On September 12th, 2018, FASHINNOVATION successfully launched during New York Fashion Week – hundreds of people (via live streaming and present) had the chance to listen in on panel discussions that explored the future and reality of fashion, technology, and entertainment. Speakers included experts from NASA, FIT, IBM, Ryan Leslie, Arwa Alammari – Ambassador of the Arab Fashion Council, David Meltzer (host of the start-up pitch competition), VP of the State of New York, Liz Bacelar (founder of Decoded Fashion), Timo Weiland, VICEImpact publisher Katherine Keating and Oskar Metsavaht of Osklen.
Metsavaht, internationally renowned as a forerunner of the New Luxury conscious fashion movement, presented one of the event’s keynotes on sustainability in the industry. Premiering his new short film, which goes inside the various materials used to make Osklen’s iconic designs (such as Pirarucu fish leather, eco-jute, and recycled textiles), the Brazilian visionary commented: “We are in a moment of transition… We have to get as close to 100% sustainability as possible.”
Through thought-provoking conversations and inventive displays – nowhere else might you see artists with lightboxes on their heads (in a fashion installation courtesy of Project Runway designer Layana Aguilar), or learn what it actually takes for wardrobe pieces to withstand space travel (from Ted Southern, co-founder and CEO of Final Frontier Design, who creates the suits for NASA astronauts) – FASHINNOVATION connected diverse industries and inspired the entrepreneurial mindset. There is no limit to what technology can do in this arena, as Jon Harari, the ingenious cofounder and CEO of WindowsWear, showed in his spellbinding presentation on the evolution of e-commerce. Call this a meeting of the wunderkinds!
Performances by Heather LaRose and Ezinma (Lil Ezi) – violinist for Beyonce – entertained the guests. A piece of art was created throughout the event by street artist/creative director Jason Naylor – in which proceeds (through a current online auction), will be donated to Open Style Lab. Notable and emerging brands The Private Apple, HMETE, Danny Bastos, HICKIES, and Niki Srinivasa were showcased as vendors.
Originally begun as a simple idea when founded in June 2018 by husband/wife team Marcelo and Jordana Guimaraes, FASHINNOVATION grew throughout planning and execution. From an initial email speaking of the concept, they garnered the attention of C levels of many organizations, including: Samsung, Diane Von Furstenberg, Fergie, Louis Vuitton, Google and CFDA. In just a month’s time, this dynamic duo brought on board over 30 speakers as confirmed participants.
“It was then that we realized that FASHINNOVATION was not just a once-off event, [but] a business,” says Marcelo. “Through positive responses to our emails, we saw that there was an empty void that needed to be filled – which was the connectivity through simple conversation of entrepreneurs and start-ups in the two worlds: fashion and technology. New York Fashion Week is an iconic time internationally, where you get to see the aesthetics behind the collections on the runway. However, understanding the WHY/HOW is just as relevant.”
The initial launch has achieved everything Marcelo and Jordana hoped for and beyond. FASHINNOVATION is now on the way to becoming an International multimedia fashion-tech platform, in which the conversations that took place at the launch and events to follow, continue – via video content, podcast, blogs, and other forums. The vast array of sponsors like PIVOTIS, ELYSIAIS, JJ Invest, ClearSale, PENDULUX, DigiFair 365, Helen Mills, Vernon Grille, Boxed Water, KIND, 16 Handles, AMIKA, Eliya King Coconut Water, STORM Security, Vira Lata Video Production, PILDORA, Alter New Media, W Times Square, SEDI, Ah So Wines, and Move Edu Group attests to the wide-ranging ripple effect that the event has sparked not only in fashion but in all aspects of sustainable and conscious living.
Jordana observes, “Technology is changing fashion through innovation. From how clothes are used, to how they are made, computing power is reshaping the industry – AI technology, NASA-inspired textiles, GOOGLE engineered jackets, sustainable materials, etc. FASHINNOVATION will be facilitating conversations between fashion & technology through cutting edge content, so that we keep evolving.”
Stay tuned as on February 15th, 2019 – during New York Fashion Week – the 2nd edition of FASHINNOVATION will be held with a new and exciting roster of speakers. To be a part of the movement, visit fashinnovation.nyc or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. (Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.)