Apparel
Cartesian scarf stays rigid in the frigid

The Premise. Classic neck scarves are versatile and attractive fashion accessories that help keep us warm in the chill. There are a few classic ways to wear them, but they can have a tendency to loosen up.

The Product. The Cartesian Scarf serves as a neck scarf and/or head wrap that can bend and hold its shape. It uses various knit tensions instead of wires in order to be malleable. The scarf is made of 100% Italian merino wool and currently comes in charcoal gray and classic red. Optimally wearing the accessory is facilitated by propping it up vertically against the back of the neck and then guiding it into the desired contortion. The project creators assure that, while the scarf may retain its shape, it’s soft.

The Pitch. Cartesian’s Indiegogo campaign opens with a woman named Marja introducing the scarf and transitions to a number of scenes showing us the various ways it can be worn. Some may wrap their heads around the idea that a shape-retaining scarf that looks a bit futuristic yet otherworldly resting around the neck and chest might be a good idea to copy. But the campaign page isn’t shy about reminding that the product is covered by two U.S. patents and is unusual in that it was an article of clothing designed by an architect. This is the second crowdfunding go-round for Cartesian, which already had a successful 40-day campaign that ran on Kickstarter where the creators beat their $6,500 goal. For all the creators’ talk of the scarf staying put, there’s no video or other evidence of it doing so outside where it would be subject to the same wind and jostling as other scarves.

The Perks. Cartesian’s reward tiers feature a $65 early bird special that will ship by Valentine’s Day (assuming that people would want to give this as a Valentine’s gift). In addition, a donation of $78 will get you a scarf and a donation of $125 or more will get you two scarves, but currently you can only choose from charcoal gray or classic red.

The Potential. The Cartesian scarf is certainly cleverly designed, although may not revolutionize the scarf market as is promised by its creators. The real question becomes how well the scarf’s tenacity holds up to others in the real world; the fold-and-through-the-loop method works pretty well. For nearly $80, it will be tough for the Cartesian to beat more malleable apparel from better-known designers.

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