Author: Gwendolen Akard, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Class of 2015; AELJ Volume 32 Staff Editor
The future of fashion patents is always changing and evolving. On February 7th, some of the industry’s key players discussed hot topics in fashion and technology, a fascinating intersection of two worlds that seamlessly combine art and scientific innovation. The panel, hosted by Fordham University, featured several interesting speakers, a well-heeled crowd, and a wide range of information to interest the lay-person as well as the practitioner.
Ariele Elia and Emma McClendon, curators of a recent exposition at The Museum at FIT on the history of fashion and technology, provided a brief history of fashion patents, from the earliest patents to some of the newest, some for products yet to be released. Several notable examples from the past include the zipper, the Jacquard loom, synthetic dyes, and Lycra. These inventions are all commonplace today and can be found at any chain retailer, but several generations ago, the fashionable elite were just being introduced to the ease of zipping oneself into a dress or pair of pants. Today, some designers choose the incorporate the old and the new, such as created a computer-generated ombre design that is later woven on a Jacquard loom.
Currently, we are seeing fashion designers experiment with technology in increasingly complex ways, as computers become smaller and people become more dependent on technology for their everyday needs. Fashion designers like Liz Salcedo, founder and CEO of Everpurse, are taking our basic needs and combining form and function. Ms. Salcedo, who presented her work at the panel, is in the process of obtaining a patent for her line of purses and other accessories that will charge a cellphone while the phone is sitting in the bag. The charger itself will be totally hidden from view, allowing a stylish and possibly expensive handbag to be very functional.