We’re back from our first-ever west coast tour and wow: what an adventure! As you might’ve seen, we’ve already written a recap on our LA event but in this blog post we’d like to give you an overview of our SF event and the general landscape of what we see happening in both coasts. There are a lot of differences. Before we dive in, though, we want to thank everyone who participated in making our west coast tour the success it was. We couldn’t have done it without you!
San Francisco’s event was hosted by Zappos Labs, located in the heart of SOMA. The space played host to 150 of SF’s most stylish tech aficionados, who were eager to watch emerging companies demo and listen to our talented group of panelists. Kicking off the evening was Copious; a social marketplace where you can buy and sell the things you love. Then onto our client Combat Gent, who made the crowd laugh by using a personal story to demo their company. (They’re an online menswear brand whose goal is to make men’s fashion more affordable and accessible). Lastly, Schoolbags for Kids was up – kind of like a Warby Parker for kids – this company will give one schoolbag to a child in need for one sold: “one here, one there” as they like to call it.
We then moved on to our panel of speakers: Enrico Beltramini, founder of Fashion Technology Accelerator and former Gucci board member, Manish Chandra, Founder & CEO of Poshmark App and former CEO of pioneer social shopping site Kaboodle, Tracy Sun, Poshmark’s Co-founder and VP of Marketing, and Ligaya Tichy, Head of Brand and an Advisor at Threadflip. These superstars in the fashion and tech space gave some great insight throughout the evening:
“It’s not about where you’re located as a company, it’s about being there at the right time.”
“Brand IS fashion.”
– Enrico Beltramini
“Redefine what you’re doing on mobile.”
“I’m an accidental tourist in the fashion world.”
– Manish Chandra
“Consumers can really voice their opinions now thanks to technology innovations.”
– Ligaya Tichy
“Poshmark is a ‘pay it forward’ community.”
“Part of what we do is based on gut instinct on what the consumer wants, the other is based on tools.”
– Tracy Sun
We capped off the event with some wine while mingling with fashion tech’s finest.
LA vs SF vs NY
The overall consensus of the SF event is that crowd was very socially active, more so than Los Angeles’ — and maybe even more so than New York’s! It was a Twitter frenzy and folks definitely had their favorite panelists. Some honed in to Enrico’s advice on how to build a brand, while others really connected to Poshmark’s and Threadflip’s advice on community.
All in all, we came up with the following conclusion: Los Angelenos were much more shy when it came to mingling with the panelists; whereas San Franciscans were very socially interactive and committed to the networking portion. When it comes to east vs. west, Lorraine Sanders from Digital Style Digest said it best:
“In the Los Angeles vs. New York vs. San Francisco Bay Area fashion showdown, it seems the consensus stacks up something like this: In New York, you’ve got the benefit of the traditional fashion industry and big name designer brands, but not as much tech talent. In Los Angeles, fashion tech startups have the advantage of easier celebrity connections, but less access to investor dollars and tech talent. In the Bay, there’s investor access and tech talent in spades, but not as much highbrow fashion, and that has led fashion tech players here to build reps as social shopping innovators, rather than fashion with a capital F startups.”
Last, but not least, having just come out of all of the Hurricane Sandy devestation the Third Wave Fashion team decided to put together a raffle for both LA’s and SF’s events to raise money towards the Red Cross. Thank you to everyone who was gracious enough to donate! We will be notifying the winners of the $500 gift cards to Combat Gent and The Style Club tomorrow so follow us on Twitter to get the scoop first.
There was lots of great coverage for the events. Check out what other people had to say:
Thanks for the memories, LA and San Fran. We can’t wait to go back!
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.