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Will Satellite Surveillance Be Spring’s Biggest Fashion Muse?

Clothiers extraordinaire Betabrand teams up with satellite-creators Planet Labs to roll out a unique line of surveillance-based threads.

Sometimes staying grounded on terra firma just doesn’t get the creative juices flowing. Looking to the stars for inspiration, San Francisco-based clothier and design company Betabrand recently partnered with satellite-maker Planet Labs to create a capsule line of dresses, scarves, and jackets printed with images captured hundreds of miles above Earth. In the past, the group has printed everything from Amazon and Great Lakes-inspired leggings using Google Earth screenshots, to a brain scan dress. As the brand admits on its site, its always “been a little space-obsessed” so this chance to use real satellite imagery in its textiles has proved irresistible.


The folks at Betabrand show off their space-enthusiasm.

Planet Labs designs, builds, and operates satellites called “Doves,” from its base in San Fran. The Doves retrieve data from any source on Earth, often in an effort to solve commercial, environmental, and humanitarian challenges. Amazingly, dozens of these Doves are orbiting the Earth at any moment, capturing images from around the world. One of the most popular images-turned-patterns, now currently in the crowdfunding stage on Betabrand’s site, is based on the distinctive coastline of Lake Balqash in Kazakhstan. Another popular print features the snow-covered fields and creeks of Portage la Prairie, in the Central Plains Region of Manitoba, Canada. Showing not all drones are terrifying, Planet Labs will donate its share of crowdfunding proceeds to the Climate Relief Fund, a global organization that helps communities devastated by climate disasters while working to raise awareness of climate change. So far, Betabrand founder Chris Lindland is pretty psyched about the collab, "If these designs prove popular in crowdfunding, we'll encourage Planet Labs to send satellites to shoot the surface of Mercury; all trends point to it being super-hot this fall.” Though we’re excited for a possible Mercury wrap dress, those looking for some interplanetary fashion can also check out the fine folks at Slow Factory, who have been using open-sourced NASA images of space to create everything from beautiful Mars headwraps to globular cluster scarves.

Will satellite-based images really be spring’s biggest fashion trend? You can vote here to make it so.

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