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Could Ikea-Style 'Flatpack Clothes' Be the Next Fashion Trend?

November 3, 2014 in Blogs

By Nathalie Olah, The Guardian

A businessman believes you can assemble your own clothes from scratch. But do you really want to make your own T-shirt and pants?

The Malm – Ikea’s minimalist, three-drawer chest – is a staple of the student and twenty-something interior design aesthetic. Walls might be decorated with posters of the Cocteau Twins, Gucci Mane or Ellie Goulding, but the Malm is always there, reminding us that behind our affectations lies a universal need for practical, low-cost furniture.

Fashion works in much the same way. There’s a pair of 1980s denier black opaque tights from M&S underpinning most autumn/winter looks. But according to the predictions of one expert, Fortune 500 businessman Stefan Engeseth, high-street fashion trends as a whole could be going the way of Ikea. According to Engeseth, the future of fashion could be flatpack.

Let’s take a moment to think about what this means: clothes coming in separate parts to be easily assembled at home and adjusted for the purposes of different wearers. Waistbands on trousers you can adjust if you’re in between sizes. DIY sleeve lengths. Adjustable collars. Pick-your-own buttons. Or simply hundreds of T-shirts in the colour you want.

He also explains how building your own clothes from scratch is not just a practical move – it has an emotional effect on the wearer … customers can personalise and “hack the designs” as he explains in a press release. Imagine the sense of pride you’d get from designing and making your own clothes.

At this stage it’s worth mentioning this is at the moment totally hypothetical. A representative from the company also assures me it has no immediate plans to launch a fashion line. But, as extreme as it sounds, surely it’s no more far-fetched than believing 3D printing to be the saviour of fashion, which many experts think it might be.

Is it a realistic move? I think there are two schools of thought. The first one places craftsmanship at its core. Of course independent retailers selling bespoke pieces made by local designers using ethically sourced materials is a preferable alternative to …read more


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