(Photo above: The Camo Collective took guests through the past, present and future of camouflage. Seen here, the past and present takes on the iconic print.)
In celebration of the inaugural ComplexCon, a one-of-a-kind tradeshow that showcases the best that pop culture has to offer, Mountain Dew partnered with youth-culture fashion brand VFILES – to debut their newest collection, Camo Out.
Words by Hayley Helms
Photos by Kailee Crawford
The merging of past, present and future, Camo Out explores history's, fashion and technology's complex relationship with camouflage, one of the most recognizable prints in the world.
Capitalizing on that popularity, Mountain Dew took a quantum leap into the future with The Camo Collective at ComplexCon using augmented reality and technology to bring the iconic print to new realms of experience. In the first section of the activation, guests were invited to explore the past of camouflage—from its initial use in World War I, to chameleons that first introduced camouflage to our world by displaying their skin color changing abilities. The second section of the experience highlighted fashion's long-term relationship with the eye-catching print, from custom camo clothing provided by artist Stash from his personal collection, to vintage Burton Analog pants, attendees could trace the visual path of the print as it gained momentum in popular culture. The third section took a dive into future uses of camouflage technologies, from a cloaking device, which employs a stealth method by using radiation, to the augmented reality artwork. The activation culminated in a first-hand user experience, where guests got to experiment with what Mountain Dew dubbed the "CamoFlector"- mirrors equipped with augmented reality technology. Making use of body-mapping, users were immersed into the future of camouflage techniques. The blending of technology and fashion was brought to life by the Camo Out collection, featuring wearable tech—each piece in the collection is outfitted with a unique form of technology providing the wearer with a full sensory experience
The Camo Out products include a Bluetooth-enabled parka, a solar panel backpack, an earbud tracksuit, and a snap-cam tech cap, integrated with technology that allows the cap to shoot video, photos, and connect wirelessly with your mobile device.
The parka employs the use of two high power speakers in the hood that the wearer can connect to via Bluetooth. The solar panel backpack uses natural sunlight to charge, and has USB ports that can sync to and support devices when power is not readily available. The backpack also comes with a convenient battery pack for when it starts to get dark out.
The earbud tracksuit gets updated with a set of high quality earbuds built right into the sleeve and leg piping details. To help keep the tech working, the tracksuit is made of water and windproof custom camouflage nylon.
The snap-cam tech cap is by far the most sleek camera integration we've seen—the only giveaway that a camera is hidden in the hat is a pin-sized hole just above the brim.
The idea behind the collection is that with technology being integrated into almost every aspect of our daily lives, it makes sense to apply the concept to our clothing as well. By seamlessly blending our most-used technologies with outerwear and accessories, the Mountain Dew Camo Out collection is hard to pass up.
The Camo Collective includes influencers Stash, a well-known graffiti artist and designer, as well as up-and-coming artists Damien Gilley and Michael Walczyck. The Camo Collective was curated by Jules Gayton, senior designer at Herschel Supply Company. Each artist contributed to the collection, and as guests walked through the activation at ComplexCon, they went from merely observing the products to being fully integrated in the camo world. DEW skateboarder Theotis Beasley attended ComplexCon as well, trying out Mountain Dew's product for the first time.
The Camo Out collection is available online now, and will be available at VILES at their store location on 12 Mercer St, New York and select retailers in 2017.