Given that collagen production decreases with age, the super-protein that supports skin, bones and connective tissue has been heralded as an anti-aging elixir in the form of pills, chews and powders to sprinkle into smoothies, water, coffee, even cocktails. (Maybe the ultimate endorsement, Gwyneth Paltrow served collagen-spiked martinis at her In Goop Health wellness summit.)
But the next big thing could be wearable collagen, thanks to a new women’s capsule collection from Seattle-based tech fabric-focused fashion brand Buki, created from a proprietary fabric embedded with natural collagen. The four women’s tops, plus a scarf and pillow cover ($98-$178) in Buki’s collagen collection are “engineered to relay the moisturizing benefits of collagen directly into the skin through state-of-the-art Japanese fiber technology,” says Stacy Bennett, who co-founded Buki in 2016 with Joey Rodolfo, previously senior vp men’s design at Tommy Bahama and co-founder of Seattle sportswear line Cutter & Buck.
“It’s marine-sourced collagen, which is essentially fish scales ground into powder that is turned into fabric, and we’re the only brand in the world to offer it,” says Bennett. “People ask if it will wash out or wear out; it won’t because the fabric is essentially crafted of collagen. Body-conscious silhouettes allow skin to absorb the collagen peptides that make it feel softer and plumper in less than a minute. And it's a shallow-swimming fish that naturally has UPF 50 properties so the fabric also offers sun protection.”
While most moisture-wicking, stain- and odor-repelling tech fabrics on the market are synthetic, Buki fabrics stand out as eco-friendly, crafted in Thailand with special machinery that doesn’t exist in the U.S., according to Bennett. “A lot of brands that make technical marketing claims are doing it with chemical dips and sprays; our fabrics have absolutely no chemicals,” she says.“Joey has been passionate about Japanese fiber technology for the past 15 years and it’s the basis for the entire Buki collection. We launched with nine fabrics, from thermal-regulating fabric that keeps you warm in cold weather to a moisture-wicking, quick-dry dress shirt to dynamic stretch fabric that bounces back into shape. All our pieces are wrinkle-resistant, machine washable, breathable and sustainable.”
Fans of the brand include Dakota Johnson, who wears the Emma pants and Boss T-shirt. Men's styles will be added to the collagen line in 2019 and plans for Buki pop-up shops in San Francisco and Los Angeles are in the works.