Sometimes the best way to predict what is likely to occur in the future is to closely study what as come before in the past and why – or so the fashion guru, Christopher Burch asserts. J. Christopher Burch, for those unfamiliar, is a prominent venture capitalist, entrepreneur, designer, artist who became a millionaire from selling sweaters door to door at college and then expanding that operation into a national business. If the previous description was any indication, Burch is, and has been, someone who is very “in tune” with cultural trends, what people want and what they do not and most importantly – why.
Through his perceptions, built upon a lifetime of experience, Mr. Burch states that fashion trends tend to move in tandem with the current technological developments with one often complementing the other. This ebb and flow of tech and fashion comes from the fact that the majority of any given sufficiently technologically advanced country always opts for the latest and greatest technology. This is a pragmatic move as much as anything else but simply being logistically useful is not enough to really push any given product over the edge into out and out success – it also has to be aesthetically appealing.
Burch gives the example of the boombox, it was pragmatically useful as one could upon its development take their music with them on the go, but it was also heavy and awkward (and often rather unsightly). So as soon as the Walkman music player was developed everyone instantly switched – not only was it lighter and easier to move to the technological advancements, it was also much sleeker and aesthetically pleasing (as those things which best conform to the human body most often are). But Burch believes that this is not just a static “fun fact” but rather that it is something which should be actively applied. That is to say, one should consider how best to simultaneously tailor fashion to tech and vice versa.
For those that still believe this is just a bit too abstract to be rightly applicable, consider the investment company, Soledad Martin which is dumping massive amounts of funding into research on a new type of running shoe. What makes the Martin project interesting is that it is being designed to harness the kinetic energy created whilst moving and convert it into electrical power such that one can charge a music player or cellular telephone whilst on the go! Could just be that Mr. Burch is on to something.