Beauty in a Gender Fluid World and the Sustainable Fashion Economy: Style & Retail Track Sessions at SXSW 2019

The Style & Retail Track highlights topics such as innovations in beauty, inclusion in fashion, technological advancements in the e-commerce and in-store experience, increased customization, and sustainability in the fashion economy.

“The Style & Retail Track will feature a host of conversations addressing the future of how we purchase, consume, and participate in fashion’s multi-billion-dollar industry,” says SXSW Programmer Kelly Krause. “Whether it’s a designer implementing sustainable practices to change the trajectory of our impact on earth, a startup leveraging technology and AI to help us shop smarter, or a brand becoming more inclusive in design and style, the 2019 track will showcase the voices who are making a big impact in the retail, fashion, and style space today.”

Join us for sessions covering topics like beauty in a gender fluid world, how adaptive design can address the needs of individuals with disabilities or chronic illness, and how plus size fashion has no future during the Style & Retail Track from March 8-11 during the SXSW Conference. This Track offers Primary access for SXSW Platinum and Interactive Badges; secondary access for SXSW Film and Music Badges.

Style & Retail Session Highlights

Blurred Lines: Beauty in a Gender Fluid World

Speakers: Ann Bradstreet Brown (Bumble and Bumble), Mojo Disco (Qwear), Anita Dolce Vita (dapperQ), and Christopher Sayasith (Estee Lauder)

The beauty and cosmetics industry has long focused on marketing to a narrow demographic of homogeneous women. However, social media and greater acceptance of non-binary gender identities and gender presentations are challenging the beauty industry to be more diverse and inclusive. Younger generations are abandoning conventional notions of gender and social media platforms are spurring the democratization of beauty that allows for transcending gender-based beauty boundaries. This allows consumers across the gender spectrum to emerge as the creative directors of their own beauty without corporate brands dictating how they should look. Our panel of queer beauty experts and bloggers will discuss how these changes are impacting the landscape of the beauty and cosmetics industry.

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How Adaptive Design is Transforming Brands

Speakers: Cacsmy Brutus (JAG Models), Melissa Langley (Ottobock), Mindy Scheier (Runway of Dreams)

In 2016, The New York Times dubbed disability as “fashion’s newest frontier.” Some of fashion’s biggest brands are working with designers to create mainstream adaptive clothing that addresses the needs and challenges of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Fashion is not the only industry designing for inclusion. There is a movement among companies of all types toward incorporating inclusion and accessibility into their core missions. Where did this movement start and why is it gaining momentum? Representatives from a leading global manufacturer of products for people with mobility challenges will moderate a discussion about how brands can become more inclusive, the impact of accessible design for people with disabilities and the implications of this cultural shift for brands.

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Propelling the Next Gen of Creative Entrepreneurs

Speakers: Simon Doonan (Barneys), Dayna Isom Johnson (Etsy), Reuben Reuel (DEMESTIK), and Tracy Sun (Poshmark)

Join industry experts for an inside look at how online marketplaces have allowed entrepreneurs to find success on their own terms, regardless of gender, age, or education. Barneys set the standard for highlighting independent designers in the ’80s, and in today’s world of e-commerce, new leaders like Etsy and Poshmark are propelling the next generation of creative entrepreneurs, and especially women. Hear Barneys Creative Ambassador Simon Doonan, Etsy’s Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson, Designer Reuben Reuel of DEMESTIK, and Poshmark’s Tracy Sun speak to how these marketplaces are far ahead of curve on creating a successful platform for diverse entrepreneurs.

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Plus-Size Fashion Has No Future

Speaker: Alexandra Waldman (Universal Standard)

100 million American women are size 14+ but plus-size fashion has no future. The world does not need another plus-size brand – what we need is fashion and style options that take all women into account. Universal Standard is a brand revolutionizing the apparel industry and breaking the mold not by addressing the style needs of the ignored 67% – but by making clothes for 100% of the women who long for modern style. The brand is quickly becoming the first fully inclusive fashion company to serve women in a broad range of sizing, with a monumental expansion from sizes 6 to 32, and further plans to expand the range to an unprecedented 00-40. Hear from Co-Founder & Creative Director, Alexandra Waldman about how the approach to engineering has been unique from day one.

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Promoting a Sustainable Fashion Economy with Tech

Speakers: Whitney Casey (FINERY) and Brooklyn Decker (FINERY)

It’s no secret fashion is one of the most wasteful industries in the U.S. In today’s fast fashion era, millennials will only wear an item 4-5 times on average. Did you know that extending the life of clothing by 9 months would reduce carbon, waste, and water footprints by 20-30% each? That’s where the circular fashion economy comes in – it’s a regenerative system where resources are reutilized and a product is designed to last for as long as possible with little to no waste. Brooklyn Decker and Whitney Casey, the founders of digital wardrobe platform Finery, weigh in on why players in the fashion and tech industries have a responsibility to implement sustainable practices and why we need to have a plan to lessen negative impacts on the environment.

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Featured Image by Tyler Draker

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