#FASHIONTECH BERLIN our new conference format founded together with the international fashion trade show PREMIUM, focuses on the digitization of the fashion industry, and has now taken place for the third time. On July 8th, we welcomed 2200 participants from all over the world to the “Kühlhaus” next to the Station-Berlin – an amazing amount of interest! This has shown us again how important the connection between fashion and technology is today.
The day-long conference featured well-known brands like Amazon Fashion, Facebook, Microsoft and Zalando, and many innovative start-ups and budding designers like Fashion Sourcebook, Stilnest, VOJD Studios, Formlabs and ElektroCouture, who got to present their latest tech trends and innovative projects in the following areas: retail and e-commerce, wearables and design, or marketing and communication.
The official opener by Andreas Gebhard, founder and managing director of re:publica, and Anita Tillmann, managing director of PREMIUM, was followed by the keynote address for the first topic: Retail and e-commerce. Sergio Bucher, vice president of Amazon Fashion, talked about the way Amazon organizes shoe sizes recommendations via Crowdfunding, amongst other things. Then came a slot for talks & pitches, for example by Christoph Lange, vice president for brand solutions with fashion platform Zalando, or by Anna Rojahn, the founder of Fast Forward Imaging, a service that offers 360-degree photography.
The second topic, “Wearables & Design”, was kicked off by Martina Pickhardt of Microsoft, who argued: “We all want to communicate our emotions, and do this by our clothes in particular”. And she ventured a forecast: “In 20 years, we will have left all physical devices behind us. It will be all about voice and gesture recognition then. So why should we need another mobile phone?”
And of course, visitors could not only listen to the theory, but also admire all the shiny new ideas and technologies in the exhibition area of the conference, such as the new ElektroCouture Wearables collection by Lisa Lang, that combines design accents with new technologies. Lang, a Berlin-based designer and entrepreneur, created a fashion collection with LED-lighted jewellery, a shimmering neoprene evening gown, and a high-tech scarf with an on/off- switch.
3D printing was prominently in place as well: Hristiyana Vucheva from the Berlin VOJD Studios presented lavish 3D-printed jewellery, and the style platform Stilnest showed some new gems from its collection.
In the Marketing & Communication segment, speakers included Stefan Edl from Facebook and Instagram, Antonia Ward of Stylus, and Tobias Ulmer of Werbewelt advertisers. A particularly interesting approach was presented by Marte Hentschel with her start-up Fashion Sourcebook: Sharing is Caring. The project from Berlin wants to offer manufacturers, producers, designers and generally all fashion professionals an open portal for networking and collecting and sharing knowledge, and with its open-source approach, in the long term wants to reveal underlying production chains. Launched 13 weeks ago, the platform already has 500 members from all areas of fashion.
Following #FASHIONTECH BERLN, the topic continued right away at Microsoft, where the Berlin Award Wearable IT / Fashion Tech was awarded for the first time. 5000 Euros were to go the best wearable product made in Berlin from the field health, wellness, security, entertainment or fashion. But there was not only one happy winner, the jury decided to award two prizes: One went to Julia Danckwerth with “Spur”, a support system for dementia patients, and the second one to the team led by Hannah Perner-Wilson for their „Mi.Mu“ data glove that can generate music from gestures.
And as a grand finale of the fashiontech day, tech designer Anouk Wipprecht hosted a fashion show in the Audi City on Kurfürstendamm. She had created four dresses for Audi and manufactures their components on a 3D printer at the Berlin Fablab.
And for those of you who missed the third edition of #FASHIONTECH BERLIN, don’t worry, the videos of the talks and presentations will be available soon.