By recognising and supporting fashion innovation, Antwerp is a city working hard to put itself on the fashion tech map. Promising to be a place were tech stars get to rise, Flanders DC, an Antwerp based creative agency, has been one of the driving forces behind bringing kick-ass fashion tech startups to the forefront of a traditional industry. The organisation has made a name for itself for uniting and inspiring makers, creators and entrepreneurs who have brilliant ideas but need a little bit of guidance.
A supporter of cross-pollination, you could describe Flanders DC as an incubator that encourages constructive collaborations. This week the Antwerp based company launched FashionTech talks, an event that introduced us to 24 startups looking to make a difference in the fashion industry. Of the 24, we were drawn to 5 Belgium startups that we recommend you keep an eye on.on tech startups. The organisation is known for uniting and inspiring those who have brilliant ideas that need that little bit of guidance.
APA Intemporal: Reinventing Iconic Wardrobe Pieces
A finalist in the Flanders DC’s FashionTech Works event, APA Intemporal is a startup that offers ultra-performing coats with an urban feel. A combination of artisan manufacturing and functionality, APA wants to reinvent iconic wardrobe pieces using technological innovations.
Made in Europe, the jackets not only brag nano-technologies, but they have also been made using exceptional fabrics. “We see the future being in invisible technologies,” said Lea Potache Stein during her 3-minute pitch. Designed to be functional in every way, the great selling point of the versatile coat is that it adapts to all weather conditions with ease.
Bioracer: The Future of Cycling Speedwear
Bioracer is an award-winning speed wear brand that focuses on optimising athletes cycling experience with aerodynamic, comfortable, waterproof and breathable clothes. Designed for both men and women, Bioracer has developed sportswear collections that include custom made skinsuits and pro athlete speedwear.
All new concepts are designed to be the future of cycling speedwear, “Part of what makes us different from the rest is our drive for innovation”, states their website. With a philosophy that goes beyond clothing, Bioracer is all about engineering fibres and protective materials that will give the wearer a particular set of features that will play an essential role in the “look and feel” of the garment.
Cosh: Conscious Shopping Made Easy
If there is one app that you should rely on to lead you down the sustainable fashion route every season, let it be Cosh. A route planner into the world of sustainable products, Cosh has come up with an application that will help you find brands and shops that sell fair and planet-friendly products. “We make conscious shopping easy and help you shop better”, said Niki Deschryver in her 3-minute pitch.
The big positive about this app is that it works with every budget, which is an excellent thing because sustainable products are usually labelled “too expensive”. All you have to do is select your budget, style, the city you are in and the kind of clothes you are looking for and voila a list of shops/brands matching your needs will come up.
Macty: Creating New Customer Experiences
Wanting to empower retailers to take full advantage of AI, Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing, Macty is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup that focuses on creating new experiences for customers that will improve sales for retailers.
Using state-of-the-art image and language processing tools, Macty has come up with solutions that enable shoppers to search for a brand/retailer’s product collections using multi-modal information. “We use an Artificial Intelligence API powered by the latest technology to enable your users to get exactly what they want in your stores”, promises their website.
Shavatar: Eliminating Size Related Returns
Imagine being able to predict a consumer’s 3D body shape without having to invest in a 3D scanner. This is something that startup Shavatar has made possible. An idea that was a spinoff from the University of Antwerp, Shavatar empowers fashion brands and retailers to eliminate size-related returns using technology that can measure up to 7mm accurately.
Besides measuring, it is a technology that not only visualises the fit of an outfit onto the consumer’s body profile, it also collects intelligence that could be a valuable source of information for designers open to optimising their collections for size and fit.