Robot Gets Loose at New York Fashion Week, Runs Into People

Robots dominated New York Fashion Week, but not all of them behaved themselves.

Michael Kors used the Double robot camera for its installation at Refinery29’s 29 Rooms event held to coincide with NYFW in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. The luxury designer re-created a digital street at 29 Rooms complete with shops and flowers and the robot camera—controlled by an individual user’s iPad— was at the center of the action. The robot camera was designed to follow people entering the Michael Kors installation.

But the Double robot was disabled after it kept bumping into people and signs, a Michael Kors source told Heat Street.

“As well as hitting things, Double got knocked over quite a few times so we had to stop the robot from moving. By Saturday it was stationary and just being used to take pictures,” the source said.Additionally Seattle-based tech start-up Sewbo unveiled a new industrial robot that can sew an entire article of clothing together and build a garment as if it were made from sheet metal through the use of a plastic called polyvinyl alcohol, a nontoxic, water-soluble polymer.

According to its founders,  automated clothing production represents the future of fashion, and Sewbo has made its first T-Shirt.

Meantime, over on the catwalk, robots are hotter than ever. Ever since the late designer Alexander McQueen showcased two robots spray-painting a dress worn by a model as she spun on a  revolving platform almost two decades ago, the fashion world has been fascinated by robots.

Last year, Intel introduced drones to fly over shows, while in 2014 Fendi controversially hired drones to fly over Fashion Week attendees. At Milan Fashion Week last year, designer Philipp Plein employed robots and drones handed out handbags and sunglasses to models on the catwalk.

This week both New York-based womanswear brand Proenza Schouler and acclaimed Australian designer Alice McCall have had designs at their fashion shows dubbed “robot chic.”

McCall told Heat Street: “Robots are in right now because the trend is metallic and strong fabrication in simple shapes. It could well be for futuristic reasons and the evolution of technology.

“I have put robots on jumpers and only last season I put R2D2 [from Star Wars] on a sweater.  R2D2 went a little bit off-brand but it got a good response.”

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