The other day, my unexpectedly fashion-conscious editor spotted this eye-catching ensemble on Twitter: clothing printed with results of the wearers’ Google Image searches for themselves.
Finally! After so many months of chatter about smartwatches and Google Glass, these duds are an example of “wearable tech” that’s actually worth a closer look.
Turns out this stylish duo is Manuel Palou and Moises Sanabria, who work together as all-purpose tech/art/design entity Art404, collaborating on a variety of work that “straddles the digital and the physical.”
“Our idea behind these pieces is to wear a physical manifestation of your online identity,” Palou explained to me via email. The “Google Image Suits” were made by searching the creators’ names and using a Chrome extension to capture all the results up to the “Show more results” buffer in one image.
That image was run through a script that picks out and highlights the “most relevant” results — putting the highest-ranked images on the suit’s chest, lesser ones on the sleeves, and still-lesser ones on the pants. “Relevancy goes from top to bottom,” as Palou put it.
According to the Print All Over Me website, the sweatshirt costs $68, while the custom-printed pants will run you $99.
“We don’t look at the suits when making them, and since the whole process is automated, we are just as surprised as anyone else when we get the suits,” Palou adds.
The duo’s Google Image Suits turn out to be an early manifestation of a project-in-progress they refer to as Avatar Apparel. The general idea: Wear clothes inspired by “your personal online brand,” Palou says.
“Ultimately,” he explains, “we want people to get over the idea of hiding online. A private social media account is a sin. Embrace your personal brand, live in public. Optimize yourself for the search engine. Transparency will set you free.”