There is evident value in attending Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City, but San Francisco has slowly been climbing the ranks and, in my book, can be considered a more accurate West Coast counterpart than LA (I may or may not be biased).
1. Climate – A given. The weather permits any outfit you can conjure up out of your mind slash closet. Layer up or go backless. You won’t freeze to death or sweat buckets as you may at any given time in Manhattan.
2. More intimate – I was able to have conversations with the designers after the shows. The models stay in their outfits, so you’re able to get up close and personal with the materials and details of the clothing.
3. Exposure – Because it’s such a smaller fashion community in SF – versus New York -, it’s easier to stand out and network. Fashiontech startups get tabling spaces to showcase and demo their products, so you can end up building relationships with the founders of those companies and maybe get critique on your own business or idea. People genuinely want to have conversations with you about fashion and technology and remember your name.
4. Free booze before and after shows and presentations. Need I say more?
5. Technology inspired – It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that SF is abundant in smaller technology and social media companies (Sup, Pinterest?) and only a drive away from the headquarters of the most powerful and largest tech corporations in the world.
The hottest topic in technology right now, wearable tech made this fashion event even more special and relevant. Google Glass were given out to a handful of people to take photos and videos of certain events throughout the week.
If you love fashion, technology, and design, you should really try to come to some SFFW events next year, or Fashion x Tech Week in February for Spring fashion. San Francisco may not have the most well-known designer showcases, but it sure does give New York a little competition.
And now for a reel of blurry runway photos: Here are shots of the fashion tech startup demos and showcases: