Anouk Wipprecht Is Building Future Fashion Out of A.I. and Microcontrollers

The United States-based designer mashes-up fashion and technology, with stunning results.


Technology and fashion have more in common than their respective enthusiasts may realize. People use both as ways to express themselves, customizing the tools and materials they have to act as an extension of their own personality and ideas. If that holds true, then tech-minded fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht is living in the future, and the rest of us are just playing catch-up to what’s going on in her head.

The Dutch-born, Vienna-based Wipprecht wants to make fashion ahead of her time, combining the latest in science and technology to make fashion an experience that transcends mere appearances. She treats the human body as a “host” that can be fitted with a fashion system that adapts to the world around it. She wants fashion to facilitate and augment the interactions we have with each other and with ourselves.

Wipprecht gave a short talk at World Maker Faire this past weekend, where she discussed her works in wearable design as a fusion of fashion and robotics. She’s interested in integrating microcontrollers, sensors, and artificial intelligence into clothing. Her spider dress is a perfect example of this aesthetic, where moveable arms on the dress help to create a more defined boundary of personal space while employing a fierce style. It’s jarring to watch the arms move up and down, yet you can’t help but feel enraptured.

Other dresses designed by Wipprecht help to bridge the gap between science and fashion, while looking absolutely electrifying. I mean that literally. Just take a look at her Faraday dress, which allows the wearer to engage with Tesla coils that emit electricity.

Wipprecht is on the cutting edge of fashion, a unique position to be in considering how few designers have any interest or expertise in the STEM fields. Makers might often get a bad rap for being nerdy and unfashionable, but Wipprecht is upending those perceptions. We can’t wait to see what she does next, but in the meantime, catch up with a short primer on her work by perusing through some of her photos and videos.