A gameference is an unforgettable, face-to-face game full of discovery, creativity, and unexpected twists.

By Raphaelle Loren (Co-Founder, Innovation Management Institute)

The first Future of Fashion Gameference took place last Saturday as part of San Francisco Fashion Week. Almost a week later, I haven’t fully recovered yet! We were all punch-drunk from the energy, good vibes and amazing future-of-fashion concepts that the teams were able to concoct in less than one day!

At the world-premiere Future of Fashion Gameference, we played with existing trends such as 3D body scanning, virtual fitting rooms, real-time fabric printing, and new e-commerce models. Teams co-designed new customer retail experiences, created prototypes of a fashion line, and explored supporting business models.

Fashion designers, entrepreneurs, MBA students, graphic designers, filmmakers, 3D engineers, roboticists, marketers, and futurists were the players – an amazing gathering of talented people only possible thanks to SF Fashion Week and StyleT.ag.

What happened at the gameference was:

  • A unique experience that created deep bonds between team members (one team is considering starting a fashion-tech rag together).
  • Amazingly detailed and innovative concepts produced in just a few hours of immersive play.
    Here are extracts from the runway showcases:

    • Team SNAP created an easy, beautiful and versatile line: “Imagine a wardrobe of 5 pieces—ever evolving and with limitless possibilities.” SNAP apparel adapts to your mood, fashion trends, or situations by relying on programmable nanotech. SNAP’s high-end line offers:
      • “Auto-fashion” —wear the local trends,
      • “Auto-colors” —fits your mood,
      • “Auto-slim” and “auto-fit” enhance curves and optimizes body shape,
      • Other features include: “Auto-heat”, “Auto-style”, “Auto-iron” & “Auto-clean”
      • At the end of the presentation, a player cried “I want that future now!”
    • Team USRR: “Fashion power to the people” – Project yourself to 2022: USRR revolutionizes the fashion industry. How? You are the brand, everybody is a brand! USRR is the platform that enables you to become the brand. Everyone is a model, and a mobile app allows others to buy the clothes right off of your back—actually custom-made copies of the clothes that you’re wearing, with a royalty going directly to you! And the price you pay for your clothes is driven by your willingness to share. “Privacy is the new currency,” says Dominique Piotet of Rebellion Lab. Sharing trendsetters might even get their new clothes for free.
    • Savvy Seville Row: “international tailors with a twist” – SSR is an R&D lab for fashion tech with a focus on materials: they recycle pre-loved garments and turn them into “heritage fabric” —new material with hints of its vintage origins. SSR crafts vibrant apparel that mixes their unique fabric with expressive and modern 3D printed forms, to create a look that starkly juxtaposes new and old.
    • ReactionWear: This team uses fashion to build connections between people based on how they feel or what they like. Garments can be in “broadcast mode,” clearly indicating through shapes and lights the emotions or preferences of its wearer. ReactionWear apparel can also be in “covert mode,” only providing visual cues when there is an affinity between two people who pass each other.
    • Conquer: Addresses the professional woman. Aspirational and very busy, she doesn’t have to adapt to her clothes, her clothes adapt to her! Sensors in the fabric “know” where you are and what you are doing, and adapt accordingly. The nanotech even cleans both the clothing and the wearer!

Before designing their fashion lines, teams designed fashion retail experiences in the near future using tech that already exists. By designing both within-reach solutions and far-reaching aspirations, players were able to inspire each other while each leaving the game with implementable ideas.

Saturday’s players were an exceptional group and the Gameference surpassed our wildest expectations in terms of creativity and cross-disciplinary collaboration. We’re eager to take this a step further and tangibly contribute to sustainable change in the fashion industry.

In addition to taking the Future of Fashion Gameference on tour to other cities, we’re going to push it further here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Women 2.0 readers: What do you think of the gameference concept? Let us know in the comments!

Photo by: Owen Geronimo

About the guest blogger: Raphaelle Loren is the co-founder of Innovation Management Institute. She is passionate about transforming healthcare through tech, design, and marketing innovation. She leads the Health Practice for Innovation Management Institute, and occasionally gets involved on other projects. Gameferences have been the Institute’s primary method of driving collaboration and teaching advanced innovation methodologies and design tools. Follow her on Twitter at @rloren.