“The first Web Summit started five years ago with 500 attendees”. The founder Paddy Cosgrave announced on stage, as 42,000 people from 136 countries tuned in to watch the opening of this year’s Web Summit held in Dublin, Ireland.
The Web Summit in Ireland has grown to become one of the biggest technological conferences. And this year all eyes seemed to be on the Web Summit’s first ever Fashion Summit. As Paddy announced to Rachel Arthur from Forbes, “It was natural for us to look around at other key industries that are being disrupted by technology – and that’s fashion” (Paddy Cosgrave).
The fashion summit was held on the 5th of November. Attendees queued to take a seat, some spectators even had to tune in from outside the curtain to get an insight. It was clear that fashion and tech was the biggest content focus for the Web Summit this year.
So what will it take for fashion to form a stable bridge with tech? How we can bring together two opposing industries of ‘Fashion and Tech’?
Three key Points to Take from the Fashion Summit
Being Original in a Digital Age
The unmissable Jefferson Hack head of Dazed and Confused Magazine kicked off with a discussion of what is actually influencing the fashion industry. And of course one of the first topics was social media and content creation. Yet what was most interesting in this discussion was the highlighting of copy and paste culture we live within.
The people that are succeeding he remarked are the people changing their content and making it their own in an information overloaded world.
Continuing, “Deconstructing the commonplace culture of social media is key to your future digital strategy.” (Jefferson, Dazed & Confused).
Giving a Brand a Personal Voice
The next guest a beauty blogger with over 1 million followers ’Estee Lalonde’. Disclosing her most important asset to gaining brand loyalty online is to be authentic, personal and most of all real. She continued “It’s amazing to see ordinary people build their brand through just being themselves.” @EsteeLalonde.
Which was shortly backed by fashion industry favourite @MrsRodial, CEO of Rodial. She talked about Communicating with your customer in a digital age and the importance of including yourself within your brand. The human element in this digital world is hugely overlooked. “It’s time we used social media to our advantage” she shared.
“It is not a job for your intern, it is your company, your story.” (@MrsRodial)
Collaboration within Fashion, Tech and Education
The final keynote of the fashion summit; Matt Drinkwater Head of Innovation at the London College of Fashion.
Fashion and Tech are two polar opposite industries,” he said at the beginning of his talk.
“Only 40% of designers at London Fashion Week have e-commerce platforms. The gap between fashion & tech is real.”
We talk about Fashion and Tech constantly yet the two have not established a relationship. Wearables are still performing poorly with according to Matt, 2 out of 3 people within fashion still unsure about wearables actually being function able or worthy.
In order for Fashion and Tech to really succeed in joining forces, collaboration is key. He went on to explain, “consumers need to fall in love with fashion, it’s an emotional response to something”. Tech companies have functionality but have their consumers fallen in love with their products? ”It’s important for start-ups to have all areas covered.” Until then the gap between fashion and tech is real.
The demand in the Web Summit’s first ever Fashion Summit highlights the future of the fashion & tech industry. Promising, increasing and well dressed. Adding that Models, too, made their way to the tech world, with Natalia Vodianova unveiling her philanthropy social app Elbi. Fashion and its women are there to make their voice heard. See you next year Lisbon!