AUSTIN, United States — “Every year we will continue to see more and more industries succumb to the transformational power of the internet,” wrote entrepreneur and investor Chris Dixon on his personal blog. “Already transformed: music, news, advertising, telecom,” he continued. “Being transformed: finance, commerce, TV and movies, real estate, politics and government. Soon to be transformed: healthcare, education and energy.” As the power of software and the internet disrupts and reshapes more and more established industry structures, we would add the fashion business to that list.
In this context of technology-driven transformation, today BoF is excited to touch down in Austin, Texas, for the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference, one of the world’s premier digital events and a veritable breeding ground for creative technologies and new ideas. The 5-day conference features a tremendous breath of talks on topics ranging from the business implications of big data to the melding of man and machine, often serves as a springboard for new product launches, and is attended by a diverse array of dynamic, creative and curious people, representing technology giants, young start-ups, media companies, advertising agencies — and increasingly, leading companies in the fashion and beauty sector, including Burberry, MAC Cosmetics, KCD, Karla Otto, Victoria’s Secret, WGSN and others.
Indeed, this year, for the first time, there are a fair number of fashion-focused talks on the schedule, including The Fashion Fog: Redefining Content & Commerce, Fashion and the New Taste Graph and, of course, Who Needs a Fashion Cycle? I’ve Got Social Media, a panel featuring BoF’s own Imran Amed.
But fashion industry attendees perhaps stand to learn the most from innovators and entrepreneurs outside the sector and the casual and friendly atmosphere of SxSW provides the perfect setting for serendipitous collisions and exchanges with inspiring people in other industries.
In terms of official events, a few of the broader talks we’re most looking forward to are The Curators and the Curated, an interview with Barry Diller on the state of the content industry, The Future of The New York Times with executive editor Jill Abramson, Seth Priebatsch’s The Payment Revolution is Coming: Welcome to Interchange Zero and Expanding Our Intelligence Without Limit, a keynote by inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil.
But much of action, of course, happens away from the Austin Convention Center and surrounding hotels, where the official programme unfolds. Indeed, it’s often over brunch, coffee or drinks at one of SXSW’s many parties that creative sparks fly.
On that note, if you are working on something exciting at the intersection of fashion and technology — whether at a fledgling start-up or a global brand — and heading to SXSW, we’d love to connect. Please contact us here. info[at]businessoffashion.com
See you in Austin!