Why You Should Quit Calling It “Fashion 2.0”

Why You Should Quit Calling It “Fashion 2.0”

When Darcy DiNucci coined the phrase Web 2.0 back in 1999, it was a wonderfully self-referential and descriptive way to talk about where the web was going next. It spoke of the interactive web, the social web, the web beyond static HTML pages. Well, we’ve moved beyond all of that… way beyond.

The phrase Web 2.0 was coined nearly a decade and a half ago. It doesn’t make sense anymore.

2.0 has become shorthand for anything new or next, but that’s not the way the nomenclature works. Based on iterations of software, after 2.0 might come 2.1, or maybe 2.01, or even 3.0. Iterations of software aren’t intended to be stagnant; they move forward. The new and next can’t stay 2.0 forever. The inventor of the internet, Tim Berners Lee, calls the phrase Web 2.0 “jargon”.

The phrase Fashion 2.0 in particular, seems silly to me. While I firmly believe that there are lots of fantastic things happening in fashion technology right now that will drive a lot of things forward, fashion didn’t significantly help build web 2.0, and it’s not  the primary force driving the next web either. Fashion 2.0 is a reductive and outré turn of phrase. Calling our company Third Wave Fashion was, in part, a response to the idea that fashion’s use of technology is still stuck in Web 2.0. (It’s not.)

Web 3.0, unlike 2.0,  has not had wide agreement on what the phrase might stand for. Some suggest that this is the semantic web, others that it is the personalized web. Others say that it is Web 2.0 with a business model, or even the “metaverse” (where physical and digital objects coexist).

If you want to talk about what’s new or next, try talking about what you see. Explore responsive web design, the internet of things, and the semantic web. Learn what HTML5 does and why smart companies are no longer building phone apps.

If you believe that fashion and technology have a rich and healthy future together, like I do, then please join me in talking about the future of our world in the language of innovators – not that of the last decade.

Want to hear more about the future of technology? Join me on April 9th for a keynote about the State of Fashion Technology.


Liza Kindred is Founder of TWF. 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.

Image via TWF.