Startup Competition
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“Nicholas Kirkwood and Decoded Fashion, a technology summit series, have teamed up on a competition for start-up companies. “The Kirkwood Challenge” will involve entrepreneurial companies pitching their digital ideas and brand concepts to the British footwear brand.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Nicholas Krikwood x Decoded Fashion
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“TechCrunch recently hosted its Boston-based Pitchoff to give eight local startups a chance to compete for national recognition. From the sea of countless applications, these eight startups were chosen as the most promising new ventures that Boston has to offer, with each being given 60 seconds to pitch to a panel of judges.

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Clique Chic x TechCrunch

Decoded Fashion SXSW March 13-17, 2015
Image source: Decoded Fashion

January’s finally over, which means just one thing: its now just over a month until Decoded Fashion hits SXSW. As a partner of the festival’s brand new lifestyle hub, SXstyle, we will be setting up base camp at the JW Marriott over the 5 days of SXSW Interactive. There, you can expect to find panel sessions, special events, an exhibit, and of course networking opportunities aplenty. Be sure to save the date: a full day of programming is scheduled for Saturday March 14. But ahead of all that, there’s no time like the present to get involved with our Mentorship Hub and Future of Retail Competition.

Calling all startups and emerging designers: the Decoded Fashion Mentorship Hub, in partnership with Swarovski, will bring the biggest names of the fashion and retail industry to our Austin hub. But this time around, rather than listening to advice from the stage, you can get up close and personalised advice in a face-to-face meeting. Each of our mentors will offer 10-minute sessions to advise and give feedback for those starting out in the industry: from advice on pricing, value prop, messaging and anything else you might need insights on. Book a mentor now, and you could find yourself in a meeting with the top names in digital strategy, marketing and investment at Google, Michael Kors, Kate Spade Saturday, Estee Lauder, Diesel and more.

Time’s also running out to apply for Decoded Fashion and Simon’s The Future of Retail: Meet the Disruptors competition: our contest, hosted by the Simon Venture Group, that aims to find the new and innovative start-ups that are shaping the future of retail. The prize? $5000 and mentorship by SVG, as well as $1000 cash prize for the start-up that the audience votes their favourite. If you’re a company that’s making waves in in-store tech, wearables, e-commerce, personalisation, data analytics, delivery, mobile payments – or a combination of any of the above – be sure to apply by February 20th.

Reported by Claire Healy

On November 18-19, New York will play host to our global summit on Wearables and Retail Innovation, ‘Interconnected’. Featuring 100 speakers, mentors and movers and shakers, the event is well positioned to take the pulse of the fashion world now. Indeed, as 2014’s horizon comes into view, with it has come a tangible sea change: a whole new wave of wearable devices that are actually pretty wearable.

Apart from talks from key players in the wearables world, the summit also marks an opportunity for start-ups everywhere to get involved. Our startup competition aims to find this year’s most beautiful wearable, full stop. But what, when it comes to fashion X tech, should the criteria for beauty be? “Custom alloys engineered for beauty and durability” – that’s the Apple Watch’s take. “Effective, simple and durable” – that’s from the founder of Kovert Designs, Kate Unsworth (you can catch her in NYC, too).

When it comes to wearable fashion, then, it would appear that sleek function is what makes for beauty. But surely such an attitude doesn’t poach its preference for the practical from the fashion world. Silvia Fendi probably sums it up best when describing her ‘Baguette’ bag: “The Baguette really started this kind of new life for the accessory. It was treated like a fashion item, like a garment more than a bag.” In other words, the best-selling accessory of the decade’s bright color-ways, varied textures, small interior and single strap make it one of the least “functional” on the market. Is it about time we valued wearables by the same, aesthetically pleasing criteria?

The key, here, is integration. Fashion items so technologically advanced, so to speak, that the technology itself starts to disappear. Speaking sense on the point of aesthetics is the man who, in an uncanny move, dubbed himself with a URL-ready name since before the Internet was a thing: Will.i.am. As announced at the Wired conference last week, he’s enlisted architect Zaha Hadid to design variations on his smart cuff, Puls. The Hadid-designed Puls transforms the original sleek cuff, instead adding neofuturistic curves and bold elongation. Pushing the boundaries of the “sleekness and light” that is fast becoming the “aesthetic” of the incoming generation of wearables, it’s a welcome reminder to us all that what constitutes “beauty” in fashion isn’t interchangeable with what’s expected of its function. It is multiple perspective points, not the Apple-led monopoly, that really makes the wearables scene exciting. That’s also why, as our official competition will hope to demonstrate during Decoded Fashion NY, there’s no time like the present to bring the next wearable gamechanger to the industry’s attention.

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.

Decoded Fashion - The Fashion Pitch

On October 22, at this year’s Decoded Fashion Milan, the Fashion Pitch returns. Eight of the most promising B2B startups in the omnichannel space will be competing for the Fashion Pitch prizes:

e-PITTI.com will select one or more startups that will have the chance to present their project during the next Pitti Uomo fair in Florence. OTB will give the winners the opportunity to meet and engage with Stefano and Renzo Rosso as well as some of their managing team in a day visit to their headquarters. An finally, the winner of the Fashion Pitch will be awarded access into the StartUp Initiative, a platform by Intesa Sanpaolo made to accelerate the international growth of hi-tech start-ups; in addition, another two finalists will be able to participate in the StartUp Initiative Boot Camp.

We have seen some incredibly diverse and innovative applications from promising startups all over the world, including Italy, France, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Israel, Iceland, Ukraine, Canada, Singapore, Turkey, USA, Scotland and the United Kingdom. The resulting eight finalists will pitch to a panel of industry experts including Stefano Rosso, CEO of OTB Group; Myf Ryan, Director UK & Europe of Westfield; and Davide Turco, Head of Atlante Ventures at Intesa Sanpaolo.

The Decoded Fashion Milan 2014 Fashion Pitch finalists are:

IWISHU: Say it with a video – a new approach to gifting using video messages (Switzerland)

MadeUp: A new mobile communication channel that links brands and customers using NFC technology (Italy)

Modist: A new visual tool that helps retailers create shoppable content (Canada)

Rentez Vous: Peer-to-Peer and Designers fashion rental marketplace (UK)

Sartorias: A platform that integrates with your ecommerce to offer a personal shopper experience (Italy)

SuitMe: An interactive video showroom that allows consumers to see and ‘feel’ the product (Iceland)

Fashnfindr: A visual product search solution for retailers (Sweden)

Wallet Circle: An in-store customer engagement platform using iBeacons (UK)

To check out the rest of the Decoded Fashion Milan agenda, including keynote speeches, panel discussions and the roundtable, check out the schedule here.

Good luck to all of of our finalists! See you in Milan!

Reported by Anna Abrell