In this episode of the Electric Runway podcast, fashion tech journalist Amanda Cosco takes you inside Berlin’s vibrant fashion tech community to learn all about the Fashion Fusion program.
In case you haven’t been following along, the Fashion Fusion program is an ideas competition for encouraging innovation + collaboration in the fashion tech space with groundbreaking concepts. The initiative was funded by the Deutsche Telekom, a German Telekom company, but is powered by a network of awesomeness, including our friends at ElektroCouture and Fashion Tech Berlin. Other partners include Intel, Wired Magazine, Fab Lab Berlin, and the German Research Centre for Artifical Intelligence—to name a few.
The program was announced in the summer of 2016, with a call for submissions in late May. By August 16, 2016, the jury—which includes upper-echelon representatives from the fields of fashion and technology—had announced twelve finalists. These selected artists, designers, and entrepreneurs would go on to work closely with the House of ElektroCouture to develop their concepts.
Today on the show, you’re going to hear from two very important characters at the centre of the fashion fusion program. Antje Hundhausen is the VP of brand experience at Deutsche Telekom—known as T-Mobile in North America. Antje discusses why a telecommunications company is interested in the future of smart fashion.
Lisa Lang is the founder of ElektroCouture, a fashion tech house that helps entrepreneurs bring fashion tech concepts to market. She’s also the lead curator of the Fashion Fusion program. She’s going to announce the winners, which are being revealed as this podcast is published in Berlin at a special awards ceremony.
Fashion Fusion Winners:
First Place (20,000 euros): Trainwear
Trainwear —a virtual personal trainer integrated in smart fitness clothing. Using a modular software system and sensors which they designed themselves, Gernot Bahle, Bo Zhou and Lorenzo Fürg – in collaboration with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) – have created components that supplement sportswear with a functional aspect. This enables data exchange with various devices to provide feedback on personal training.
Second Place (10,000 euros): Mimeme
Mimeme—an augmented reality app that makes it possible to wear virtual clothes. The augmented reality (AR) app Mimeme from Tank Thunderbird and her team enables users to have a new fashion experience via virtual clothes. Visual markings on clothing items serve as placeholders for elements and shapes that are digitally projected onto the body, and which then become visible through various devices. Thus it is possible for the person wearing this apparel to don fashion which he or she does not own in physical form.
Third Place (5,000 euros): TranSwarm Entities
TranSwarm Entities—haute tech couture performance stages 3D printing and drone technology for the catwalk. For the production of her newest haute couture dress “TranSwarm Entities”, Maartje Dijkstra made use of state-of-the-art technology. The abstract fragments which are combined to make a dress, she fabricated by using a manually- operated 3D printer. Drones are another important element of the fashion performance, which the fashion designer conceived together with music producer Beorn Lebenstedt (Newk) to highlight the dress.
Fashion Fusion Finalists:
Editor’s note: Please excuse the audio quality of this episode. It was conducted long-distance from Berlin and does not meet the audio standards we normally uphold on the Electric Runway podcast 🎧