Weekly Stories

Finalists Announced For The Beautiful Function Wearables Competition

Posted by Staff on Nov 17, 2014 9:29:45 AM

Tomorrow, on November 18, the worlds of fashion, retail, and tech will join forces for the kick off of Decoded Fashion's two-day New York Summit. Rebecca Minkoff, Nordstrom, Barneys, kate spade, Google, Style.com, and more will meet to discuss wearable tech challenges and the latest ideas around retail innovation.

One of the highlights of the summit will be the finals of the Beautiful Function wearables competition, which aims to identify the most consumer-friendly and beautiful wearable device launched this year. Five finalist startups, chosen because of the striking design and functionality of their wearable, will pitch live on stage to a panel of industry leaders on November 18. All finalists' wearables cater to the U.S. market, are ready to market today and are currently available for pre-order. The winning team will be featured on Style.com.

The finalists are:

Cuff: Cuff serves as an alert system, with the ability to track your fitness and send notifications. The interchangeable modules, called CuffLincs, connect directly to an iPhone or Android application.

Jon Lou: The 314 handbag charges your smartphone and lights up to help you find your interior items. With powerful off-the-grid energy developed at MIT, you can keep an iPhone 6 charged for one month. Made in Italy.

Kovert Designs: Kovert's modular collection of smart designer jewellery allows customers to insert the Altruis Stone into different ring, bracelet and necklace designs. Using their app, the user can set the smart stone to vibrate for particular notifications (filtered by key contact or keyword). Kovert will be announcing a small handful of collaboration collections with brands/designers in 2015.

Machina: A hoodie with speakers integrated into it. It allows its wearer to hear music without having to insert headphones into their ear. Music can be controlled via Bluetooth, using an iPhone, iPod or Android device.

Viawear: Tyia, Viawear’s smart bracelet, sends notifications using gentle vibrations and color. Tyia is designed to make things easier, richer, more beautiful and more focused, helping you connect with real life instead of just your digital one.

The competition judges are:

Myf Ryan, Marketing, Director UK & Europe, Westfield
Dirk Standen, Editor-in-Chief, Style.com
Olivia Kim, Director of Creative Projects, Nordstrom
Simon Collins, Dean, Parsons The New School for Design

"There is a lot of excitement, but also confusion about the possibilities for wearables and fashion today. During next week’s summit, we will reveal big players outside of everyone’s radar. We will discuss what matters in the immediate future and expose the technology that will help get us there," said Liz Bacelar, founder and president of Decoded Fashion. "The Decoded Fashion Summit is about being ahead of the story, discarding pre-conceived notions and learning new possibilities emerging around the world."

Decoded Fashion New York will take place on November 18-19, 2014 at Metropolitan West. The full agenda can be found here.

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Topics: Olivia Kim, westfield, Kovert designs, wearables, Beautiful Function, Wearable Technology, Decoded Fashion NYC, nordstrom, Simon Collins, Decoded Fashion Summit, dirk standen, Viawear, Myf Ryan, Machina, Weekly Stories, Wearables Competition, style.com, Parsons The New School For Design, Cuff, Jon Lou

Future Fashion: 24 Hours In A Shopping Centre

Posted by Anna Abrell on Sep 25, 2014 7:49:56 AM

Last weekend saw the world’s first hackathon in a shopping centre: From September 20th to 21st, London’s Westfield Shopping Centre (and it’s shoppers) bore witness to a 24 hour hackathon. A group of sixty elite hackers from varied backgrounds teamed up and worked through the night to find solutions to the fashion, beauty and retail industries' problems.

Participants included developers from the likes of fashion retailer ASOS and augmented reality agency Holition; marketing minds such as senior lecturers from the London College of Fashion; and designers with backgrounds in fields such as UX design for large retailers. The competition was filled with winner from past hackathons, such as the Salesforce Hackathon, the LinkedIn and EE Hackathon, BBC News Hack and Google Chrome Drone Hackathon, along with members of Women Who Code. It was sure to be competitive!

On both Saturday and Sunday, industry experts from Google, Twitter, AllSaints, Front Row I/O were on hand to mentor teams and help them tweak their concepts. The event was accompanied by an exhibition of new technologies around the fashion, beauty and retail space. Westfield shop goers were able to test out the L’Oréal Makeup Genius, try on Google Glass, find the perfect coat using the Fashion 3D augmented reality mirror, and use vrAse to turn their smartphone into a virtual reality headset. Also available to try: the touch-responsive Displair air display; the award-winning 3D controller Leap Motion which requires only your hands, the world’s first bracelet that can charge a phone upon a mere touch, by QDesigns; and a Sound Chamber by NudeAudio. Children were also provided coding classes by FireTech Camp, London’s only tech focussed day campus for kids aged 9 - 17, and CuteCircuit held a fashion show to showcase their innovative designs.

On Sunday, the teams pitched their ideas to our panel of judges: Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council; Myf Ryan, Marketing Director UK & Europe, Westfield; Lisa Bridgett, Director of Global Sales & Marketing at the Net-A-Porter Group; Lee Epting, Vice President at the Samsung Media Solution Centre Europe; Pia Stanchina, Senior Industry Manager at Google; and Millie Mackintosh. They judged the concepts according to four criteria: Is it innovative? Would it excite consumers? Is it cool/beautiful? and Does it solve a real problem?

And the winner? SkipQ, a system that works as an automatic check-out for fast fashion retailers: using unique removable security tags and detachers that only allow the removal of security tags of items that have been paid for, it allows users to pay for an item of clothing on their phone in-store, and leave the store. The SkipQ team will fly to San Francisco for three nights, to receive mentoring from industry leaders of Silicon Valley, including Westfield Labs’ Global Chief Digital Officer Kevin McKenzie. Congratulations!

The audience pick was ShopAID(E), which was designed to enrich the personal shopping experience through allowing users to shop with friends and influencers around the world by way of donating to charity. Check out all the highlights here.

Reported by Anna Abrell

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Topics: google glass, Holition, hackathon, vrAse, westfield, L'oreal, FireTech Camp, Displair, ASOS, NudeAudio, Weekly Stories, London College of Fashion, QDesigns, leap motion

Westfield Hackathon: Ladies Take The Lead

Posted by Kelsey Wandmacher on Sep 19, 2014 7:44:01 AM
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Topics: hackathon, Millie Mackintosh, westfield, Caroline Rush, Pia Stanchina, Lee Epting, Myf Ryan, Lisa Bridgett, Weekly Stories

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