10 Must-See Style Forums at SXSW 2015

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sxsw_interactive_logoFashion plays a key role in the conversations that take place as part of the annual South-by-Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival gearing up in Austin, Texas March 13-17. Here are 10 discussions from the official SXSW Interactive 2015 schedule that Modern Fellows is looking forward to, in chronological order.

In addition, our friends at Decoded Fashion are hosting a series of events with everyone from Asos to Topman to Google, including a session with Combat Gent with massages, menswear and mystery.

1. The Emperor’s New Wearables

Friday, March 13
12:30PM – 1:30PM

Hear what Fossil, Intel and Jawbone have to say about “how the fashion industry will make wearable electronics feel invisible.”

2. Global Rise of Fashion Technology

Friday, March 13
5:00PM – 6:00PM

Discussing the rise of global fashion technology with a focus on the UK and China, with wearable tech startup Kovert Designs, 2210 Fashion, and Forward3D

3. What Fashion Can Learn from Female-Led Companies

Saturday, March 14
9:30AM – 10:30AM

Hear from Hayley Barna, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Birchbox; Leslie Price of Vox Media Inc; Tina Craig, Founder & CEO, Snob Globa Media; and Yael Aflalo, Founder & CEO, Reformation, impressive leaders who are shattering the “surprisingly thick glass ceiling in fashion.”

4. Building A Lean Mean Fashion Business Machine

Saturday, March 14
11:00AM – 12:00PM

Our friends at Decoded Fashion present a discussion about integrating technology into fashion businesses, with ASOS, British School of Fashion GCU London/NYC, Topshop, and the head of Head of Industry, Fashion & Luxury for Google.

5. Mobile: The Glue Between Online and Physical Retail

Saturday, March 14
12:30PM – 1:30PM

Buzzword alert: the description for this panel includes “millennials,” “influencer,” “real-time activations,” “hyper-targeting.” and “digital ROI.” Hopefully the intriguing panel — the CEO & Co-Founder of Spring; Carla Dunham of Kate Spade Saturday; Michelle DeVore of Neiman Marcus; and  Tricia Nichols, who heads Global Lead Consumer Engagement & Partnerships at Gap Inc — will be more accessible as they explore the challenges of responding to a new generation of connected shoppers.

6. The Eco-Friendliness of Solving Size and Fit

Sunday, March 15
11:00AM – 12:00PM

How can companies combat increasing return rates spurred by customer-friendly policies? Rasmus Thofte, Head of Sales at Virtusize (and formerly of Happy Socks), and Klas Hjort, a PhD & Researcher at the University of Lund, will discuss the “return policy war” and highlight financial and environmental impacts of getting fit and preferences right.

7. The Next Wave: Mass Customization in Fashion

Sunday, March 15
11:00AM – 12:00PM

Customization is a running theme at SXSW this year.  Hear from impressive Bow & Drape CEO Aubrie Pagano — whom I had the pleasure of meeting at a Downtown Project fashion dinner in 2013 — along with (the presumably also impressive) Shoes of Prey Co-Founder Jodie Fox, who “will discuss the benefits and challenges of mass customization in the e-commerce industry and how brands can use customization as an advantage.”

8. When Fashion Gets Personal

Sunday, March 15
12:30PM – 1:30PM

Continuing the customization theme, Editor in Chief and Creative Officer of Yahoo Style Joe Zee will moderate a discussion with founders Jesse Finkelstein of Print All Over Me and Aslaug Magnusdottir of Tinker Tailor along with Scott Jones, VP Personalization at Nordstrom, to examine online custom fashion and its impact on design and retail.

9. Bloggers and Beyond: Brand Partnership & Influencers

Monday, March 16
9:30AM – 10:30AM

Bethany Joy Clark, who serves as Director of Global Customer Engagement & Community at TOMS, and Indiana Adams, Founder of the Texas Style Council, will discuss how brands can partner with digital media personalities.

10. Getting Men Comfortable with Mobile Shopping

Representatives from Lowekey Media, Android Homme and Troy Alexander International will discuss getting men more engaged with mobile shopping.

About Jake

Jake is an expert on men’s style and fashion based in Washington, DC. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs and innovative clothing and lifestyle brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. He has published hundreds of articles on style and apparel, and regularly interviews small business CEOs and startup founders about industry trends. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine.

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