Rag & Bone founder Marcus Wainwright sat down with SpecialGuest.co co-founder Aaron Duffy and SAP’s Chief Marketing Officer Alicia Tillman to discuss the future of fashion in an age of evolving technological advancements on this past Wednesday at NYFW.
The panel, moderated by Editor-in-Chief of Bustle Media Group, Emma Rosenblum, talked about the integration of technology in fashion and changing the experience from both the production and audience perspective.
According to Wainwright, people are living their lives through their phone so technology helps make the analog side of fashion a lot more accessible.
“The technology and the ability to work with technology to expand the view of how people see the clothes is very inspiring to me at the same time,” said Wainwright. “I really want to thank companies like SAP for supporting the fashion industry, where it’s not an obvious connection. I think in some ways fashion came very late to the game in terms of how it engages with technology.”
The overall realization was that fashion is not just about the experience of making and showing the clothes. By integrating technology, which has become such a staple in modern human life, Wainwright, Duffy, and Tillman hope to elevate spectators’ relationship with fashion on the runway.
As a result, while watching the shows, spectators can have a more interactive and fun experience and can even purchase items by scanning the models as they make their way down the stage.
Alicia Tillman touched upon the shopping experience by enabling consumers to pair different outfits together, prior to purchase. Additionally, Tillman disclosed surveys that can better match styles and recommended pieces to customers directly and more personally.
The second part of the panel featured just Tillman and Diane Quinn, Chief Creative Director for Cirque Du Soleil. The two collaborated on an application to amend the gap between the designers and the consumers, resulting in a more intimate and transparent experience.
Tillman explains, “We designed an application together with Cirque to bring the participant closer to the experience. One of the things that we have found, and we talked about with Cirque, you know, is what is it about the show that keeps people coming back and what are they asking for more of. And you can describe a Cirque show, but it’s very difficult unless you have the opportunity to see it. One of the things we have learned is, is the consumer is craving more. They want to understand it. They’re trying to demystify it. They want to talk about it.”
In order to do so, the app customizes suggestions for users based on their survey inputs, and delivers custom-designed beverages and fragrances to the spectator. Additionally, the app enables audience members to provide real-time feedback and moderates reactions as the show continues.