Skip to Main Content
Join our Black Innovation Summit
The Review

How technology companies have forever changed the fashion industry


Tag Archives: TechCrunch

How technology companies have forever changed the fashion industry

Their names are Apple, Google and Amazon.

These household names bring in millions of revenue dollars every year and sell a wide-range of products: Everything from high-end plasma TVs to smartwatches. Each company offers up a variety of goods, but they all have one thing in common: They’re hellbent on using technology to disrupt the fashion industry.

In the future, companies that manage to merge the best of fashion and tech stand to reap the biggest rewards in an industry worth trillions.

A recent McKinsey report found the fashion sector was expected to reach a high of $2.4 trillion in 2016. If it was a country, that would place it in the top 10 economies in the world based on its GDP alone. It also found fashion companies that incorporated emerging technology into their work were more likely to beat out their competition and see the biggest gains in the future. “The winners of 2017 will probably be those companies that invest in the right technology to help them understand and serve their consumers and tap into their currently unmet needs.”

The future is now

Popular fashion may have been slow to fully embrace the tech trend, but that’s not the case anymore. Even Hollywood’s glitterati — today’s quote-unquote fashion gatekeepers — are committed to a fashionable tech-infused future with its annual Met Gala.

High-end designers are also taking advantage of wearable technology to boost their brand. Last year designer Rebecca Minkoff took a gamble when she created a line of wifi-connected handbags and introduced smart mirrors into her standalone stores. The idea paid off. Her store saw a 200 per cent increase in sales and her purses sold out.

When asked about the decision to make her namesake label more tech-savvy Minkoff scoffed. A growing appetite for fashionable technology made the idea a no-brainer, she said. The key to success for her team was creating designs that fix problems and are fashionable.

“It starts with authenticity. We discovered the pain point of our consumer and tried to use those to pain points for designing our wearables,” she told Fortune magazine last year. “I think tech for tech’s sake is like ‘oooh, that’s flashy and looks cool’ but I don’t know how it helps me or solves a problem. I think our approach is always about solving a problem.”

What’s next

Still, blending the two worlds isn’t always easy. Smaller labels and fashion stores might not have the money to invest in new, groundbreaking technology. That’s where partnerships can help. They provide a comfortable middle ground for designers.

For example, American designer Misha Nonoo skipped fashion week altogether when she debuted her line with Snapchat. Other ways include using technology to give consumers more shopping choices. Big labels like Burberry are using that idea to switch up their supply chain efficiency to employ a ‘see now, buy now’ strategy. The model lets shoppers watch runway shows and then order those same outfits in real time. No more waiting. No more delays.

Fortune telling and trendsetting has never been a precise art. It’s impossible to ever truly discern how the world will change, but most experts agree that technology will play a major part in the near future. Tomorrow’s fashion leaders will likely be those that embrace today’s new technology.

The best tech conferences left in 2017

Tech conferences are more popular now than ever before. From Toronto’s Elevate to TechCrunch in San Francisco there are a bevy of industry-focused events entrepreneurs and business owners can choose from nowadays.

If you’re interested in diversifying your personal network, learning new skills or trying out the latest gadgets on the market now is the time to do it. Here’s your guide to the top tech conferences in North America

So many tech conferences, so little time:

Elevate Toronto

Sept. 12 – Sept. 14, 2017
Location: Toronto
Ticket price: $647 CAD

This three-day conference in the heart of Toronto is designed with techpreneurs in mind. Founders from Canada’s top companies will be on site doling out advice, guidance and tips to those lucky enough to score a ticket.

Early-stage startups can rub elbows with talend developers looking for work and pitch the city’s lawmakers and top on their home turf. Investors like Michelle Scarborough (from BDC) and Bruce Croxon (from Round 13 Capital) will dole out advice. Those willing to splurge on conferences can take a private tour of Toronto’s most innovative tech companies.

Bonus: This year festival organizers will provide 40 free passes to minority and low-income conference goers. To apply make sure to check out their website starting August 25, 2017.

TechCrunch Disrupt SF

Sept. 18 – Sept. 20, 2017
Location: San Francisco
Ticket price: Starting at $1,995 USD

If you’re a Canadian entrepreneur looking to meet new clients, drum up some media publicity south of the border or just learn new industry tricks from some of the best and brightest influencers then TechCrunch Disrupt is for you.

Entrepreneurs can take part money-making startup competitions, attend conference showcases presented by well-known investors or attend one of the many networking and skill-based sessions. Tickets for this showcase aren’t cheap – early-bird tickets start at $1,900 US, (link) which doesn’t include airfare, accommodation or food – but for companies looking to build traction in the U.S. it can be worth the cost.


Oct. 22 – Oct. 25, 2017
Location: Las Vegas
Ticket price: $2,995 USD (discounts available for eligible startups)

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the fast-paced world of fintech then Money2020 — billed as “the world’s largest payments and financial services innovation event” – is the place to go. Last year’s event included attendees from over 85 countries and this year features hour-long sessions on everything from data privacy to new-age mobile banking in developing countries and blockchain technology.

A range of skill-testing startup competitions and hackathons are also on offer for developers hoping to showcase their skills or find new employment opportunities. Regular tickets retail for $2,995 but discounts of up to 50 per cent are available for select retailers and startups (link).


Oct. 27, 2017
Location: Toronto
Ticket price: $500 – $1,000 CAD

A good conference is about more than just networking and tech demonstrations. A great event will push participants to be better and inspires attendees to try new things.

While TEDxToronto isn’t exclusively focused on technology its seminars, presented by local influencers, tackle subjects and ideas that impact every facet of life and often touch on technology in some form. These profoundly inspiring talks deal with everything from company leadership and career motivation.

This year’s speakers include Paul Rowan (co-founder of home design store Umbra), Gimmy Chu (co-founder of green technology startup Nano Leaf) and Peter Sloly (partner at Deloitte Canada). Torontonians who can’t afford the $1,000 price tag can also watch highlights online in the weeks following the event.

Mesh Marketing

Nov. 6, 2017
Location: Toronto
Ticket price: $299 CAD

If you’re a professional who deals with both marketing and technology, then Mesh Marketing might be the most useful for your long-term goals.

This international event deep dives into operational issues and discusses strategy-focused topics to help attendees better understand marketing technologies. Attendees also take part in the invite-only networking events that take place after the conferences and get a front-row seat to other related marketing events the company throws throughout the year.