We kicked of this year’s NYFW with yesterday’s DETAILS: Tech & Tastemakers Summit, which provided a platform for an in-depth dialogue on the intersection of fashion and technology. As DETAILS Style Network contributors, we got to explore the nuances of transformative trends as opposed to mainstream retail and the increased focus on new approaches and channels for more engaging and interactive commerce.
Panelists included representatives from leading innovators in an ever expanding industry including Dan Rookwood of MR PORTER, Clement Kwan of Yoox, Shubhankar Ray of G-Star RAW, William Ruprecht of Sotheby’s, Mimi Valdes of i am OTHER, Peter Vidani of Tumblr and menswear designer Michael Bastian. The conversation ranged from mobile first and frictionless checkouts to socially responsible fabrication and the role of ‘creative director’. Attendees got to soak in varied experiences and insights from these in-house experts, relaying the effects of everything from detailed metrics to personnel management, brand voices and market shares, content vs. commerce-driven approaches, and the growth and future of retail via social touch points.
The final panel was a QUICKFIRE session moderation by Julie Taraska of Stylus Fashion on “Making Wearables…Wearable.” Michael Bastian, Keith George of Gilt and Sridhar Solur of Hewlett Packard discussed the concept behind a new smart watch due out later this Fall. “We wanted to make a product that was not just smart but beautiful” offered Bastian, the design inspired by a car dashboard “where analog and digital meet”. “It actually looks like a watch as opposed to a plastic bracelet. It seems obvious but no one has actually approached it this way”. That expected familiarity in the design of the interface should make it easier for those on the fence to buy into the experience. “We’re fortunate to know that our customer cares a lot about Michael [Bastian] and a lot about style. Gilt has always been a platform for the style conscious and tech savvy. It made sense to bridge the two.”
The watch, once it is released, will be sold exclusively on Gilt for the first month. Solur, the GM of Wearables at HP, continued “we needed to find the happy medium” as the watch is intended to combine comfort, aesthetics, and accessibility. “We focused on discreet notifications that were socially acceptable but also we have that luxury component because of how attractive it is.” It still waits to be seen but the collaboration is an organic one, with all parties having a willingness to experiment and small, driven teams that want a flawless execution. We’re looking forward to the first look.