Fashion is the tech industries latest muse. Right? We went to see it for ourselves.
The Accountancy Cloud met with Fash Tech London at Pinson Mason’s Bootlaw event on the 22nd October , London to explain why Fashion and Technology is such a hot emerging industry right now and share his insights on the developing trends and types of innovation we are seeing within the fashion and technology industries from both a b2c and b2b perspective.
Collaborations between tech giants and fashion brands have become arguably one of the emerging trends of 2014, but why are fashion giants such as Ralph Lauren, Burberry and tech behemoths such as Apple really having a go? We pick out the two big trends in Fashion Tech that are raising a few eyebrows.
What is it? Wearable technology, fashionable technology, wearable devices, fashion electronics are clothing and accessories incorporating advanced electronic technologies.
You need to two bits to come together. Let me elaborate … The designs often incorporate practical functions (the functional bit), but may also have a purely critical or aesthetic agenda (the fashionable bit) – got it, There-in lies a challenge for an up and coming designer, right ?
London Fashion Week SS15 showcased some of the most exciting developments to date. Richard Nicoll and Studio XO’s ‘Tinkerbell’ dress, and a lot of new wearable tech pieces hitting the runway.
Fashion companies have embraced wearable tech accessories transforming them into stylish jewelry pieces to fit the always connected and the on the go lifestyle of 20- and 30-somethings.
Most of the accessories are low hanging fruit — mobile chargers or alert notification systems for their mobile devices — but the willingness for both the tech and fashion worlds to collaborate promises a bright and fashionable future for wearables.
As Apple announce their first wearable watch, the fashion industry is embracing tech like never before. “Two multi-billion dollar industries are colliding and some of the greatest innovation in both is happening right here in London”, says Alex Semenzato of FashTech London.
“Fashion is visual, when you’re searching for a particular fashion item, it’s quite hard to describe what you’re looking at,” “Two people searching for a product online might use different terms and get different results – visual search reduces that friction as you just take a picture, and find it.” Says Cortexica’s CEO Iain McCready
So let’s put into a real life situation – you take a picture of a top you like, the app you’ve used recognises it and using a complex algorithm, finds the same top or something pretty much the same. I like this a lot.
Alex Semenzato of Fashion Tech London, is also director of Cortexica Vision systems, he described how Zalando , an etailer have fast become fashion front runners ahead of the likes of ASOS, in less than 6 years by embellishing their retail experience using Cortexica’s visual technology.
Even long established chain’s like Macy’s a 156 year old retailer are embracing technology. They announced that they are adding 4,800 iBeacon devices to it’s 786 stores across the US, in one of the largest efforts to use innovations that have been much-hyped as the future of the fashion industry.
The momentum of shifting. “Gimmicks” are now game-changing.
To summarise. Opportunities are plenty, expanding use of new technologies are clearly evident, the big players are investing lots of money. But the challenges are plenty, buyers of fashion are fickle, tech is functional (rather than focused on beautiful design), and customer service still needs to be spot on.
Watch this space people!