Wrap-up thoughts from SXSW Interactive 2012

Wrap-up thoughts from SXSW Interactive 2012

It’s unbelievable to me how much the landscape of SXSWi has changed in the past few years. At my first ‘South by’ (six years ago if my memory serves me, but it often doesn’t after this party-centric event,) I managed to find exactly zero sessions that addressed fashion or social commerce in any way.

My second year, there was one panel that focused on the convergence of fashion and tech – and I am not too proud to say that I left the session early due to frustration when the panelists went on and on about how “cutting edge” it was that Vera Wang designed the outside wrapper of an HP laptop.

This year, everything was different.

There were multiple fashion tech panels. Elizabeth Canon from Fashion’s Collective wrote a wrap-up here of her panel entitled ‘Fashion & The New Tastegraph’ featuring Hilary Peterson from Lyst, Cannon Hodge from Bergdorfs, Dave Surgan from Morpheus Media and Rachel Tipograph from Gap.

I missed what looked to be an amazing discussion around Caroline Waxler’s talk about social shopping — she’s Director of Digital Content for Lucky Magazine and producer of their FABB Conference for fashion & beauty bloggers. (Although thanks to the voracious Twitter posts from Macala Wright at Fashionably Marketing Me, I followed along from the airport.) There were also panels about ‘Redefining Content and Commerce‘, ‘Style and Social Media‘ and a lot more.

Peripherally to the official conference, startup Buyosphere put on an amazing event called Beauty Bar X where ladies were invited for complimentary food, manicures, and tech panels.

The picture above (from an article about Beauty Bar in the Vancouver Observer) shows Buyosphere founder Tara Hunt moderating “The Business of Fashion Lunch Panel: The Unlikely, but Lovely Marriage of Fashion + Technology.” That’s Tara standing, me with the mic, then our client Gina Mancuso from Love That Fit, Caroline Waxler from Lucky, Mary Gail Pezzimenti from Daily Buzz Style, and Melissa Gonzalez from Lion’esque Style.

Fashion engine Fidoo hosted a Fashion + Technology brunch featuring panelists from Fashion’s Collective, Lyst, Refinery 29, Beachmint, PoshMark and more. Fidoo also launched launched their fantastic mini magazine,”Fashion & Tech” at this brunch. (Two of us here at Third Wave Fashion were contributing writers.)

I often tell a story about how when I was in elementary school, the status symbols that I coveted were clothes: Pepe jeans, an ESPRIT bag. My daughter and her friends care very little about the brands of their clothes, but every single one of them has, knows, or talks about iPads, iPhones, and Nintendo DS’s.

As I made my way through the snaking security line of people waiting to leave Austin’s airport this year, I spotted a PS1 on the girl behind me, and two identical pairs of Alexander Wang booties in the crowd.

Fashion is still cool — it’s just been made cooler by the way it’s embracing technology. See you next year in Austin.

Gina from Love That Fit and I, signing off. 

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Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave.  Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.

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