Last week at Web Summit 2015 I attended the Fashion Summit, where I got to listen to industry thought leaders share their views on the emerging fashion tech trend. The Fashion Summit was a first at the startup-focused event, which means: fashion tech is gaining momentum, and an increasing number of startups are either joining the trend, or indirectly supporting it.
I also got to explore the exhibitors’ areas. Not only did I get to talk to incredibly creative and smart people eager to share their innovative ideas, but I also got some first-hand information about fashion tech from people who are driving this trend. As you can imagine, with 42 000 participants lurking around and the huge number of interesting presentations tempting me to attend, it was impossible to check out all the startups that were taking turns in occupying exhibitor spots. However, I could draw 3 fashion tech takeaways from the “field” – i.e. exhibitors’ areas -, in addition to 5 takeaways drawn from the thought leaders’ talks.
- Fashion is getting personal through apps
With technology available at our fingertips, we are now able to create our own stylish outfits that fit us perfectly, without the need to consult a stylist or to acquire any fashion expertise. We can rely on a simple app to act as our personal stylist.
Two great examples of such apps present at Web Summit:
Ombré, whose tagline – fashion is now personal – sums up this idea nicely, and Well Dressed, whose name is spot on in conveying the apps’ purpose: to get you well dressed. They rely on detailed algorithms to recommend the best garment patterns, colors and designs that go with your skin tone, body shape, eye color and more. And can work with items in your own closet, or help you shop for new ones.
Imagine you had a personal stylist, who is always available, knows your closet inside out, has style tips for any occasion, and has the best leads for the best deals. A personal stylist that would save you time and money. Wouldn’t that be nice? (source: welldressed-app.com) Indeed, it would!
- Technology is improving online shopping experiences
Some time ago, I wrote about how smart mirrors were improving the in-store shopping experience. Now, we can enjoy almost the same experience when shopping online. Without actually having to try on anything!
Imagine an online shopping experience where you walk down the catwalk with that look like they were made to measure. Try on whatever you want and then share the experience with those who matter. Once you experience the innovation we think shopping online will never be the same again! Claim the folks behind TryMee, an app that aims to eliminate the challenges and frustrations of online shopping for both shoppers and retailers. You can create an avatar and use it to “try” on clothes in a virtual environment, and see yourself in 3D, to figure out if a piece of clothing actually fits or not. This way shoppers can make sure the clothes they buy online fit them, while retailers enjoy a much lower return rate.
Another future-changing startup is Wide Eyes Technologies that offers Visual Search technology for everybody. Emotional search for your customer.
Available for integration into online shops and apps, Wide Eyes technologies can:
- crop clothing items from photos, and perform online searches to identify online shops that sell them
- recognize automatically complete outfits, accessories or individual pieces of clothes from images or videos, retrieving similar products from a specific database
- offer access to a “fashion-brain data center,” able to understand nuances and trends of global fashion in order to suggest a trendy outfit.
- Wearables of all kinds are getting smarter
Well, duh! Smart jewelry, smart purses and smart fabrics are all the rage these days. But as the term “wearable” is quite broad, and no “British” outfit is quite complete without an umbrella, I think it’s safe to add smart umbrellas to that list.
While I’m not necessarily an umbrella fan, I do acknowledge its huge utility, more so if it’s smart. Which brings me to Oombrella, one interesting startup/concept I discovered at Web Summit that stuck with me, probably because of its catchy tagline: “the smart umbrella you will not forget.” And you won’t forget it literally, as this smart, but oh-so-useful gadget can:
- send you severe weather alerts in vicinity
- send an alert if you forget it at the restaurant or somewhere else
- share live data to the Wezzoo community.
And it looks pretty too! 🙂
Did you spot any other interesting fashion tech-related startups at Web Summit? Share your thoughts below.