Merging the benefits of online shopping with the benefits of the physical store is often described as a thing of the future. But here’s a very real example of today. Just a couple of days ago, a new tech infused Browns boutique opened up in London’s Shoreditch district. Like its sister store in London’s Mayfair, Browns East features design brands such as Balenciaga, Raf Simons and Gucci. But the most exciting thing is how Browns are now in the first stages of the Farfetched powered ”Store of the future” concept which will include for instance radio frequency stock tracking. If a customer can’t find an item in store, but finds it online, Browns East can deliver it to the store within 60 minutes. Via the Browns app, customers can tap to let the staff they’re in the store and want help, or opt out by clicking the ”do not disturb”-function. Need another size? Swipe the reflective screen on the smart mirror. When will we see something similar in Sweden? Yes, I’m looking at you @H&M.
Photo credit: Browns East
You probably know who designed the sweater you’re wearing. But do you know the farmer who contributed the wool, or the company who spun the yarn? Or the factory who knit the yarn into a fabric or the manufacturer who put the item together before it reached the store? Probably not.
Information like this is getting more and more important to provide the consumers, in an age of increasing interest in products produced in fair and sustainable ways. Now, the danish designer Martine Jarlgaard has teamed up with tech companies Provenance and A Transparent Company, and Fashion Innovation Agency to create a blockchain solution to make every part of the supply chain visible. The blockchain technology, that simply put is a chain of blocks each containing a transaction verified by a number of users, makes sure that every piece of information is correct. All the consumer has to do is use the Provenance app to scan a QR code in the product go get the information.
Martine Jarlgaard has proven before to be a friend of technology as a way to make fashion better. Last year she actually hosted the world’s first mixed reality fashion show. The audience, wearing clear Hololens mixed reality goggles, could experience the show that came to life as life size holograms and at the same time walk around and explore from all angles.
Yes! Time for me to go west and speak about the wonderful world of Fashion Tech at #FashionTech Gbg! This event is special to me as it reaches out to young girls and women who might be entering the world of tech in the future. Hopefully I can offer some inspiration in the intersection between tech and fashion.
I know, I tend to go on quite a lot about the future of retail these days, but hey, a lot is happening in that area right now. And too little here in Sweden I might add. On May 2nd, the city of Toronto and number of fashion oriented organizations and businesses, are holding a joint event in Toronto about the future of retail. And they are right to do it, because the boundaries between our digital and physical lives are blurring and that goes for retail as well with stores becoming more digitally friendly, for instance in how Augmented Reality is moving into dressing rooms. The Toronto event is just the kind of thing I would like to see happening in Sweden right now. But the problem is I just can’t hear anyone even talking about this right now. Why is that? I think it’s about time to start this conversation.
Photo: Rebecca Minkoff smart dressing room.
Springtime in Stockholm and I’m really looking forward to tonight’s panel discussion at Stockholm PR Agency Text100! There I will be joining a host of other fashion tech people to talk about what is happening in this field at the moment and what might be in store for the future. Stay tuned!
So, CES 2017 just concluded a couple of days ago. And as exciting as the whole thing was, the reports on fashion tech related stuff has left me somewhat… blah. Apart from a few new models of smart glasses with AR features that I will get back to in another post, there seemed to be a lot of stuff we’ve seen many times before: like the occasional shoe that can change colors with the click of a button on your smart phone, LED-dresses, 3D-printed dresses, designer fitness trackers and so forth. Not that these gadgets are bad or anything. It’s just that when it comes to innovation and new products within the fashion tech area, I would have hoped for something more unexpected.
It’s like the industry has come to a halt when it comes to creativity and/or have failed to connect the the dots between the tech- and fashion industries.
Or is something else going on? I think so.
I have good reason to believe that the most exciting things are actually happening somewhere else right now. I think the focus within fashion tech has simply shifted from gadgets to services, for instance retail and payment, and also sizing, customization and individualization. And let’s not forget to mention the intriguing world of material development, where biotech companies are attempting to create leather out of mushrooms and silk out of spider web to mention a few.
In all of those areas there are actual, rather than constructed problems to solve.
And that’s exciting for real.
Beauty and function in one item, be it clothing or jewelry, is great. But the focus might be shifting from gadgets to services in the industry.
Photo credit: Screenshots from Electric Runway Youtube channel and CES Fashion Ware show.