Ungendering Fashion, the Future of Shopping Malls, and Sustainability: Style Track Sessions for SXSW 2018

The Style track offers a platform for creatives in the fashion and technology community to converge, learn, and innovate while exploring topics ranging from the future of retail, sustainable fashion, wearable technology, and design. Learn more about what our 2018 Style Track has to offer.

"Empowerment, inclusion, and activism in business and the arts is one of several programming trends we’ve discovered at SXSW," says SXSW Programmer Brianna Carney. In RompHims and Boyfriend Jeans: Ungendering Fashion & Fashion Retail, author, producer, performer, and influencer Jacob Tobia and the other panelists will dissect how gendered terms like “boyfriend jeans” and “man buns” actually perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes."

"When you think about the future of the shopping center, what do you picture? A mall with everyone riding on hoverboards? AI-powered booths where you can try out a new haircut or makeup?" asks Carney. In The Future of the Shopping Center panelists will explore trends at the intersection of experiential retail, community, and urbanization to help attendees create a roadmap for the future of shopping centers and stores.

Explore more Style Track Sessions as we feature topics such as ungendering fashion, the future of shopping malls, sustainability, and more. Style track sessions take place from March 9-11 with primary access to Interactive and Platinum Badges; secondary access to Music and Film Badges.

Style Session Highlights

Pattern Break: Fashion and Creativity vs. Big Data

Speaker: Gretchen Jones

What is the fate of creative intuition in the 21st century? Today we see businesses downgrading and negating the value of creativity, replacing designers with ‘big data’ in search of predictability and value creation. We’re all feeling the impacts of monopoly-scaled business domination every day–homogenization and oversaturation–in the fashion industry as well as our overall culture. It’s time to reassert the importance of creative intuition in the world and in businesses of every scale.

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RompHims and Boyfriend Jeans: Ungendering Fashion

Speakers: Jacob Topbia (Penguin House Random), Danielle Cooper (She's a Gent), Chaka Bachmann (The Defiant Femme), and Anita Dolce Vita (dapperQ)

Fashion that challenges conventional gender norms has become increasingly mainstream. However, the fashion industry often undermines social gains associated with this shift by using gendered language and images to market clothing. Language such as the RompHim, boyfriend jeans, man buns, and mewelry perpetuate gender stereotypes and have a devastating impact on gender equity and attitudes towards LGBTQ communities. This session will focus on how the industry can truly ungender fashion.

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The Future of the Shopping Center

Speakers: Lee Hnentika (Darkstore) and Scott Lachut (PSFK)

A shift from product-oriented stores geared towards transactions to high-touch service and experiential centers focused on building brand equity and relationships is underway. Retailers and mall operators are struggling to adapt and figure out how best to make use of their physical space. This session will explore trends at the intersection of experiential retail, community, and urbanization to help attendees create a roadmap for the future of shopping centers and stores.

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Sustainability or Bust: The Future of Brands

Speakers: Harriet Parker (Liontrust), Kristy Caylor (For Days), and Helena Dunn (Tuulikki)

This discussion will address the value of socially and environmentally driven business strategy as being central to the profitability and survival of emerging brands. Engaging customers and investors, these business leaders win on sustainability. They’ll explore the concepts of triple bottom line, the circular economy, authenticity and the special relationship between brands and the communities that co-create them.

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Influencers Are the Next Generation of Retailers

Speakers: Tracy Sun (Poshmark) and Maghan McDowell

Influencers have gained immense traction in the Digital Age, but the role isn’t a novel concept. Pioneered decades ago by Tupperware parties and Avon’s door-to-door model, these early influencers set the stage for social-media celebrities and influencers in the modern age. But what will the next wave of influencers look like and what will be their impact on shoppers? Hear from fashion and retail experts about the future of influencers and their role in transforming commerce.

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Crossover Track Recommendations

Adventure outside of the Style Track – explore SXSW sessions across all 24 Tracks of Conference programming. These sessions are not a part of the Style Track, but these subjects will interest anyone with an interest in fashion.

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Fashion for the Differently-abled Teaser - Photo by Cris DeWitt

By Neha Aziz