Simplicity, quietness, peace of mind: three things we as a culture are losing with the ever-growing prevalence of digital devices in our lives. Ask anyone with a cellphone if they could live without it, and they’ll probably tell you a resounding “no.” Ask them when they last turned off their phone, and many will tell you “never.” Once just a means of talking to each other, phones have evolved into so, so much more. They’re our connection to each other, to entertainment, and to the rest of the world. But sometimes being so connected distracts us from the moment, which is arguably the most important time of our lives.
In an innovative and unexpected collaboration, Trident (yes, the gum Trident!) has teamed up with Japanese designer and innovator Kunihiko Morinaga of ANREALAGE to create FOCUS: Life Gear by Trident, a lifestyle fashion line made of radio frequency shielding fabric.
FOCUS was born from the intention to take back the focus in our lives. The special fabric shields radio frequencies, so when you put your phone in your pocket it is cut off from communication, effectively turning it off and giving you precious moments of solitude within your busy life.
The pieces in the collection are futuristic, monochromatic and oddly mesmerizing, especially when you realize that they are entirely seamless and made by heat fusion and laser cutting! Designer Morinaga did a fantastic job of integrating nods to technology and the digital age into his designs, with an industrial colour palette, clean cuts and fused details reminiscent of computer circuitry.
But for all the utilitarian beauty and idealistic intentions of this collection, it’s worth asking whether people would actually use it. Personally, I would rather just turn off my phone or leave it at home than not have the option to receive messages! The only time I would use this is when I was doing yoga, but that happens at most once a week and I wouldn’t be wearing these thick clothes while doing so. At the media preview party they gave us pouches crafted from the very same fabric, and I can assure you that it does blog cell signal. I have yet to use it for that purpose, but maybe I’ll make it part of a party game or something – everyone who plays has to put their phone in so they’re at the party, in the moment.
It’s also worth asking why Trident, a gum company, has taken on a fashion line! I got a chance to meet with the marketing manager at Trident, who told me that the company’s goals and products are very much in line with this idea of a “distraction-free lifestyle,” so it seemed a natural fit to embark on a project supporting distraction-free fashion. Okay, I can kind-of-not-really see the relationship between gum and lack of cellphone reception. But regardless of this collection’s practicality, there’s no denying that this is a thought-provoking conversation starter that will put Trident back on people’s minds.
What do you think of this Trident/Morinaga collaboration? Would you wear clothes that make you FOCUS? Let me know in the comments below!