Written by Kristina Dimitrova, November 2017

The global smart fabrics market is projected to reach $5.5bn by 2022, according to a recent report by Transparency Market Research, with the sector set to undergo a segmentation based on products, applications and functions. In terms of application, fashion is one of the key industries where smart fabrics could be incorporated and help lead the growth of the market.

While players in the industry might feel like the conversation around getting the convergence of fashion and technology right has been going on for ages (and it really has!) without much change, we have actually come a long way since the dawn of fashion tech circa 2004. The smart creatives have realised that fashion tech pieces are not merely a light up dress (although there’s nothing wrong with a bit of sparkle). Similarly, engineers have understood the importance of how products look and feel, making design a fundamental part of the product creation process instead of an after thought. Lastly, and arguably the most exciting part, is that some fashion tech pieces have made their way to the consumer market, as opposed to staying confined to the real of performance art, reserved for celebrities and the runway only.

With that in mind, we decided to round up some the most stylish and functional products on the market.

Emel + Aris Smart CoatEmel+Aris

London-based brand Emel+Aris has created the world’s first luxury smart coat by using revolutionary heat technology. The coat, which is available for both men and women, lets the wearer control the temperature with three heat settings, which can be activated at the touch of a button. The battery, discretely hidden in an easily accessible pocket, has three heat settings that control power usage. On the lowest setting, the battery can heat the coat for 8-10 hours; on the highest heat setting it lasts about three hours, with the exact time determined by the outside temperature. The battery comes with a cable with a USB connector, which doubles up as mobile phone charger.

“How is it that in this time and age, with all the technology we have at our disposal, the weather can still affect the way we look and what we’re free to do? How is it that heated coats are not a “thing”,” told us Rana Nakhal, founder of Emel+Aris. “I grew up in Canada and my husband comes from Norway. Both countries are filled with gorgeous stylish people, all reduced to looking like snowmen for half the year. I then thought of London (currently my home city), New York, Paris and all the other beautiful cities where you really do experience three seasons in a day… A stylish coat with heat that I could adjust to my liking seemed like a no brainier: trans-seasonal, perfect for travelling, Emel+Aris was born: 25 cities, one coat; 3 seasons, one coat.”

Emel+Aris’ luxury trenches and wraps are in the £1,100-1,500 range, with a bespoke option at £3,000. It’s not too early to start thinking about your Christmas list…



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