apps

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  1. In Milan, Exhibition Aims to Convert Fashion Faithful to New Digital Gospel
    In a former Renaissance church, rigged with high-definition screens, infrared sensors and motion-tracking technology, art director Remi Paringaux is challenging the norms of fashion communication.
  2. Wearable Tech Makers Look to Push Boundaries
    Will your clothes and accessories change how you live your daily life? Wearable devices like smart watches, glasses and activity monitors were a big topic of conversation at South By Southwest Interactive this week
  3. Nowness Adds Shoppable Video Feature to Sell with Subtlety
    The LVMH-owned and editorially independent Web site Nowness has unveiled a new shoppable video feature to blend content and commerce.
  4. Google Eyes First U.S. Retail Location Near NYC Apple Store
    Google plans to open its first retail location in the United States in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, situated just around the corner from an Apple store, a new report suggests.

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  1. eBay Adds 200 “Trendsetter” Star Curators, More Social Features to its Marketplace
    The influence of social media continues to extend beyond platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and now, eBay is throwing its hat into the ring.
  2. Harper’s Redesigns its Website and Embraces Branded Content
    Harper’s Bazaar is joining the growing list of media properties whose publishers are supplementing more traditional forms of advertising with sponsored content.
  3. Who Killed the Magazine App?
    The Association of Magazine Media (MPA), the magazine publishers trade group,this month reported some seemingly encouraging results for an industry that’s become all too used to bad news.
  4. NorthFace Cashes in on High-Tech Gear and Mountain Cred
    A risky bet on hard-core climbers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts is paying off for North Face…

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  1. Dunnhumby Launches Venture Fund for Retail Data, Marketing Startups
    Dunnhumby, the analytics and direct-marketing firm behind loyalty programs at Tesco and Kroger among others, is launching a venture fund to back startups in retail data, analytics and marketing technology.
  2. Click & Collect is eBay’s Answer to Amazon’s Lockers – with a Twist
    EBay announced a new “click and collect” service that will let its customers pick up purchased products from retailers rather than have them delivered to their homes.
  3. Facebook Partners with PayPal, Stripe, BrainTree to Autofill Billing Info in Mobile Commerce Apps
    Facebook wants to put an end to typing billing details on the small screen.
  4. Will Smart Watches Attract Fashion-Savvy Consumers?
    The quest by consumers for affordable fashion items with luxury labels has led to the popularity of designer-label watches.

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  1. “Fashion Too Scared to Innovate with Tech” Says Ex Topshop Marketing Chief
    Justin Cooke says that despite fashion week campaigns, many brands are still taking too long to exploit social media, personalization and the power of data.
  2. Harbingers of Apps to Come, Here Are Four Google Glass for Fashion Hacks we Saw at Disrupt
    With an abnormally high population of Google Glass owners in one convention center andShopStyle’s API open to participants at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon, it should come as no surprise that a number of hacks combined the two.
  3. London Amps Digital to Make Fashion Week More Public than Ever
    Fashion shows weren’t live-streamed five years ago, nor did designers reveal behind-the-scenes snapshots over Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. Today, those are a matter of course…
  4. Vogue Shoots Editorial Solely for Instagram
    Vogue commissioned photographer Michael O’Neal to shoot three fashion stories on nothing but an iPhone.

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  1. This Seasons’s 5 Fashion-Tech Trendsetters
    Tech City News rounded up some of London’s cutting-edge fashion tech startups to find out how they’ve sewn the worlds of fashion and tech together.
  2. ModCloth is Selling an Era They Missed Out On
    The perpetually girlish, improvisational aesthetic seems to be paying off for the company…
  3. How Wearable Computers Force Tech to Think Fashion
    Samsung, like many technology companies, has realized that it cannot sell a wearable computer if it doesn’t pay as much attention to the “wearable” as it does to the “computer.”
  4. eBay Goes Universal with its Fashion and Motors iOS Apps
    A universal app is a single mobile app that displays content optimized by a device.

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1. Fashion Project, The Site Making Online Shopping A Charitable Act, Raises $1.8 Million In Seed Funding
TechCrunch reports that Fashion Project aims to make “fashion a force for good” by having women donate their designer items, which others buy for a discounted price, and the majority of the sales goes straight to a charity.

2. J.C. Penney Ousts Chief of 17 Months
JC Penney’s controversial CEO Ron Johnson will be leaving the company and is being replaced by the company’s former CEO. Johnson has been there for the past 17 months and his unprofitable results left Myron Ullman III in charge once again. The New York Times has the details.

3. 5 Lessons From Managing Our Startup’s Rapid Growth
Kit Hickey, co-founder of fashion-tech startup Ministry of Supply, gets featured in Forbes with her five steps to success.

4. Rachel Roy’s New Digital Magazine
Rachel Roy gets techie and introduces her own digital hub “The Life,” featuring original content from fashion to food and travel. Read more on WWD.

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‘Shazam For Clothing’? Street Style Will Never Be The Same
The song-recognition app, will with the launch of a new feature be able to identify clothing on a TV screen. HuffPost Style discusses the implications of a streetstyle-recognition app.

Ashton Kutcher’s e-commerce startup debuts Spring line, reveals top-tier investors (exclusive)
VentureBeat reveals the top-tier investors that are changing the button-downs to casual Ts by backing Ashton Kutcher’s e-commerce startup Pickwick & Weller.

DailyLook Gets $2.5M From GRP Partners, Rachel Zoe, And Others To Be The Web’s Go-To For Fast Fashion
Startup DailyLook raises funding to be the online go-to for fast fashion, applying a regular e-retailer model. TechCrunch has more.

Nine West Charity Initiative Goes Live on YouTube
Nine West invites customers to post videos doing good while looking good onto their YouTube network Channel 9 and tweet them using #GangsForGood. Weekly prizes are awarded to participating customer. Get the details on Fashionotes.

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How Burberry, Sharp and Vodafone Are Getting Creative with Data
Burberry is one of the brands that uses data creatively to stand out in the cluttered ad-sphere and improve its campaigns. AdAge has more.

Nike selects ten companies to participate in Accelerator program
Engadget announces the ten startups that Nike has chosen to improve their apps.

Oscar de la Renta revitalizes ecommerce with personalized fitting tool
Oscar de la Renta removes the size-anxiety from online shopping by introducing “True Fit,” which helps customers find specific styles that will fit their body type. Read more on Luxury Daily.

Samsung Confirms It Will Build A Smart Watch As Speculation About Apple’s iWatch Continues
Samsung builds an iWatch competitor but will Apple lead the way in this innovation as well or is it Samsung’s turn? TechCrunch has the details.

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This past weekend I teamed up with four crazy smart teammates to compete in the first-ever Fashion Hackathon.

The event was a blast and, I think, a pretty big success. It was the most diverse Hackathon anyone could remember – by a lot. The competition was tough, and people worked hard. Some honest good ideas emerged. Judges were fair and asked the right questions. It felt a little bit like Group Week on American Idol.

A month ago hackathons were an exotic notion, the terrain of guys like the genius 23-year-old developer who built me the website of my dreams. Now it’s something I’m looking forward to doing again next year.

The weekend kicked off with a diverse panel of articulate fashion insiders. They shared frustrations and ideas. Distilling what we had each just heard, my team and I quickly aligned on a few observations.

Given our backgrounds – two of us were lawyers, two have MBAs, one is a legit MD from Stanford Medical School – we came to see the industry’s problems as systemic, structural, and epidemic in nature. Everywhere you turn, you find just-slightly-lagging technology; and everyone you meet seems to feel things ought to be way more futuristic by now; but nobody has really defined for the industry yet what that is gonna look like, and people are tiring of humoring the notion that a radically different future awaits.

“The industry’s problems” may be the wrong phrase for the thing we diagnosed Saturday afternoon. But something smelled fishy, especially when we stepped back and assessed, as outsiders, the performance or health of the industry as a whole.

8446686645_9b8d8ff3f2_bAt almost every link in the value chain for fashion goods – in design, production, runway shows, curation/merchandising, distribution, pricing and markdowns, inventory forecasting, targeted marketing, and so on – people can intuit that they ought to have more data and stronger analytical tools guiding their decision-making. But nobody’s yet articulated what a good solution looks like, or how the killer app of the future differs from all the other fake-bespoke database tools already in widespread use today.

We observed that data are not at all scarce in the fashion industry – quite the opposite: there’s a ton of data, all around us, everywhere you could think to look.  The problem plaguing all these pools of information is illiquidity.  That is, knowledge fails to flow.  Ideally, information should move from the parties generating or observing it, to any or all other parties who might valuably use it.

All the information anybody could possibly want is already, today, in someone’s reach, but it’s usually in someone else’s reach.  And you can bet he or she is guarding it – jealously.

Perceiving this dynamic, my team and I explored ways we could use other people’s information to create value. We asked, if we could know anything anyone else is capable of knowing, how could we use that all-access knowledge pass to create real, lasting, exponentially-growing value for the fashion industry as a whole? A company that could do that would be everyone’s friend in no time.  So we brainstormed ways new data sets might help grow overall-industry sales or lower overall-industry costs.

Then, for each idea, we spent a couple minutes cooking up product ideas and rapidly shooting most of them down – giving serious thought only to the few that we actually made sense as products someone would use or buy.

We were supposed to find ways to use sponsor-company APIs, but we wound up exploring ways to turn fashion companies themselves into APIs.

By imagining we could tap into an existing, worldwide network of hardware, software, and information, we couldn’t help feeling – and I continue to feel, strongly – that we have at our fingertips, in 2013, all the component parts of some newer, bigger, badder fashion industry. One that makes sense for, and stands to make money in, the twenty-first century.

This was the kind of thinking that had previously led my teammates Jill and Alain to found Modalyst, and the kind of reverse-problem-solving that led me to design and build The Shoplift in 2012. Last weekend, it led our team to unearth serious structural problems we believe trap creative potential, preclude discovery, set arbitrary speed limits on trends and slow down fashion as a whole, and lead to wasteful overspending on all kinds of things.

These are big challenges, too tough to resolve in 24 hours and tougher still to pitch about in two minutes.

Which is not at all a dig at the Hackathon format, honest. I found that the two-minute pitch timing nicely reflected the reality of an industry in which everyone is terribly busy, first impressions matter a lot, and success sometimes means making a scene.8446092266_0a2463f3a1_b

Fashion insiders are furiously self-oriented people. When put on the spot to innovate, they mostly propose ideas to make their own jobs marginally easier. So far, blissfully missing out on the really important opportunities, they have steered the industry clear of the biggest revolutions, in favor of one-off features, simplifying tools, and easier ways to do business on other people’s terms (tricks to get more Likes on Facebook, for instance).

A mid-panel exit by Rachel Roy – looking amazing but ducking out early for a conflicting Saturday-morning commitment – nicely illustrated the industry’s tendency to hurry-up-and-get-back-to-work when new technology comes up in conversation.

This tendency is dangerous. It’s the kind of thing that can really hold an industry back. If we don’t decide for ourselves what the future looks like, we’re doomed to accept decisions people in other industries make for us.

I’m psyched to see how the finalists do next week. My pick to win is Fashion Dashboard, because if it doesn’t exist already it totally should.  But it’s definitely still anyone’s game, and I wish all of the contestants the very best of luck. They’re currently working round-the-clock to finish their apps in time for their big day during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. (If you don’t have tickets yet, it’s not too late.)

Look for me there or check back here for my reactions after the show.

Author Brandon Fail is the founder of The Shoplift, and the Fashion Hackathon was his first-ever hackathon. 

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On Feb. 2-3, Decoded Fashion held the world’s first Fashion Hackathon, a 24-hour event where 550 registered participants and 78 teams competed to build a technology that helps American fashion designers.

About 300 developers, designers and entrepreneurs—40 percent women—worked on a variety of projects, from B2B software for production and merchandising to analytics for social media and e-commerce. Many projects were inspired by the Fashion Brief, a conversation with designer Rachel Roy, DKNY’s Aliza Licht, Rebecca Minkoff’s Uri Minkoff, Michael Kors’ Farryn Weiner, and the CFDA’s Kelly McCauley and Sideways’ Nathaniel Catanio, on what areas of the fashion industry could utilize technology to increase efficiency and drive business.

Five finalist teams were chosen to compete for the top prize—$10,000 and the chance to have its app launched by the CFDA. They will pitch live on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week during the Decoded Fashion Forum, to a panel of fashion judges including the CFDA’s Steven Kolb, Style.com’s Dirk Standen, Zac Posen, Rebecca Minkoff’s Uri Minkoff, and Gilt Groupe’s Susan Lyne.

Finalists:
42 personalizes the brick-and-mortar experience by using the best intelligence of online commerce. Founders: Cathy Han, Sarah Hum, Lucas Lemanowicz, Nicolas Porter

Avant-Garde remakes targeting marketing by matching customers with products by visually analyzing products and social media streams to understand exactly what customers want right now. Founders: Vladimir Dedov, Ajay Mantha, Carrie Mantha

Coveted is a 1-click platform for brands to sell their products through shareable tumblr images. Founders: Ian Culley, Michael Dizon, Jason Fertel

Fashion Dashboard optimizes commerce through competitive social media and merchandising analysis. Founder: Stephan Alber

SWATCHit is a peer-to-peer platform connecting global designers with emerging market artisans and overseas producers. Founders: Ramzi Abdoch, Jagjeet Gill, Jackson Lin, Henrika Makilya, Paul Yun