Click on the links if you are Millennial from 1995 but years ago, somewhere between the Mexican Ethernet, Third World Plasma Displays and MSN, I used to make little films on my father’s Digital 8 based on poems I had written on my Hello Kitty notebook and other sorts of palpable paper. Too weird to be popular, I was the ultimate neo-bohemian, and little did I know off but there I was, pretending to be a Democrat.
Anyhow, while crabbing sideways about politics with my teenage intellect, I came across florentine writer Giovanni Sartori and his Homo videns. (May he rest in peace) A soliloquy of merely 200 pages. Apparently, a new and unsettling world customised by the imminent RGB lights of our devious monitors were creating a different kind of Homo sapiens. It was an unstoppable and controversial regression in the course of our outrageous human evolution led by countless baby booms and television. The future was lost in transmission.
But then the future came a little bit later, and the books are now, gone with the “web.” Luckily for us, crew of 2017, the peculiar smell of a good old book may be extinct from the taste of the planet, although, it is possible for fellow Hipsters with a vintage allure to purchase the smell on Etsy; here. Who needs a book when you can light up a Times New Roman scented candle by WeatherAndGray for less than a tenner. Right?
Click on the links if you are from generation whatever but, nowadays, somewhere between terabytes,4K and Spotify, me don’t make little me films no more. My Hello Kitty notes became Notes in my iPhone. Simple things such as paper, are not longer palpable. The closest thing we want to touch is our screen. (Well…yeah, screens).
This is our “Brave New World” and perhaps, Aldous Huxley knew one thing or two when he taught us that God might be reluctant to change, but human kind it is not. We care for change. We thrive for a change. Aretha Franklin used to sing, “A Change Is Gonna Come” and change it is here darling. Every flocking season.
“The only thing that remains constant is change.” K. 😉
The Fashion industry, always in the game. Making sure that when we block ourselves from reality to put on the red shoes and dance the “people touching screens” blues, we are a Pin it away to click and buy the latest’s trends. From designer brands to high-street retailers, in words of Frances Corner herself, “now that we are happy to mix our Prada with our Zara” I think the great markup mystery fades in 50 shades of pixels and spam. Everything looks the same. Cheap. Expensive. Like they say in fellow India: Same-same, but different.
As a committed student of London College of Style I had the privilege to be part of the Influencers Lounge held by Yahoo Style @YahooStyleUK. It was an uplifting event with an intellectual flare aiming to inspire entrepenuaers, bloggers, journalists and enthusiasts within the Fashion Industry to re-think Fashion and start off London Fashion Week SS18 on a keen note.
Next thing I know, after serial coffees and customised little yahoo cakes, the stylish Zoe Hardman is giving us a lovely welcome and introducing an interesting panel conformed by (in no particular order): Tainá Vilela - Marketing & Partnerships at Depop; Paige Henke - Senior Commercial Specialist for Pavegen; Alison Coldridge – Yahoo Style Editor; Rachel Arthur – Award-winning Business Journalist specialising in Fashion and Technology, Founder of FashionandMash.com and Gwyneth Holland – Author and Trend Forecaster.
The matter in discussion was Fashion and Technology and Paige Henke unleashes the dragon quoting “Virtual Reality is not here to stay, the Millennial Generation is experience driven.” Zoe Hardman: Is online shopping cheating? The panel then start to convey that fashion needs to be democratised.
According to Maria Morais @CeuMorais, Fashion Blogger and Digital Commerce Consultant, despite the economic context, thanks to the exponential online growth that we have been witnessing in recent years, our wardrobe size keeps increasing. Since 2011 online sales went up to 62% and reduced returns by up to 35% offering solutions such a fits.me, a virtual fitting room that engages online consumers in buying with confidence regarding the size and fit of the apparel of their choice.
GlobalData indicates that multi-channel retailing is a £35+ bn business. From John Lewis to Tesco, it takes a unit of creative professionals, a broadband, an app, a banner in social media, a push notification or even an “archaic” email to facilitate similar results. It takes the tip of my index finger to login into the vast Argos inventory of 18,000 product lines over 700 physical stores to instantly replace my broken jar, which is immediately ready for collection.
And when it comes to Fashion Week, what we get is a season ahead, which works great for designers to showcase their work but not quite for consumers, who will have to wait until it hits the market or in either case, the High Street “reinterpretation”. Fashion Week is gradually changing, NY to Tokyo, from seasonal collections to key items: It is becoming more about drops: the tee, the dress, the shoe. – Tainá Vilela: In Depot we go by the see why now attitude. Online and offline are not different things. Everything can be shoppable.
However Fashion and Technology coexistence goes beyond retailing, is tech… wearable? Rachel Arthur, who has made a successful career out of the subject, insured that we need to reconfigured our perception because “everything we wear, is Fashion Technology.” And we have to look no further than the Nylon in our tights or the Denim in our jeans to agree upon that. Gwyneth Holland: “The Fashion Industry is the second most polluted industry in the world.” We most take advantage of that technology without turning our backs on ethics. We should be focusing more proactively in reducing waist and make fashion sustainable. Innovation in fashion changes the way we think: Fashion. We are living in times where green conscious designers such as Ferragamo are able to make fabric out of orange peals. Times where is possible to grow our own leather or silk. Times where inventiveness brings an environmental asset to fashion.
Technology is also about proximity, easy access, connexions and time management. We want to click. We want things to click fast, we want things to click easy, and if possible, we want them to click and get delivered to our doorstep as quick as Prime. Yahoo Style Editor; Alison Coldridge ensured “We will be busy”, consumers are beginning to become forecasters. a sort of mood-board for retailers. Tainá Vilela: “The streets are taking over”, consumers are a brand. People are now styling and putting things together. Fashion is inspired by the streets more than ever.
One of the members of the public asked to the panelists if they considered bloggers to be influencers and Paige Henke, who specialises in Commerce anchored that brands are now focusing on how people are representing themselves through Instagram to understand how they are using trends and confirm how the products work.
As a society, we are here to give, to take and to consume. “To buy or not to buy, stuff.” Is not a question. It’s a fact. I want to believe that the whole concept of shopping on a physical context will always be there, in our tangible universe, the same way people still buy books when we can’t get a wifi connexion in our Kindle pads.
As a thriving entrepreneur, networking is a must. Thanks to London College of Style I had the nurturing opportunity to meet these smart femme-fashion voices and be inspired by them along side actress, blogger couch and creator of fashionartista.com, Tatjana. The connexions the school has are just incredible. And this is just the beginning. I cannot imagine what the future holds. Well, I can and I won’t tell.🖖 🤓