Earlier this month I attended the FashTech Summit in London to represent UNSIGNED GRP and get the latest industry insights from marketers and brands who are shaping this exciting fashion technology landscape. When it was launched in 2014, FashTech was a simple meet up that focused on start-ups and panel discussions. Now, less than 2 years later and events across London, New York and San Francisco it really feels like FashTech has matured into a community hub for talent, research and bold new ideas.
Fashtech 2016 – The Show
The event took place in the heart of East London at Studio Spaces where the audience listened to presentations and panel discussions from the industry’s most disruptive and innovative thought leaders including Drew Elliot (the man behind Kim Kardashian’s attempt to #breaktheinternet) and Second Home co-founder Rohan Silva, who revealed the launch of a fashion hub in west London.
Over the course of the 2 days it became clear which trends are starting to dominate the industry. The influx of customer data now allows brands to use multiple touchpoints when analysing customer journeys and merging online and offline data together to create a more rounded shopping experience. The shift towards emotive content on blogs and social media has also not gone unnoticed with Kelly Kowal (MD Farfetch Black & White Division) saying “Wherever you discover you want to purchase. Publishers are slowly becoming retailers“.
Fashtech 2016 – Speakers & Guests
Pia Stanchina @Google
“forward thinking Brands have to be ‘in the moment’ and interact with the consumer in real time”
“Adopting a sustainability mindset is one of the biggest changes brands can make right now”
Cherry Collins @Grabble
“Wherever you discover, you want to purchase. Brands are slowly becoming publishers and e-tailers”
“New manufacturing methods such as 3D printing and intelligent fabrics are ready to shake up the industry”
Fashtech 2016 – The Takeaways
A big emphasis was placed on VR as a tool that will revolutionise retail. By placing the customer directly into an immersive experience it becomes easier for a brand to engage them and elicit a response such as a social share or an in-store purchase. Henry Stuart (Chief Executive of Visualise) said retailers can tap into VR to “create amazing experiences that push boundaries and create magical memories”. 3D scanning will enable customers to create virtual avatars of themselves which in turn can be used in virtual outlets. These outlets will allow customers to try on outfits with interchangeable backgrounds for richer shopping experiences.
Customer First Approach
The importance of placing the customer first has never been higher. Brands are really starting to think creatively about engaging their target audience. Philip Handford (Founder at Campaign Designs) highlighted the importance of creating a destination store in order to attract and engage consumers. Philip actually predicted that in the future “high streets will become a series of immersive billboards and brand lounges that will capture people’s imaginations”. Mobile phones already know intimate details of our lives (location, frequent contacts, browsing and chat history) so combining this with shopping preferences is likely to yield great results.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to chat and welcome me into the FashTech family. There are some exciting times ahead in our industry and I would love to have a chance to discuss potential work or influencer collaborations in the future. Feel free to reach out to me across any social channel or email Unsigned GRP on [email protected]