The RealReal, Rebecca Minkoff, Tory Burch and Snapchat were among the winners at Thursday’s first Fashion Futures Awards, created by W Magazine and Decoded Fashion to recognize innovators in fashion and retail.
The awards were also an effort to encourage more collaboration among what has traditionally been somewhat unlikely bedfellows: fashion and technology.
“Each of our winners is leading the digital revolution in their own disruptive way,” said Liz Bacelar, founder of Decoded Fashion, an event series created to connect emerging technologies and decision-makers in the field.
Minkoff, a finalist in two categories who partnered this month with AOL on a live, shoppable runway show, won for the best omnichannel experience. Luxury consignment service The RealReal was named the start-up set to disrupt fashion in 2015; it recently attracted $40 million in funding and partnered with Neiman Marcus to offer a consignor gift-card program.
“Fashion and technology are both about the future — forecasting and influencing it as it relates to retail, designing and driving it forward when it comes to tech,” said W Magazine editor in chief Stefano Tonchi. “As a judge, it was refreshing to see so many inventive ideas and such an appetite for experimentation. The winners are great examples of innovative thinking at the intersection of fashion, retail and technology.”
Designer Misha Nonoo, who showed her latest collection via Instagram, won for the most engaging campaign launched at fashion week, and digital marketing company Plus-rehabstudio, which has worked with Topman to create a personal shopping experience over Google-plus Hangouts, was named the most promising new digital fashion project.
Other winners included mobile fashion game Covet Fashion (for most innovative way of enhancing the consumer experience); clothing brand and stylist service MM. Lafleur (best new e-commerce launch); Combatant Gentleman (best use of data and analytics for fashion and retail); online shop-making platform TicTail, which just created an in-app customer-service messaging service (for most innovate use of mobile), and Nineteenth Amendment and Macy’s Inc., which partnered on a project to offer the work of emerging designers (for best brand and start-up collaboration).
“It is an extraordinary time in our industry as the worlds of fashion and technology intersect,” said Tory Burch, who, along with Snapchat, was named a “visionary” by W magazine. “The changing landscape brings incredible opportunities for innovation and it is exciting to think about all that lies ahead.”
The winners were revealed at New York’s Bowery Hotel after Decoded Fashion’s New York Summit. The 13 judges included Google’s Lisa Green, Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medine and Bergdorf Goodman’s president Joshua Schulman, in addition to Tonchi, among others.