Common Themes For Innovation in Fashion & Technology

Austin Fashion Initiative's Fashion & Tech Panel at General Assembly featuring Marcus Piña, Nick Hahn and Josh Beglau, moderated by Jennifer Millspaugh.

Austin Fashion Initiative's Fashion & Tech Panel at General Assembly featuring Marcus Piña, Nick Hahn and Josh Beglau, moderated by Jennifer Millspaugh.

General Assembly hosted Austin Fashion Initiative for its October 2017 meet-up at WeWork in downtown Austin. This event featured an awesome panel of tech professionals to get their take on innovation within the fashion industry.

The fashion business networking event featured:

The panel discussed (1) what each of their respective companies were actively pursuing to innovate within the market, (2) their experience in infusing innovation into their work process, and (3) how fashion businesses and professionals can think entrepreneurially to innovate in a changing market.

Austin holds a unique opportunity for the fashion industry in particular, with its strong entrepreneurial and tech communities, to establish a singular identity in the global market.

Josh illustrated how Bold Metrics was offering its clients opportunities for innovation throughout the product development pipeline by changing the way we think about how products are designed through the use and integration of human data. Bold Metrics offers a great example of the Design Thinking process by showcasing how — in the case of fashion — if we can predict and understand the actual shape of human bodies, then we can design better fitting apparel. Perhaps even customization.

Nick highlighted the importance of Design Thinking for the development of innovation practices at IBM, in that in order for things to be well designed, they must incorporate principles of research (gathering data) and prototyping. By making “cup-cakes” not “wedding-cakes”, you can test your offering to ensure alignment with actual market opportunity. This principle is certainly applicable across industries.

Marcus did an exceptional job of demonstrating this principle through his story of the brand evolution of Under Armour, which launched after successfully prototyping 37 versions of its now iconic shirt. And yes, every prototype is a success, because it’s one step closer to finding that signature piece, product or service. It really speaks to how there is no end result in the development of a business, but a continual evolution and conversation with the market (consumers and other stakeholders) to learn from and present new ideas in co-creation with your community. 

For those who attended, I hope you took away some great ideas that stirred your thinking, met at least one new person and enjoyed the bites and goodies featured by Lantana Hummus, Rythm Super Foods, and HEYDAY Coffee. Thanks to our sponsors for this event— all local Austin companies —  who are doing their part to keep Austin creative. Special thanks also to Candice Digby, General Assembly and WeWork Austin for your support of Austin Fashion Initiative.

Sign-up for the mailing list to hear about future events, or better yet, take the initiative and join AFI as a member or partner. Through awesome collaboration we’re elevating Austin’s fashion industry.

Onward in collaboration,