What's the Next Big Fashion Technology?


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Technology and retail are converging at a sprint pace. Watching Fashion Week shows on your laptop and buying every item of clothing, accessories, or even diamonds on your smartphone have gone from “cutting edge” to de rigueur, all in a matter of months.  All this mainstream success has caused a paradigm shift, opening the door to new fashion-tech applications — and new apps are very much on the rise.

So what’s the next big thing? One possibility could be “convergence platforms,” which provides everything a retailer needs — exposure, livestreamed shows, online marketing campaigns, e-commerce platforms — all in one place. An example of this type of innovative (albeit ambitious) project is 360Fashion, founded by model Anina Trepte. It’s an online network that connects the fashion industry with technology by promoting its members (brands and retailers) through syndicated mobile apps, TV programs, and an RSS feed. Members are also provided with general tutelage on how to keep up with the times, tech-wise — something that many retailers need.

While 360Fashion works from behind-the-scenes to put its member brands and designers into the hands of  pre-existing tech tools, the Australian studio Portable created Portable Shops to let anyone create an online store that, in its simplicity, isn’t so different from how Blogspot lets pretty much anyone set up a blog.  Among the first American retailers to use the program are Loden Dager and Candela.

Both 360Fashion and Portable are springboarding heavily off of Facebook and Twitter — Trepte introduced MobileMags, magazine-style mobile apps, through which readers can access relevant Facebook, Twitter, and e-commerce sites. Meanwhile, Portable Shops includes a Facebook e-commerce application in its set-up.

Next on the horizon, Trepte believes, are QR codes, which shoppers can scan with their smartphones to access any information on the products that designers or retailers have chosen to place on the site. The QR code can function as an entry portal to a brand history, an e-commerce site, or a mobile magazine. And then there’s augmented reality, already referred to as “AR,” which allows shoppers to virtually try on clothes and accessories through a variety of fledgling programs.

While many of these are still working out kinks, if they succeed, the information they provide could mean a whole new look for the online retail landscape — just wait ’til apps are “a thing of the past.”


6 Responses to “What's the Next Big Fashion Technology?”

  1. Alicia C

    Well, my first thought regarding the topic and ensuing question of what is the next Big Fashion technology was the already much more integrated role of the consumer. As I am working both sides of the fence it is a bit more difficult being objective, yet I think it could still play an important role. Individuals who for all of history had only a basic outsiders perspective looking in now play more of an active role blogging, following blogs and so forth. The Magazines were really the only “inside views” showcasing the designers, the latest trends etc. I personally enjoyed this new role that the consumers had. There is currently a program (for lack of a better term) On ModCloth which is called “Be the Buyer”. This allows for members of the site to write reviews on several different pieces and essentially, the items that are favored and recieve positive reviews are then selected to be sold on the site. Thus the consumers that are truly interested in the Industry are allowed another role. They act as buyer, critique etc. and others read their opinions as well. It is very popular. I do believe that a majority of the individuals that are members of these new sites are truly interested in all or most aspects of this industry that has always been somewhat of an unopened Mystery. They are more than the monthly magazine followers. With All of that being said, I don’t know exactly how to incorporate this large group of individuals that want more of an insider feeling and perspective, just that there is a need and want there. This would absolutely bring more people to sites, which would lead to more sales….Perhaps starting to add initiatives and “jobs” however real or perceived to more people and giving them promos, Site credit etc. Just a thought. A very long thought, but I think i may be on to something! Alicia

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