan Lane designed a silk mask to help the wearer sleep better.

The mask is adorned in illustrious patterns, with the Intel Curie chip situated inside the accessory's strap to measure brain waves and temperature. With these measurements, the mask has the ability to identify the user’s sleep stage and even steer them away from bad dreams by controlling temperature.

These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.

Clothing that disables nearby smartphones.

Clothing that disables nearby smartphones.
Image credit: BFA

Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper are the designers behind men’s fashion label Rochambeau.

By incorporating the Intel Curie chip into their chic streetwear designs, they are encouraging wearers to get off the phone and enjoy spending time together. When two wearers are within five feet of each other, the technology disables both of their smartphones for a certain amount of time, “encouraging social intimacy.”

These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.

A self-cooling blazer that regulates body temperature and heart rate.

A self-cooling blazer that regulates body temperature and heart rate.
Image credit: BFA

Ji Oh, an international fashion designer from South Korea, creates delicate and balanced designs for women.

With the Intel Curie technology sewn in, she has designed a self-cooling blazer that tracks heart rate and body temperature. When heart rate or blood pressure goes up, the blazer detects this and helps to neutralize it and keep the wearer cool and comfortable.

These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.

Boots that track a performer’s movements and enhance onstage visuals.

Boots that track a performer’s movements and enhance onstage visuals.
Image credit: BFA
Maryam and Marjan Malakpour.

Sisters Maryam and Marjan Malakpour are the masterminds behind L.A.-based shoe and handbag brand, NewbarK.

The sisters will add the Intel Curie chip as an extension to their current mid-ankle heeled boot. The boot will then track a stage performer’s movements onstage and send the data to a connected lighting system. The lighting system will be able to adjust the lightings and visuals happening onstage in real-time.

These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.

Lace-up booties that make recommendations about places nearby to go.

Lace-up booties that make recommendations about places nearby to go.
Image credit: BFA
Chloe Gosselin in lace-up booties with Curie chip.

Influenced by music, contemporary art, photography and vintage aesthetics, Chloe Gosselin is a French-born shoe designer.

For the competition, Gosselin was inspired by a childhood visit to Claude Monet’s Giverny gardens, designing a pair of lace-up booties embedded with the Curie chip. The booties are designed to tell the wearer about her environment. The boots will make recommendations about nearby places to go and things to see, and share information about objects nearby.

These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.

Garments that tell their story.

Garments that tell their story.
Image credit: BFA
Designer Chris Stamp (left).

Chris Stamp is creator of Stampd, a West Coast contemporary lifestyle brand.

By installing Intel Curie chips into various garments, the technology provides the user information specific to the piece they are wearing -- including its inspiration, where the materials are from and a fully interactive map showing how exactly the piece got from the factory to the hands of the customer.

These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.

A dress that visually changes according to the wearer’s movements.

A dress that visually changes according to the wearer’s movements.
Image credit: BFA

Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk are the creators of Area, a design studio that specializes in “textile manipulation.”

The designers envision a dress that uses the Intel Curie chip to learn the gestures of a wearer’s movements. By learning these movements, the technology will change the visual aspects of the dress such as illuminating embroidery and LEDs throughout the dress.

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  • These Designers Were Challenged to Combine Tech With Fashion. Here's Who Rose to the Top.
  • 1. A hand-carved horn label that provides personalized styling tips.
  • 2. Sunglasses that double as a camera.
  • 3. A brooch that notifies the wearer of appointments, emails, Uber rides and more.
  • 4. A silk mask that helps wearers sleep better.
  • 5. Clothing that disables nearby smartphones.
  • 6. A self-cooling blazer that regulates body temperature and heart rate.
  • 7. Boots that track a performer’s movements and enhance onstage visuals.
  • 8. Lace-up booties that make recommendations about places nearby to go.
  • 9. Garments that tell their story.
  • 10. A dress that visually changes according to the wearer’s movements.
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