Decoded Fashion London

On May 20-21, the world’s most forward-looking innovators, disruptors and brands – all of whom are connecting the dots between fashion and technology – descended on Kings Cross in London for Decoded Fashion’s annual Summit. Couldn’t make it? No fear – we’ve revisited the panels, roundtables, tweets and conversations to compile some of the best nuggets of advice and surprising facts from the event.

Audio technologies are less of a man’s world than you’d think

“Sixty-five per cent of music accessories are bought by women,” revealed Anna Perelman, co-founder and CEO of Stelle Audio when telling her start-up story. Her talk was a great example of the role innovative businesses can play in debunking myths surrounding both fashion and technology.

3D printing is the future of reducing fashion wastefulness

Responding to the shocking fact that 10% of all produced clothes end up in landfills, Knyttan uses “technology in a way that is appropriate” said Ben Alun-Jones, co-founder of the personalised, 3D-printed fashion brand based in Somerset House. “We’re at a point with manufacturing right now where we can unlock individuality.”

Believe the hype – YouTubers have the power in the social media age

YouTube’s Katie Jenkins revealed that only a tiny portion of fashion videos on YouTube come directly from brands – just 6%! In contrast, “1 in 3 millennials in the US purchased a product as a result of watching a how-to video”, she revealed. “To find the sweet spot for your brand, think like a YouTuber.”

Social media has a saturation level – even for the young

At his keynote speech on day one of the summit, British design icon Hussein Chalayan identified technology as the driving force of industry change. Admitting the significance of social media in connecting consumers with brands – and their celebrity contingent – he also discussed how it might be time to slow down. “Social media is the language of a younger generation,” he said, adding that there might be an information saturation at the same time.

Smart watches aren’t going to monopolise the wearable tech market

Mike Butcher, editor-at-large at TechCrunch, spoke candidly about the reality of the wearable tech market at the summit. Appearing on stage with Richard Chen (Ceyuan Ventures), Doug Gardner (River Island) and John Vary (John Lewis), he revealed that the smart watch will only make up 35% of the wearable technology market – so there’s still a huge gap for innovation in other areas of the industry (and the body).

Reported by Claire Healy

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In the race to synthesise fashion retail and technology, the consumer can get forgotten in the fray. Retailers’ investment in technology can often feel gimmicky, whether you’re browsing the racks or clicking through a targeted advertisement. In one of Molly Young’s Critical Shopper columns for the New York Times, she visits Rebecca Minkoff’s SoHo store, with its vending machine wall interface – describing the chaos that could ensue when ordering a coffee. Brands should push the boundaries when it comes to implementing technologies, but they need to address consumer needs in a useful way. In this respect, Minkoff’s adjustable dressing room lights are what will bring shoppers back.

At our London Summit, you will find a panel on this very topic – how to achieve tech in retail that goes beyond the gimmicky, and actually addresses the consumer’s needs. In today’s fast-paced retail world, being able to pick the right technology for your brand is key to delivering amazing, and long-lasting, ROI. This can mean taking a gamble on technologies that are somewhat under the radar – after all, who would have predicted the rise of in person Click & Collect as a result of online shopping? It’s just one trend that asserts the importance of Bricks & Mortar that works in tandem with digital spaces. Our panel will address all this, as well as highlight a newer technologies that is likely to make waves in an increasing number of retail stores soon: beacons technology.

On hand to discuss these emerging technologies in the retail space will be four experts who have taken interesting approaches to how they’ve incorporated technology into their omnichannel strategy. From the traditional high street-turned-digital players, we will hear from River Island’s Doug Gardner and John Lewis’s John Vary. Harvey Nichols’ multi-Channel Director Sandrine Deveaux will also be revealing how she applied her tech background to turn a London-based department store steeped in tradition into a leading online fashion destination.

Catch the panel discussion on 20 May to discover how our experts believe fashion can get a grip on technology while keeping the consumer a priority – no gimmicks allowed.
Book your ticket for the London Summit here

Reported by Claire Healy