LOT-2046 is a recently introduced monthly subscription service that offers a mysterious set of all-black monochrome clothing and essentials. It’s presented as an all-you-need concept, for a minimalist lifestyle free of clutter.
For $49 a month, LOT will provide you with a basic wardrobe — underwear, socks, T-shirt, sweatshirt, jacket, pants. Every month you’ll receive a fresh set of boxers, a new pair of shoes will be delivered to your doorstep every six months, and a new hat will come once a year. The clothes are dispensable: as they wear out they can be bundled and returned, eliminating clutter. If black is not your thing you’re out of luck, as every item is nothing but black.
It gets more interesting with the advanced plan for a monthly fee of $99, as it includes not only clothing but also accessories or self-care essentials. They range from the predictable moisturizer or manicure set to hardcore items like a hair bleach kit or even a tattoo machine. No joke. Quite paradoxically LOT feels very anti-mainstream and at the same time extremely conforming.
After LOT’s introduction, many wondered if the concept was real. The aesthetic, look and feel of the brand, as well as its all-encompassing lifestyle image, makes clear this is not the typical clothing package subscription service for shop-phobic men. It is not about convenience, it’s about a way of life. It could have been an anti-consumerism art project or a design project of the future. But last month the first LOT packages got shipped, and they seem very real.
My #lot2046 arrived. pic.twitter.com/oUWQUd7C6I
— 𝗟𝘂𝗸𝗲 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱 (@LukesBeard) June 6, 2017
With its simplistic items, LOT is, at first glance, not the most design-savvy concept. But design is essential to the idea. Its clothing and accessories would perfectly fit in the collection of brands like MUJI, and LOT’s visual imagery is spot-on in creating a certain dark, atmospheric feel.
LOT’s founder is Vadik Marmeladov, a Russian designer and entrepreneur who was also behind Lapka, a firm that became known for it cult-classic objects and exploratory design philosophy. Lapka introduced an environmental sensor that fits on your iPhone, as well as the world’s most stylish breathalyzer. Airbnb purchased the startup in 2015 to expand its in-house design team. Marmeladov is currently running RUKI, a hardware incubator based in Shenzhen — “the Silicon Valley of hardware” as he refers to it.
The company has started with a very limited line of clothing and accessoires, but the idea is to keep updating and innovating. Marmeladov’s philosophy is very much about behavior, of how people use products and how technology can be used to make a product better. He wants to link fashion and technology — a connection that up to now has failed to gain traction. The use of individual data and feedback could make each product highly personalized. Although pretty fashionable, LOT feels like a lifestyle equivalent to staple meal company Soylent. It will be very interesting to see how this idea will develop further. Maybe in a few years everyone will be wearing a black uniform?