Wearable tech at NYFW 2016: VR runways, Fila shoes and intelligent handbags

Adventures in fashion tech from New York Fashion Week
At New York Fashion Week, 13 designers will utilize Intel’s immersive runway experience powered by VOKE’s TrueVR platform and Intel data center technologies to live-broadcast their runway shows in full stereoscopic virtual reality. (Credit: Intel
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New York Fashion Week has long been the techiest of the whole twice yearly fashion months that take in Paris, London and Milan too. And it looks like NYFW 2016, which kicked off on 7 September, is no exception.

Intel is a headline sponsor this year and it is frankly everywhere from Curie collaborations to virtual reality coverage. Here's what we've heard of so far - we'll update this story once more designers take to the catwalks over the weekend.

Watch the runways in VR

WareableWearable tech at NYFW 2016: VR runways, Fila shoes and intelligent handbags

The Fashion Industry has always been much more comfortable using tech to sell and share designers' work, more so than incorporating smart clothing or wearables into their collections.

Read this: Fashion tech - 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

The big addition this year is Intel, IMG & Voke's virtual reality experiment. Fashion fans have been used to livestreaming for a while but now you can livestream fashion shows in 360 degrees via Voke's Samsung Gear VR (if you have one) or on NYFW.com.

There are no fashion giants taking part but respected names Prabal Gurung and Erin Featherson join up and coming labels - Marissa Webb, Noon by Noor, Lisa N. Hoang, Dan Liu, Namilia, Band of Outsiders, Misha Collection, Telfar, Supima and Irina Vitjaz.

If you missed them, you can still catch up with the shows in 360 degrees and it's actually very close to the real thing, turning between models so as not to miss a detail.

VFiles' connected camo collection

WareableWearable tech at NYFW 2016: VR runways, Fila shoes and intelligent handbags

Remember VFiles and its GIF dresses from last September's show? Well it's back with Camo Out, a bonkers collection made with Mountain Dew and featuring wearable baseball cap cameras, earbuds sewn into the seams of hoodies and pants plus solar-powered backpacks.

Sure, it's a bit full-on and not exactly the smart fabrics that we're looking to take off in the near future, but it's always fun to see what VFiles is up to at Fashion Week.

TOME smart bracelets and handbags

WareableWearable tech at NYFW 2016: VR runways, Fila shoes and intelligent handbags

We don't have close up pics of the wearables yet but New York based fashion house TOME has hooked up with Intel to create a Curie powered smart bracelet that helps women "stay connected" (alerts?) and monitor their health (activity tracking?).

The smart jewellery was shown as part of the collection alongside a proof of concept smart handbag that - get this - detects ambient temperature, toxic gases and barometric pressure.

Baja East x Fila smart shoes

WareableWearable tech at NYFW 2016: VR runways, Fila shoes and intelligent handbags

This is a pretty cool collab, again involving Intel.

Fila has paired up with West Coast luxe designers (and dressers of Justin Bieber) Baja East to produce a smart sports shoe that "tracks and interprets fitness data" - that's all we know so far. The above pic is not that shoe (yet) but a previous collaboration.

Still to come...

WareableWearable tech at NYFW 2016: VR runways, Fila shoes and intelligent handbags

Still to come, Kate Spade may be showing off her adorable new line of wearables on Friday and Chromat's show is usually good for some connected self fashion. Michael Kors is also launching his new Access Bradshaw and Dylan smartwatches with some style (and models) at NYFW.

Plus, don't forget London Fashion Week kicks off on Friday 16 September.


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Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.


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