Happy Thanksgiving, fashion Makers, movers, and shakers! This month we’re thankful for you, and for the amazing experience we had earlier this month at the 2017 WebSummit, in Lisbon, Portugal.
November 7-10, we set up camp across the Atlantic to compete in the 2017 WebSummit PITCH contest for an award of $50,000 in funding. While we didn’t go all the way (we placed fourth out of 200 competing companies), we did make the most of our experience rubbing elbows with hundreds of industrious and creative fashion, retail, and tech leaders, and came back with some killer knowledge nuggets for you and your private label.
Without further ado, we present to you the top 3 lessons we learned at the 2017 WebSummit.
Lesson 1: Technology is transforming the fashion industry, and we are HERE for it. WebSummit presenters discussed the potential impact of hot tech advancements like 3D printing, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) to packed, stadium-sized rooms of supermodels, Silicon Valley VIPs, and startup C-suites. The takeaways –
3D printing has innumerable applications, and so far, mechanized part and biotech manufacturers have succeeded in mining its best value. However, when it comes to garment production, 3D printing will not equal the success of traditional manufacturing techniques, at least for the foreseeable future.
3D printer manufactured products don’t come close to producing the same nuanced texture and movement quality available from traditional fabrics.
As for VR and AR, Dazed Media co-founder and CEO, Jefferson Hack, championed Google Glasses and Photogrammetry as the most cost-effective ways to create a VR experience right now. Looking ahead to the hyper-high tech age of fashion manufacturing, we may someday find these tools in the hands of factories and artisans who will then be able to give Makers the most up close and personal view of production possible.
Lesson 2: Transparency is the next big fashion trend. Millennials care about their how their products get produced. Generation Z expects full product information at their fingertips. These buyers want to know why they’re paying what they’re paying for what they’re buying. In sum – is the purchase worth the price?
Celebrating a garment manufacturer’s quality and story within the narrative of a private label brand story will allow Makers to deliver on this trend where mass produced labels might struggle. It’s hard for products stamped out en mass, from cheap materials, to compete with Made in Italy garments and accessories assembled by the careful craftsmanship of lifelong Italian artisans.
Lesson 3: Today’s customers prefer substance over superficiality. They care less about an expensive label than they do about a garment’s story. The fashionistas of the modern generation want their money to support a business that aligns with their values and delivers products of quality. This is good news for small, private labels, particularly those with online presences. As Hack presented, only 6% of luxury brands are currently online, despite 33% of luxury brand buyers preferring the online shopping experience to brick and mortar. Promote your label online, and you could fill the gap that luxury brands leave open for shoppers looking for high-end garments and accessories of quality.
Learn more about how to connect with a high-quality, vetted Italian factory partner who can help you bring your private label to life today. It’s never too late to start, so start now.