February 26, 2015

The Intimate Connection Between Fashion and Technology

On Thursday, February 12, MBF stopped by NYFW at the BF+DA for the Closing Reception and Panel Discussion entitled, “Intimacy and Technology. ” The Closing Reception was located at the old Pfizer building that now is home to BF+DA, the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator, which provides the space and resources emerging designers need to start an ethically run business.  Some of these up-and-coming ethical designers were exhibited along side more known brands such as Wearable Experiments and Forster Rohner.

Photo via bkaccelerator.com

After viewing the exhibitors, guests sat down in the back room of the building for the panel discussion. Moderator, Leah Hunter of Fast Company and panelists Bre Pettis of Makerbot, Billie Whitehouse of Wearable Experiments, Evan Lazarus of SAFE Family Wearables, and Paul Amitai of Eyebeam sat casually facing guests giving us an ambience of a casual conversation in our parent’s (very stylish) living room.  Leah Hunter, however, stole the show with her gorgeous trained red gown that she surprising bought on Ebay - which we later found out.

The panel gave us an insider’s look into how technology is reshaping our relationship with the Internet, data, brands, and personal privacy. The panel described advances in technology with examples that included everything from child monitors to implants used for contraception. SAFE Family Wearables was one of the brands that stood out to us.  This wearable allows parents to not be "helicopter moms" but instead monitor their children via a mobile app. Kids wear a wristband and parents can locate their child through GPS, monitor their heart rate, and even know if the child has somehow removed the wristband. Pretty cool, huh?

At the end of the panel discussion, we were able to have a quick chat with moderator, Leah Hunter who is currently writing about human interest as it relates to technology for Fast Company, which caught our attention. 

Photo via MBF Trend Consulting

MF: “What made you decide to make human interest a focus in your writing?”

LH: “So, I spent 15 years running innovation and design consultancies. The last one I was at, the CEO got kind of bored and started publishing a magazine. I at the same time got intensely interested in the fact that I was living in the Bay Area, bumped up against Silicon Valley where hardware and technology were merging, and I knew nothing about them. I knew more about what was going on in London and Stockholm than I did in San Francisco and it was awful. And I realized that I want to change my life. So, I started informally going to all the technology events in the area. I became kind of a fixture at those events and I started writing more and more.  I was still doing the strategic projects for all of the big technology companies including Apple in San Francisco and Fast Company showed up there. I came to their conference, one of their Innovation by Design Conferences in New York, and I ended up going on a tour I wasn’t supposed to be on, met someone I wasn’t supposed to meet (except that I really was) and that was Noah Robischon, who is a gem of a human being, he’s the editor of fast company. I was an ethnographer for years – I learned to take a real time transcript on my phone – which is kind of an unusual skill. I can maintain eye contact with you and I can write a transcript of what you are saying.  And I offered Noah my transcript, and he said “Can you write?” and I said, “Yes!” So, I started writing. And I wrote specifically about technology because that was the need that he had at the time and that’s where my interest lied. So, I’ve been writing about emerging tech, the Internet of things mostly, but always with an eye toward the good it’s doing toward human beings because I was a design researcher and I do love technology."

We are excited to see what we will see in the future for fashion, technology and human interest - Follow us for more advances in this field!

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