'Smart' denim promises touchscreen tech clothes

Paris (AFP) - A young man in a white t-shirt pulls on a dark blue denim trucker jacket, tucks his smartphone in an inside pocket and puts in-ear headphones in his right ear.

He mounts a fixed-gear bike with flat, slightly curved wide handlebars. Riding through the streets of San Francisco, he occasionally taps or swipes his right hand over the left cuff of his jacket, as the directions he's listening to continually pop up on the screen of this advertisement.

It's an ad from iconic US jeans maker Levi Strauss for Project Jacquard, an initiative with Google that the companies started two years ago for so-called "smart" denim.

The future of the popular fabric was the focus at a recent international fashion fair in Paris -- after all most believe the word denim derives from the French "serge de Nimes", a serge from the city of Nimes.

The fair featured many wearable innovations such as a waterproof jacket with sunscreen bands and a cable in the pocket to recharge a cellphone, or jeans that keep your body temperature stable.

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