A market map of the fashion tech landscape — technologies, startups and VCs/Accelerators
In less than two weeks, I graduate with my MBA from The Wharton School. Pre-covid-19, I was supposed to be spending the summer investigating sustainability and reverse logistics in luxury fashion, at SDA Bocconi in Milan. It would have been an awesome opportunity to really delve into fashion tech proper. Since that is no longer possible, I am using this time to craft a self-led independent study on the fashion tech industry.
Over the last several weeks, I have had conversations with executives at fashion tech startups, accelerators and venture capital firms. Thanks to Vogue and the Business of Fashion, I’ve also been able to learn from industry titans about the impact covid-19 is having on the fashion industry at large.
Through these conversations and after extensive research, I created a roadmap or cheat sheet for the fashion tech industry, to serve as a starting point for deeper analysis. What I understand fashion tech to be is — the integration of innovative technologies into the traditional fashion business model in a way that elevates the customer experience, addresses critical pain points and reimagines the future of fashion.
Some of the technologies making a big impact on fashion right now include AR and VR, 3D design, big data and analytics, AI, machine learning, blockchain, advanced materials. The industry also includes companies that are rethinking the global supply chain, using technology to create zero inventory and on-demand manufacturing solutions.
The fashion tech industry is very broad but very exciting. And now is a particularly interesting time for the industry as survivors of this global pandemic have had to and will need to creatively adapt to a different consumer behavior. Will consumers want to try clothes on in stores anymore? Will they care more deeply about the planet and favor more sustainable materials? Will already digitally savvy shoppers want to be engaged in fashion in new and exciting ways?
I’m excited to continue exploring this space and sharing my findings here. I hope this cheat sheet is a good place to start. I’d love to continue to have conversations on this topic so leave me a comment or write me at email@example.com.