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26 August 2020

Spanish artist SiiGii created a blow-up bathing suit — entitled Floating Above Limits — designed to help users with sun allergies still be able to enjoy summer. The latex suit, which completely covers the body and includes a swim cap, functions as a pool float while protecting the wearer from the sun. Released this month, the conceptual Floating Above Limits outfit is part of SiiGii’s S.A.D. (Sun Allergy Diaries) series of three wearable pieces, inspired by the artist’s own sun allergy. 

As far as we know, you can’t buy this wacky wearable anywhere and it’s not going into production. It’s unlikely you’ll see anyone meandering around in this suit during your next trip to the beach. Not even, unfortunately, any of the estimated 10-15% of the US population with a sun allergy, who would probably appreciate this outfit!

But even though Floating Above Limits isn’t hitting the market, the way it serves those with a specific and oft-unaddressed condition ties into inclusivity — a consumer sentiment absolutely dominating the market. It’s the sentiment driving brands to empathize with the circumstances specific groups of consumers are facing. Brands like Mos Burger in Japan, which deployed robots that let COVID patients continue to work and earn an income. Inclusivity inspired Zappos to begin offering single shoes (not just pairs), considering consumers who have differently-sized feet. Another artist-led initiative, Dotyk, created a range of sex toys for the elderly — a group sex toy designers typically don’t keep in mind. 

SiiGii’s giant floaty is making our team think about representation in yet another new way. It reminds us that the possibilities within ‘inclusivity’ are endless. Ask your team: Which group have we or other brands not applied the ideals of inclusivity to? What useful offering could we create for this group? Even if that niche doesn’t include many consumers, your innovation could be a godsend to them.

Stay healthy,

The TrendWatching content team