The end of the year is a great time to take inventory. Before we move into the holiday season and onto the new year, we wanted to set aside a moment to mark milestones for 2018 and remember what made this year special. So here they are: our top eight moments from 2018:
1. Relaunching the Electric Runway Website
While it may not be the most glamorous of updates, in early 2018 we rolled out Electric Runway’s new branding and relaunched our website. This was a big deal for us! Prior to the website redesign, people often gestured to Electric Runway as a blog, and while do blog-like activities (such as post updates and share on social media) we knew Electric Runway as a brand was so much more than just a blog. The new website was our way of strategically positioning our experience, expertise, and services in the area. The redesign gave the brand a fresh new look and changed the way clients and partners perceived us online.
2. Visiting Bangladesh for the Bangladesh Fahionology Summit
In February of 2018, Electric Runway had the chance to travel to Bangladesh for the inaugural Bangladesh Fashionology Summit. In addition to sharing our expertise in a talk on wearable technology, we were invited to visit factories in Dhaka, the country’s capital, and Chittagong, another business and shipping hub on the Bay of Bengal.
We learned so much about manufacturing and denim in particular. Not many people can say they’ve seen first-hand where their clothes are made, but we visited factories that manufacture for Zara, Levis, Scotch & Soda, and many other recognizable name brand names. We created the below vlogumentary to take audiences for the adventure and share what we learned along the way. Specifically, we were interested in the threat that automation poses for the developing class working in the garment industries. As robots become more capable than human workers, many in countries like Bangladesh will soon be replaced. It’s a complicated story of evolution and shifting global dynamics.
3. Curating a Wearable Tech Runway Show for Toronto Men’s Fashion Week
From the behind-the-scenes world of manufacturing to the very consumer-facing runway show, when we returned to Canada, Electric Runway was challenged with the opportunity to curate a wearable tech runway show for Toronto Men’s Fashion Week (TOM). For those who don’t know, TOM* was a twice-yearly runway show and the eighth event in the world dedicated solely to celebrating men’s fashion. We worked with our network of partners, including Apple, Muse, Fossil and more as well as emerging startups like Seam and Enlighten Apparel to put together a runway collection that showcased the breadth and variety of wearable tech on the market today.
4. Covering Texprocess Americas with Gerber Technology and Kornit Digital
In May 2018, we headed to Atlanta, Georgia for Texprocess Americas. If you haven’t heard of it, Texprocess is one of the largest trade shows in North America for technology related to the development, sourcing, and production of sewn products (Think of it like the Coachella for manufacturers).
For Texprocess 2018, we teamed up with Gerber Technology and Kornit Digital for a media partnership. Gerber, Kornit, and Henderson Sewing had all collaborated at Texprocess to show an on-demand microfactory in real-time. Products were taken from conception to printing, then cutting, then sewing and final product all on the show floor. Our mission was to capture the microfactory in action and explain it to audiences in a way that’s accessible. We had a lot of fun sharing this story and can’t wait to work with Gerber and Kornit again in the future!
5. Meeting Iris van Herpen at the Royal Ontario Museum
In the early summer of 2018, we had a fangirl moment. Iris Van Herpen was giving a talk at the Royan Ontario Museum to kick off the launch of her exhibit. “Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion” was a major retrospective featuring works from 15 collections created by the Dutch designer from 2008 to 2015. In case you’re not obsessed like us, van Herpen is known for her otherworldly dresses and shoes that defy the laws of physics. She has quickly become the designer of choice for culture-bending style icons such as Lady Gaga, Cara Delevingne, Beyoncé, and Björk.
We had the rare chance to hear the designer’s thoughts during her on-stage interview at the ROM. We also met her in person and got her autograph on her book. Swoon!
6. Traveling to Manilla for StyleFest PH
In September, we traveled back to Asia, but this time visited Manila for StyleFestPH. StyleFest PH is a first-of-its-kind fashion and beauty event in the Philippines aimed at providing a platform for emerging and established designers alike to go digital and connect with the global fashion community.
What an amazing adventure! We were able to meet designers like Ken Samudio, a marine biologist who works with ocean plastics to make accessories, as well as Bang Pineda, the Kanye West of the Philippines. When it comes to fashion, Manila is poised to take its place on the world stage and longs to be thought of as a resource for creativity and inspiration instead of just a resource for manufacturing. We can’t wait to head back to the next event!
7. Speaking at Pittsburgh Fashion Week
From the glitz and glamour of the Philipines to a grassroots community in Pensylvania, our next stop was Pittsburgh Fashion Week. Electric Runway was invited to participate in a panel discussion on the future of fashion alongside other notable speakers in the fashion-tech community. In addition to the panel, the week also included an evening runway show.
We had so much fun learning about local designers as well as the city itself. Memorable site visits include the Andy Warhol Museum and Randyland. We even had the chance to tour the Magee-Womens Research Institute, the largest research institute of its kind devoted to advancing women’s health (Magee was one of the main sponsors of the event).
Listen to the podcast below to find out more about Pittsburgh Fashion Week and the people we met along the way, including Sarah Longo of Style 412 and Amanda Curtis of 19th Amendment.
8. Keynoting at Mindtrek
Last but not least, this November we traveled to Finland for Mindtrek. Unlike other technology conferences, Mindtrek is a meeting of the minds across all industries. It invites those who are thinking, writing about, and researching on the future to provide insight to their worldview. The conference runs alongside Tampere’s Smart Cities Week and encourages networking and the cross-pollination of ideas.
Electric Runway was honoured to give the keynote presentation on opening day in Tampere. In this talk, we outlined how the fashion industry has adopted augmented and virtual reality. Drawing from current and relevant examples, we helped audiences envision a future of virtual runways and mixed reality shopping experiences. After our talk, we had a great time sitting down with the deputy mayor of Tampere and learning about the city’s plans to become smarter and more connected.
What was a memorable moment for you in 2018? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us @Electric_Runway.We can’t wait to see what the new year will bring in. Happy holidays to you and yours, and all the best for 2019 🎉