Decoded Fashion hits SXSW Interactive on March 13-17 – in the run-up, we’ll be posting content that gives you a sneak peek of what to expect: including panel sessions, special events and the return of our Mentorship Hub.
Decoded Fashion’s Fashion Hacked Exhibit at SXSW Interactive will showcase the most exciting wearables and design concepts set to hack your world in 2015. As this year’s exhibitors demonstrate, the burgeoning trend for fashion-first wearables – with uncomplicated claims to functionality – shows no sign of slowing. After watches and fitness trackers, here’s the best of the rest at our exhibition: combining looking good and feeling good like never before.
A Decoded Fashion favourite for a while now, Kovert Designs is the Kate Unsworth-founded design house that wants you to put down your technology and concentrate on other things. No, really – their new Altruis range aims to make social media less obtrusive by subtly filtering notifications into super stylish bracelets, rings and necklaces.
The perfect union of sound and style, Stellé Audio’s Mini-Clutch Speaker is boldly going where no wearable accessory has really gone before – handbags. It’s a Bluetooth-enabled speaker, speakerphone and clutch all-in-one: perfect for carrying your on-the-go essentials, making hands-free phone calls and having impromptu parties.
We love a brand that uses technological innovation to do social good, and Thinx is the latest startup that aims to do just that. For every pair sold of this smart underwear – that endures over time through anti-microbial, moisture-wicking and stain resistant layers – a girl in the developing world will be provided with seven washable, reusable cloth pads that help her stay in school.
Perfect for musicians, mums, or just friends catching up over drinks, Kapture is the wristband that saves the audible moments around you with a single tap. It even captures audio snippets after the fact – so the moment isn’t interrupted.
Cuff is the most desirable-looking smart accessories line on the market right now, tapping into an authentic, boho aesthetic without sacrificing on tech functionality. There’s a style for everyone and every need: whether you want to track your activity, never miss a call or text again, or even, in a unique offering, feel safe in the city with a built-in safety tracker in case of emergency.
Full details of Decoded Fashion’s SXSW activities can be found here.
Reported by Claire Healy
“The practical applications of 3D printing are still being worked out, but last week at CES in Las Vegas 3D Systems showed off how the technology can be used to create fashion pieces that are just as viable as anything you might buy off the rack.”
“Between them, they’ve raised hundreds of millions of dollars in venture funding. They’ve launched high-tech e-commerce platforms and Main Street brick-and-mortar stores. They’re turning media sites into customer bases, creating affordable bespoke and luxury products and making the historically murky retail supply chain more transparent.”
“America’s most prominent technology firms have all built reputations for futuristic thinking through secret, ancillary Silicon Valley labs.”
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
“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.”
“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.”