Saturday, December 13, 2014

NYU | Fashion Technology in NYC

It's crazy how fast this first semester at NYU flew by. My grad program is only three semesters in total and I can't believe I'm basically 1/3 of the way there. Weird. Anyway, I just submitted my final project for my reporting class—we could choose any topic and any medium. I chose to do a video looking into New York's fashion technology scene.

Here's the written portion of my assignment, as published on Pavement Pieces:

New York is one of the most fashionable and technologically savvy cities in the world. And now we’re seeing the two industries seamlessly intertwine.

As a breeding ground for innovation, brands are now embracing this modernization more than ever. Retailers such as Rebecca Minkoff, Levi’s and UNIQLO are just a few that are exposing customers to a different in-store atmosphere.

When it comes to combining the worlds of fashion and technology, it’s all about the human experience. PERCH Interactive is a company hoping to change the way stores use their space.

“It’s not just this box that sits in our pocket. It’s not just about an app on a phone,” said Kate Watson, senior producer at PERCH. “It’s really about extending rich storytelling and media into all the spaces that we live in.”

PERCH has worked with big-name clients including Kate Spade and Cole Haan. As a startup in New York City, PERCH is amongst many up-and-coming businesses hoping to break boundaries in the industry.

“There isn’t a place in the world that’s more innovative and has more of a dynamic, ever-changing spirit,” said Watson. “I think all those factors play into the perfect storm.”

The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator is a program out of the Pratt Institute that aims to help people with big ideas by providing the support and resources needed to get these startups up-and-running. The 21,000-square-foot space opened last month and is home to entrepreneurs, researchers and mentors, creating a unique community of innovation and collaboration.

“We’re not only really interesting thinkers, we’re also makers and it’s that combination of having great ideas and then making those ideas a reality that makes it very special,” said Deb Johnson, Executive Director of the BF+DA. “It’s not just making apps and doing that sort of thing, it’s connecting it to objects, to products, to clothing.”

The BF+DA also focuses on sustainability and the values of social impact.

“We’re hoping to redefine the fashion industry so it’s cleaner, more ethical and incredibly innovative,” said Johnson. “I really see technology and sustainability as intricately linked moving forward into the 21st century.”

With the help of incubators such as the BF+DA and the quickly growing amount of creative minds in the fashion tech space, it seems the possibilities are endless.

- Christina Dun
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

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