There has been a long relationship between fashion and technology, as fashion investor Chris Burch relates. The merging started in the 1970’s with the boom box becoming increasingly a fashion statement and pop culture phenomenon. The Walkman took over in the 1990’s as music became a more personal experience but it too became a fashion accessory. This has continued through with the advent of iPod and now today’s ubiquitous smartphones.
Many fashion designers are now looking at ways to incorporate technology directly into the clothing they offer. One fashion designer, Anouk Wipprecht, has used technology in her avant-garde designs and has released such clothing as a drink-making dress and another that is self-painting. Burch also brings up another concept which is to create scarves that are not only fashionable but will inflate into head protection if the wearer crashes while riding a bike.
Another use of technology in fashion is the increasing use of recycled materials being made into clothing such as bicycle inner tubes getting a second life as a jacket or t-shirt. Chris Burch also sees the day coming not too long from now when clothing can make use of the kinetic energy people create when they move and walk and using that to power the devices they have with them. As Burch has said, fashion and technology are increasingly growing together and can additionally help one another out.
Chris Burch is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Burch Creative Capital. His company, based in New York, manages venture investments and brand development. He is also the co-founder of the fashion brand Tory Burch LLC. He grew up in Wayne, Pennsylvania in a middle-class family where his father earned a living as a mining equipment and supplies distributor.
Burch got his start in business when, in 1976, he opened a fashion business called Eagle’s Eye. Their business involved buying sweater for $10 and selling them for $15 on the Ithaca College campus. This business took off to other college campuses and then retail stores and eventually reached $140 million in sales over the next decade.
In addition to the fashion industry Chris Burch also invests in real estate including a resort on the tropical island of Sumba. In 1993 he produced the romantic comedy “Watch It” which was released to favorable reviews. He is also one of the early investors in the internet as he bought into Internet Capital Group.