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FORCE FIELD: A French tech start-up is hoping to revolutionize men’s wear with the first collection of intelligent clothing that combines technology and style.
The Faraday Project is launching during men’s fashion week in Paris with a line that incorporates a patented washable silver linen that protects the wearer from phone waves and NFC hacking of credit cards and ID. Billing itself as “functional clothes for urban pioneers,” it aims to sit alongside contemporary labels like Ami and Kitsuné.
The brand is named after 19th-century English scientist Michael Faraday, and items include the Chemistry trucker jacket in tan suede, Gravity jeans in Japanese selvage denim and the Magnetism shirt in white cotton poplin. The items are produced in France and Italy.
Retail prices range from 95 euros, or $105 at current exchange, for a lined cardholder or beanie hat to 1,690 euros, or $1,845, for a lambskin aviator jacket. Jeans are priced 290 euros, or $315, while chinos will retail for 190 euros, or $207.
The project is the brainchild of three friends with no prior experience in fashion beyond a keen interest in personal style.
Thomas Fayon, chief executive officer, previously worked as a consultant in defense; Alexandre Stourbe, chief operating officer, trained as an engineer, and Charles-Antoine de Beaumont, brand director, was in charge of image at carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroën. Joining them as associate is Cyril Cabellos, image and content director at Kering.
The mesh is made of silver thread, which is used primarily to line the inside of pockets, and has been designed to shield the user from electromagnetic waves amid growing fears they could be linked to certain forms of cancer. The Faraday Project plans to donate $10 for every pair of jeans sold to the Union for International Cancer Control.
“The risk is very real,” Fayon said. “We are strongly attached to this health aspect, which is not necessarily sexy, but nonetheless important.”
French firms are at the forefront of developments in wearable technology, and The Faraday Project aims to come out with an innovation every year. It is working on a method that will allow the silver thread to be coated, so that it can be used in wool or mohair sweaters, for example. Future projects include a 100 percent mineral water-repellent fabric.