A marriage of convenience: why luxury fashion brands and technology companies need each other to survive the data revolution
Nyeplu, Ruth Dorancy
Atlanta, Ga. : Savannah College of Art and Design
Thesis (M.F.A.) -- Luxury and Fashion Management
Savannah College of Art and Design -- Department of Luxury and Fashion Management
Includes bibliographical references (p. 159-161).
The purpose of this research is to answer the following questions: In the future data driven economy, what must technology companies and particularly traditional fashion brands do to survive? As consumers become increasingly reliant on technology as a means to monitor every aspect of their daily lives, what role will wearable technology play in advancing consumers’ goal towards a complete digital lifestyle? How can wearable technology become a mainstay in consumer culture such that fashion and technology companies will have access to intimate consumer data that can be used to inform product development decisions? How must these wearables be designed in order to appeal to customers, and what functionalities must these wearable devices have in order to create the best value for consumers, fashion brands and technology companies? After examining the role that dress plays in fashioning the 21st century body, the technological enhancements that will expand the function of dress and its relation to the body, and the emerging generation of affluent, tech savvy luxury consumers, this thesis concludes by recommending fashion and technology companies form big partnerships that will enable companies in these two industries to stay competitive in the future data driven economy. In order to achieve the above stated goals, this thesis delves into how wearable technology can become entrenched in consumer culture by examining current problems with wearable devices, and proposing a more unique and expanded approach to designing and manufacturing wearable technology. Unlike other research on the topic of wearable technology, this paper focuses on intelligent clothing rather than smart devices like smart watches, smart glasses and smart jewelry, as the next frontier for redefining the function of dress, and enhancing the experience and interaction that consumers have with fashion and technology. An important part of this paper is devoted to exploring the advances in technology that is going to make intelligent clothing a real possibility in the lives of the fashionable consumer. These advances in technology are deciphered and analyzed to show how highend fashion brands, which have thus far resisted any embrace of technology in their products, can use such technologies to give their customers a more wholesome and exciting experience with their brands. This paper also critically examines the role that the millennial generation is playing in pushing wearable technology forward by researching how the millennial generation uses technology, and what their hopes are for the future of wearable technologies. Finally, this paper examines the privacy issues associated with wearable technology as has been described in this paper. After scrutinizing the various security shortfalls of wearable technologies, and the very real possibility of consumers loosing any real sense of privacy, this thesis concludes that the inherent benefits of wearable technology outweighs the associated risks. That being said, this paper addresses some possible measures that both consumers and technology companies can take to ensure that the data both consumers and companies create remains secure and out of reach from those who will seek to abuse it.
Keywords: quantified self, ambient environments, intelligent textiles, big data, Millennials
CHAIR: Kline, Robert
Luxury and Fashion Management
PDF ; 175 p. ill. (some col.)
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