Design Driven Innovation Lecture: Fashion & Tech

photo credit:  Jaskirat Randhawa

photo credit: Jaskirat Randhawa

The Design Driven lecture was held at Parsons, Tishman Auditorium located at Parsons The New School for Design - 63 5th Avenue. Parsons Dean of Fashion, Burak Cakmak introduced Anna Bakst and Nicola Glass, President and SVP of Accessories Design from Michael Kors.

Other than brand strategy and product development, the representatives answered questions regarding the close relationship between the designer and supply chain. Anna emphasized designers need a strong understanding of how a product is built from start to finish.

Burak then initiates a conversation regarding technology and if there is a future plan to incorporate more technology into fashion, in particular the Micheal Kors brand. To further the conversation, I asked Anna and Nicole a question regarding wearable technology:

"Speaking as a Parsons student, our school has multiple disciplines that are crossing fashion. I was wondering if other than online retail and using technology tools as part of the design process, are there any plans to incorporate technology on the actual products."

Anna immediate understood my question. “If you mean wearable technology yes, we are aware of the things happening like battery charging bags.” She gives a disclaimer on wearable technology by asking the audience when using technology in product design. “There has to be a “need” that justifies the use of technology directly onto a product such as, a battery charged bag” she says.  

Anna mentioned a wearable product coming next fall and is open to ideas but wants to find a balance between technology and design. The company overall seems to be taking a cautious approach to incorporating technology into their products. The design team was primarily focused on accessories and building the brand name rather, than introducing new technologies.