Not all innovation is created equal, hence the need for the Fashion Innovation Award, a prize acknowledging the ideas that have the potential to positively impact brands, customers and retail sales - promoted and managed by Loomish SA. The first thing the extensive jury boards are asking themselves is: what does innovation really mean for the fashion and retail industry?
The world of fashion has been riding, somewhat by accident, the digital revolution over the last few years, experiencing a tide of new consumer expectations, trying to incorporate new technologies and a whole new paradigm of retail. And to some extent they are succeeding, yet the pace of this digital revolution has meant that brands are struggling to keep up. And this is life and death for the leading retail and fashion companies. They need to either seize control of their digital destiny or risk fading into irrelevance. The way forward is Innovation, but not all innovation is created equal, hence the need for the Fashion Innovation Award.
Nowadays we all look to technology when we feel the need for change. Apps, websites and digital technologies tend in most cases to be considered the ultimate solution. Whether or not this is true, what is indisputable is that no technology can radically transform the world of fashion if it doesn’t meet the requirements of the world, societies and consumers.
Not only that, but to capture the full benefits of the digital revolution, copying what other brands in Vogue are doing or co-opting the latest technological solution are not enough. A philosophy is required which encompasses the needs of today’s brands and pairs these with the opportunities offered by current and emerging solutions.
As much as anything, the Fashion Innovation Award hopes to generate and contribute to the discussion and “philosophical exploration” of industry leaders, allowing not only the best technologies to emerge, but to augment and support an ecosystem which allows them to thrive.
Will the fashion and retail e-shops of the future allow shoppers to select products by the country of manufacture or the social responsibility of the brand? Will the day come when clothing will be given the creative names currently enjoyed by teas such as “infusion of harmony” or “elixir of wellness”? Will Functional Wear meet needs we haven’t even dreamed up yet?
Jörg Hensen from Loomish SA is passionate about the start-ups and young companies that have applied for the Fashion Innovation Award with solutions to the ongoing problem of returns, not only at a technical level, but also in terms of strategy and overall philosophy. He says: «User experience, economics and digital innovation need to fuse together to create one ethical, productive and valuable message. This is what makes a solid and innovative brand».
Florence Labati, Partner at Loomish SA and one of the judges of the event, adds: «The Fashion Innovation Award has all the credentials to be able to transform the world of fashion. We are incredibly curious about how digital innovation can change the way we think. Fashion needs new technologies that recognize and meet requirements».