Two seasons ago, Chris Lindland, CEO of San Francisco’s crowdsourcing online apparel company Betabrand, decided it was high time for wearable technology to have a runway, so he built one for them. Last week, the second ever Silicon Valley Fashion Week finished its second run. Sponsored by another online giant, Zappos, and hosted at Gantry, a new venue situated smack dab between Twitter and Uber’s headquarters, the show featured drones, experiments in illumination, 3D printed apparel, new fabrics and song and dance numbers unique to any catwalk experience. We spoke to founder Chris Lindland to find out what’s in store for Betabrand’s Silicon Valley Fashion Week’s future.
Please tell us a bit about Silicon Valley Fashion Week.
The Maker Movement, Burning Man and Wearable Tech worlds are making greater contributions to the world of style and self-expression, so online clothier Betabrand built them a runway.
It's part fashion show, part variety show and part trade show, where tech companies like Pebble & Adobe unveil new products & technologies.
What is your history in the industry?
I've been selling clothing online for the last 12 years. What started with the idea of horizontal corduroy pants (cordarounds) has grown into a vast community of design ideas that creatives from around the world post to Betabrand.com.
How does Silicon Valley Fashion Week relate to Betabrand and your crowd sourcing designs?
We're a crowdsourced clothing brand, so it's a logical show for us to stage.
Will the fashion week continue to grow and what are future plans?
Oh yes. And next year, it will be bigger, better and crazier. Getting Zappos to collaborate with us along with coverage in the New York Times only validates that the concept.
Does the fashion week today have a real place in fashion retail or is it just a marketing ploy?
Runway shows are a part of the fashion’s very foundation. Since Silicon Valley (or technology in general) is doing so much to transform the fashion world (e-commerce, internet style reporting, wearable tech, etc.), it only makes sense that the tech world stages its own show.