Posted on by Cameron Tewson

Last fashion week, Dazed media armed anonymous industry insiders with wearable tech bracelets that tracked their data, day and night – here’s what they learned!

(Words via Dazed Digital)

Does fashion move too fast? It’s the question on everyone’s lips right now, brought dramatically to the fore after Raf Simons’ shock exit from Dior and Alber Elbaz’s subsequentdeparture from Lanvin. Both designers had expressed a sense of frustration with the pace of the industry, and the constant grind that leaves little time for experimentation (at Dior, Simons was creating collections in a mere three weeks). Recent developments – like Jonathan Saunders’ decision to close his label, and Thomas Tait’s choice to cease using the runway as a way of presenting his collections to people – only add weight to the notion that big changes are afoot in the industry, and that something in the system is no longer working.

It’s no secret that fashion, driven by a constant quest for newness, never slows down – it races from season to season, gathering speed through menswear, pre-collections, couture and one-off collaborations. Never is the pace of the industry more keenly felt than over fashion week, the deceptively named, month-long, four-city grand tour throughout which hundreds of designers stage shows and presentations, drawing crowds of A-listers, press, bloggers and celebrity-spotters alike. But while lately the focus has been on the pressure put on the shoulders of designers, there are many more people in different fields whose work is vital to this $1.7tn industry.

At this year’s London Fashion Week, we armed a team of seven insiders (including a make-up artist, freelance writer, photographer, designer and intern) with Jawbone UP3s – subtle wearable tech bracelets that gather data about sleep, activity, nutrition and even heart rate, transmitting it directly to a phone app which uses the user’s own data to deliver personalised insights. We asked them (and a non-industry control subject) to wear a bracelet every day and night over the five days of shows, and then collected the information. So, how many late nights does an event planner log? What happens to a designer’s sleep patterns leading up to a show? And is the humble intern the hardest worker of all? While we’re not claiming this is scientific – of course, every make-up artist or designer has different lifestyles, bodies and routines, and fitness trackers like UP3s aren’t quite the same as rigging someone up with monitoring devices – it’s an interesting look into just how hard people work over fashion week.

According to the NHS, the average person walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day, although 10,000 steps is a widely touted ‘target’ number to aim for. They also advise that adults sleep between six and nine hours a night, so we asked participants to set their targets at the Jawbone-recommended 10,000 steps and eight hours. Click through the individual data in the gallery below to see the stats, and keep scrolling for comparative data and information from each participant.



The control subject wore the UP3 consistently. Their sleep was the most regular, with the subject clocking up around seven and a half hours every night except one (where they slept longer), placing them as the third most-rested. Their steps were the second lowest recorded, outpacing the lowest stepper (the intern) by 1,100 strides.


“I work in a client-facing role in the pharmaceutical industry – over fashion week, I was based in the office (so desk work, the odd internal meeting) and had one meeting out of the office. It was about as busy as normal. My working hours are very standard, about nine to six. Hitting the eight-hour sleep target or coming very close to hitting it throughout the days shouldn’t be such a surprise, I suppose, I usually manage to get to bed before midnight. While we do not have anything like fashion week, we do frequently organise client events (these are usually two or three days) when typically it will be four to six hours sleep a night and working until midnight, so energy is low. That’s the closest it gets.”





The designer had a runway show on the final day of London Fashion Week, but only wore the UP3 on-and-off for three of the five days, so acknowledges their data isn’t complete. They managed to maintain a decent sleep pattern, with an average per night of just over eight hours – the only participant to achieve that.


“Every day’s work is quite different – there are so many aspects that go into producing a fashion show. Studio visits, finishing the clothes, the styling, the hair, make-up and nail tests, model castings, fittings, organising the press notes, the credits list and the goodie bags, the show music, production (lighting, running orders and boards), post-show interviews and social media… It’s a lot of work put together, and on top I have to make sure the people I’m working with are happy. Fashion designers work bloody hard, but I am surprised I slept quite decently. In general, my team and I are quite organised and well-prepared – we are getting older, so we don’t do sleepless nights and last-minute backstage sewing, we like to be calm and chill. I did find that the UP3 was getting in my way so in the end I didn’t wear it all, therefore the data doesn’t accurately represent my workload.”



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About Cameron Tewson

Cameron Tewson is the editor and founder of frontrowedit.co.uk. The online media outlet which launched in 2012 was designed to share his thoughts and observations within the fashion & luxury industry. Rising through the ranks. Since leaving school at the tender age of 16, Cameron has consulted for leading global organisations and has been named one of the 7th top influencers to follow as well as a 30 under 30 rising star in the UK. He can be found instagramming at @camerontewson View all posts by Cameron Tewson →

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