MakeFashion LED Hat

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Ranked as one of MakeFashion 5.0’s best dressed attendees!

As attendees of MakeFashion 5.0, Cece Bitu and I decided to collaborate on a tech fashion piece for the event. From the start, we wanted to make something that would be impossible to ignore as we wore the piece around the conference. After a couple of ideation exercises (and a little bit of development procrastination), we landed on creating a minimalist hat with intelligent, IFFFT connected LEDs. Hats are a fashion item that can be tricky to ignore as they are worn right above eye level. In a dark room, the LEDs would attract even more attention.

A couple of initial sketches I created:

Next, we ordered parts for the project. The Wio Link was the perfect board for the hat. Its small form factor, wireless connectivity, and seamless iOS app made it easy for us to get started! Their iOS app also let us control the board wirelessly from our phones. We debated on using individual LEDs for the project, however the wiring would have been much too difficult to put together before the show.  So, we ordered an impressive, vibrant, LED strip for the lighting. After connecting the tech side of things together (a special thanks to Kevin Ta for support), we sought out a hat to embed it in. I recorded much of the physicalization processes using Snapchat’s Spectacles below. After leveraging Cece’s sewing expertise, the project was ready for prime time.

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