Zac Posen Adobe MAX

Technologists might just be the next generation’s artisans, according to designer Zac Posen, who brought some fashion flair to Adobe’s annual MAX conference in San Diego.

It was the first time a fashion designer has spoken in the event’s 13-year history, and it was the first time the designer had spoken to a crowd of 11,000. The three-day event ends today.

For Posen, the connection between Adobe and his role as a fashion designer is a natural one that began when he drew his first line on Illustrator. Today, the former math geek embraces both traditional artisans in his New York atelier and the power of technology to improve the business of designing and manufacturing, and to extend the aesthetic possibilities.

That was on display at the Adobe event, when a model came on stage in an organza gown woven with fiber optics. The dress was first revealed in May when Claire Danes wore it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala.

This isn’t the first time the “Project Runway” judge has created a dress that breaks the traditional mold. Posen has also worked with Google’s Girls Who Code on a dress worn by Coco Rocha in September 2015.

“I hope that this influences more people in the fashion space to start interacting and playing with technology,” he said. “As the world is evolving into tech, you can’t fight it. You have to embrace it use it. It has to be symbiotic.”

He said fashion and tech would grow even closer as virtual reality and artificial intelligence evolve — although the future is certainly not clear.

“A lot of the time we are drawn to something that replicates something that we can’t place,” he said. “I think it will go to something experiential and emotional and beyond what we can identify [that] is happening in reality. It’s really abstract and exciting and scary.”

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