Let's Phosphoresce


Written by Kinsey Sullivan
09 Monday 09th April 2012

Phosphors are substances that luminesce, or emit light, after they’re energized. These chemicals store energy when exposed to light, which they slowly release as glow. Glow-in-the-dark products are usually made of either Zinc Sulfide or Strontium Aluminate, phosphors that are energized by regular light and luminesce for a long time. Strontium Aluminate is the stronger of the two. When one of these chemical compounds is blended into plastic, ink, or something similar, it then glows in the dark and can be either molded or applied to other surfaces. We interact with these chemicals as glow sticks, stick-on stars for the ceiling, or Jeremy Scott x adidas Originals by Original Wings with glow-in-the-dark accents.

Jeremy Scott, designer and cultural icon, released these in 2011 as part of his collaboration with adidas. These highlight that element of kitsch, a weird kind of humor, that only glow-in-the-dark clothes can have. The JS Wings are just one example among many of glow-in-the-dark sneakers. Here they are again, lit up:

In 2010, adidas also released the Corsortium Campus 80 Glow-in-the-Dark sneaker through a collaboration with Berlin's No. 74 company. 2011 saw a response from Nike, who released both the Air Flight One and the Zoom Rookie LWP in glow versions. Nike said the glow-in-the-dark collection, released in time with last year's NBA tournament in Orlando, was meant to reference the importance of space exploration in Florida. The glowing accents on the Air Flight One look especially like moon rocks.

Just this year, Converse dropped a glowing version of their classic Chuck Taylor All Star.  The shoe is fully customizable, meaning that the outside and inside body, sole, tongue, laces, toe, racing stripe, and eyelets can be glow-in-the-dark according to the buyer’s preferences. The shoes are available for approximately £50, or $80, on their site.

Glow-in-the-dark has also hit denim hard in the past few years. Naked & Famous revealed a glow-in-the-dark raw selvedge denim in 2011. The trousers are dipped in a glow-in-the-dark resin, which is then sealed to the fabric. Through natural use, the glow coating will rub off, leaving an individual wear pattern. Not sure whether that wear pattern will be flattering, or whether this is a clever marketing ploy to make the lack of longevity appealing. You can own them and decide for yourself for approximately £150 or $240 here

Hudson launced a "phosphorescent invasion" on New York's Meatpacking District earlier this year for the release of their glowing jeans line. The jeans feature a tuxedo stripe down the sides. They don't glow in the traditional sense, instead requiring a blacklight to activate the phosphors. Order them here if you like what you see.

As per usual, Etsy's got some really interesting glow-in-the-dark fashion options. The galaxy underwear feature a handmade design and print. They cost about £15 or $26 and are available here. The site abounds with glow-in-the-dark graphic tees, most with pictures of skulls or planets, and one with jellyfish. But the most eye-catching Etsy item has to be the glow-in-the-dark ballgown. 

You can own one for under £20, a steal. 

Would you wear any of these glow-in-the-dark styles, or do you already own them? Let us know below.

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