You really don’t need us to mention that technology is altering the world. But it seems like while every other industry has caught the news, the fashion retail environment is still stuck on the sidelines.
The fashion industry has a contradictory relationship with tech. Nowadays, retailers are pseudo-tech establishments that analyze and study buying behaviors from consumers. They have created mobile apps, social media strategies, and so on, ahead of other industries. But at the same time, fashion designers have felt zero or no pressure to incorporate technology into their products. This is the primary reason why they are still in the dark.
Fashion designers are not expected to solve practical issues. Their objective is to create demand for their products on both aesthetic and emotional levels. This follows the definition of fashion, which helps showcase and represent who we are. When someone puts on a designer top or wears a smart jacket with solar-powered charging ports, he/she is expressing a belief via fashion.
In a way, technology has failed to address the need of people who want to express themselves via style instead of functionality. On the flip side, fashion has been unable to address people’s desires who wish to express themselves via functionality rather than style. So, people who are in need of both functionality and style are left unsatisfied.
Why the gap?
There is a gap. There is so much adaptation that traditional retail needs to incorporate. The world is continuously changing around traditional businesses at an alarming rate, and that resistance to accept and work with new technologies will be the bane of most retailers.
While the fashion industry looks like the kind of industry that is an early adopter of technology, it still has a long way to bridge the gap. Every part of the cycle, from how the product is manufactured, how it is showcased and ultimately retailed, will change drastically in the years to come.
This is why there is a huge opportunity for designers to work with tech companies. This will help solve the issue of providing those who love tech and fashion the product they need.
When you look out across the diverse array of tech on offer, there’s many areas technology could be used, from supply chain to product creation, consumer engagement, and lots more. As technology becomes better, we would get to where we cannot do without it. At that point, any industry that hasn’t adapted to the demands will be left behind.