MEET YIYU CHEN, THE TAIWANESE DESIGNER MAKING WAVES IN THE INDUSTRY

MEET YIYU CHEN, THE TAIWANESE DESIGNER MAKING WAVES IN THE INDUSTRY

You’d be forgiven if you haven’t heard of Yiyu Chen.. yet. But not for long. The Taichung-based designer, who’s just won Denmark’s first fashion technology competition, Aarhus Walks on Water, says she’s has always been interested in clothing but this was her first time integrating technology into her work. “Fashion for me is appealing in both substance and significance level. I really enjoy the process of making each piece of garments, taking care of details and trying to present them in a proper way. On the other hand, the fact that fashion is always evolving with society and reflecting civilized life, make it a difficult task for a designer to be always relevant. There’s always something to learn.”   While this might have been the first time Chen has solely worked with tech, her work experience includes working alongside the legendary Iris Van Herpen – undoubtedly one of the trailblazers in the industry. “To work in Iris Van Herpen’s atelier was very challenging but with a lot of fun. Sometimes we need to experiment with different materials and try to figure out how to achieve the ideal results. Iris is really calm and friendly; I truly respect that she always knows what she wants and has a clear standard of quality. The experience taught me a lot on how a designer should insist and persist during design and producing process, the amazing results on Iris’s show coming with no accident. This experience makes me more open to any challenge and willing to cooperate with people in different fields.” As part of the AWOW competition, designers were tasked with creating...
INTERVIEW | SQUARESPACE’S CMO ON THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING ONLINE PRESENCE

INTERVIEW | SQUARESPACE’S CMO ON THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING ONLINE PRESENCE

The future of fashion might be smart textiles or shopping just by thinking about a product but some of the most pressing conversations of the present are still: Can fashion brands nail it online? For an industry that’s always obsessed with the new and the next, it is shocking that news about Chanel opening an ecommerce store make headlines. Establishing an online presence shouldn’t be daunting. At least not in this day and age. To help demystify some of the worries around this as well as the benefits that come with an ‘always on’ web portal, we recently spoke to Kinjil Mathur, CMO of website building company Squarespace. As the Chief Marketing Officer of Squarespace, Kinjil leads the company’s world-class marketing team. Before her time with the company, Kinjil spent years building technology competencies for retail giants, most notably as Vice President of Digital Marketing for Saks Fifth Avenue. Here she shares tips on building an impactful web presence, hints on trends in the ecommerce space and highlights some of Squarespace’s star fashion clients. You have a lot of experience in luxury fashion and e-commerce. How can fashion brands’ online presence deliver the higher personal experience of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store? A lot of what is interesting about fashion is the story behind the brand. One of our fashion fashion customers here in the UK is a designer called Sadie Williams. If you get to look to her products in store you wouldn’t appreciate the story behind it as much. Online allows her to have that deep interaction with the customers and fully tell her story. So, as...
FASHION TECH EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS

FASHION TECH EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS

Another fashion month is behind us and while we didn’t see as much tech updates on the runway, the fashion tech crowd was as active as ever. We walked on water at Denmark’s first floating show, talked about smart retail at Avantex Paris and discussed how fashion can use technology to tap into the Transformation Economy at Digital Fashion Forum. And as we’re entering a full fall season, there’s much more to get excited about. Here are our top event picks in the coming months. What: Fashion Tech Week Where: Paris, France When: 12th – 20th October 2017 The rundown: The fifth edition of Fashion Tech Week will bring together industry experts and enthusiasts for a mix of events across the French capital, with an opening night that will include speakers from Lectra, Easysize and Amazon. Other highlights include a fashion tech pitch night, where 5 startups will present their ideas in from of an expert jury, Fashion tech expo, which will welcome 18 exhibitors presenting products and services across the categories Morphing fashion, High-tech fashion and Eco-citizen fashion and a hackathon. So, whether you’re an entrepreneur, designer or just curious about the industry, we’re sure you’ll find something that suits! Find out more here. What: Superhuman Summit Where: Vancouver, Canada When: 21st October 2017 The rundown: Superhuman Summit is a single day speaker-focused event presenting ideas on how to advance your human potential. A collection of expert speakers, musical performances, and lunchtime breakouts led by unique specialists will lead you to become more superhuman. This single-day showcase presents lessons, stories and practices from superhuman specialists that are rooted...
INTERVIEW | LYST’S JENNY COSSONS ON HOW TO MAKE IT IN FASHION

INTERVIEW | LYST’S JENNY COSSONS ON HOW TO MAKE IT IN FASHION

From Head of Client Sales at Conde Nast to Chief Partnerships Officer at global fashion search platform Lyst, Jenny Cossons has over 20 years of experience in the fashion and digital industries. Looking fabulous in a 3.1 Phillip Lim dress and Saint Laurent platforms we’re not surprised to hear that Jenny is passionate about fashion and the empowering qualities she believes it can bring to an individual. We sit down with Jenny to talk fashion and tech, from the changing landscape of luxury fashion to the values she looks for in new hires and advice she has for women in the industry. You’ve worked in the fashion space for over twenty years now. How have you seen it change over time? The greatest change I’ve seen has been in the last five years, particularly within luxury fashion. Outside influences have forced change – the rapid growth of businesses like Amazon, Net-a-Porter and the development of the smartphone have fundamentally changed how everyone looks at retail. Previously it was a foregone conclusion that a consumer would come into store, there wasn’t such a focus on what they needed, now brands have to really listen to the customer and their demands. Amazon has also been key in shaking up the industry. If a company doesn’t do same day, or next day delivery, customers now think they’re crazy. Prime is being used as a verb! I like how I now work for a company where transparency to the customer is key – the main role of Lyst is to deliver from want to wear – helping them find exactly what they’re after....
AWOW PUTS DENMARK ON THE FASHIONTECH MAP

AWOW PUTS DENMARK ON THE FASHIONTECH MAP

Danish design is known all around the world and the country has been a leader in the field for decades. In a natural step for Denmark’s progressive design thinking, we will soon see the city of Aarhus carving its spot in the fashiontech scene through Aarhus Walks on Water – a weekend of activities covering the intersection of fashion and technology, all of which are free to attend and open to the public. The event is a collaboration between Aarhus University, VIA University College, Headstart Fashion and the festival at Filmby Aarhus / Interactive Denmark, with the concept developed by professor Marianne Ping Huang, Lene Elsner and fashion designer Gitte Søgaard. This spring Aarhus Walks on Water staged an open call for designers to take part in the first fashion technology competition in Denmark. After careful consideration, eight international design teams were chosen, paired with regional fashion companies and tasked with the challenge to recreate four of the companies’ own styles with a fashiontech twist. The final pieces will be showcased at a spectacular floating runway on the city’s harbour. Aarhus Walks on Water is the first of its kind when it comes to collaboration between the fashion, business and educational partners. The big night will see the winning team leaving with a prize of €10,000 awarded by a team of international jury members including our own Kristina Dimitrova, Radr founder Preben Meyer and Elektro Couture fashion tech designer in residence Joanna Hir. By the looks of the initial designer sketches (see some of them below), it’s going to be one hell of a show!   Beyond the AWOW...
EVENT RECAP | FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY

EVENT RECAP | FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY

Two months after we had first met the designers shortlisted for Festival of Curiosity’s studio residency, it was time to shine. The Chocolate Factory had been transformed from their usual work space to a full blown runway and guests were taking their seats in excitement, probably just as much as the designers and models backstage. Through their residency, the creatives – Ally Nolan, Maureen Sellina Laverty, Rebecca Marsden, Danielle Jordan, Dearbhla O’Beirne and Roisin Pierce – explored how new technologies can be integrated into fashion design. Each of the designers presented their unique vision of fashion and technology, which is why the jury (including our own Kristina Dimitrova), had an incredible difficult task of choosing a single winner. After much debate and discussion, the Future Fashion Design prize was awarded to TCD Master student Ally Nolan for her piece The Queen of the Night. See below the magnificent pieces from all six designers and the inspiration behind them. Ally Nolan – The Queen of the Night (Overall Winner; Most Creative Use of Technology) Design inspired by 18th-century crinolines and 1950s Dior; The 800 petals are laser cut at different depths, making the neoprene fabric semi transparent. When they are back lit with LED lights the detail on each petal is illuminated. Topped with a sheer mesh black bodice and a beret composed of battery powered petals. Maureen Laverty – Where’s my Arm Hole / My Head’s Stuck (Best Design Process) Organic jersey garments that interact with each other through sensors made using conductive fabric and stitching. The integrated pressure and stretch sensors between the top garments change the intensity and...