Do Fashion and Technology speak the same language?

With the global season of Fashion Weeks now coming to an end it is worth analyzing how the connection of seemingly two completely different industries - those of Fashion and Technology - will continue influencing the fashion business and ultimately have an impact on all of us who have the habit of leaving the house dressed.

Most people unfamiliar with this recent, but growing flirt between fashion and technology will find it difficult understanding how both can harmonize and even more so benefit from each other. This is especially striking when speaking with representatives of the traditional fashion industry, whether designers themselves or other executives who aren't familiar with using innovative technology when working on developing their fashion brands.

At our most recent event last month during DLD Tel Aviv, which featured Israel's first fashion tech showcase, it was remarkable how fast the startups understoond the - admittedly - innovative event idea, as opposed to representatives of the traditional fashion industry whom it took a very long while to understand what we are organizing and promoting in general. Nevertheless, most fashion and retail brands have realized that e-commerce has become a tech biz channel that they can't do without.

In his recent Huff Post article Jack Flanagan says on this matter: "Brands like Burberry have showed us that the 'old guard' (Burberry was established in 1865) can easily keep up with newer, internet-founded companies with ease, and this makes for an exciting time as old and new test out what works and what doesn't in the Wild West of fashion ecommerce."

The "Wild West of Fashion E-commerce" seems to be a suitable description of the approach to combining fashion with technology, which currently still lacks set standards and guidelines. While most brands today have innovation and certainly e-commerce directors, most are still very conservative and cautious to introduce new features that ultimately their customers and thus their own companies would only benefit from.

Looking into what the future will bring it is clear that especially thanks to wearable technology a third way between online and offline will be created, which will allow doing commerce using alternatives to the traditional in-store shopping and online e-commerce. Companies such as Awear Solutions or Mobilibuy have already developed such solutions, which serve as an excellent addition to the direct online and offline business. Moreover, as we saw with the recent opening ofAmazon’s first offline store, global e-commerce platforms are now seeking an omni-channel approach in order to maintain and strengthen their positions and market share. Here again fashion and retail tech is the most convenient and relevant solution to reach these goals.

We are privileged to live in a time where technology can significantly improve our quality of life. Shopping for clothing for ourselves or our family members doesn’t necessary belong to the most favorite activity of most people, but it’s a basic need that can be now satisfied in a much timelier and budget-friendlier manner, using the solutions of fashion tech companies.

Companies like Stylit and Wishi will provide you with styling advice from professional stylists or your online community, while using Shoptagr’s widget will allow you never to miss when your favorite item got discounted to the amount you are ready to pay for it.

The list of excellent companies with very useful solutions goes on and big brands with enough foresight and understanding about the future of fashion and commerce will make sure to integrate those in their operations. On the customer side events like ours are very helpful to get people familiar with the advantages fashion tech can bring them when it comes to fulfilling the need of shopping for clothes and accessories and how it can simply save them time and money, in addition to turning the experience into a fun one.

Since we combined a professional fashion show with a fair of startups who demoed how the items seen at the show could be purchased, adapted, modified, styled etc. using their solutions, visitors where extremely excited by the entire showcase and signed up to receive more updates.

Watch the event through the (Google glass) eyes of a model:

Thus the event had a highly educative character and I can only recommend that other entrepreneurs active in this industry initiative such projects in their respective eco-systems.

Ping me if you’d like to benefit from our experience.

Viktoria Kanar

Founder at GeekChicTLV - Center for Fashion Entrepreneurship in Israel