By: Nicole Capo
You can “hack” your apartment, your cell phone, and even your life, so what’s the next big hacking frontier? According to Swedish Fortune 500 business consultant Stefan Engeseth, it’ll be the fashion industry.
Imagine minimalist, flatpack outfits that you can assemble at home. That, says Engeseth, is the fashion of the future.
“We’re already seeing some shoppers go to outdoor and living stores to buy longer-lasting clothing,” he recently explained to Style.com. “Ikea already sells reusable Kr 4 bags that are good and cheap; their clothes could be equally practical, as strong as work clothes.”
People are already buying cheap designs from places like H&M, Forever 21 and Target. Ikea-style, self-constructed clothing could make it easier to hack into the original designs to invent new styles and construct different looks out of one item. “Emotionally, this connects people to how life was in the beginning,” said Engseth.
It’s true -- in the days before commercially-produced clothing, women would select sewing patterns to design their own dresses when they needed nice outfits. Anyone who’s ever read “Little House on the Prairie” can recall the joy felt by all when Pa brought home new calico fabric for dressmaking. And clothing hacks aren’t a new concept, either. The rise of Pinterest has brought with it a seemingly endless source of ideas of how to turn that ratty old t-shirt into a pretty racerback, or make some old rags into an infinity scarf. Small boutique brands like clothkits have already caught onto the idea, so it’s only a matter of time before other major retailers pick up on it as well.
Minimalist styles are having their heyday, too. The “normcore” trend, based on the current obsession over simplistic clothing from stores like Uniqlo, has found its home among the young hipsters saddened by the oversaturation of ever-changing fashion trends. Just look at the Gap’s new “Dress Normal” campaign and you’ll know what we’re talking about.
Will Ikea-style clothing completely replace society’s love of fashion and weird design? Given the basic sewing skills we’d all have to learn to pull that off, the likelihood is pretty low. That doesn’t mean that some people won’t embrace the idea, though, and we can’t wait for all of their Etsy shops to open up so we can purchase some truly unique non-unique designs.
[Pic via Flickr - Ethan Hein]