Image source: Chromat
This is the first season that WME/IMG’s ownership of the ‘big four’ fashion weeks has truly come into play – but has that changed the way fashion shows work with tech? As New York Fashion Week comes to a close, we’ve analysed five of its best tech moments, from smart sportswear and phone-charging accessories to the use of social media as a customer engagement tool.
Chromat’s Clever Tech
Chromat collaborated with Intel – using the tech company’s Intel Curie Module which, according to Chromat, serves “as an extension of our sensory systems” – to create two garments that adapt to the wearer: the Adrenaline Dress and the Aeros Sports Bra.
The Adrenaline Dress responds to adrenalin levels; sudden spikes in the wearer’s adrenalin cause the 3D-printed, tech-powered framework to go into ‘fight or flight’ mode, forming an imposing shape around the wearer. Meanwhile, the mechanisms behind the Aeros Sports Bra are triggered by perspiration, respiration and body temperature. The responsive bra, which marks Chromat’s first foray into activewear, has air vents that open when the body starts overheating.
Tommy Hilfiger’s S/S 16 show was the first ever event to use Twitter’s new ‘Halo’ feature, which allows users to record 360-degree video footage with multi-camera devices. It wasn’t the first time Hilfiger had partnered with the social media site, though, as last season’s show made use of the ‘Twitter Mirror’ software.
The Instagram Takeover
Instagram offered a daily feature, The Best of Fashion Week, in its Explore section during NYFW, and fashion brands themselves also utilised the image-sharing app to engage customers.
DKNY’s newly appointed creative directors Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne decided to connect with the brand’s fans through Instagram. Using the new ‘Direct’ arrow on the app, users could send runway looks from the #DKNYSS16 hashtag to @DKNY in order to receive information about the story behind specific S/S 16 items.
Misha Nonoo, meanwhile, went a step further by foregoing the runway to stage her S/S 16 presentation on Instagram, uploading the whole shoot to an account called @mishanonoo_show. Speaking of her decision to use Instagram, the CFDA finalist said: “It’s so strange to me that [fashion] touches everyone, yet we have these location-specific events that touch just a rarefied few. To me, that doesn’t make sense; I love the inclusiveness of Instagram.”
Tumblr Goes Offline
For the past five years, Tumblr has been sending its most popular tastemakers to NYFW to document the shows. This September, however, the popular blogging platform decided to add an ‘offline’ element to the mix in the form of a pop-up shop and designated blogger meet-up space in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood. From September 11-13, it displayed a fashion line created by 10 Tumblr ‘artists’.
Rebecca Minkoff Loves the Apple Watch
A drone hovered over the Rebecca Minkoff runway last week, as the brand showcased an array of tech-enabled wallets and shoulder bags for S/S 16. Luxury bands for the Apple Watch also featured, meaning Minkoff has beaten Hermes to become the first designer label to sell Apple Watch bands.
The best thing about these thoroughly modern accessories? They’re all available to buy now. Uri Minkoff, CEO and co-founder of the brand, told TechCrunch: “Unlike the Hermes band, our [bands] are available to ship this month… with the new iPhone 6S coming out, women are wanting to buy their tech accessories now instead of waiting six months.”
Interested in who’s innovating at Fashion Week? Next month in New York, Decoded Fashion and W Magazine will launch the Fashion Futures Awards, celebrating talent across the fashion and technology industries. Find out more here.
Reported by Grace Howard
“Rebecca Minkoff has always believed in the power of digital and social media, but she remembers a time when most of the fashion industry wasn’t buying it.”
“How do we know? Because you touched the magic mirror in Rebecca Minkoff’s fashion-and-tech-forward store, and left a trail of valuable data.”
“America’s most prominent technology firms have all built reputations for futuristic thinking through secret, ancillary Silicon Valley labs.”
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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.
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.
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.
On Feb. 2-3, Decoded Fashion held the world’s first Fashion Hackathon, a 24-hour event where 550 registered participants and 78 teams competed to build a technology that helps American fashion designers.
About 300 developers, designers and entrepreneurs—40 percent women—worked on a variety of projects, from B2B software for production and merchandising to analytics for social media and e-commerce. Many 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.
Five finalist teams were chosen to compete for the top prize—$10,000 and the chance to have its app launched by the CFDA. They will pitch live on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week during the Decoded Fashion Forum, to a panel of fashion judges including the CFDA’s Steven Kolb, Style.com’s Dirk Standen, Zac Posen, Rebecca Minkoff’s Uri Minkoff, and Gilt Groupe’s Susan Lyne.
42 personalizes the brick-and-mortar experience by using the best intelligence of online commerce. Founders: Cathy Han, Sarah Hum, Lucas Lemanowicz, Nicolas Porter
Avant-Garde remakes targeting marketing by matching customers with products by visually analyzing products and social media streams to understand exactly what customers want right now. Founders: Vladimir Dedov, Ajay Mantha, Carrie Mantha
Coveted is a 1-click platform for brands to sell their products through shareable tumblr images. Founders: Ian Culley, Michael Dizon, Jason Fertel
Fashion Dashboard optimizes commerce through competitive social media and merchandising analysis. Founder: Stephan Alber
SWATCHit is a peer-to-peer platform connecting global designers with emerging market artisans and overseas producers. Founders: Ramzi Abdoch, Jagjeet Gill, Jackson Lin, Henrika Makilya, Paul Yun