FashTech Digest


5 Things You May Have Missed This Week

1. What Happens When Big Data Meets High Fashion

In the world of high fashion, the most important models aren't the ones sauntering down the catwalks—they're the statistical models used to drive decision-making.

Smart apparel retailers are turning to big data and analytics to give them a leg up in a market that is in the midst of enormous disruption. Sales at big-name department stores and major mall outlets are falling. Instead, consumers are turning to discounters, making online buys from pure ecommerce shops such as Zulilly and Zappos or subscribing to custom-fit subscription services such as Stitch Fix, Trunk Club and LeTote.

According to data from Cardlytics (based on purchases of 120 million consumers), shoppers—and in particular millennials—are increasingly fickle. They may be abandoning traditional stores, but they're open to a broader menu of shopping experiences. They like to shop 24/7, they appreciate good deals and they prefer more personalised service. In this category, one size definitely does not fit all.

Read the full story here

2. Mobile web browsing overtakes desktop for the first time

Mobile devices are used more than traditional computers for web browsing, as smartphone and tablet use overtook desktop for the first time, October figures show.

Mobile web browsing has been steadily growing since 2009, while the desktop’s share of web traffic has steadily decreased. In October, the two crossed over, with global mobile and tablet browsing accounting for 51.3% versus the desktop’s 48.7%, according to the latest data from web analytics firm StatCounter.

Read the full story here

3. How Virtual Reality Is Changing The World

Crouching low amid the sparse vegetation of the African bush, a trio of lion cubs lollop towards me. Our eyes meet. Branches crack. It’s hot, bright and as the evening sun beats down, I spin around to find myself completely alone. Bathed in a golden light, the cubs come within a few centimetres, their already-giant paws crunching through the long grass and off into the distance.

Seconds later, the C-shaped curve of Rio’s Copacabana reveals itself from a rooftop swimming pool 16 floors up. It’s a cloudless day and Sugarloaf Mountain is visible at the mouth of Guanabara Bay far in the distance. Then I’m in the middle of a crowd of partygoers dancing the samba in a favela, drinks raised aloft, before riding a thermal, bird-like, high above Ipanema beach on a paraglider, able to gaze up, down and all around as seemingly miniature cars and office blocks the size of Lego bricks zip by hundreds of feet below. All I can hear is the whistle of the wind in my ears.

If all this sounds unrealistic, that’s because it is. Indeed, it’s rather a let-down to find myself still perched in my south London sitting room when I leave the virtual-reality (VR) world. In VR – the much-hyped, much-talked-about and certainly much-invested-in new storytelling format – the impossible is seemingly made possible.

Read the full story here

4. Will.i.am Moves Wearables Off the Wrist With the Help of Kendall Jenner and Apple

Wearable technology is finally beginning to go beyond the wrist.

“Why should you have to take off your earphones when you finish listening to something and put them back in a box or bag, instead of just wearing them around your neck like jewelry?”

That was Will.i.am, the musician/TV personality/entrepreneur, co-founder of the Black Eyed Peas, and founder of i.am+, a wearable technology company with a focus on youth education, during an interview by telephone while traveling by car from Manchester, England, to London.

It is the kind of question that, when voiced (especially by a coach of “The Voice UK”), seems enormously obvious, but, apparently, has not occurred to any of us to ask. And it clearly reflects some of the issues in bridging the gulf between fashion and technology: It’s not the products that are the problem, but figuring out what the products should be and what we want our stuff to do.

The question did occur, however, to Will.i.am, whose full name is William Adams. So he created an answer.

Read the full story here

5. Will the Next Alexander McQueen be a Biologist?

While much of fashion-tech is focused on retail environments and web-based platforms, scientific discoveries are reinventing the materials, function and properties of our clothing. Watch Debera Johnson, Executive Director, The Pratt Institute / Brooklyn fashion + Design Accelerator fantastic presentation, as she explores the other side of fashion-technology with a look into how biology, nanotechnology and additive manufacturing are changing the future of fashion.

Watch HERE