FashTech Digest


5 Things You May Have Missed This Week

1. London Technology Week Champions Fashion Tech

This week saw the annual gathering of innovative minds come together to discuss the latest and greatest developments in the world of tech at London Technology Week, Europe’s largest festival of technology. And this year, the week kicked off with none other than a show of the best in British fashion tech.

Curated by London fashion designer, Brooke Roberts, the exhibition showcase included a 3D-printed wearable dress by Modeclix, the world’s first holographic intelligent mannequin from Headworks, and a BTS look at London Fashion Week using 360 degree video and content curated by creative communications agency, Village. Roberts spoke proudly of London’s prominent position in the world of innovation, saying: “London offers a collaborative and dynamic science, tech and fashion scene. From fashion start-ups, 3D printing and social media, to improving in-store customer experience, brands in London have been leading the way in how to incorporate the latest tech advances into their fashion message.”

Last year’s festival saw 220 events, attracting over 43,000 attendees from around the world, making it a great platform for a fashion tech exhibition. Kevin Pearce, London Technology Week Event Director, UBM EMEA London, said: “London and the UK is world renowned as a leader in the creative industries. From traditional media, advertising and digital agencies, to visual effects, film and TV production and design, fashion and the arts. The thriving creative tech sector is represented throughout this year’s London Technology Week programme, by over 150 events. Making it one of the key cornerstones to the week and one of the most popular themes for both national and international attendees.”

LTW’s acknowledgement of fashion tech as one of the biggest upcoming hybrid industries is extremely encouraging, and enables designers like Brooke Roberts and other diverse fashion and technology game-changers together to “showcase the creative and robust approach we have in London to contributing to the new wave of Fashion Tech. It is through the continuing collaboration of the London fashion and tech scenes that this crossover has become possible, opening the door for more collaborations on a larger scale in the future, limited only by our imaginations” (Roberts).

2. Anna Wintour at Cannes Lions - Fashion Needs to Seek Sincerity not Size

This article first appeared on Fashion and Mash by Rachel Arthur

“Dare to be different,” said Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast, to a crowd of advertising executives in the South of France this week. In a digital world overloaded with information, and more pressure than ever to produce in volume, she encouraged the audience to think about stepping out of the mainstream, even if it might be scary to do so.

She applied that same thinking to what she looks for in the talent she supports in the fashion industry. As the foremost woman that designers wish to have seated firmly on their front row during fashion weeks, not to mention the continuing battle occurring to stand out in such a saturated space, she suggested the idea of focusing on sincerity over size.

“Personal, emotion-driven presentations can just as easily become blockbusters as the huge extravagances,” she said at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

She highlighted Demna Gvasalia as one of the best examples of this. His first show for Balenciaga did indeed feel particularly sincere, she noted; reminding her of John Galliano’s show in the autumn of 1994, which with just 18 all-black looks completely changed the way women think about dressing. “It sent the 80s power suit packing once and for all,” she said. “It was feminine, and romantic and emotional.”

Anna Wintour on stage at Cannes Lions

Anna Wintour on stage at Cannes Lions

Introducing her on the stage, Christopher Bailey, chief creative and executive officer of Burberry, also told the tale of how she first came to know about the designers behind Proenza Schouler – Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. Sat on a flight, Hernandez noticed that Wintour was up ahead of him. As a student at that point, he was too nervous to go and speak to her himself, but asked the airhostess to pass her a note written on a napkin. Wintour was reportedly so touched by that move, she soon invited them to see her at Vogue and set them up with internships at Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors.

The rest, as they say, is history. But it was that slight dare to be different that of course made Proenza Schouler stand out – and no doubt become memorable to Wintour down the line.

Back in her own talk, Wintour also emphasised the fact such moves – or indeed fashion show formats – don’t have to be small and precious to be creative. An example of someone winning in both the sincerity and scale stakes, she said, is Alessandro Michele at Gucci.

“He’s been doing remarkable things in that role. Gucci was this huge flashy, trashy house, and Alessandro disrupted that.” She made reference particularly to the fact he saw gender-neutral fashion coming before the rest of the industry and made it his own.

“I want to emphasise how hard this sort of disruption is. Not just because of the need to try and do what hasn’t been done before, but because stepping outside of what’s expected is frightening,” she said.

And she also talked to the idea therefore of disrupting herself. “When we are young we dream of moving upwards, but as I’ve got older my joy has come from moving forward,” she explained. “When I became editor of Vogue in 1988, if you had told me about everything that was to come in digital, that we would be coding our content, not to mention that [Condé Nast] would also be doing film and books and television, as well as events, podcasts and more, I would have had a heart attack. I was struggling to get the magazine on the newsstand every month.”

Today she’s gone from newsstand to stand up, having just delivered an amusing video swapping roles with comedian (and this month’s Vogue cover star) Amy Schumer. And it was this passion for not just humour but being that little bit more daring that she left the crowd with: “We live in a virtually unstoppable time. Let’s seize it, embrace it, but most importantly let’s enjoy it.

This article first appeared on Fashion and Mash by Rachel Arthur

3. November Summit Announcement!

FashTech Summit - April 2016

FashTech Summit - April 2016

Following the great success of our inaugural London Summit in April, we are very excited to announce that we will be hosting our second London Summit on Wednesday 16th November!

Held over just one jam-packed day, we are lining up a stellar schedule for you, filled with panels and presentations from the latest and greatest in the industry.

We will be disclosing more information over the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled and save the date! (16.11.16)

For more information and to purchase tickets click here

4. FashTech Talks: “Age of the Influencer?”

We are delighted to announce the next event in our series of FashTech Talks.

Following on from a very successful "Luxe in Flux" talk at Shoreditch House this month, in July we are excited to bring you "The Age of the Influencer”, a deep dive into why so many brands are turning to influencers for their social media strategy.

FashTech Talks: Luxe in Flux at Shoreditch House - June 2016

FashTech Talks: Luxe in Flux at Shoreditch House - June 2016

In todays digital and connected world, where consumers and brands are more coherent than ever, how effective are influencers in gaining exposure to relevant demographics, and do they provide ‘real' ROI to the brands employing them?

For years consumers disregarded blatant celebrity endorsement, however, they seem to not only engage with but equally seek out new influencers to follow. Is this a more emotional era, where consumers and influencers share in the same values and lifestyles? And what is the success behind that?

We will find out why influencers followers keep on growing and why brands are so keen to get them on board and ask the question - how do we really tell what is organic commentary or paid sponsorship?

Panel will include Diipa Khosla (Top Lifestyle & Fashion Blogger), Debbie Cartwright (Managing Director at Fashion PR agency, IPR) and Nandita Khosla (Photographer). Join the discussion as we explore the pros and cons of including influencers in your digital marketing strategy and how much 'real' ROI they provide.

Tickets cost £20 and are available HERE. Get your tickets now - spaces are limited!


5. UK Votes to Leave EU - Cameron Stands Down

THE UK has voted to leave the European Union in the historic EU Referendum that took place yesterday. Shortly after the results were announced this morning, prime minister David Cameron - who was an ardent supporter of the Remain campaign - announced his decision to stand down from office.

David Cameron arrives to speak to the press outside Downing Street today - picture credit PA

David Cameron arrives to speak to the press outside Downing Street today - picture credit PA

"I am very proud to have been prime minister for six years, we have made great steps," Cameron said on the steps of Downing Street this morning. "I fought this campaign in the only way I know how, which is to say directly and passionately what I think and feel - head, heart and soul. I held nothing back. I was clear in my belief that the UK is better, safer and stronger in the European Union... But the British people have made a very clear decision of the new path and I think the country needs fresh leadership to do that."

Cameron said that he would not immediately instigate Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which acts as a formal notification of the country's intention to withdraw from the Union and starts a two-year countdown. He also recommended that a new prime minister should be in place by the time of the next Conservative Party Conference in October.

Many of the implications of Brexit on the long-term UK economy are unclear, but Cameron took the opportunity to reassure Britons living abroad in EU member states, and EU citizens living in the UK, that there would be "no immediate changes to your circumstances". He promised to do "everything I can to steady the ship" but reiterated that "I don't think that it would be right for me to be the captain to lead this."

The results from the election came as a surprise to many, with several news services last night forecasting that the Remain campaign would emerge triumphant. As it transpired, 52 per cent of the electorate voted to leave and 48 per cent voted to remain at the polls (the turnout for which was 72 per cent of the population), with the Leave campaign winning by 1,269,501 votes. The London stock market plunged more than eight per cent in the immediate wake of the vote to leave, with the value of the pound dropping to its lowest against the dollar since 1985, according to reports from the BBC.

The impact that the result will have on the UK fashion industry is also unconfirmed at this stage. A recent poll conducted by the British Fashion Council saw that the majority of designers asked said that they wanted to remain in the European Union. 

"There was an overwhelming support from our designer survey for the UK to remain in Europe and there will no doubt be upset and dismay at today's result that will prompt an outreach to our friends, partners, business colleagues in Europe," Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said this morning. "We now have a role to play in keeping the government updated on our industry's priorities and keeping the designer community updated on any likely impact to business as our country prepares to leave the EU over the coming years."

This article first appeared on VOGUE by Scarlett Conlon