fashion

This week brought news both encouraging and disheartening for women trying to break into the big business of retail. Better to have the bad news, first: Britain has fallen to 26th place in the Global Gender Gap Report rankings, the lowest score for equality since 2008. In more uplifting news, Management Today Magazine have named their top entrepreneur of the year – and she’s a she. Victoria Beckham, whose global fashion empire has seen a £30m turnover and sales growth of 2,900% in 2014, was praised for her “finely tuned business acumen” and lack of inhibition in an industry that, once, would have turned their nose up at the feminine half of brand Beckham. When it comes to the fashionable tech industry, a new gen of female CEOs are well on their way to emulating this high-profile success. With one eye to the growing wearable tech sector and one eye to e-tail, there’s never been a better time to be a woman at the top.

Our global summit on Wearables and Retail Innovation, ‘Interconnected’, comes to New York on November 18-19 – and, with it, a whole host of powerful female speakers who have either founded their own businesses, or head up teams at some of the most exciting fashion retail companies around. Ready to represent the wearables sector – currently experiencing an unprecedented growth – are speakers such as Francesca Rosella. Founding wearable tech company CuteCircuit in 2004 with partner Ryan Genz, Rosella’s designs show on schedule at New York Fashion Week and count Katy Perry amongst their fans. Proving that this wearables malarkey is as much about intellectual prowess as business acumen is Sabine Seymour, founder and CEO of consulting firm Moondial. With a doctorate and several publications on intelligent clothing under her (electronic) belt, Seymour’s academics have informed her working life: giving brands creative direction in the new, sometimes scary environment of truly networked retail.

Labels that have entered the wearable fold more recently include the socially driven Wearable Experiments, and electronic jewellery start-up Kovert Designs. It seems that behind every wearables company, there’s a great woman: Billie Whitehouse (Wearable Experiments) and Kate Unsworth (Kovert) are just some of the inspirational young CEOs on the scene that will be joining Francesca Rosella and Sabine Seymour at our NY summit.

On the retail side, Victoria Beckham has more company than ever at the upper rungs of the fashion industry-as-global business. Just look at Tory Burch – the designer, entrepreneur and self-professed “information gatherer” has built a global apparel and accessories brand in just nine years. The Tory Burch foundation has been fighting for female empowerment since 2009, supporting women entrepreneurs and their families through small business loans, mentoring and education. Burch has even applied her golden touch to the wearable-tech industry: her good-looking accessories collab with fitness tracker FitBit was launched earlier this year.

The lesson for young women starting out in design and retail? In the end, just like the wearable accessories that will have the most success, tech can only empower if it is truly functional.

Reported by Claire Healy

Decoded Fashion New York will take place on November 18-19, 2014 at Metropolitan West. The full agenda can be found here.

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“From pirate costumes to a lab coat: John Galliano, one of fashion’s most romantic, theatrical and controversial designers, is to take over the creative direction of Maison Martin Margiela, WWD has learned.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - John Galliano
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“Selfridges is to invest £40m over the next five years to “futureproof” its multichannel business. This represents the biggest single investment in Selfridges.com in the four years since it first launched.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Selfridges
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“Prices for Apple’s Watch could take it into the ‘luxury’ category. Could it push wearable technology into fashion’s court?”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech - Apple Watch
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“A new app is aiming to become the first online and mobile service that aggregates all the fashion and beauty promotions online and on the high street, with the aim of driving digital shoppers into shops.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - SalesGossip
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“Apple has made it well known that its Watch is more than a piece of technology: it’s a thoroughbred fashion item, too, which has received critical acclaim from watch experts as well as tech journalists. Which explains why it’s showing the device off at Paris Fashion Week.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Apple Watch at PFW
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“Many critics share one opinion on the Google Glass and that is it is too expensive and miles away from reaching its full potential (a.k.a. not a good buy for someone without the few thousands dollar lying around.) As a response, Google is trying to penetrate the fashion-conscious market, a group more than willing to spend on a $20,000 Hermes handbag.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Google Glass
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“On Tuesday, Amazon announced that it has rolled out its “Login and Pay with Amazon” service to Europe. The feature, which launched in the U.S. around this time last year, allows e-commerce sites to give customers the option to check out using the credit card and shipping info they have stored with Amazon, shaving the purchase process down to just a few clicks.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Login And Pay With Amazon
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“Natalie Massenet opened London Fashion Week this morning heralding the week as a time for digital innovation across the industry.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - London Fashion Week
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“Marc Jacobs has gone to great lengths to ensure that guests at his runway show tonight will feel right at home — albeit in someone else’s home. A 10,000-square-foot hot pink house was built (replete with a shocking pink carpet) and each attendee found a pair of Beats by Dre headphone tethered to their respective bleacher seats. While the show’s instrumental track could be heard by the naked ear, showgoers needed their headphones to fully immerse themselves in the experience once the models hit the runway.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Marc Jacobs And Beats By Dre
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