Hierarchy Existence, Et Tu Fashion Tech?

FashNerd.com editor-in-chief Muchaneta Kapfunde looks at whether a Fashion Tech hierarchy has formed.


“We all know that fashion has a reputation as a fickle field, but will fashion tech follow in its footsteps? We can only hope not as the intersection of technology and fashion takes prominence in the craftsmanship of our connected lives.

As the relationship strengthens, the earlier words of fashion designer Billie Whitehouse- “I don’t want to look like a computer threw up on me”- no longer ring true as the intrusion of technology continues to influence design methodology. Currently, fashion tech is having a meaningful impact on the way we think and conduct our lifestyle, which in my book, makes it the perfect moment to have a brief conversation on what appears to be a hierarchy of importance forming in the fashion tech sphere.

In the last 24 months, progression of the merge seems to have proved to be an inevitable path for this generation. It is a path that promises, and has delivered, internet-connected pendants and rings, 3-D-printed clothing and rechargeable handbags with built-in charging cables for mobile devices. So what’s the problem? It sounds like fashion tech is heading in the right direction. Well, I feel like there is a slight snag that we need to address first. Recently I have been noticing a pattern which really should not be occurring at this stage of the merge- the likelihood that fashion tech is blossoming into a bubble of exclusive existence, where only the invited will be able to enjoy the fruits of fashion tech’s labour.

On this prophecy, some could argue that it is an inevitable path for industries to end up building a hierarchy existence. That maybe so, but wouldn’t it be great if the merge of fashion and technology celebrated the many as opposed to the few? Let’s begin by applauding and fully supporting those who have shown belief and strength in what they can bring to the table. I want them to step forward, and help bring change to the merry-go-round of the same names. For me, I love writing about those who have made it, but I also have an itch to include the unsung heroes quietly making a difference. I want to acknowledge their achievements because fashion tech does not live and die with the lucky few that are making a name for themselves in the mainstream media. As an industry still in its infancy, we still have the power to not only define it, but to also drive it forward with as many inventive ideas as possible, that way we can continue to whet the appetite of those whose heart beats to the drum of what could be.

So to the known trailblazers, as amazing as you are, know that your competition does not come in the shape of the no fuss innovators quietly making a difference. They are not looking to be part of an old boys club nor are they individuals who have ‘inherited’ their position. Know that you all deserve to work in an open for all space where the voice of technology can be clearly translated by fashion creatives for publishers like ourselves, who are always thirsty to write about anyone making a difference whether their name be Minkoff or not.”

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