Fashion's New F-Word: Fake
WATCH OF THE WEEK
Director Jovan Todorovic’s new documentary, Synthetic Overture, explores the increasingly intimate relationship between young people and technology. Premiering on Dazed Digital in partnership with ZDDZ, the short film is a compilation of video-diary style shots of real people in the UK, USA, Austria, and Russia and highlights how people have two sides: their alone selves and their on-camera persona. While some of the documentary’s participants feel their phone is an extension of themselves and akin to a “detachable organ,” others worry about how technology is contributing to their diminishing sense of self and confusion about their “real” identities. Todorovic’s film couldn’t have come at a better time as discussions around the anxieties associated with technology, privacy, and identity are sure to continue well into 2018.
You know that saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”? Marc Jacobs is taking this mantra to heart and gaining some cool cred in the process. The brand is collaborating with Insta-famous bootleg artist Ava Nirui (known for reinterpreting the monikers of other designers such as Christian Dior, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton) on a custom hoodie printed with “Mark Jacobes est. 1985.” Selling out in just one day, the collaboration is the latest example of the collaborative and successful “real bootleg” trend making waves in the fashion industry. Expect even more in 2018 from Nirui, who went from independent artist to luxury brand collaborator within a year and has recently landed a role as digital editor at Helmut Lang.
Speaking of re-examining our relationship with technology, German designer Klemens Schillinger has invented a new fidget tool concept for smartphone addicts, the Substitute Phone. A way to combat the twitches associated with being away from one’s smartphone, the Substitute Phone is a simple black block about the size and weight of an average smartphone and features a variety of balls for users to spin mimicking gestures they would use while using their smartphones. While digitally native Gen Zs have no desire to disconnect, their Millennial and Gen X counterparts are becoming increasingly interested in unplugging making this a tool they might gravitate towards.
IN OUR CARTS
Unspun is the latest clothing startup leveraging technology to provide customers with a completely tailored experience in both its product offerings and overall retail experience. Using 3D imaging in conjunction with fit algorithms, Unspun creates custom fit jeans based on shoppers’ measurements. Like other thought-leaders in the clothing space such as Nordstrom Local, Unspun’s pop-ups aren’t simply a showroom of their denim wares, but rather a place where customers can have a drink and one-on-one conversation with an Unspun representative, who walks them through the 3D measurement process. After the 3D imaging technology collects 100,000 data points on customers’ measurements, shoppers simply choose their preferred style and fabric and their final purchases are sent straight to their doors. If there’s one thing we’ll bet on, it’s that the promise of perfectly fitting jeans is sure to entice even the most devout online shoppers to visit a brick-and-mortar store.
This week, social networking giant Facebook launched Messenger Kids, a controversial new app targeting 6-12-year-olds. The free messaging and video conferencing app is complete with filters, stickers, and parental controls. While Facebook maintains this is a way to help parents keep their kids safe on social media, others view it as a strategic move to both lower the age restriction on social media while also priming kids to “graduate” into Facebook over other social media apps as they get older. As the adults continue to go back and forth about Messenger Kids, it may be much ado about nothing—a recent Trendera Files survey revealed that 47% of Gen Zs aged 8-12 are already on Facebook despite the 13-year-old and up age restriction!
In a time when political tensions seem to be escalating and the country feels more divided than ever, bipartisan organization Better Angels is bridging the gap by holding counseling sessions in which liberals and conservatives talk with each other and attempt to understand a different point of view. Using a technique typically reserved for couples’ therapy, one group forms an inner circle and another forms an outer circle. Then, each group takes turns listening and voicing their opinions in accordance to four points, the most important being that participants must understand a political position before judging it and the second being that one must engage, not ostracize. We love that Better Angels aims to fight against the rise of “echo chambers” and create a more unified and peaceful America one session at a time.