WESTFIELD GETS HACKED: Decoded Fashion will land at the Westfield London mall in west London next month, to host a fashion hackathon in full view of browsing customers. Called “Future Fashion: 24 Hour Hack,” the event will take place at Westfield Sept. 20 and 21, and will involve 60 tech designers, developers and entrepreneurs competing to create new ways to enhance the consumer experience for Westfield’s fashion and retail brands. The teams will be tasked with developing a new technology that answers one of three questions — how to help shoppers find the perfect item for them; how to use technology so people feel happier when they’re shopping and how to use technology to help consumers make the right beauty choices. The teams will work overnight and will be mentored by representatives from Asos, Twitter, Google and online jewelry retailer MyFlashTrash. They will then present their solutions to a panel of judges who will number Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council and Lee Epting, vice president of the media solution center, Europe at Samsung. Those judged the winning team will travel to San Francisco to present their idea to Kevin McKenzie, global chief officer of Westfield Labs, a division of Westfield Corporation that aims to develop emerging ideas and technologies into business that “move the retail industry forward,” according to Westfield.
Myf Ryan, marketing director, U.K. and Europe at Westfield said that the event will tap into “a growing appetite from consumers for technology that inspires and enhances the shopper journey.” And Liz Bacelar, Decoded Fashion’s founder noted that during the event, “shoppers will have a taste of…the speed [at] which great ideas can come to life.” Decoded Fashion, which aims to connect those in the fashion, retail and beauty worlds with emerging and established tech companies, was acquired by Stylus Media Group earlier this year.
And in addition to giving shoppers a glimpse of the hackathon, Westfield will showcase new wearable, interactive and virtual reality technologies for its customers over that weekend. They will include demonstrations of Google Glass; Fashion 3D, a U.K. technology that allows shoppers to try on a virtual outfit and CuteCircuit, a fashion label that incorporates smart textiles and micro electronics into its work, which will showcase its new collection during the event.