By Jackie Hajdenberg
Last year, fashion entrepreneur Jordana Guimarães and her husband Marcelo Guimarães began a major event at New York Fashion Week called FASHINNOVATION: a platform where fashion and technology connect with a mission to inspire and share knowledge in the fashion, entrepreneurship and technology sectors. This February, the second FASHINNOVATION event expanded its vision to include bigger names and traditional companies in the fashion industry alongside the familiar start-ups presented at last year’s event. FASHINNOVATION was hosted at Tribeca Rooftop and featured over 50 speakers, live performances, fashion installations, and more than 20 innovative displays.
Panel topics included fashion tech innovations, innovative supply chain, design, creative, the latest innovations in textiles and in retail, customization, sustainability, augmented reality (featuring eSTYLAR – taking the fitting room to the customers home) and more. Other discussions focused on women’s empowerment, celebrities and influencers in fashion, e-commerce and entrepreneurship. Featured guests, panelists and moderators included: Eno Polo, CEO, Havaianas USA, Michael Ferraro, Executive Director, FIT Infor DTech Lab, Celine Semaan, Founder, Slow Factory and Co-Founder, The Library Study Hall, Ryan Leslie, Co-Founder, SuperPhone, David Meltzer, Host of Entrepreneur.com’s “Elevator Pitch”, Renata Black, Co-Founder, EBY, Nina Farran, Founder, FASHIONKIND, Lilian Liu, Manager of Partnerships, UN Global Compact, Jaclynn Brennan, Commercial Director, eSTYLAR, Gonzalo Pertile, Director of Social Responsibility, J. Crew, Giulio Bonazzi, CEO of Aquafil, Ivan Poupyrev, Director of Engineering and Technical Project Lead, Google, Carolina Wang, Co-Founder, EatGoodNYC, Paul Dillinger, VP and Head of Global Product Innovation, Levi Strauss, Greg Reynolds, Executive Director, SKOOKUM, Laura Sky, Marketing Director, Runway Moda, and more. This year, FASHINNOVATION also partnered with PrestoDoctor in a new effort to focus on entrepreneurship and technology in an emerging industry.
“The highlight of our event is the underpinning community of like-minded individuals that came together to appreciate the importance of fashion, coupled with the intersection of technology” says Jordana Guimarães, co-founder of FASHINNOVATION.
“This event is held in high regards for being the only fashion/tech conference during New York Fashion Week and we can’t wait to expand both domestically and internationally,” says Marcelo Guimarães, co-founder of FASHINNOVATION.
FASHINNOVATION’s Second Edition attracted over 350 guests as well as hundreds of viewers via livestream and was presented by partner sponsors Runway Moda, ELYSIAIS, Lyft, Sugarfina, Renato’s, Alter New Media and DisruptivAgency. The conference showcased a fashion installation by Constanza+LAB (Spain) and 19-year-old IMI by Imogen Evans, a mid-day cocktail hour and networking event, pop-up displays, a red carpet step-and-repeat, a special live performance by DeeMo, and an after-party by TROY.
FASHINNOVATION: Second Edition also included the launch of a book titled: It Can Be You by The NYLON Project and a panel on how to “Humanize Homelessness,” featuring Veronika Scott, Founder of Empowerment Plan, Jason Naylor, Creative Director/Artist, DeeMo, Singer/Actor/Philanthropist and Nadya Rousseau, Founder of Alter New Media, moderated by Jordana Guimarães, Co-Founder of FASHINNOVATION and Founder/Author, The NYLON Project.
It Can Be You includes 50 stories of homelessness from influencers around the world, including Melissa Molinaro, Holly Glasser, Claudia Salinas, Madeline Stuart, Eric Bigger, Thania Peck, Josh Heffler, and Jessica Ross. Jordana Guimarães, author of It Can Be You, shared that she aims to embark on a national book tour in the near future.
Q&A with FASHINNOVATION co-founder Jordana Guimarães
HONEYSUCKLE: What is the biggest change from last year’s FASHINNOVATION to this year’s? What developments were you most excited by?
JORDANA GUIMARÃES: The first edition of FASHINNOVATION was truly “proof of concept” to understand the need and showcase our vision to the industry. After we saw much success with the concept of intersecting the fashion, technology and entrepreneurship industries, we decided to escalate and produce an event [that was] aesthetically pleasing, with bigger names and traditional companies in the industry while still maintaining the start-ups and scale ups doing big things in both industries. The third edition is currently being worked on for September, 2019 NYFW. Stay tuned as it will keep growing and [will] eventually be in cities worldwide.
The launch of It Can Be You is a culmination of many years of work on homelessness awareness. What does it mean to you to see this project to fruition and what are the next steps?
I am beyond grateful to have had support from so many press outlets, influencers and the general public. Without the support of the influencers who came on board using their voices to gain awareness from the masses, the press who jumped at the idea and featured a story believing in my mission but not seeing the tangible and the general public for donating money towards the cause due to my story telling. Due to all of these things and the motivation from my husband and two recently born babies, I was able to work hard to get the book self-published. I now really want to get this book and its mission in front of as many people as possible. Therefore, my goal is to do a book tour nationally via coffee shops, libraries, bookstores to speak about the mission and showcase the book. I believe that since the concept is to humanize homelessness, I want to launch it in a humane way, [with] face to face interactions.
This year FASHINNOVATION connected with the emerging cannabis industry by partnering with PrestoDoctor. What is the significance of the cannabis industry for fashion, technology, and innovation?
Truthfully, bringing PrestoDoctor was important to us due to us also focusing on entrepreneurship. We believe that behind fashion and technology, entrepreneurship plays a big role. It’s not necessarily the cannabis emphasis that we were sold on, but rather how Rob [Tankson] is using technology in an industry that is usually more traditional to work with cannabis, which is now becoming more relevant in the industry for various reasons.
Jackie Hajdenberg is a writer based in New York and a proud Barnard alum. Follow her on Twitter at @DrJackieMrsHajd.