While fancier editors were perusing the fall collections of New York's most iconic designers like Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, I went to a nearly empty Lincoln Center (which was so peaceful, by the way) to attend Decoded Fashion's first official New York Fashion Week event, including the finale of the first ever fashion hackathon, where three finalists presented their ideas to the CFDA and a winner (whose idea we think is awesome--more on that later) was named.
Before that, there were brief panels and Q and A sessions with fashion industry guest speakers, during which we learned a few interesting things. Some highlights:
• Zac Posen is obsessed with Instagram and has a variety of followers, including a "food following" and "model following."
• Fab.com has 11 million members in 26 countries.
• "Go to China and do pornography," said Glamour EIC Cindi Leive, referring to what brands should do to attract attention. This was after Coco Rocha talked about her huge following on Weibo in China and Nicola Formichetti's social media partner Kevin Collenda said Mugler's porno video got 45 million hits on XTube. Yes, XTube.
There's no real possible connection to make between XTube and Swatchit, the startup which judges Steven Kolb, Zac Posen, Uri Minkoff, Susan Lyne, and Dirk Standen collectively deemed winner of Decoded Fashion's Fashion Hackathon.
Swatchit, founded by Ramzi Abdoch, Jagjeet Gill, Jackson Lin, Henrika Makilya and Paul Yun (pictured), is a b2b platform that connects global designers with emerging market artisans and overseas producers.
Designers can upload swatches they would like to have sampled and submit specs, and time frames for completion, and they have a database of artisans in India and other emerging markets to connect with. There's even a non-disclosure agreement built in to protect intellectual property. Artisans can review swatches, respond, upload their own images, and share their own designs. Benefits include a huge impact socially and economically, new sources of supply, and lower cost for designers.