Having already established itself as a springtime hotbed of music, film and tech, South by Southwest has expanded its offerings deep into the intersection of fashion and tech. Friday through Tuesday are pretty much jam-packed with recognizable names from the industry like Eva Chen, Karlie Kloss and Michelle Phan — and, yeah, a few Fashionista editors — who will discuss everything from advanced fabric design to the changing face of clothing stores.
For those heading down to Austin, we've picked out the 11 most promising SXstyle panels to help you sort through the packed schedule.
1. What Fashion Can Learn from Female-Led Companies
Hayley Barna (co-founder and CEO, Birchbox), Leslie Price (editor-in-chief, Vox Media), Tina Craig (founder and CEO, Snob Global Media), Yael Aflalo (founder and CEO, Reformation)
There's a thicker glass ceiling in fashion than you'd think. These female CEOs and leaders will discuss what other companies can learn from their successes and ways to better cater to their female consumers.
2. How Technology Colonized Fashion Week
Karlie Kloss (model), Sara Wilson (head of strategic partnerships for fashion and lifestyle, Instagram)
From an influx of backstage and front row Instagrams to live streamed runway shows, fashion week is no longer just for industry insiders. Kloss and Wilson discuss how this shift came about, and what effect it's had on the industry.
3. Dazed x Diesel: Insta-Identities and Crowdsourcing
Nicola Formichetti (artistic director, Diesel), Zing Tsjeng (news editor, Dazed Digital)
Tsjeng will interview artistic director, stylist and personality Nicola Formichetti about his obsession with social and how it's helped his business.
4. Beyond Wearables: Future Fabrics and Fashion Design
Abe Burmeister (founder, Outlier Incorporated), Billie Whitehouse (designer and director, Wearable Experiments), Colin Nagy (executive director of media and distribution, The Barbarian Group), Rebecca Pailes-Friedman (professor of industrial and fashion design, Pratt)
Sure, wearable tech has gotten a lot of press in the last year. But what about high-tech fabric design? This panel covers fabrics that self-clean, textiles that give sensory feedback and beyond.
5. When Fashion Gets Personal
Joe Zee (editor-in-chief, Yahoo Style), Áslaug Magnúsdottír (co-founder and CEO, Tinker Tailor), Jesse Finkelstein (co-founder, Print All Over Me), Scott Jones (VP of personalization, Nordstrom)
Zee will lead the panelists in a discussion about customizable fashion and its effects on the design process.
6. Exploring the Rise of Mobile Shopping
Gillian Gorman Round (president, The Lucky Group), Gabrielle de Papp (SVP of business and brand development, Farfetch), Ara Katz (CMO, Spring)
As retailers see more and more of their website visits coming from mobile devices, it's become clear that they need to figure out how to create powerful and shopping-friendly smartphone experiences. Here's your State of the Union on the space.
7. Retail Tech: What Does the Future Have In-Store?
David Newman (director of technology innovation, Target), Healey Cypher (head of retail innovation, eBay), Marc Rosen (EVP and president of global e-commerce, Levi Strauss)
With brands like Kate Spade Saturday and Rebecca Minkoff pioneering digital storefronts and fitting rooms, technology is changing the way we experience retail, not just online, but in the real world as well. Here's what's really working when it comes to tech-enabled stores.
8. How To Keep Your Social Media Game Sincere
Eva Chen (editor-in-chief, Lucky), Michelle Phan (YouTube personality)
Both Chen and Phan have done a bang-up job of cultivating dedicated digital followings. But how do individuals and brands maintain authenticity while expanding their reach?
9. The Changing Face of Influence
Bethany Mota (YouTube personality), Baron Concors (chief digital officer, Pizza Hut), Moj Mahdara (CEO, Made With Elastic)
Headlined by YouTube influencer Bethany Mota, this panel takes a look at the ways in which social media stars and their fan followings have gained unprecedented power in our consumer culture.
10. Is There Still Room for Fashion Blogging?
Caroline Waxler (founder, Harkness Hall)
Years after bloggers first started appearing in the front rows at fashion week, here's a look at what it's going to take for those writers to maintain their relevance moving forward.
11. Exploring the Future of Sustainable Fashion
Karla Gallardo (CEO and co-founder, Cuyana), Kristy Caylor (president and creative director, Maiyet), Rati Sahi Levesque (chief merchant, The RealReal), Lauren Sherman (editor-at-large, Fashionista)
In case you missed it, our planet is not doing so hot right now — or, rather, it's too hot. Will the trend toward eco-conscious brands become the industry norm?