The humble Christmas jumper – the knitted eye-sore of festive fashion – has been catapulted into the 21st century with a digital makeover inspired by a former Nasa engineer.
Lothian fancy dress firm AFG Media, the company behind the multi-million pound Morphsuits, has teamed up with Digital Dudz to give the twee Christmas pullover a modern new twist by introducing smartphone technology. Static sleigh and reindeer designs are out, replaced with real-life crackling fireplace, carol-singing cats and shaken snowglobes.
The ever-changing festive jumpers are equipped with a snug Velcro-sealed pocket that holds the wearer’s smartphone and transforms the pullover into a eye-catching digital display.
To animate the jumper, customers download the free app, select the correct animation for their jumper and slot their smartphone into the pouch. The jumper “then comes to life”.
It is now hoped the ground-breaking Christmas jumpers – ranging from £34.95 to £39.95 – will rival the success of the ubiquitous Morphsuit that has been flying off the shelves, reportedly helping its Edinburgh manufacturers post an £11 million turnover.
Edinburgh University graduate and AFG Media partner Gregor Lawson explained the ethos behind the modern take on the Christmas jumper.
He said: “Love or hate Christmas jumpers, they are a trend that only seems to be increasing in popularity, and we wanted to jump on the back of this.
“However, we didn’t want anything ordinary but instead wanted to take them to the next level and break away from the usual snowflakes and pictures of Rudolph, and teamed up with a Nasa engineer to incorporate wearable technology into the designs.
“The jumpers really push the boundaries of innovation in clothing and no-one else has anything quite like we do.”
Creative partner Mark Rober, brand director at Digital Dudz who left Nasa in June to concentrate on avante-garde fancy dress, hit upon the bizarre concept after generating global interest in his innovative homemade Hallowe’en costumes.
He said: “We took Hallowe’en up a gear with costumes that showed real life beating hearts and, after seeing how popular the new designs were, we knew the next thing to be given an upgrade absolutely had to be the beloved Christmas jumper.”
Fashion designer Nicola Gardner said the new jumpers were full of the Christmas spirit and “good fun”.
She said: “They would be fantastic for carol singing at night, for example, as the animations would be emphasised and would catch the attention of the audience creating a real talking point. A big thumbs-up from me.”
Charity hopes to make a killing
SHE’S the crime-solving star of Nordic Noir – a Danish heroine who always gets her man.
But it’s not just Sarah Lund’s prowess as a detective in The Killing that beguiles her legions of fans – her penchant for chunky-knit jumpers has attracted inches of comment helped to elevated her to global stardom.
Now her bizarre taste in knitwear is to raise money for Save The Children with a parody of popular drama in which she promotes their Christmas Jumper Appeal racking up thousands of hits on YouTube.
Viewers are invited to “make the world better with a sweater” and pull on their festive pullovers on December 13.
Donations cost £1.