SMI’s Rokwear Range – Pioneers in The Fashion Industry?

Over the past decade, we’ve noticed some curious trends in the high-fashion industry which has been making us smile. Key to this growing trend is the introduction of items traditionally associated with our safety sector, creeping into high street stores in the guise of fashion.

Last week, online fashion outlet ASOS came under fire for producing a brightly-coloured hooded top which bears all the hallmarks of attire suitable for a construction site, complete with high-vis stripes. The hoodie, which retails for £30 on the firm’s online store, has been mercilessly mocked by shoppers, who are commenting loudly about the garment’s resemblance to safety wear.

The ‘Everyone Together Unisex hoodie’ is made by the label Collusion, marketed for males and females. Designers Collusion have stated that their brand represents fashion for the ‘coming-of-age generation that refuses to compromise on principle or style’ and ‘believes clothes that celebrate self-expression and inclusivity should be the norm’.

Certainly, the much-mocked hoodie would be the norm for workwear, given the hi-vis stripes and vibrant orange colouring which we would usually associate with Highways or Construction safety garments. In short, the top makes wearers resemble a moving road cone, but with a hood.

Why we love the new ASOS garment

Naturally, as innovative providers of workwear for sectors including aviation, highways, utilities and construction, we love this new item. It perfectly encapsulates the growing segue across utility wear and fashion – a positive partnering which promises to bring more comfort, style and design to workwear. That said, we wouldn’t recommend that our customers start turning to ASOS for on-site safety clothing.

Rather, let’s celebrate the increased awareness of the stylishness and durability of safety wear, and the evidence of this creeping into high fashion. As our Research & Design team work to introduce greater levels of comfort and style across our in-house range of Rokwear products, it’s great to see that the distance between fashion and workwear is closing.

The drawbacks of fashion’s infringement into utility clothing

That said, there has been concern voiced about colourways and styles traditionally ascribed to work sectors creeping into fashion. Sporting a garment so closely affiliated with safety on site can have some negative impacts. For example, drivers who see hi-vis on the highways naturally assume that the wearer is an operative on the job, which can cause confusion and potentially create additional safety risks. We’ve reported before how fashion brands who adopt traditional workwear styles may inadvertently ‘dilute’ the necessary impact and recognition of safety garments, reducing their effectiveness.

However, ASOS are not at fault for recognising the visual impact and style potential of the safety industry’s traditional garb. As long as we stay aware of potential hazards and practice basic common sense on our highways and work environments, there’s no harm in high fashion adopting some of our traditional styles to blend comfort, durability and visual impact. We’re awaiting the call for a collaborative partnership with the House of Chanel soon, to deliver Rokwear capsule collections in next year’s catwalk…watch this space!

In the meantime, get ahead of the latest fashion trends and strut your stuff in some of our most popular in-house designs, here.