Introducing FELLT Industry

Your new daily go-to for news in the digital fashion space

Just a quick one to let you know about a new project I am working on here at FELLT.

In addition to Frockwriter – my personal blog, which is published on the FELLT network – I am heading up a new FELLT blog called FELLT Industry which launches today.

FELLT Industry is a new daily destination dedicated to news in the digital fashion space. I have been retained by FELLT publisher Sydney Stockholm to anchor the reportage.

Why a fashion and tech-dedicated blog?

Because, clearly, technology continues to revolutionise the fashion landscape at a breakneck pace and while of course there is absolutely no shortage of tech-specialist publications, sites and columns out there keeping tabs on all developments, few are dedicated solely to the fashion industry.

As technology continues to redefine fashion, fashion is also starting to impact on technology.

Love or hate the fashion crowd, as Marc Newson noted in a recent interview with Dezeen, talking about industrial designers:

“If they took note of the way that the fashion world works, the way the fashion world brings things to market, with such extraordinary efficiency, they could learn an enormous amount”.

With wearables one of the tech industry’s biggest buzzwords, little wonder the industry has been looking in earnest at fashion talent of late.

Witness the recent exodus of fashion and apparel execs into tech – notably Apple, whose long-awaited iWatch is expected to launch in October.

Apple recently lured former Burberry chief executive officer Angela Ahrendts as its new Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores and former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve to head up “special projects”. Apple has also hired Ben Shaffer, the former head of Nike’s Innovation Kitchen, whose launches included the Flyknit sneaker and key Nike FuelBand consultant Jay Blahnik. Last month Google tapped fashion executive Ivy Ross to head up its Google Glass division.

Tech is an area of considerable personal interest to me as a journalist.

As a hands-on blogger for the past eight years, I have been more digitally-immersed than I would otherwise have been had I remained reporting strictly from outside the digital trenches as a legacy media journalist looking in.

The landscape has changed dramatically since 2006, when I was offered the opportunity to launch The Sydney Morning Herald’s first fashion blog, reporting initially on that year’s Merecedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, followed by three back-to-back international ready-to-wear show seasons on the ground from New York, London, Milan and Paris. One of the very first fashion blogs at MBFWA that year and on the international show circuit at the time. That seems almost incomprehensible now.

On the and then blogs from April 2006-June 2008 and Frockwriter from July 2008, as well as print outlets such as WWD, The Australian’s Wish Magazine and The Weekend Australian, I have covered a lot of digital fashion news. From ongoing coverage of bloggers, the business of blogging, social media, the issues of online transparency and ethics, e-commerce developments and interviews with some key players in the digital fashion space such as Net-A-Porter founder Natalie Massenet and editor in chief Dirk Standen.

My first FELLT Industry story is on an Australian data analytics startup called Scrunch which aims to help fashion brands and PRs measure social media influence and calculate their ROI in the burgeoning fashion blogosphere.

I won’t be going out of my way to find stories about women working in tech, but I will certainly be heartened to find them.

Women continue to be dramatically under-represented in the tech industry. Sadly, sexism remains endemic across the sector.

Scrunch co-founder Danielle Lewis can vouch for that.

“I remember when I first started all this three years ago, I went to a Brisbane technology meetup and a man who worked in cloud computing services told me squarely that I wouldn’t make it because I was a woman” Lewis told FELLT Industry.

With $1.5million of seed funding potentially about to hit the table to get Scrunch to the next level, let’s see if Lewis winds up with the last laugh.