Lessons from Fashion GPS Conversation Series: Technology & Fashion Week
Last night, we were honored to attend the Technology and Fashion Week speaker series hosted by Fashion GPS and held at House of Bumble in the Meatpacking District. A melangé of fashion industry insiders, including publicists, bloggers and various fashion writers, gathered in a room set up lecture style — but with space for mingling — complete with a bar sponsored by Svedka vodka and a pastry table of sweet goodies by Fancy Girl Table. Fern Malis, the creator of New York Fashion Week as it is known today, introduced moderator Simon Collins, Dean of Fashion at Parsons The New School of Design, and speakers Peter Levy, Senior Vice President of IMG Fashion Worldwide, Jenné Lombardo, Co-Founder of Made Fashion Week, Rachna Shah, Senior Vice President of KCD Worldwide, and Dirk Standen, Editor-In-Chief of Style.com. This panel of fashion industry heavy hitters shared their wealth of knowledge of the past, present, and future of fashion and the industry’s relationship to technology.
The panelist chatted about the dichotomy of the industry’s history of face to face fashion, and the new dynamics created by technology capable of broadcasting fashion digitally and in real time. And, how these dynamics are shaping the way fashion is delivered to consumers today.
“Customers want to know that they can engage and build a community…not every show has to be live,” remarked Rashna Shah.
Indeed, the fashion industry is learning to adapt the way that fashion is delivered in order to cater to two audiences: those who require live presentation for the comprehension and consumption of fashion, and those, an emerging audience, who hunger for instant access to styles and trends. The process–it seems–is becoming transparent and seamless. Presentations to both audiences result (obvi) in instant online buzz among consumers and technology based fashion watchers, as well as delayed commentary from longer lead publications such as Vogue — publications that analyze trends over time and publish about them 4 to 5 months after the initial conversation began.
“Fashion’s never been as popular as it is today. There has never been as many people producing fashion and consuming fashion,” said Dirk Standen.
For an industry that makes its money on the constant evolution of the art and the consumer, the fashion industry is aligning itself with the technology industry in order to continue to promote innovative trends while increasing access to audiences and encouraging conversation. Should designers make clothes that translate into the online world? Should technology trends shape the way designers pursue their artistic process?
Ultimately, “brands have a right to tell their story and shape it along the way,” Jenné Lombardo pointed out, noting the dynamic and volatile relationship between brands, industry insiders, and consumers.