German textile designer Selina Reiterer and Greek architect Constantinos Miltiadis teamed up to create a range of touch-reactive children’s T-shirts that can be played like musical instruments, aptly calling the collection John Paul George & Me.
Each T-shirt represents a specific instrument – guitar, bass and drums – which together form a rock ensemble, the creators explain. By wearing clothes that produce sound by touch, children are immersed in an interactive game which encourages and stimulates their musical interest.
Similarly, Paris-based company The Faraday Project has released its first collection of high-end menswear made for the modern urban gentleman, featuring a lining which ‘protects every user from phone waves and NFC/RFID hacking’ of their credit cards and personal identification. The concept, its creators say, is about ‘data and health protection through style and elegance.’ They imagine their collection of Selvedge denim jeans, cotton chinos, blazers, shirts and French leather jackets as ‘the armour of the new urban pioneers.’
Another start-up, Canadian company FuelWear Clothing, has a heat-warming shirt that monitors body temperature, and heats up – or cools down – to keep the wearer comfortable in cold climates.
Even contemporary brands are entering the fray of intelligent apparel, as seen with Ralph Lauren’s PoloTech biometric smart shirt. Unveiled in 2014, this hi-tech incarnation of the brand’s classic polo is a compression shirt with biometric sensors knitted into the fabric to collect health information, much like a sophisticated fitness band or smart watch.