Clothes that connect

The line that divides clothing and technology isn’t blurring, it’s disappearing – as proven by London-based fashion house CuteCircuit


A shirt that sends your friends virtual hugs. A handbag that displays tweets and messages. A dress that sparkles like the night sky. Today, the term “wearable” covers more than smartwatches and VR goggles. “We try to make experiences that make you feel empowered, and help people connect with one another in a way that is intimate or fun,” says Francesca Rosella, creative director of CuteCircuit – a design house that’s been producing fashion embedded with technology since 2004. “But gadget is a dirty word.”

Co-founded by Rosella and Ryan Gentz, the outfit’s first design was the Hug Shirt, which senses touch and can send – or receive – a squeeze and targeted warmth to someone also wearing the shirt. Originally producing concepts and catwalk pieces, Gentz and Rosella are now creating a line of ready-to-wear fashion. “We’re trying to change the way people consume ‘disposable’ fashion,” says Rosella. “We want our designs to last a really long time, so we use really nice luxury materials such as silk, and then we embed the micro-LEDs that we call magic fabric.”