Decoded Fashion announced SWATCHit, a platform for connecting designers and artisians, as the winner of the Fashion Hackathon, taking home $10,000 and the the opportunity to have their app launched by the CFDA.
In a very close competition, SWATCHit out-pitched two other finalists—Coveted, one-click purchasing for Tumblr, and 42, in-store retail analytics tools—for the top prize.
“It’s been an incredible experience,” said SWATCHit’s Jagjeet Gill, who is currently earning her MBA at MIT.
The finalists were chosen during The Fashion Hackathon, a 24-hour event where 550 registered participants and 78 teams competed to build a technology that helps American fashion designers. It was held Feb. 2-3, at the Alley NYC.
Some of the projects were inspired by the Fashion Brief, a conversation with designer Rachel Roy, DKNY’s Aliza Licht, Rebecca Minkoff’s Uri Minkoff, Michael Kors’ Farryn Weiner, and the CFDA’s Kelly McCauley and Sideways’ Nathaniel Catanio, on what areas of the fashion industry could utilize technology to increase efficiency and drive business. Others, like Coveted, were conceived prior to the Hackathon.
“I had this idea for about a year, but never had time to work on it,” said Michael Dizon, of Coveted. “At a Hackathon, you have to do it in 24 hours.”
The finalists pitched to a panel of fashion judges including Minkoff, CFDA’s CEO Steven Kolb, Style.com’s Editor-in-Chief Dirk Standen, designer Zac Posen, and Gilt Groupe’s founder Alexis Maybank, each of which asked some tough questions to the hackathon teams before determining SWATCHit the winner.
All the finalists took home a collection of prizes from the CFDA, DKNY, GAP, Gilt Groupe, Bonobos, Macallan, Samsung, Refinery 29, and Quotidian Ventures.