Tech Couture: High Fashion Meets High Tech

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If you think high fashion and high tech don’t mix, you’ll have a surprise waiting for you when you make your next career move. Selling couture means connecting with young, tech savvy buyers—both male and female.

Designers, boutique chains and fashion retailers are jumping on the tech-couture trend, a move that saw Google partner with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to create the Google+ "Hangouts On Air" app. It lets customers talk trends and purchases in multi-person chat rooms, while checking out hot new items on an interactive sidebar.

Walk-in Websites and Live-Stream Runway Shows

British designer Victoria Beckham is already collaborating with Skype to reveal how she creates what today’s fashionistas crave. A former Yves Saint Laurent fashion executive has joined Apple to head up a “special projects” group. And many are keeping an eye on the tech-fashion ventures of British luxury label Burberry whose Burberry World Live store in London offers a “walk-in website,” live-stream runway shows and click-to-buy e-tailing. Their brick-and-mortar stores mirror their digital fashion palette, with smart digital channel support leading the effort.

Digital Partnerships Add a Cool Factor

When top-end fashion e-commerce sites like offer Burberry, DvF and Victoria Beckham labels that are on the forefront of tech-couture marketing, it adds a cool factor to the label and the site. Fans and ultimately buyers feel more connected to the designers and the world in which designs eventually become clothes and accessories. The threads-tech marriage gives top end retailers the big, focused data they need to evaluate how and when their customers browse. This allows retailers to create a personal boutique, one that more closely fits a customer’s preferences and buying patterns. Is it taking off? Since its launch, has grown non-stop with a high customer retention rate. The access from Apple's iPhone has jumped 14-fold in just one year.

Wearable Computing

When Google's "Glass" technology debuted at Diane von Furstenberg's spring-summer 2013 fashion show, the tech-couture world took notice. Here were models strutting in "augmented reality" eyewear that put digital info an eyelash away. Uniting Google Voice Search, a built-in camera, microphone and GPS, the high-tech peepers took photos and video, and served as a smartphone and navigation system. Tech geeks are busy cranking out apps that work with the new spectacles, which are scheduled for general release by early 2014. And lest we not forget New York-based menswear designer Asher Levine who recently teamed up with Phone Halo to implant TrackR's Bluetooth tracking chips in higher-priced outerwear, gloves and handbags. Lost items can be tracked via a smartphone or iPad using an app that sets off an audible alarm or a silent proximity alert.

If you’ve always had a passion for fashion and tech, consider a career in a leading edge company that’s combining both.


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