Neue x FIT: In The Business Of Exploring The Integration of Technology in Fashion

How can the merger between fashion and technology give birth to new types of connected products, create new digital services, and design new business models?

It is no secret that collabs are the way forward. The latest partnership is between the Stockholm-based fashion tech company Neue and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. Supported by the Swedish Fashion Council, the collaboration also highlights Fashion Tech initiatives in Sweden that have been embracing innovation and exploring integration.

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Announced on 6th April 2018, the FASHION TECH NY workshop, developed by Neue and FIT, encourages FIT Bachelor and Master students to explore the integration of technology into garments and fashion business strategies. “The students will face the same challenges as the fashion industry does today. How can the merger between fashion and technology give birth to new types of connected products, create new digital services, and design new business models?”, says Michael Ferraro, Executive Director of the FIT/Infor Design and Technology Lab.

Fredrik Timour, CEO of award-winning startup Neue lecturing at FIT

The primary mission for FASHION TECH NY is to promote and strengthen technological development and education in fashion,“We are delighted to support this project. FASHION TECH NY is a great project aimed at educating the fashion professionals and inspiring emerging talents,”, says Jennie Rosén, CEO of the Swedish Fashion Council.

“FASHION TECH NY is a great project aimed at educating the fashion professionals and inspiring emerging talents”

This is not the first time that FIT has partnered up. They also worked alongside IBM and Tommy Hilfiger on a project aimed at advancing the use of AI in the creative process. The collaboration was all about preparing the next generation of retail leaders through a high-impact, real-world learning experience as they begin their careers in the $3 trillion apparel industry.

The pilot used IBM Research capabilities including computer vision, natural language understanding, and deep learning techniques specifically trained with fashion data. These AI capabilities produced key silhouettes, colours, and a new neural network that designs novel prints and patterns. The FIT students were given access to these IBM Research’s AI tools where they could creatively explore and use 15,000 of Tommy Hilfiger’s product images, some 600,000 publicly available runway images and nearly 100,000 patterns from fabric sites as a source to bring informed inspiration to the student’s design.

Disintegrating the borders between fashion and technology, Neue x Fashion Institute of Technology x Swedish Fashion Council have come up with a three-month-long workshop. It has been designed to give students the opportunity to develop up to three high-end fashion-tech products ranging from the application of technology in fashion business operations to digitally connected garments. Guidance will be on offer from two brands, POC, an innovative company in the production of sports garments and gadgets, and BACK, an internationally renowned brand and key-player in the fashion industry in Sweden.

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The two Swedish brands will assign students based on their market expertise while encouraging them to explore realistic digital solutions in product and marketing design. On this, project manager Kim Gustafsson, marketing director of Neue, said, “We have been educating the fashion industry for several years, and this kind of collaboration is the perfect platform for driving the market forward. It also sends a message to the fashion brands out there: it’s time to walk the walk; the fashion designers of tomorrow are on the move.”

The FASHION TECH NY project will run until the middle June 2018.

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Founding Editor in Chief at | editor@fashnerd.com

Founding editor-in-chief & WearableTechStylist of FashNerd.com, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology and a regular contributor to digital news sites like Wareable.