W & Decoded Fashion Celebrate the Fashion Futures Awards Winners

by Kristen Heinzinger
Tory Burch, Stefano Tonchi, Lucy Kriz

Tory Burch, Stefano Tonchi, Lucy Kriz

Last eve, leaders in fashion design and tech celebrated the first U.S. Fashion Futures Awards, hosted by W magazine and Decoded Fashion at The Bowery Hotel in NYC. The 10 categories recognized visionaries and disruptors, and the latest fashion initiatives using mobile platforms, e-commerce, and omnichannel. W editor in chief Stefano Tonchi, publisher/chief revenue officer Lucy Kriz, and Decoded Fashion founder Liz Bacelar were joined by attendees including Tory Burch, Steven Kolb, Rebecca Minkoff, Misha Nonoo, Thakoon, Wes Gordon, Carly Cushnie, Michelle Ochs, Adam Lippes, Dao-Yi Chow, and Maxwell Osborne.

Future tense was top of mind, and we asked Ochs where she thinks things are headed: “Instagram changed everything…The things that we were doing in fashion and the way we operate. And I think we’re going to see a scale back of wanting the persona of the creative. It’s becoming really demanding, and everything we’re seeing with everyone stepping down…it’s going to be interesting to see where the creatives’ position really lies in terms of the persona.”

“I think it’s going to be much more interactive with the consumer now than it ever was before,” added design partner Cushnie. “It will be interesting to see how it affects everyone’s business, individually.”

Minkoff, who took home the Bytes and Bricks award for her use of interactive glass shopping walls, said “When my co-founder brother and I decided we wanted to get into brick and mortar, we knew that we wanted to be disruptors not for the sake of disrupting, but because we knew that the consumer was really ready for a change. We really wanted to cater to her behavior and how she was adapting.”

“It is an extraordinary time in our industry as the worlds of fashion and technology intersect,” said Burch, who snagged the surprise award of Fashion Visionary. “The changing landscape brings incredible opportunities for innovation and it is exciting to think about all that lies ahead.”

“Fashion and technology are both about the future—forecasting and influencing it as it relates to retail, designing and driving it forward when it comes to tech,” said Tonchi. “As a judge, it was refreshing to see so many inventive ideas and such an appetite for experimentation.”

Additional judges included Rodrigo Bazan, president at Alexander Wang; Burak Cakmak, dean of the School of Fashion, Parsons; Lisa Green, head of industry, fashion and luxury brands atGoogle; Taylor Greene, partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures; Steven Kolb, president and CEO at the CFDA; Leandra Medine, author and fashion blogger at Man Repeller; Brian Phillips, president and chief executive at Black Frame; Fred Santarpia, chief digital officer at Condé Nast; Joshua Schulman, president at Bergdorf Goodman; Dirk Standen, editor in chief at 23 Stories; and Kirstine Stewart, VP, North American media partnerships at Twitter.

Without futher ado, the winners…

A Killer Experience (most innovatively enhanced consumer experience): Covet Fashion
Beyond the Runway (most engaging campaign at Fashion Week): Misha Nonoo
New e-Store on the Block (best new e-commerce launch): MM.LAFLEUR
Real-Time Innovator (best use of data and analytics for fashion and retail): Combatant Gentleman
The Big Idea (most promising new digital fashion project): +rehabstudio
The Game Changer (startup set to disrupt fashion in 2015): The RealReal
The Master of Mobile (most innovative use of mobile): Tictail
Digital Coalition (best brand and startup collaboration): Nineteenth Amendment & Macy’s
Bytes and Bricks (best omni-channel experience): Rebecca Minkoff
The Visionaries (selected by W magazine, two honorees pushing boundaries in technology and fashion): SnapchatTory Burch

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