How Technology Is Changing The Landscape Of The Fashion Industry
What do you think of when you hear fashion technology? Do you think of an accessory that tracks your steps or heart rate? Do you think of a garment that changes color or temperature depending on your environment? Or do you think of apps that help you shop in a different more convenient way?
It is no surprise that Silicon Valley has been hitting closer to home for the fashion industry. More and more fashion retailers and manufacturers are starting to realize that technology is where it is at! Fashion technology will be driving the industry in the future in one way or the other.
This month I created a very special Fashion Tech Blog Series. Here we will be exploring the various areas of the fashion business and how it is changing with the new technology. I go into depth about which technology software is the most common in the different niches of the industry. Which ones you need to know and learn in order to stay on the cutting edge. I also include four amazing interviews with people who have started new companies that are making a big difference in the way we work and do business. Finally, I discuss how you can get in on the action! Learn how to work directly with the incubators that are churning out some amazing new ideas.
We couldn’t cover every possible angle of technology in the fashion industry in just one post! This article is part of a 6 part Fashion Tech Business Series. If you want to learn how technology is being used to shape the fashion industry and how you can be a part of it you can check out the entire series at the bottom of this page.
What is fashion technology even mean?
Defining fashion technology is not an easy task. Especially it can be anything where one uses new technology to build new products or new business models in the fashion industry. Below is how I break it down into three main camps: wearables. Research and Development, and business startups.
Wearable Technology Companies
When you think of fashion technology the first thing that usually comes to mind is wearable technology. Over the past few years, we have seen several new wearable tech fashion jewelry startups build a fast following using the crowdsourcing platform to find funding. A great example of this is Ringly who designs fashionable jewelry that is connected to your smartphones allowing women to stylishly get notifications. Motiv is giving fitness tracking a run for their money by creating smart jewelry for men and women, capable of tracking activity, heart rate and other metrics more commonly found in wrist-wrapping wearables. Fitbit, which is now owned by UnderArmer was another tracking device that started out in the athletic space and who quickly saw that consumers wanted to be able to wear more attractive devices during the day. Fitbit has sense done collaborations with designers such as Tory Burch.
Fabric Research and Development Companies
When thinking about fashion technology there is also the fabric development side to keep in mind. Companies have put a great deal of money into the research and development of new fabrications that use technology deep in the fibers of the garments. Think of solar power garments and garments that you can talk to!
We have also seen large brands like Levi’s work on collaborations with tech companies such as Google to get into the wearable tech game. Recently Levi’s launched their now famous “project jacquard” commuter jacket that allows the wearer to swipe the fabric on their jeans jacket to operate their smartphones. This kind of smart technology allows the wearer to make changes to the music they are listening to or respond to notifications they receive with the swipe of the fiber. This allows for a safer and more entertaining commute.
Fashion Business Technology Companies
Then there are the fashion tech companies who use technology to give customers or businesses a better experience. From high tech dressing room mirrors to companies that help to make better fitting garments we are now officially in the fashion technology age!
I interview four entrepreneurs int his space who are changing the way people work in the industry. Jessica Perez was a fashion model who found there weren’t any apps for freelancers. She built Tycoon app which is designed exclusively for fashion freelancers to help them keep track of their invoices as well as their own personal finances and peace of mind. Soumya Jain and Fletcher Vider came together to built PopMark, an online resource to book and plan out retail pop up shops around to country with easy. Neil Elliott sampled the stock photo model and started Patternbank, an online resource for fashion designers to buy original art to be used in all sorts of textiles. Liz Entin wanted a global marketplace that helps to promote emerging designers. She started Runway Passport to help promote the global up and coming designers and bring their awareness to consumers.
Fashion Tech Business Series
If you or someone you know is interested in starting their own fashion tech company you can read the entire series here. Learn what it takes to be a successful fashion tech entrepreneur or just work in the field with the latest and greatest technology.
- How Technology Is Changing The Landscape Of The Fashion Industry
- Interview with PopMark Co-Founders Soumya Jain & Fletcher
- What Software Do Fashion Professionals Need To Know To Stay On The Cutting Edge
- Interview with Tycoon app Founder Jessica Perez
- What Software Do Fashion Designers Need To Know To Stay Competitive
- Interview with Passport Runway Founder Elizabeth Entin