Three leading fashion designers from Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa were brought together by Siemens to create 12 outfits from data extracted from the cities of Nairobi, Lagos, and Johannesburg. The fashionable outfits which were designed by John Kaveke from Kenya, Zizi Cardow from Nigeria, and Palesa Mokubung from South Africa, are said to outline a variety of patterns from power grids, shipping and tonnage, to population densities, transport and areas of connectivity. Data from each of these sectors was used as it tells a story about each city and how digitalization can possibly transform them.

![Data Fashion Design Nigeria](/content/images/2018/08/nHdoR5cA.jpeg) Outfit designed inspired by using data collected about the area of Illupeju in Lagos, Nigeria. FABRIC

This was as part of FABRIC, a Siemens initiative to showcase how digitalization of the industrial world is fast becoming the biggest transformation of our time, and highlights how data combined with smart technology will ensure that tomorrow’s cities are more connected, efficient and powered.

![Data Fashion Design South Africa](/content/images/2018/08/Hrrt6o6A.jpeg)
Outfit designed inspired by using data collected about the area of Newtown in Johannesburg, South Africa. FABRIC

β€œThis is how we thought to express the aspect of digitalization. As urbanization rapidly increases, cities need to start preparing for the effects it will have on infrastructure, energy, water, and transportation systems. This project has highlighted the need for access to data in order to make sound urban planning decisions,” said Keshin Govender, Group Communications Head for Siemens South Africa.

Fashion design using data?

There is no doubt that the right data can give us insight on what makes each city tick and in the process helping those responsible for planning and designing them to make calculated decisions and improve service delivery to citizens. However, can this data be used in fashion design? As great as the designed garments are, it is difficult to see how data about a city's infrastructure can be used to design fashion garments, apart from merely being used as inspiration.

![Data Fashion Design Kenya](/content/images/2018/08/t6kvLNXA.jpeg)
Outfit designed inspired by using data collected about Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. FABRIC

Siemens highlights that one of the things that were learned through the FABRIC project was that it is not what to do with the avalanche of data but rather accessing reliable and recent data.

β€œIt opened so many new elements of inspiration, it’s like I am only truly experiencing Johannesburg right now. I see Johannesburg as more dynamic with hidden opportunities underneath highways, pipes, and houses. I’m forever changed when it comes to what I do and how I see the city,” said Johannesburg-based fashion designer, Palesa Mokubung.


Cover image credit: FABRIC project by Siemens.