Fashion Tech Talk

“When Alexa Chung announced to her nearly two million Instagram followers on the day before New York Fashion Week that a new shopping app she launched called Villoid was available for download, we were certainly intrigued, if not a tad surprised.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Villoid
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“You might not think fashion and the hoodie-dominated world of technology would mix. Technology is often focused on efficiency, while fashion is about self-expression and exuberance.”

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“Including phones, tablets, desktop computers, laptops and more.”

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“Soraya Darabi & Maxine Bédat are the Founders of Zady, also known as ‘The Whole Foods of Fashion.’ By focusing on honesty and quality in manufacturing, Zady provides unparalleled access to stylish, yet sustainably produced products made from high-quality raw materials.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Soraya Darabi and Maxine Bédat

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This year signifies change in NYFW, with designers leaving the Lincoln Center and choosing elsewhere to present their fashion shows it’s time for a rush of new trends.

Last Thursday, fashion designer Carrie Hammer showcased her new Spring 2014 Collection at LAUNCH NYC. It wasn’t just the anticipation to see the latest Carrie Hammer designs, but the pleasure of seeing these designs walking down the runway, worn by a leader, a powerful woman, a familiar face.

Role Models, Not Runways Models was the first fashion show to feature some of the most prominent ladies in the startup and tech fields. The Muse founder, Kathryn Minshew; MarieTV creator, Marie Forleo; Google’s Kristen Morrissey; Morpheus Media founder, Shenan Reed and Miss USA, Nana Meriwether were some of the faces who made this show a unique experience.

At around 7:20pm the lights were dimmed low and the audience was presented with a short, insightful introduction video to Carrie Hammer’s persona and brand name. Carrie Hammer Apparel, is a brand that represents professional women; a bespoke apparel line that’s easily customizable. As stated in the video, her collection was manufactured with the purpose of giving women confidence and making them feel smart and sexy. These outfits were constructed with strong career women in mind, and as the show started, it was clear that these designs, were in fact, created for the working environment.

The show was overall, a breath of fresh air. An influential move for the fashion industry which we hope, will not only be remembered but also praised for its impressive concept.

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Moving away from fashion for a bit, we would like to discuss the launch of AHAlife’s latest installment – AHAnoir. AHAnoir is a destination for luxury adult products. That’s right, we’re talking about sex toys. But first, let’s talk about the brains behind this project.

Founded in 2009 by Shauna Mei and Matt Wilkerson, AHAlife has been introduced to us as an e-commerce site for unique lifestyle products. Considering that the company has always encouraged its customers to live their lives to the fullest, the launch of the new sex-themed sister site should come to us as no surprise.

AHAnoir aims to inspire its consumers to awaken their sexual instincts via a curated collection of adult products including apparel, toys, jewelry, and furniture. As the field of adult products grows, AHAnoir plans to provide its consumers a luxurious, more sophisticated approach to this field many consider “taboo”. The merchandise featured on the site comes from artisanal designers who have manufactured unique pieces.

Even though AHAnoir.com is a website that should not be visited while at work (trust me, it will not go unnoticed), it is definitely a page every adult should take the time to browse, and enjoy. The site not only offers shoppable merchandise to its consumers, it also gives us the chance to get to know each designer featured on site and how-to guides to sex, love, and dating.

AHAnoir will be hosting educational events and “passion parties” open to the public in New York regularly. Raunchy!

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We are so proud that one of our Milan Fashion Pitch finalists, Musestyle, has now launched their online shopping platform  Sure, we have all heard about the latest shopping site for some time now, so, what makes Musestyle stand out? Musestyle not only provides its users with the opportunity to shop for the latest trends, it aims to inspire them, bridge the gap between high-fashion and e-commerce, and become a major shopping destination.

Browsing the site is incredibly easy for those of us who know what we want to buy, but it is also fun for those of us who are in the mood to shop but not quite sure for what. If a user is looking for fashion inspiration, the site features “muses” or trend-setters, such as Alexa Chung, a short bio and a couple of garment items resembling the muses’ style. The items on the site are arranged in four groups: Feed, Muses, Trends and Boutique.

Feed, introduces the featured looks from trends and muses. Muses, features each look by muse and contributor. Trends, present the latest themed categories, such as My Valentine and Fashion Week Shows. The last category, Boutique, breaks down the merchandise by item. Here, you will find bags, jackets, shoes, etc. These categories facilitate the shopping process.

Founded by Belgian fashion designer, Cathy Pill and French online marketer, Sarah Levin Weinberg, Musestyle currently works with contributing trend-setters such as Natalie Kingham, Matchesfashion.com; Béa Ercolini, Elle Belgium, and Zanita Morgan, Zanita.com.au. It has also partnered with over 50 online stores such as Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, Harrods, Mytheresa.com and ASOS. Musestyle promotes some of the best, worldwide known brands including Topshop, JCrew, Chloé, Kenzo and Isabel Marant, among others.

Musestyle, we have high hopes for you!

This year could not have started better for Lyst, the London born eCommerce platform! Today, the company announced a $14 million dollar investment, led by Balderton Capital, one the largest venture capital firms in Europe.

Lyst works with some of the world’s leading brands such as Saks, Burberry, J.Crew, Net-A-Porter and Balenciaga In order to provide consumers a more personalized approach to the latest trends.

In 2013, the business grew over 400%. Lyst currently generates over $60 million annually in sales due to its 2 million monthly users and it is backed by a range of investors including  Accel Partners (Facebook, Spotify), DFJ (Skype, Hotmail) as well as the teams behind Oscar de la Renta and Tory Burch.

The investment led by Balderton, a company which had previously invested in YOOX, will enable Lyst to grow and position themselves as an e-commerce leader in the fashion space. “We’re thrilled to have Balderton join us on our journey.” stated

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Chris Morton, Lyst CEO and cofounder. “2013 was an amazing year for us, particularly as we launched fashion’s first universal shopping cart, which is revolutionizing the space by enabling shoppers to check out from multiple brands and stores in a single step on site.”

Lyst’s main focus will be internationalization and hiring new talent throughout New York and London.

The company, which launched in 2010, has now raised over $20 million.  In 2013, Lyst was recognized by the British Government as one of the fastest growing companies in the UK. It has also won the TechCrunch top award for the leading European startup in Fashion, Art or Music.

NYC has some great news for its daily commuters! Now that the weather has gotten better, or at least bearable, New Yorkers can now go back to riding Citi Bikes to work, school or just for fun.

Shapeways and Tomorrow Lab have partnered to offer NYC’s frequent riders a fashionable approach to Citi Bike’s key fobs – in the form of a 3D printed gold key necklace. Otherwise known as 24 Share-it Gold.

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Tomorrow Lab’s idea originated as an attempt to fix Citi Bike’s current key fob version that tends to crack and break time after time. The company decided to place Citi Bike key’s enabling technology – the RFID antenna – inside a trendy gold necklace in order to avoid breakage of any sort. Even though 24 Share-it Gold is still in its prototype phase, it’s one of the most useful (not to mention stylish) developments in this wearable tech wave we’ve been experiencing for the past couple of weeks.

We can’t wait until these keys are available to the public!

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The much anticipated National Retail Federation took place this week, introducing ways to improve the retail industry; some of these included the incorporation of social media and consumer feedback. Fashion designer, Rebecca Minkoff explained this during one of her presentations: “Right now, social media is key to building a community around a brand. Now I can post a picture of a bag on Instagram and get automatic feedback on what my customers like, love and are utterly obsessed with. User feedback is vital to growing a lifestyle brand.”

Not only was this year’s event bigger than ever, it was also filled with special announcements from the 500 exhibiting companies. Since Fashion-Tech is our thing, we thought we should go over some of the highlights…

Many companies have chosen 2014 as the year to launch their first fashion app. These include Guess Inc. which, has recently launched an app that offers its users a personalized shopping experience as well as customer service and promotions. New app developments include SAP, Starmount and Manthan; all of them dedicated to establish a more detailed target market and give consumers a unique and personalized shopping experience along with loyalty programs.

Macy’s also shared some news during NRF. The company is implementing a new technology which allows it to increase efficiency as well as inventory accuracy. This RFID technology also enables Macy’s to enhance customer experience and drive sales. The name of this technology – TrueVue Inventory Display Execution by Tyco Retail Solutions.

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The biggest buzz was created by Microsoft as it announced its partnership with Vantiv, a payment processing vendor. This new merging will allow for easier payment collection via mobile, individual direct sales transactions, as well as improved customer experiences.

One of the most influential panels this year was moderated by CNBC Power Lunch co-anchor Sue Herrera, featuring fashion designer, Rebecca Minkoff, President of Nordstrom Inc., Blake Nordstrom, founder and CEO of Caruso Affiliated, Rick Caruso and founder of Sprinkles Cupcake, Candance Nelson. The theme of the panel was Re-imagining Main Street – How Brick and Mortar Retail Will Thrive in the 21st Century.

Many ideas and opinions were discussed throughout the panel but in the end, the verdict was unbiased.

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In order to thrive as a retailer, whether it be an e-commerce platform or a brick-and-mortar store, the company must try to gain customer loyalty by offering consumers a unique shopping experience that is both interesting and customizable.