Enterprise Europe Network

Innovation in fashion: 5 trends which are defining a new era

Posted: 27 May 2019

Innovation is rocking the fashion industry. From customer journeys to logistics, from wearables to new materials, fashion retailers and manufacturers are brimming with creativity. So what does a world where AI, blockchain, circular economy solutions, optical fibre and 3D printing define fashion experiences look like? Federica Leonetti, who leads the Enterprise Europe Network group of textile and fashion experts, takes a look at these five trends, which are literally shaping a new era for the fashion industry.

DressCoders design, innovative and wearable technologies

Artificial intelligence: weaving new relationships

Over the past few years, we have seen conspicuous investments from fashion brands and retailers to design multichannel customer journeys. The holy grail? A seamless experience across online (mobile and desktop) and physical stores. To get there, new projects have been creating a more engaging and immersive experience in store, while capturing valuable customer data. The data feeds into AI and builds into the brand’s customer relationship management. Here, machine-learning algorithms will help them interact in a 1:1 relationship with each customer, providing relevant, customised recommendations and curated content for each one of them. No more one size fits all!

Blockchain: clamping down on counterfeits

However, most of the tech in the fashion value chain will not be visible to end customers. Where tech can make a huge difference to the bottom line is the supply chain: supporting real-time demand and merchandise planning, automated production and delivery, stock optimisation and competitor benchmarking. Most technology experts believe that blockchain is the new revolution – yes, in the fashion industry too! Several start-ups are betting on blockchain anti-counterfeiting and traceability applications, where earlier technologies such as serial numbers and QR code failed to deliver.

Circular economy: a drive for sustainability

With the recent #FridaysForFuture mobilisations and the surge in awareness of plastic pollution, consumers are pushing for a more sustainable fashion industry. The circular economy solutions are opening new opportunities for innovative fashion materials. Take a look at designers like Anaïs Renaud. She creates luxury fabrics using natural materials and polymers from recycled waste such as PET, coffee scraps and banana peel. She will present her sustainable approach at a workshop during the 2019 Torino Fashion Week.

Optical fibre: bringing light to traditional crafts

Wearable and smart textile are also growing trends. Looking at the line-up for the 2019 Torino Fashion Week, I would like to mention the Italian fashion brand, DressCoders. DressCoders focuses on innovative and wearable technologies, including led, optical fibre and e-ink. Their latest collections use optical fibre to create lightning embroideries, to trim handmade garments and accessories.

3D printing: a new way of knitting and embroidering

A third designer presenting at the Torino Fashion Week is Jerusalem-based Adi Karni Vagt. She specialises in a three-dimensional printing method, exploring the gap between traditional craftwork embroidery and technological developments. All the decorative elements on clothes, bags and flowers are produced with 3D printing, while achieving the effect of embroidery and hand knitting.

Torino Fashion Week: where trends meet

These and other designers will share their experience during the many workshops organised at the 2019 Torino Fashion Week, from 29 June to 1 July. International speakers will decrypt new trends, and explore how to create a collection using new materials and new technologies. Besides the workshops, the Torino Fashion Week offers three days of b2b matchmaking sessions: the Torino Fashion Match. At its fourth edition this year, the b2b event offers young fashion entrepreneurs and innovative brands the opportunity to connect with international clients and buyers – register by 21 June.

Join us in my beautiful city of Turin for a great fashion experience!

About the author

Federica Leonetti is a business adviser at Unioncamere Piemonte, a member organisation of the Enterprise Europe Network. She has been working for the Network for the past 10 years and is the chair of the Network’s group of experts in textile and fashion. The group brings together 25 experts from 20 countries to help businesses innovate and grow internationally.

Disclaimer

The information and views set out in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.