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Second Freestyle Fashion Conference

Was held at LIM college on Saturday 3/29/14 part of Start Up Weekend, about all things fashion and technology from growing fabric from bacteria to funding for your fashion company.

KHyal's coat with zipties
Alina Braverman

Even in the downpour that was this past weekend, fashionistas showed up in heels for this conference. A wide range of topics was discussed from Experiential Event Planning to Top 10 Mobile Trends in 3 classrooms. Breakfast, lunch and dinner where also served along with drinks at the end. The event was intimate but well run with extremely helpful staff. I was very impressed with two sessions, the first was Future of Commerce with Liza Kindred of Third Wave Fashion, the second Future of Wearables.

Liza started off the session by reading an exhausting list of life in a fully integrated technological world where you text to buy everything that is then delivered, to having your biorhythms measured to alert you of your health, one in which technology seemed to replace most human interactions through your phone. Not sure I completely buy into that future but she did talk about fashion at the intersection of technology. For example 4 out of 10 people who research products online buy that product within a week which totals 1.5 trillion dollars in eCommerce sales a year. Her best advice to fashion start ups was to design a valuable product and then think about profit, for example the most money raised, 1 million, on Kickstarter was a plain blue hoodie whos' repair was guaranteed for 10 years. As I sit and type this in my High School sweatshirt that's falling apart at the seems, I understand the value of your favorite, comfortable, dependable and feel good clothing item. That is definitely something I can buy into!

The Future of Wearables was a panel discussing how far wearables have come from clunky wired vests to fabric's made from bacteria. Panel host was Dr. Amanda J. Parkes Founder of Skinteractive Studio, Chief of Technology and Research Manufacture NY, Christina Mercando - Founder & CEO Ringly, Corrie van Sice - Biomaterials expert former Head of Materials Research, Makerbot, Dr. Dan Steingart - Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, expert in flexible, printable, and stretchable battery technologies. The panel stressed how important it is for the future of wearbles to become a reality, technologists must work with fashion designers to come up with natural wearables that are functional and look good. As Dr.Amanda Parks pointed out we are only as mobile as our nearest outlet. The discussion continued with new innovation in battery power and printable 3D fabrics that mimic skin. I'm not sure that'd I'd want to wear fabric from bacteria especially since it dissolves in water, which would case numerous wardrobe malfunctions to be sure. However I'd love a watch that reads my biorhythms especially when I am running and reminds me to drink and eat. I look forward to these products and many more that incorporate fashion and technology in a natural way.

The future's so bright I gotta wear shades or Google Glass or Occulus or Icis...