August 18, 2016
Brands of the future, especially those with the greatest potential for growth, often diversify their offerings, products, or services. Uber is getting into self-driving cars, Alphabet is far more than a search company, and Facebook is still having identity issues. Regardless of what these companies started off with, consumer demands led them to intersecting points that bridge potentially massive gaps. For New York-based startup TechStyle NYC, they too understand this concept, and focus on the intersection between the fashion and tech worlds.
TechStyle NYC hosts events – typically during New York Fashion Week or even SXSW – and connects influencers, consumers, and tech brands in a collaborative experience. One part education and two parts connection, the event – according to TechStyle NYC founder Janine Just- brings the key people together that want to be at the forefront of technology and fashion.
At first thought many may not fully grasp how the two relate. You put your pants on each morning just like you always have, and you put your smartphone in the pocket of said jeans; on the surface they go together, but in reality they've been mostly separate. Over the next five years, though, the way these two things tie together could be entirely different.
The future of fashion is already here: from 3D-printed materials being used in clothing to the potential of putting on a VR headset and shopping in a virtual store. Brands are experimenting with the next generation of solutions to make it easier for you and I to expand our wardrobes – all from the comfort of our homes. For those that prefer the social components of shopping in-store, we’re already seeing a technological renaissance:
“We’re currently at the intersection of tech and fashion, and it’s only going to get bigger as more want to be part of this,” said Just. “Tory Burch [and] Rebecca Minkoff – they know what they are doing, and others are starting to follow in their footsteps. More importantly, it’s not about tech for tech’s sake, it’s about expanded and enhancing the experience.”
TechStyle NYC Events
To drive home the importance and role that technology plays in the fashion industry, TechStyle NYC hosts events that features the latest and greatest innovations. More than a show-and-tell, their events allow brands to get minimal viable product style feedback, intelligence, and other information direct from both consumers and influencers they want as a voices of the brand.
At a past event, Just and the team brought in an Australian designer who used 3D-printed fabrics and displayed their collection. In the same scope, they also highlighted how a platform like Shapeways (what Just describes as the offspring of Etsy and Makerbot) to show how even single creators are able to bridge the tech and fashion gap. And when it comes to beauty sales, augmented reality is going to really play a key role in the future.
Although apps that let people virtually use cosmetics already exist, they are only going to advance as virtual reality and hardware catch up with software. At each of their events, attendees are able to experience the future of fashion; on the back-end, Just’s team is able to connect key influencers to the brand.
In our interview, Just mused about one particular example that comes from a startup that produces a digital charm bracelet. At a TechStyle NYC event, that startup was able to directly see how people interacted with the concept, and gained enough feedback to take the next step. The company has since been inducted into an LA-based incubator.
As New York Fashion Week approaches, the team is also gearing up for their largest event of the year, set to bring in nearly 800-900 people. TechStyle NYC’s next event will take place on September 12.
Photo courtesy of Janine Just. From left: Marie Claire Magazine's Brittney Levine, Janine Just, and EZVIZ's Zachary Erwin.
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