Breaking alert: the fashion industry is no longer an old boys’ club. Though fashion houses still define much of the trends, they no longer have autonomy over what becomes successful and gets sold or worn by the masses. The voracious nature of today’s social media-driven world puts much more of the power in the hands of smaller companies and startups who, in the past, would have been limited geographically, but who now have millions of eyes on their work through the internet.
But not only has the elitism of fashion changed, the definition has as well. With the concept of wearables being redefined every day, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes something more technology or more fashion. There’s an emerging growth of wearable tech, retail tech, and fashion tech startups, that don’t necessarily fit in at the fashion weeks and the technology conferences. It’s time we showcase them in their own right, and celebrate this new niche of fashion startups. Enter Startup Fashion Week, the world’s first and only fashion week that celebrates fashion, tech and business.
Startup Fashion Week will take place in Toronto on October 7-9, 2014, and will feature three main events: Future of Fashion Evening Forum (Oct. 7); the Business of Fashion Full Day Conference (Oct. 8), and an evening showcase and closing party (Oct. 9). Speakers and guests from around the world have been confirmed, showcasing not only the local talent but the global startup community as well. Speakers include Veronica Becker of Beacon and Lively, Vatche Pirjanian of Pochetti, Mazen Elbawb of Heddoko, and more. For a full list of speakers and participating startups, visit the SFW site.
Says Jodi Goodfellow, Managing Director of SFW, “Startup Fashion Week will not only create a much needed dialogue in Canada on how technology is influencing fashion, but it will also create various types of visibility and awareness for startup designers and entrepreneurs. It takes a community to build a business in fashion and our efforts are to recognize opportunities to strengthen the local economy and support entrepreneurs.”
Part of the proceeds of Startup Fashion Week will go to Wear White 4 Women, a charitable campaign empowering at-risk women to find new lives. Conference attendance costs $195 for the three-day pass, and tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.