When I started this website seven years ago this month, it was intended to track all that was happening in the then very nascent world of fashion, digital marketing and technology. Its goal, as I wrote at the time, was to follow the industry as it started to pay attention to the need to innovate in order to succeed in this thoroughly connected world.
Until that point, and for quite some time thereafter, this played out through social media campaigns predominantly. When F&M launched, however, the only fashion house really being spoken about in the press elsewhere was Burberry – from its live streaming, to its Tweetwalk, to its partnerships with Apple and beyond.
But slowly there were some smaller steps forward being taken by others too – there was a mobile responsive website here, or some evolutions and adaptations in e-commerce there. There were even some increasingly creative and interesting YouTube films being released, all of which I believed deserved some attention.
Over the years, I’ve covered over 1,500 stories about what the industry has been doing, and of course we’ve witnessed it completely explode and change since then. Digital was indeed once a side project, but has now become a fundamental part of the business plan. And technology at large has similarly evolved – being front and centre for some big marketing initiatives from many brands on the one hand, and increasingly the very foundation of this industry’s future on the other.
We’ve reported on everything from C&A putting Facebook likes on its store hangers in Brazil, to Kate Spade’s interactive store windows in New York, or Topshop’s various rounds of virtual reality in its flagship in London. There were the Google Glasses that hit Diane von Furstenberg’s catwalk and the drones that took to Fendi’s in Milan. Then there’s been the flurry of wearable tech that has dialled up and down over the years, and more recently the shift towards chatbots, and the use of AI for virtual assistants both in store and via voice.
As we turn to 2018, those subjects only continue to expand, alongside big stories like the store of the future and the increasing role technology is now playing in the industry’s move towards sustainability too – one of the greatest challenges ahead of us.
At a time when retail and luxury have been suffering, the key is that technology or innovation is the only way survival is possible. I wrote that in 2011, but I believe it now more than ever. Which is why I have made the decision to join global innovation firm, TheCurrent. Founded by Liz Bacelar, who many of you will know as the brains behind Decoded Fashion before she sold it, this is a business that fuels growth at the intersection of technology, fashion and retail. The key for me, is that it focuses on doing it, not just talking about it.
Fashion & Mash has been acquired as part of this. It’s not disappearing however, it’s becoming TheCurrent Daily, which will enable it to scale to the much bigger vision I have always had for it. I will continue to edit the site alongside my role in the business as Chief Intelligence Officer, through which I will oversee all content, including an absolute must-listen to podcast called TheCurrent Innovators. I will also help to lead the consultancy business in its methodology of open innovation; facilitating collaboration with startups, entrepreneurs and established tech companies worldwide to drive measurable results for the industry.
FashMash, the community attached to this website co-founded by myself and Rosanna Falconer, is not going anywhere. The two are separating, and FashMash is continuing as our live event series. For that we have a new home at FashMash.co.uk, as well as our continuing Facebook group. Do join us on both – we also have some more exciting news to follow shortly.
If you’ve been a subscriber of this site, that will continue over on TheCurrent Daily. This URL will redirect to that address shortly too.
Thank you for all your support over the past seven years and I really hope you will continue with me on this journey in my new home. It’s never been such an exciting time to be a part of this world. Here’s to another evolutionary and incredible year ahead of us.