Developments in fashion-tech and sustainability — our key takeaways from e-P Summit
The digital fashion conference connected fashion brands with solution providers. Discussing and developing new ideas that will push fashion forward.
By OLIVER DAHLE
May 10, 2022
Last week Pitti Immagine, the organization behind several fairs within the lifestyle sector but most known for Pitti Uomo, organized the e-P Summit. With the slogan ”shaping the digital future of fashion”, the two-day conference dealt with digital solutions that can contribute to improving the fashion industry.
When we are talking about the merging of digital, luxury and fashion, especially in the last two years, what comes to mind is often what is presented to the final consumer — digital garments, gaming, NFTs and so on. These topics were touched upon at the e-P Summit, but in general, it was the sector as a whole and the machinery that makes the fashion industry an industry that was the main topic.
e-P Summit combined a traditional trade fair format with conference elements that included keynote speakers and round tables. Speakers were C-suite executives from established fashion houses, such as Loro Piana and Max Mara, but also coming from start-ups. Tech giants like Meta and Google Cloud made appearances, but also companies working more behind the scenes with topics such as stock keeping, supply chain management, demand planning, cyber security and so on. All with the same goal and vision — how can we together make our businesses more sustainable, -profitable and -healthy.
In one of the roundtables, sustainability was discussed in relation to supply chains, knowledge and transparency. In the talk, Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution, addressed the audience directly, “Fashion is today a very aggressive system that affects both the planet and its people. It is hard to change — therefore, we need the help from the industry and you to change it”.
The fair section of the e-P Summit had companies presenting their technical solutions that help brands to achieve a more streamlined and manageable fashion value chain. A selection of these companies was;
Provides fashion brands with wholesale management in the whole process from connecting retailers and brands to payment. By implementing a virtual showroom brands are able to present their collections on a realistic level that is comparable to a physical showroom visit.
By creating different digital platforms, Lectra helps fashion brands with, for example, automated fabric cutting, PLM, PIM, DAM and benchmark analysis with competitors. By implementing different digital solutions Lectra can cover the whole fashion value chain.
A European tech leader that provides companies with digital services, software development and consulting for end-to-end solutions. By working over different sectors and with innovative technologies, Sopra Steria helps companies in their digital transformation.
By digitalizing and interconnecting the whole supply chain, from supplier to consumer, Tesisquare helps fashion brands to get a manageable overview of their supply chains.
Is helping brands to transform the customer shopping experience by creating interactive technology that can customize products in 2D, 3D, AR and with virtual try-on solutions.
Man of the hour was the newly appointed scientific director, Rinaldo Rinaldi. Besides moderating the event, he, together with a scientific committee of university professors and top-level executives from fashion and luxury companies, crafted the schedule and planning of the e-P Summit.
Rinaldi describes the fair as a success. With a prominent lineup of speakers and guests coming from over a hundred fashion brands, the e-P Summit played out well and created what Rinaldi describes as a ”think tank”. Having fashion brands meet and discuss their problems Rinaldi thinks is crucial to pushing the industry forward.
— It is not easy putting this together, but it was possible through Pitti Immagine. To be frank, there is a lot of trouble when it comes to involving fashion companies, it could be a lot of jealousy and legal restrictions, but this year there were none. Just because of Pitti Immagine. It is important to create a meeting point for fashion companies facing and discuss together with the providers. Putting them together and having a match between requirements and solutions is essential, Rinaldi explains.
That the digital transformation within fashion will continue is evident and the e-P Summit will follow suit. ”We are now working on a very important project in which we will have many smaller meetings along the year, focusing on a specific issue. The feedback from these workshops will then be put together for the next edition of e-P Summit”, says Rinaldi. The future of the e-P Summit was also addressed in the final speech by the CEO of Pitti Immagine, Raffaello Napoleone — he stressed the fact that the importance of this event will be even greater in the future and, maybe, it will cross-contaminate Pitti Immagine’s more creative fairs.