The September 22nd, 2016 edition of Engadget features a article by Christopher Burch, founder and CEO of Burch Creative Capital. The article discusses how technology and fashion grow together in tandem. Burch states that ” technology grows with the popularity of what one considers fashionable”. He reinforces his argument by giving specific examples of the relationship.
Christopher Burch goes back to the 1970s in his first example. He points to the appearance of the “boom box” and how that technology became a symbol for self identity. He goes further in showing how the boom box became interwoven into culture by its appearance in movie story lines. As the “boom box” evolves into the “walkman” and finally the “iPod”, Burch states, ” technology grows with popularity of what one considers fashionable.”
In the present day, Burch exposes how fashion can be interwoven with technology to make a product more appealing. For example, he states that it is not fashionable to wear bike protection. He points to two inventors who created a system that an individual can wear around their neck which would inflate in an accident ,thereby protecting the head. In this case technology has been modified to preserve fashion sensibilities. Burch also discusses how designers are using recycling technology to create fashion. He cites how one designer recycles inner tubes of bicycles to create jackets and t-shirts.
Christopher Burch believes the fusion of fashion and technology is just beginning. He describes how sports apparel is being designed to capture Kinetic energy to power an individuals mp3 player. Burch elaborates further showing how technology may need assistance from the fashion world to market a product. Google was concerned about the stigma of wearing glasses when they came out with Google Glass. This concern was laid to rest when a top fashion designer had her models wear Google Glasses on the catwalk. Instantly, Google Glass was fashionable.
Christopher Burch is no stranger to fashion or technology. Burch began his career in 1976 by designing “preppy sweaters” and selling them door to door to college girls. Eventually this enterprise would spread to retail stores and his company would exceed $140 million in sales. Burch would officially become a billionaire in 2013 when he sold his 28.3% stake in his ex-wife’s fashion brand for $650 million. As a venture capitalist, Burch has made large investments in technology. He has invested in Internet Captital Group, Aliph and Powermat. Chris Burch is a master at marketing himself as a brand, using speaking engagements, book deals and social media.