Off to class! Fashion brands send their staff to innovation school

Tech skills and a nack for innovation seem to be key for fashion companies to thrive in the future. And now fashion companies are sending their employees to innovation classes to future-proof their staff, Vogue Business reports.
Last summer, outerwear brand Moncler hosted its first hackathon in hopes of finding new ideas within the company. The 450 employees were asked to brainstorm and come up with ideas within nine categories including for instance technology, sustainability and production and the winners got to attend a training programme at Silicon Valleys Singularity University, who teach innovative thinking in executives. Over two days the winners learned about the technologies that will impact the fashion industry in the future and what it means to think as a startup founder.
And tech education for the fashion industry is apparently in vogue right now.  London College’s Fashion Innovation Agency nowadays holds bespoke courses for fashion executives, eager to learn from FIA London’s fashion and beauty mixed reality projects.
Similaily, the Polimoda fashion school in Florence will this spring introduce a nine month programme  to train future chief innovation officers for fashion companies, after they heard that fashion graduates are in need of extra tech education. The programme will include 3D printing and new textile studies, electronically enhanced materials and bio and material science among other topics.
But the most important lesson, according to the programme’s mentor Lisa Lang, is the mindset shift. As she says to Vogue Business referring to hierarchical, top-down structures within the industry:
“The current fashion industry is poison for innovation. There is no team culture — it’s everyone for themselves. In tech, you are allowed to question the boss. In fashion, it is a different approach. We are talking about changing the culture, and that takes time.”


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