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Luisa Vollmar

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Smart fashion: Deutsche Telekom makes clothing intelligent

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Twice a year Berlin becomes a magnet for designers, makeup artists, models, media representatives, buyers, and  stars. The city can once again show its colors as a fashion capital.

Because it's Fashion Week. For a couple of years now, another kind of designer has been seen around the capital. Designers with the same eye for fashion, but technical know-how to go along with it. Knowledge of bits and bytes. Which is exactly what they need for the kind of runway fashion they design. Smart fashion – apparel that can do more than simply look good. And that has earned its place at Fashion Week.

The Fashiontech Berlin conference has been bringing together fashion and technology for several years and is the place to go for smart fashion. It showcases the latest advancements in intelligent apparel, where visitors can see and touch the designs, as well as learn how they can be used to earn money. Fashiontech is also a platform for discussing the way technology is changing how we wear, buy, and distribute fashion. Anita Tillmann, owner of the Premium Exhibition International Fashion Trade Show, is the founder of Fashiontech. She believes that wearable technology will revolutionize fashion, especially in the field of sportswear. Tillmann is also seeing some exciting developments in other areas: "Stockings for dementia patients that can track their movements if they get lost, or bracelets  for insulin patients that measure blood sugar levels and automatically administer insulin injections." And the market is growing. The capital raised by European fashion tech start-ups has already climbed to 440 million euros this year. That's more than in all of 2015.

Deutsche Telekom made its debut at this year's Fashiontech. We presented our international "Fashion Fusion" competition there. The competition gives "designers the opportunity to submit their ideas for innovative high-tech fashion," as Die Welt daily reported beforehand. Telecommunications and digitization are revolutionizing the fashion industry and increasingly becoming an integral feature of clothing. High tech and fashion are fusing together to create smart apparel. Fashion will become a new means of communication, made possible thanks to the exponential development of computing power, miniaturization, and constantly falling prices. As a result, it will be possible to use technology for novel applications in previously untapped areas. Which includes clothing and accessories. As a technology group, we want to be at the forefront in this kind of upbeat. We can operate the necessary IoT (Internet of Things) platforms. For us, it is important that we contribute to relevant, functional, sustainable, and popular smart fashion that enriches people's lives in the long term.. And if it looks good – then even better!

Against this backdrop, we launched the ""Fashion Fusion"" initiative at the start of this year. Together with hub:raum, our aim is to collect and develop creative ideas and concepts that have market potential. That's why we are joining forces with some strong partners. With support from Intel, Adidas, Premium, Berlin University of the Arts, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, and media partner WIRED Germany, we are backing smart fashion projects and evolving innovative ideas into successful products. We also have an experienced creator of smart fashion on board in the person of Lisa Lang (ElektroCouture), who has been a leading force in developing the concept behind the "Fashion Fusion" competition. Participants have the unique opportunity to draw upon the aid of experts from industry, the fashion sector and the start-up scene to realize their visionary concepts for high-tech apparel, wearables and digital lifestyle products and bring them to market. For more information, please visit our "Fashion Fusion" website.

The Netzgeschichten report from Fashiontech (video). See what smart apparel is already out there and find out what puts the smart into smart fashion.

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