Last month more than a hundred Designers, Developers and Marketeers gathered in London for Decoded Fashion’s latest Hackathon, to digitally revolutionise the industry. Decoded Fashion is the first event to encourage creative partnerships at the intersection between fashion and technology.

The event hosted speakers and mentors from Facebook, Wired, and Vogue with judges from All Saints, Net-a-Porter, Condé Nast and the British Fashion Council, and took place at The Innovation Loft between the 10th-11th May.

The challenge
The goal was to create an app for fashion retail, which enhances the ecommerce or instore experience. The winning app was judged not just on building a fashion-related idea, but more a solution that’s relevant and creates a tangible impact through engagement, conversion and revenue.

The Finalists pitched on stage on Tuesday May 13, to a panel of top judges from the fashion industry at the Decoded Fashion Summit.

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(Poq’s Zahir Misbah is shown standing on the far right).

Here our Business Development Executive Zahir Misbah (and Decoded Hackathon Finalist – 2nd Place), who participated in the hackathon, speaks to us about his experience of pitching an idea formed in twenty four hours to a crowd of strangers, and tells us what his top takeaways were from the weekend…

Zahir’s tips for succeeding in fashion tech

”The whole experience was exhilarating and is something I’d recommend to anyone, who has the chance to participate in a hackathon of this scale. It was great to see the fashion and technology community come together in such a way – the culture and community present led to some great friendships being formed, and also to collaborate with established brands/companies. It also allowed those new to the space to gain an insight into what is happening on the cutting edge of fashion and technology and the ways in which they’re colliding.

What I would say is that there are certainly lots of opportunities to make a mark in the space, as it’s ripe for disruption given it’s relative infancy. It’ll be interesting to see what develops over the coming months and the outcome of the various teams/startups formed from the Hackathon.

Personally I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of the idea I helped create:

The fitting room companion

Suffro – The fitting room companion, that seamlessly connects a consumer with a Sales Associate in a hassle free and dignified way. Allowing them to easily gain access to different sizes, colour and product recommendation with a few touches.

For technology to be successful in becoming a part of the fashion world, it has to provide real value to the consumer foremost. If it creates extra friction or adds extra steps, it simply won’t be interacted with or used, as fashion is such a personal and emotive experience.

The future of fashion tech therefore lies in simplicity. Technology that is practically invisible to the consumer, yet seamlessly enhances their experience and strengthens their connection with a brand” – Zahir commented.

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(Poq’s Zahir Misbah is shown on the second left).

The finalists
Bespoky – Stylist matching
Provenance – Content at point of sale
Loop – Recreating wish lists
Suffro – Enhancing the fitting room
Nudge – Connecting brands to Passbook
Allsaints Row – 3D immersion brand experience
Nixi – Inventory data in real-time

So who did the top spots go to…?

First place
Second place
Third place:

The stats

  • 30 apps were made
  • 200 hackers were registered
  • 150 participated
  • 5 finalist teams

Prizes won

  • A trip to San Francisco to meet with tech and retail industry players [1st Place Prize].
  • An exclusive breakfast with the CEO of AllSaints for [Top 3 Teams]
  • An offer to work directly with AllSaints to implement their ideas on the AllSaints website and on a network of 100+ AllSaints global stores [Top 3 Teams]
  • SendGrid API Pick – each member of the team will receive a wicked set of wireless Bluetooth speakers
  • 10 Leap Motion Controllers-  senses how you naturally move your hands and lets you use your computer in a whole new way
  • The Trampery are offering the winning team a free desk space for 1 month to work out of their London Fields site
  • Forward Partners are offering the winning team a free business model canvas review workshop. Involving a 3 hour in depth review of their business model with Forward Partners Head of Product, Marketing Strategist and Investment Analyst
  • Fashion Monitor- A years subscription to Fashion Monitor, a top global source for the global fashion industry

All teams will have the chance to have their technology implemented instore and online, the winning team LOOP will be taking a trip to San Francisco to meet with top industry players from fashion and technology. Not bad eh? Congratulations to all Decoded Hackathon finalists!

Check out photos from the weekend here. Watch the behind-the-scenes video.