We kicked off London Tech Week in style with our #FashionTech panel, which brought together experts from across the industry to share their thoughts at the amazing ASOS offices.
Fashion tech is a huge buzz word at the moment - (the phrase has been googled 600 billion times in 2015 already), and it seems that for fashion and retail companies it to stay current they need to engage. But what is fashion tech? And with 60% of designers at fashion week still not having a website are the leaders in fashion seeing it as central to fashion’s future? Our panel in just a couple of hours covered these big questions as well as the future of wearables, big data and how to solve the problem of 15,000 ways of describing pink...
Matthew Drinkwater head of FIA University of the Arts Fashion Innovation Agency gave a great insight into what the future of wearables could hold - combating our consumerism and saving the environment by enabling us to change the size, fit and colour of an item. The FIA are even researching sensors that tell us when an item needs to be cleaned. He sees a future where the sales assistant is redundant and your technology takes you through the perfect customer journey.
The entrepreneurs on the panel gave some fantastic advice to those who were looking to break the fashion tech industry. Caroline Wood shared her lean start up story as Co-Founder Clotho London, encouraging the entrepreneurial CF:Gs to go for it; build a minimal product, learn by doing and pull in the expertise and help from those around you to get your business off the ground. Geoff Watts Co-founder EDITD came in with some tough love, a passion for fashion isn't enough it is important to ensure that by merging tech and retail you’re solving a problem and creating a product that people want and need.
Then we got onto big data with three data nuts on the panel Caroline Ohrn Product Manager Lyst, Laura Riches Senior strategist Qubit and Paulo Gomes Lead software engineer ASOS there was a lot to talk about. The big question we wanted to know - are targeted ads and suggested items perceived as creepy or the perfect customer experience? The general consensus was that targeted ads at present are annoying and unnerving, but there was an exciting future ahead where companies were sending us what we wanted before we even knew we wanted it….spooky. Companies need to remember that data means “to give”, customers are giving their data and they have a responsibility to use it wisely and usefully for them.
All in all it was a hugely successful event giving a great insight into the industry and even inspiring some of the CF:G’s to go home and start planning their retail tech start up.
We want to give a huge thank you to our amazing hosts ASOS, our guests, and all our fantastic speakers.
Code First: Girls