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9 Fashion innovations that could change the industry

Just like technology, fashion changes quickly with new and stunning innovations. Check out one of these nine trends so you won’t be left behind, wearing mom jeans.

1. Vegan leather

vegan motorcycle jacket

Real leather jackets and shoes are so last century, especially now that vegan options are readily available (and no longer look like a pleather futon). We love this rad vegan motorcycle jacket for a night on the town or a casual weekend outing (Free People, $168).

2. Three-dimensional printed accessories

3D-printed shoes

Good gracious, 3-D printing is amazing. Designers have started using 3-D printing technology to create masterful accessories that appear other-worldly while maintaining functionality. Check out the 3-D Daphne Shoe for a statement that’s one part fashion and one part masterpiece (Continuum, $395).

3. High fashion in 3-D

head-turning ornamental back cover

Speaking of 3-D printing, high fashion now has exquisite 3-D pieces that aren’t quite as available for public consumption as 3-D accessories. Check out this head-turning ornamental back cover, which looks like twists of pure gold when worn against bare skin on the back. It’s up to you to figure out where to wear it (MGX by Materialise, $358).

4. Upcycled jewelry

bronze wrist cuff,

What’s more modern than eco-friendly jewelry? You don’t need to purchase brand-new pieces — with their added pollution and waste — when inspiration is in buildings, scrap metal and abandoned construction. This bronze wrist cuff, for instance, was upcycled from architectural scraps (Marmol Radziner, $260).

5. Laser cut textiles

laser cut skirt

Embroidery and lacework are a notoriously expensive component of textiles, but laser cutting brings the same look at a much reduced cost. Not only that, the sleek finish of lasers actually looks more refined and perfect than that of embroidery and lace. We love this laser cut skirt for summer (Ruche, $45).

6. Double function fashion

collar helmet

Fashion innovations are the most striking when they’re entirely functional. The airbag collar helmet is a great example of functional fashion: It’s a demure and understated collar that won’t give a bicyclist hat hair on the way to work, but it turns into an airbag for the head upon contact or a fall. No hat hair before work? Then, no problem doing a bike commute (Hövding, $400).

7. Style meets technology


Designers are now embedding electronics and lights into their garments for pieces that are gorgeous and tech savvy. While kinetic pieces are still hard to come by (like this jogging suit that uses kinetic energy to power an MP3 player), you can see the LED light styles, like this CUTECIRCUIT K-Dress, on famous beauties like Katy Perry (CUTECIRCUIT, $4,250).

8. AirDye textiles

AirDyed one from JulieApple

Fabric dyeing wastes millions of gallons of water each year, as textiles are submerged and rinsed in water during production. Not so, with AirDye technology. Bags and clothing items produced with AirDye reduce water usage to almost zero. Although AirDye is an emerging technology and not yet easy to find, handbags like this AirDyed one from JulieApple guarantee your purchases are eco-friendly for the future (Amazon, $87).

9. GPS-enabled jewelry

GPS-enabled jewelry

If you’ve ever worried about walking home alone at night, GPS-enabled jewelry might be for you. Simply press a button on your jewelry, like this prototype from Cuff, and the piece will send a distress signal and your location to your emergency contacts. We love the jewelry because it’s fashion-forward, and no one will ever know it’s GPS-enabled (Cuff, $50-$150 pre-order).

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