Decoded: Fashion and Technology (and Posen!), Oh My.

Decoded: Fashion, with Zac Posen (left).

by Celeste Yamali, Fashion Publishing

Fashion may be an unlikely subject for tech geeks, but fashion’s biggest names came together at Lincoln Center in late February for a conference called “Decoded: Fashion” to collaborate ideas for apps and solutions that can be useful in the fashion industry. CFDA members, along with Conde Nast and fashion’s biggest names like Uri Minkoff for Rebecca Minkoff and Zac Posen, discussed the future of fashion and its growth in the world of technology.

The event began with wise words from Conde Nast’s Stephanie Winston Wolkoff who stated, “People on the tech side think very differently about fashion. It’s not just about brands, it’s about publishing and distribution and manufacturing. And when you say fashion people think clothing, but it’s more than that. It’s the business of clothing.”

Wolkoff made it clear that the goal of this ongoing collaboration is to bring attention to the many striving fashion figures of the Big Apple the heavy impact and importance that technology has in the fashion industry. It is not just about the fashion blogs and E-Commerce; surprisingly Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram have an ability to reach out to consumers in a personal way that offers them more than just purchasing a tee shirt, but  a relationship instead. 

Zac Posen agreed. “Social media allows me to control my privacy, by supplying the demand for information about my brand.”

This is an interesting perspective about technology and fashion, considering other speakers focused more on the e-commerce aspect of the industry. Social media gives consumers and fans the chance to gain insight with a sort of virtual backstage pass that ordinarily most of us never get access to. One would think, in a way, that this social media all access pass to designers and their lives is invading their privacy. On the contrary, Posen is offering to share what he chooses, giving people enough personality that they don’t feel the need to take any more.

As a student in the fashion program at Parsons, I am constantly hearing big brand names throughout the day. “Is that Prada?” a classmate will ask, or “Your collection is too Issey Myaki!” my professor will say. But Posen gave young fashion die hearts a very new, humble piece of advice that I have never before heard. “Keep it small. It’s really important to build integrity and keep your hands on every part of it.”

This is advice I will always hold onto throughout my striving career. Posen taught the many fashionistas that the fashion industry is not much bigger than you are–in fact the smaller you make yourself the bigger your success will be.