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The future is the ruling state for fashion - it often seems as though the industry is living 6 months ahead of everyone else. S/S 2013 came out in September, and even as we prepare to see F/W 2013 in February, many major labels are launching their pre-fall collections now. It might feel strangely out of synch to be thinking about fall of 2013 when we're barely into December 2012, but as trendsetters, possibly *the* trendsetters, fashion's earliest birds catch the consumer. But there are other respects in which fashion rushes boldly ahead, including innovations. Today's guest, Francesca Rosella, and her partner Ryan Genz are forces of invention, leading the technological revolution into fashion with their company, CuteCircuit. Together, Ryan and Francesca create what they call "wearable technology" - futuristic designs, from t shirts to red carpet gowns, that feature a slew of unique digital technology. Creating patterns with LED lights, Francesca and Ryan offer CuteCircuit customers the opportunity to do everything from make a cell phone call with the sleeve of a dress, to display tweets and iPhone photos on the front of a t shirt. Through CuteCircuit, the future has already arrived, and on today's show Francesca will talk about how she and Ryan met and began this one-of-a-kind enterprise, the architecture and production process behind their creations, and future plans for their line. Plus, I have tracks on today's playlist page from the future albums of Radar Bros., Lonesome Leash, and YACHT, as well as an epically long, epically great track off the new Sufjan Stevens Christmas album. All that and more in this hour of radio, so stick around for a glimpse into fashion's crystal ball...
The fashion industry is built from a hundred individual specialties: manufacturers of trim, buttons, and fabric; designers of niche lines for outerwear, footwear, neckties, jeans, lingerie, swimwear; and retailers built around those same niche markets. But the latter two categories wouldn't exist without the first, so on today's show, we'll hear from Benita Singh, co-founder of a speciality textile website Source4Style. Source4Style exists as a virtual marketplace, connecting textile suppliers with designers, and ensuring responsible production and fair trade in the process. With this weekend's tragic factory fire in Bangladesh, the importance of transparency in the production chain is underscored, and Source4Style is fulfilling an essential role within the industry by offering designers the opportunity to purchase with ethical confidence. On today's show, Benita will talk about how she and her colleagues met and began Source4Style, some of their global partnerships, a few educational initiatives they offer, and some details about their selection of fabrics. Plus, I have the latest in articles and news coverage on the Bangladesh factory fire, as well as some all-too-infrequent good news from the headlines of the ethical fashion industry. And I've got a great playlist prepared, featuring two new acts from the UK, more Sufjan-style Christmas, and even a clip from comedian Tig Notaro. Another hour of style + substance coming your way, on BTR!

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