With Day 1 of Decoded Fashion leaving me wanting more, Day 2 could not come soon enough.
The second day of #DFNYC started with the ‘Liz Bacelar Greeting’. Dressed all in black DKNY, Bacelar was a bundle of enthusiasm on stage. Capturing our attention and keeping it, she introduced us to panelists such as Sid Jatia, Vice President of the Direct to Consumer division at UnderArmour, Tinder, Rebecca Minkoff and Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky, CEO and founder of MemoMi. With such a lineup I was confident that Day 2 was going to a great day.
The topic of discussion centred around the ways 3D technology, virtual realities and how beacons play a role in improving retail experiences for consumers. And just like yesterday, many conversations revolved around the concept of paying close attention to Internet influencers that consumers look up to whilst also remaining authentic to a brand. Authenticity was the running theme throughout both days of the summit. During the Levi’s Game Changing Brands panel, Grant Barths, Chief Merchandising Officer of Levi’s Strauss explained how it is important to focus on the future legacy of a brand. He shared, “For a brand to have longevity, you have to put the brand first. Revenue will follow”.
Besides attending the various panel discussions, I also continued to check out the tech booths set up throughout the lobby. As I wandered around, I made small talk with different companies, but it was an app named LookList that caught my attention. It is an app that curates content from fashion influencers, bloggers and stylists to aggregate styles that match your pre-set settings by changing the way users find inspiration. So what makes this app different from Instagram and/or Pinterest? Well, the developers have focused on giving people clean and clear fashion and hairstyles choices based on keywords, descriptions and adjectives. They did this by handpicking influencers, bloggers and models whose content is curated from tools and opportunities available through the social media. This therefore makes it super easy for users to find images, outfits and hairstyles from credible influencers without having to sift through unrelated content ads that you might find on other social media platforms. Following out chat, I took a moment to try out the app, and I must say, it felt like I had a personalized stylist in my pocket.
As the day progressed, I had an impromptu meeting with Wisewear founder, Gerald Wilmink. We discussed at length about his line of wearable bracelets. Gerald explained that the product, developed and designed in Texas, experimented with Bluetooth technology. The Socialite Collection, includes gold and silver bracelets with activity tracking capabilities and unique security features. What makes the security features unique is that they can be customized and pre-set on the Wisewear IOS or Android app to alert family, friends or police of your whereabouts via Bluetooth and WiFi. So should you ever feel unsafe a simple tap will be all you need in an emergency. This is an idea that I really loved. Wisewear are giving women the opportunity to invest in a product that is both stylish and capable of doing things from monitoring health to ensuring one’s safety. If that’s not the perfect gift to give to a loved one, then I don’t know what is!
As the day came to an end, I felt a buzz of anticipation in the air. The electricity of excitement was due to the finalists taking stage for the DKNY Challenge. The summit’s fashion startup competition bragged finalists with impressive backgrounds in business, design and technology. The five entrepreneurs and challenge finalists were ZazzyJewelry, LISNR, DropelFabrics, SoftSpotIO and RehabStudio. Geared up to present their concept/product to the judges, the finalists knew that they had to bring their A game on. The prize on offer was the opportunity for their idea to become a reality within DKNY. The winner would receive support and mentorship from DKNY and their idea would be taken to the next plateau. The DKNY Challenge was the most interactive part of the summit because the audience was genuinely loud, supportive and excited for the designers and the pitches they were presenting.
So after impressive pitches, there could be only one and that one was Rodney Williams of Lisnr. Rodney presented a great way to create unique consumer experiences (like bringing a catwalk to a DKNY store) through the use of sound and mobile devices.
With the winner announced, Decoded Fashion NY Summit came to an end. I felt elated. I had spent two full days surrounded by #GameChangers ready to change people’s lives for the better, I definitely feel the better for it.
Missed Decoded Fashion Day 1? Relive it HERE.