HARVEY’S CROWD: Tech, retail, fashion design and digital leaders will converge at the first Fashion Tech Forum, organized by Karen Harvey, founder and chief executive officer of Karen Harvey Consulting Group.

Gap Inc. has signed on as a partner for the inaugural one-day conference, to be held at New York’s Pier 59 Studios on June 25.

This story first appeared in the April 23, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“There’s a need for some real conversation about shared practices and how you develop and retain talent for the new era,” said Harvey. “As technology becomes more and more central to successful retailing, and as the tech community becomes more interested in fashion and retail, there is an opportunity for these two business models to collaborate more effectively going forward. We will hear from both established and emerging creative and business leaders on how they think about their brands, their company’s ability to attract world class talent and how their talent needs are changing in this dynamic period.”

The speaker lineup for Fashion Tech Forum includes Gap creative director Rebekka Bay; Gap chief marketing officer Seth Farbman; One Kings Lane founder Susan Feldman, and Michael Preysman, founder of Everlane. The conference will open with instruction from a Zen teacher on mindfulness meditation and how to disconnect from technology to better connect with people. Also on the program, a contest to discover the next fashion tech brand or concept. The winner of the Karen Harvey Founders of the Future Award, to be presented by Elle, will receive $50,000 and six weeks of mentoring by judges for the contest. In addition, Gap is gathering graduate students from design and business schools, along with other notable Millennials, for a dialogue on creating aspirational work environments and cultures in companies of scale, based on the tenets of entrepreneurship and creativity.

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