SEE BENJAMIN JOHN HALL’S HI-TECH SHOE COLLECTION IN LONDON

SEE BENJAMIN JOHN HALL’S HI-TECH SHOE COLLECTION IN LONDON

Avant-garde international award winning footwear designer Benjamin John Hall is bringing back his newest work to London. Laboratory 12 is an experimental seven-piece collection of highly functional footwear involving 3-D printed components and embedded technology combined with artisanal shoemaking. With the help of his collaborators, Nanda Khaorapapong, Richard Beckett and Martyn Carter, from the fields of wearable computing, material science and 3-D printing, the shoes are operated wirelessly from afar to perform tasks such as detecting radiation, recording sound, releasing a gas and even remote ignition. The technology is covert and skilfully embedded inside each of the shoe’s designs, resulting in a complex yet seamless marriage of hand-made shoemaking and advanced technologies. How far should or would our government go to secure its best interests? Laboratory 12 takes its name from the secret poison laboratory of the KGB and was inspired primarily by the high profile assassination of Alexander Livinenko, who in 2006 was poisoned with the radioactive material Polonium. This led to the question: How far should or would our government go to secure its best interests? ‘We did deeper analysis of covert operational techniques used by security services to manipulate and control certain individuals. Many of the shoes were inspired by or reference these techniques,’ shared with us Hall. Each of the seven pairs of shoes highlights a specific notion or concept unearthed through extensive research into documented tactics used by various security agencies worldwide. For example, the Zersetzung platform sandals house a mechanism that can be activated by sending a text message to a defined phone number: the letter ‘x’ sets off an atomiser emanating a...
COCOON NETWORKS LAUNCHES IN LONDON TO CONNECT THE CHINESE AND UK STARTUP ECOSYSTEM

COCOON NETWORKS LAUNCHES IN LONDON TO CONNECT THE CHINESE AND UK STARTUP ECOSYSTEM

In recent years, China has made rapid advances in science and technology, thus becoming a world leader in some areas of high-tech manufacturing, commercial applications, telecommunications, robotics and biotechnology. When it comes to fashion and beauty industries, the country is perhaps best known for Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company. So, it’s not surprising to see why both established companies and startups have set their eyes on the Chinese market. Here’s where Cocoon Networks come in. Cocoon Networks is Europe’s first Chinese capital-backed, international, startup ecosystem. Leveraging a full suite of support spanning: venture capital investment, business accelerators, spaces, and IP management, the company is supporting ambitious entrepreneurs and ideas to grow in a nurturing environment, thus helping them expand globally. The company is dedicated to bridge the China and European start-up communities. We’re excited to hear that Cocoon Networks is opening its first London location in December 2016. The stunning physical space will be one of the largest and the most comprehensive innovations centres across Europe. In addition to various co-working options, Cocoon Networks London will offer the perfect work and life balance environment, with entertaining area, roof bar, gym, treatment rooms, exhibition areas, exclusive events and much more. With the emerging opportunities of international collaborations amongst creative industries, Cocoon Networks London will include a creative hub for crazy ideas and ambitious minds to spread internationally, especially to the east. At the creative hub, the innovation centre will provide full-featured facilities and services to help passionate creators establish brands, launch products, expand connections and spread businesses from Cocoon to the world. Cocoon Networks is inviting innovative startups and businesses...
INTERLACED: FUNDING MAGIC

INTERLACED: FUNDING MAGIC

While fashiontech is still a considerably new field, it feels like startups in the space are popping up almost daily. And, to make these new companies sustainable and successful, it is crucial for founders to make the right decisions when it comes to funding. At INTERLACED 2015, experts in the field discussed the challenges and opportunities when it comes to funding a fashion tech startup. The panel, chaired by Win League’s Amalia Agathou, included Chris Chabot (then Chief Program Officer, Fiedler Capital), Justin Edgar (Senior Associate, Harbottle & Lewis), David Norris (Partner, Forward Partners) and Piers Ridyard (CEO, Nifty). Amalia started by asking the speakers a fundamental questions – What are investors looking for before deciding whether to back up a startup. “Depends on the stage that you’re investing with. With early stage startups, no one really knows what’s going to be successful. But there are things that you know are going to fail”, said Chris Chabot, explaining that while you can never be sure if a startup idea will be successful, the obvious red flags to look out for is the relationship and expertise of the founders. “There’s a matrix of factors that you look at. This includes timing, team, products, if the founders know how to build a business, if they’ve done anything interesting in their lives before. But again, you can’t be 100% sure. We say it’s easy to iterate yourself from the bad products but it’s not easy to iterate yourself from a bad team. That’s why we see it as a fundamental factor.” “There are three things that stand out” – added David Norris...