The design, production, and consumption of fashion are being heavily influenced by latest technologies in the field. As a result, the future of fashion is constantly getting makeover.

Brutalism is a style of design that is characterised by its bold, minimalist, and functional aesthetic. In fashion and technology, brutalism offers a refreshing alternative to the excesses of the industries. By embracing a minimalist and utilitarian approach, designers can create products that are both stylish and practical. The intersection of fashion, technology, and brutalism is an exciting development in the world of design, and it is one that is sure to shape the future of fashion and technology in the years to come.

What is Brutalism?

Hans Asplund, a Swedish architect, first used the term ‘brutalism’ in reference to architecture in 1949 to describe the Villa Goth, a square brick house. Brutalism comes from the French phrase “beton brut” meaning ‘raw concrete’. It is a term used to describe structures made of steel and concrete that frequently have a simple, unadorned appearance. It includes a similar aesthetic in fashion, with brash, unapologetic-looking clothing and accessories. The 1960s and 1970s – a period of social unrest and cultural revolution – is when brutalism in fashion first emerged. The look indicated a yearning for something rawer and more genuine in contrast to the polished, glitzy fashion that had dominated the previous decade. Various items, such as industrial machinery, workwear, and military uniforms served as inspiration for brutalist fashion designers. They preferred materials that were tough and functional, like denim, leather, and canvas. Along with embracing asymmetry, large silhouettes, and unusual shapes, they produced intricate and captivating designs.

The Mix Between Fashion and Technology

Brutalist fashion, with its emphasis on both functionality and aesthetics, has not only influenced fashion design trends but also sparked innovation in the industry, particularly in the realm of technology. Just as Brutalism challenges conventional architectural norms and embraces raw, unadorned materials, the fashion industry is rethinking the way materials are used, exploring unconventional options, and experimenting with new manufacturing techniques.

One notable technological advancement that aligns with the principles of Brutalism is 3D printing. This revolutionary technology allows designers to create intricate designs and patterns, reminiscent of the geometric and angular forms often found in Brutalist architecture. By utilising 3D printing, fashion designers can achieve structural complexity and unique shapes that were previously difficult to attain through traditional methods, aligning with the Brutalist aesthetic.

In response to the pandemic, the fashion industry had to evolve and modify its ways of showcasing its collections. All big brands, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry adapted to digital runways, capitalising on the creative freedom offered by virtual reality. The immersive digital environments created by virtual reality not only provide an opportunity for experimentation but also echo the bold, boundary-pushing spirit of Brutalist architecture.

Furthermore, the integration of smart fabrics and wearable technology in fashion can be viewed as an extension of Brutalist principles. In a similar vein to Brutalism’s emphasis on functionality and the authentic expression of materials, smart fabrics incorporate sensors and electrical components to enhance functionality and enable interactivity within clothing. This seamless blend of technology with fashion aligns harmoniously with the Brutalist ethos of embracing innovation and pushing boundaries. These textiles are embedded with sensors and electrical components that enable them to detect ambient conditions, assess the wearer’s health, and even adapt colour or form in response to external stimuli. A notable example is Google’s Project Jacquard, which has introduced touch-sensitive fabrics, enabling users to engage with their garments in unique ways, such as controlling their phones through swiping gestures on their sleeves.

Moreover, the concept of smart fashion, which encompasses wearable technology, has emerged as a prominent trend. Fitness trackers, smartwatches, and smart fabrics exemplify this convergence of fashion and technology. Many big brands, such as Apple, Fitbit, and Samsung, have recognised this trend and are now incorporating stylistic and functional designs into their products. Smart watches, for instance, serve as both functional and stylish accessories, offering a range of features including fitness trackers and the ability to control mobile phones.


The work of Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto represents one of the most recognisable instances of brutalist style. Yamamoto is renowned for using monochromatic colour schemes and cutting-edge shapes in his creations. He frequently employs layering and draping techniques to make clothing that is both wearable and sculptural. His creations have been referred to as ‘deconstructed’, as he frequently disassembles conventional clothing and reassembles it in novel ways.

Similarly, some other designers have also embraced elements of brutalist style in their fashion creations. For example, Rei Kawakubo, the Japanese fashion designer and founder of Comme des Garcons, is celebrated for her avant-garde and unconventional approach to fashion. Her designs feature asymmetric silhouettes, deconstructed elements, and bold use of black and monochromatic colours, challenging traditional notions of beauty and pushing the boundaries of fashion.

Another notable designer is Rick Owens, an American fashion designer known for his dark and edgy aesthetic that aligns with brutalist principles. Owens incorporates oversized and asymmetrical shapes into his designs, often focusing on black and muted colour palettes. His garments exude a sense of rawness and architectural influence, creating a striking and unconventional visual impact.

Belgian fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester is also recognised for her poetic and minimalist approach to fashion, capturing the essence of brutalism. Her designs feature a monochromatic colour scheme, fluid and layered silhouettes, and a fusion of masculine and feminine elements. Demeulemeester’s creations possess a sense of raw elegance and embody the deconstructed and sculptural qualities associated with brutalist style.


Brutalist fashion has influenced design trends, sparked innovation in the fashion industry, and challenged traditional manufacturing and materials. Designers are creating bold and edgy designs that incorporate raw and unconventional materials that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. With a focus on sustainable and ethical fashion practices, designers are changing the way people think about clothing manufacturing and consumption. Brutalist fashion is not just a trend but a movement that is here to stay, shaping the future of the fashion industry.