Fashion technology. Insights and predictions for the years to come.
A trend that solidified when Conde Nast began launching its digital channels and Google announced its partnership with CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) for “Straight Off The Runway” shopping experience.
Ever since, we enjoy dissecting Apple’s strategy of getting top fashion designers on its payroll. We feel ecstatic seeing the “new Intel.” An Intel that brought back to life its famous motto: Intel Inside.
This time, “inside” smart fabrics and wearables rather than laptops and computers. We foresee fashion technology alliances, discover new stars, partnerships, and mergers.
The best part? Most predictions we make, come true. Like the one that follows: Fossil buys Misfit.
FOSSIL & MISFIT – THE FUTURE OF FASHION TECHNOLOGY?
An expected merger, expected by us for some time, based on Sonny Vu’s “direction.” Fossil Group announced four days ago, (Thursday, 12 November 2015) that it will acquire Misfit, a wearable tech company for $260 million.
If you are not that familiar with fashion, Fossil is an American fashion brand, launched in 1984. Since then, it has grown into an international fashion brand. A brand that sells clothing and fashion accessories. Watches, small leather goods, jewellery, handbags, pretty much, everything fashion related.
You see, acquiring tech to improve its fashion lines is not a “first time” for Fossil Group. Last month, Fossil announced their “Q-Line” of connected accessories. The Q-Line is the first “neonate” of Fossil’s “romance” with Intel.
The merger of Misfit couples Fossil’s experience in fashion with Misfit’s knowledge in wearable tech and, most important; it gives Fossil access to a new customer base for its already existing Intel-powered devices. Moreover, the ones to come. A genius move from Fossil’s side, given their long-term strategy.
FASHION TECHNOLOGY – FASTER THAN AR, VR, DIGITAL HEALTH
On one of my previous papers, I said that digital health needs to focus on consumers for faster adoption and financial profit. Allow me to explain: Take any existing consumer medical devices. “Infuse” them with tech, make them smarter and give end users the power to buy them via online “digital health” stores.
I am sure you would rather wear a 3d printed connected cast that tells you how fast your bones are healing rather than bandages combined with grounded calcined gypsum for example.
In fact, Amazon and Alibaba are already working on their online “digital health” stores, expected to go live, mid-2016.
Now, let me tell you why fashion technology will succeed faster than AR, VR, and digital health.
Most AR, VR, digital health and even IoT companies are “tech” at their core. Unidirectional, where tech comes first thus with that big probability of a failing outcome. Just like Gooogle, experienced with its first “Glass.”
But, when it comes to fashion technology, the story could not be more different.
The design, the style, the branding, the marketing, the distribution teams and the global sales behind these fashion behemoths will turn wearable technology into an intrinsic part of the luxury fashion.
FASHION TECHNOLOGY – PRODUCTS IN ONLINE STORES BY 2016
We already see tech giants like Intel, Google, and Apple not only interested in a “developing” the wearable tech landscape but earning big profits from a very fast growing, real market.
We’ve seen them investing in top fashion designers and wearable tech startups for some time now. We see a powerful Intel – Google – Luxottica partnership. We see Apple, one of the very few tech companies that understood and applied design, style, and branding to its products.
A company that had the fashion as an essential ingredient to its business for some time now. Since 2012, Apple has hired top fashion talent from Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent, Tag Heuer. I could go on for hours.
In Q1 of 2016 we will see Jimmy Choo and Moncler investing in tech startups. More important, just like Amazon that is working hard to launch their digital health online store, we will see the appearance of dedicated online stores/sections for fashion technology.
Keep an eye on Asos, and Net-a-Porter. Not a real surprise as both companies are fashion technology ventures at their nuclei.
The beginning of 2015 found big fashion houses still exploring ways to adopt innovation while preserving their historic brand image. End of 2015, the exploration is over. The worlds of fashion and technology have collided and ascertained innovative ways to work together.
MASSIVE INVESTMENTS IN FASHION TECHNOLOGY
In 2015, we saw a significant influx of fashion technology startups. The fashion technology momentum – a concoction of fashion, technology, and finance – will see an unprecedented growth in 2016.
We now have S0C’s, microscopic sensors, flexible circuits, foldable screens, digital fabrics, dust and water resistant chipsets.
Finance wise, in the past few years, we saw constant growth, interest, and investments in fashion technology companies. Nasty Gal – $49 million. Moda Operandi – $46 million. BeachMint – $75 million. ShoeDazzle – $66 million or Gilt Groupe – $236 million.
There are many startups out there. Small teams with big ideas. Be like a modern day football or music agent. Search on youtube. Social Media. Online. Spend time, find the future fashion technology stars and invest in them. Invest now. Fossil is just the beginning of what is to come in 2016.
“With the acquisition of Misfit, Fossil Group will be uniquely positioned to lead the convergence of style and technology and to become the fashion gateway to the high-growth wearable technology and connected device markets,” Kosta Kartsotis, CEO Fossil Group
FASHION TECHNOLOGY – CONSOLIDATE CLASSIC FASHION EMPIRES
Remember that the Fossil Group is a leading manufacturer of watches and accessories, worldwide. Fossil Group has an extensive line of women and men fashion watches. Handbags, jewellery, leather goods and accessories.
Fossil Group’s products are in department stores, luxury retail stores and speciality watch and jewellery stores in the U.S. and over 150 countries.
Fossil Group will introduce its new fashion technology products as its own Fossil, Zodiac, Skagen, and Michele made accessories, but also via its portfolio of 16 licensed brands.
That means you’ll soon buy fashion technology “made by” Kate Spade, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, Diesel, Karl Lagerfeld, Adidas, Marc Jacobs, DKNY and Tory Burch. This merger is a giant step forward for wearable technology.
Misfit’s technology will now be “modelled” by Fossil Group’s world-class design teams and reach you in every corner of the earth, through its global sales, marketing, and distribution empire.
Read more news: wtvox.com