Let's Start a Fashion Tech Conference Together
This week I set out to research and highlight the top fashion tech conferences in NYC. I quickly had to broaden my scope due the lack of options, evolving from a top NYC list to a top USA list to a global roundup! Even in doing so, I have found that most fashion tech conferences have a presence right here in New York, where fashion innovation shines. Below is the summary.
Sidebar: There's seems to be a need for pure fashion tech innovation discussions. If you are interested in partnering on the latest greatest fashion-tech conference or event, send me a note.
DECODED FASHION SUMMITS are global events presented by Condé Nast in partnership with the CFDA covering fashion, retail and tech sectors. Decoded has a prescriptively enterpreneurial spirit, inviting the best of the best in fashion-tech startups to pitch their ideas to industry heavyweights. Going to one of their events means mixing and mingling with industry elite and new disrupters alike. Talk about an incredible networking opportunity. Last year I was texting with a friend fan-girling as she sat behind Marc Jacobs for one panel attendance. It could happen to you!
FASHION TECH FORUM iN NYC Is arguably the biggest fashion-tech conference out there, giving companies the opportunity to check out what's new and exciting in fashion-tech. The atmosphere is more luxurious than any other, and feels as though the organizers understand the fashion part of tech. A more informal approach to showcasing companies means you should go with a stack of cards and ready to chat with anyone who seems interesting.
FASHIONTECH BERLIN was the only international conference that came on my radar. (By all means, if you know others please let me know!) It's no surprise that the main fashion tech conference coming out of Europe is in Germany, with it's young creative tech types pushing boundaries in the fashion and the tech space. My personal favorite is Stylight, but I digress. This conference is a true fashion tech force, focused purely on 'the future of fashion.' Execs from Adidas, Google, eBay, Amazon, and Facebook are featured alongside social media darlings and up and and comers. Definitely worth a quick trip across the pond to experience the next wave of fashion tech from the European hub's perspective.
SXSW is THE tech conference of the year and while it is not fashion focused, the fashion community has certainly been making itself known at the Austin-based weekend event. The Interactive Style Track will be fashion focused with the goal of providing a platform for the fashion and tech communities to converge and cross pollinate.
NRF RETAIL'S BIG SHOW is the largest retail conference in the world and while not decidedly fashion tech focused, it certainly had that spin for most of the discussions this year. Industry elite are the mainstay, though a select group of entrepreneurs also have the chance to shine. Sit in an audience of literally thousands and learn what's trending and key for evolving retail businesses at this conference, held annually in the big apple.
FASHION DIGITAL focuses on marketing for fashion tech, and specifically e-commerce. Held twice a year in LA and New York, this conference also draws in the who's who of big fashion retail and emerging fashion tech companies. They also have smaller round-tables which gives this conference a more intimate and hands-on vibe.
WWD DIGITAL SUMMIT held in NYC and LA also focuses more on digital marketing than pure fashion tech, but is worth the mention because the WWD name is a complete force in the fashion industry. This summit will likely evolve more and more to focus on fashion tech innovations in addition to using digital channels for marketing.
In the realm of smart fabrics, I also found some interesting, albeit very specific content. Two conferences that stood out with rave reviews include WEAR held in Boston and Smart Fabrics Summit in D.C. If you thought temperature regulating sheets are simply a dream, the chat at these conferences tell a very different story, nervemind applications in safety, sports, and uniforms.
Did I miss any? Please let me know in the comments below!