Innovation

Paris Launch

After touching down for all of 8 hrs after SXSW, we hopped on the Eurostar to continue our European Meetup tour! First stop Paris, with the support of our local host Celine Lippi, Co-Founder of Fashion Capital Partners. With a full house at the newly opened Le Numa, it was time to discuss the ins and outs of the ever growing omni-channel.

Kicking off with an opening keynote from Google‘s Pauline Butor who told us an astonishing five billion queries regarding fashion and beauty are made through Google every month! She went on to demonstrate the vast amount of Google tools available to fashion brands, that can help them gather data and create content. Talking us through last years hugely successful Topshop Fashion Week campaign, which used live hangouts to create another layer of content and a live view of a model’s runway walk.

Next both iVentures Consulting and DemandWare discussed how to improve customer experience, with the connection between both physical and digital stores. iVentures Consulting gave us a preview of their eShopper Index, which brands came up top digitally? The top 5 included Zalando, Zappos, Amazon, NET-A-PORTER and Gap.

Fusalp, Vilebrequin & l’Exception debated best practices; rethinking retail with smart shopping experiences, digital windows and customer touchpoints, with a gentle reminder that at the heart of all these tech innovations still remains the physical product and of course the consumer!

The evening closed with 3 startup pitches; Shop’n’Brag, a mobile shopping app that seems to do just about everything, with augmented reality features and deal finders rolled into one; HappyBeacon, allowing retailers to interact directly with the consumer through push notifications and our final startup Bodi.me, joining the fight against returns by letting the consumer try on clothes virtually.

For all the photos from the evening, head over here and Paris, we cannot wait to return in June!

Decoded Fashion SXSW

Every year Austin opens it’s city to over 30,000 visitors for the notorious SXSW festival and last week we joined the lineup with our first event! With over 500 attendees crossing the threshold to take in three hours of panels, talks and face-to-face meetings at the Mentorship Hub. Here are the best bits from the conversations that took place.

First up, ” Onboarding Tech” with Amy Walker, Director of Online Marketing at Neiman Marcus, Jen Rubio, Global Director of Innovation at AllSaints and Will Young, Director of Zappos Labs at Zappos.com

All speakers emphasised their preference for finding new tech companies through networking and receiving recommendations from venture capital firms over receiving cold calls and emails.

Brands don’t want to be subjected to hard sales pitches that make unrealistic promises, but would rather engage in a conversation with a startup that has done extensive background research about the brand, has contacted the relevant department to pitch, and already has an idea about what the challenges may be and how they could be tackled. And naturally, if the technology is easier to onboard, then brands will implement it much faster. Young drives home this point “If you set the expectations we are doing something really interesting, that you might be interested in and we would love to learn what your challenges are […]’ it’s much more of a conversation than guns blazing sales pitching. And then I leave that meeting feeling like I wanna continue that conversation.”

And what technologies are brands looking for? Brands want to increase their conversion rates and their ROI in an engaging and sustainable manner, rather than invest in a fad that attracts media attention. What tools can help them seamlessly merge their content and their commerce? What can help them build an online community by telling their brand story?

Our second panel focused on content curation, featuring Rachel Tipograph, Director of Global Digital and Social Media at GAP, Kristina Di Matteo, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Kate Spade and Katalina Sharkey de Solis, Director of Digital at Chanel.

Tipograph cited simplicity as key, it’s at the core of GAP’s brand and that filters into all of their processes, whether it’s creating content, or onboarding a new start-up. This also rings true for the Kate Spade brand, who have a tiny team creating all this fantastic content, but if it’s too complicated to onboard it just doesn’t work.

With luxury, Sharkey de Solis pointed out that social media channels engage aspirational and potential luxury consumers much more than they do existing consumers. The challenge for them  is finding a way in which to excite current consumers, which means, “We’re really looking for experiential technologies because with this very high-end consumer, they’re not necessarily wanting to engage with the brands on [social media] channels” – Sharkey de Solis

And, though traditional long-term branding campaigns may not be devised with specific measurement matrices in mind and may be ideally measured qualitatively, Di Matteo emphasised how difficult it is for brands to quantitatively measure the success of more fast-moving online campaigns. “If it were up to me, I would create the coolest reporting tool that would allow for me to understand everything that’s happening and have it really succinctly tie up into my [ecommerce] data because, at the end of the day, our goal is to generate sales, but also be able to tell a great story.” Anyone got an idea for this?

Last week’s event was a milestone for Decoded Fashion, and you can be sure to find us at next year’s SXSW.

For all the photos from the event you can check them out here, and for further SXSW fashion coverage take a peek at the FT’s feature and Stylus’s report.

Reported by Anna Abrell 

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  1. How Beacon Technology Could Change the Way We Shop
    With more retailers taking an omnichannel approach to shopping, the line is blurring between online and offline.
  2. Looking Back at SXSW: Wearables, Privacy and Avoiding Bandwagons
    Recaps the highlights of this year’s SXSW Interactive conference and identifies key takeaways for the fashion industry.
  3. Why Fashion is Key in the Wearable-Tech Craze
    Wearable technology will be the next “it girl” in the fashion world.
  4. Jimmy Choo Owner Labelux Said to Hold Early Talks for Unit’s IPO
    The company that holds brands including Bally, has had preliminary meetings with bankers about the possible sale of a stake in the luxury shoemaker via an initial public offering, a person familiar with the matter said.

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  1. Two Brits In LVMH Final
    British designers Simone Rocha and Thomas Tait are among the 12 chosen names for the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize.
  2. Stylitics Nabs Big Investment: Here’s What’s Next for the Wardrobe Organizing App
    Fashion apps may be fun to use, but there can be even more value in the data they’re gathering on consumers’ shopping habits, which can turn into big business when sold to brands eager for intel on their customers.
  3. Need On-the-Go Directions? There’s a Jacket For That!
    Wearing technology on your sleeve is now literally possible thanks to the brilliant minds at Wearable Experiments, a company that aims to marry technology with functional fashion.
  4. Architectural Designer Francis Bitoni Has Created a 3D Printed Dress on MakerBot
    There’s been a lot of talk lately about the future of clothing design and the possibility of printing fashion from home.

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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. Smart Helmet Startup Wins Wearable Tech Award At The SXSW 2014
    The privately-owned Silicon Valley startup company Skully Helmets won the award for the Wearable Tech category at the 2014 SXSW Interactive.
  2. Carbon Wants To Kick That Smartwatch Off Your Wrist
    A new Kickstarter project also wants to be a contender, with the Carbon wearable solar charger.
  3. Google Is Making It Easier for Developers to Build Android Wearables
    With wristband fitness trackers, smartwatches and other tech wearables gaining massive traction, Google will be making it easier for developers to create these types of devices for its Android platform.
  4. 3M’s Magic Liquid Cannot Destroy Your iPhone
    The technology company 3M’s magic water, you can drop an unprotected iPhone and it will still work.

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  1. Can Barcodes Make Fashion More Transparent?
    The world’s largest fashion companies are collaborating to solve a puzzle that has so far eluded every other business sector.
  2. The Amazing Lens Technology That Is Going To Change Wearables
    You may not know the name Lumus now, but expect to be hearing a lot from them in the future.
  3. Flickr Cofounder Launches Hyperlocal iOS App Findery
    The service, previously known as Pinwheel, had been in private beta for more than two years.
  4. Shopping Search Engine TheFind Arrives On Android
    Shopping search and comparison engine TheFind, which launched its iPhone application last fall and has now grown its iOS footprint to over 1 million users, today launched its service on Android.

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  1. Can Barcodes Make Fashion More Transparent?
    The world’s largest fashion companies are collaborating to solve a puzzle that has so far eluded every other business sector.

  2. The Amazing Lens Technology That Is Going To Change Wearables
    You may not know the name Lumus now, but expect to be hearing a lot from them in the future.
  3. Flickr Cofounder Launches Hyperlocal iOS App Findery
    The service, previously known as Pinwheel, had been in private beta for more than two years.
  4. Shopping Search Engine TheFind Arrives On Android
    Shopping search and comparison engine TheFind, which launched its iPhone application last fall and has now grown its iOS footprint to over 1 million users, today launched its service on Android.

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  1. This Bluetooth Ring Is Like a Magic Wand on Your Finger
    We’ve seen interactive rings that receive alerts from your smartphone and even rings that will give you the current time in a unique way, but a new ring leapfrogs the rest by acting as a full-on control mechanism.
  2. Digital Innovation: Next Big Thing in Retail?
    Department store chain John Lewis is backing a Silicon Roundabout-style technology incubator – to be called “JLab” – to develop the next big thing for its stores.
  3.  Kickstarter Hits $1 Billion in Donations
    Kickstarter has been used to raise money for everything from a Zach Braff film to smart light bulbs. How much money? More than $1 billion, the company announced on Monday.
  4. App System Turns a Phone Into a Fetal Monitor
    For years, pregnant moms have pumped music into the womb with headphones. Now parents are piping sounds from the inside out.

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  1. The Secret to Making Wearables That People Actually Want?
    Last September, right around spring/winter Fashion Week, an unexpected group of people gathered for a round table discussion at the main offices of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in New York City.
  2. Robotic Technology in the Service of Fashion
    Two companies receiving support from the Business Incubator in Universidad Carlos III in Madrid’s (UC3M) Science Park are innovating the field of fashion by using technology based in robotics.
  3. Google Hangouts on iOS Now Looks Like WhatsApp Messenger
    Google gave its Hangouts app for iOS a complete overhaul on Thursday — one that will look very familiar to users of other mainstream messaging apps.
  4. New RVA-Based Payments Startup Launches at National Technology Festival
    Two Richmond area entrepreneurs launched their online payment technology startup Wednesday in front of an audience of thousands in San Francisco.
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