The Unconference’s ten essential conversations cover a range of themes — from what Gen Z will want next, the fashion system and how it uses data — the substance of the discussions will provide ideas and direction for anyone at work and play.
MORNING SESSION I
Hosts: Simon Collins and Hitha Herzog
FASHION VS. BIG DATA: SURVIVE OR THRIVE?
Big Data technology has the power to snap a broad and detailed picture of the marketplace—and the niches of taste and habit within it. So why have large parts of the fashion industry been so slow to harness this power?
Nicole Phelps (Vogue.com), Jenie Beik (Orchard Mile) plus guests
WECHAT VS THE WORLD - IS CHINA DESIGNING THE FUTURE?
China is rapidly adding a design studio to its role as the world's workshop. WeChat did more business in one day than all of Hollywood does in a whole year. How long will it be before a Chinese brand is as recognizable and globally ubiquitous as Nike or McDonald's and what are we missing?
Su Mang (Trends China), Julie Larson Green (Microsoft), Tony King (King and Partners), Liyia Wu (Shopshop)
ADVERTISING IN THE U.S. IS DEAD.
Some commercials are brilliant films-in-miniature. They go viral, clocking millions of fans worldwide. They make people laugh. They make people cry. Also: They make people buy. Apart from the annual Half Time Show why is it that so few of these commercials are shown in the States?
Andrew Essex (Tribeca Films), Ana Andjelic (Havas LuxHub), McKenzie Wark (The New School) plus guest
10:45 - 11:15 COFFEE & SOCIAL
MORNING SESSION II
WHAT WILL GEN Z WANT NEXT?
One generation's hip is another's ho-hum. And nowhere is that dynamic more apparent than in streetwear. Young people fight for exclusive product so why do some brands—and some products—catch fire? And crucially what makes those fires go out? What do Millennials and Generation Z want today, and what are they going to want tomorrow?
Jeff Staple (Staple Design), Leandra Medine (Man Repeller), Leslie Ghize (Tobe Report) plus guest
Ten brilliant retail and consumer goods start-ups from this New York City innovation accelerator. Kurt Salmon and Parsons School of Design brought together all of their resources to catapult these young companies forward. See what you need to catch up with.
Pano Anthos and 10 x XRC Entrepreneurs
12:15 - 13:15 LUNCH & SOCIAL
AFTERNOON SESSION I
IS ACTIVE THE NEW HIP? CREATIVITY IN THE TIME OF TRUMP?
One thing we learned in Nov 2016 is that Facebook whining and #thoughtsandprayers don’t win. In 2017 social networking is happening offline in the streets. Is this like the American 60’s radicalism or anti-Reagan/Thatcher era of the 70’s and 80’s that gave us punk? Are we on the cusp of a similar paradigm shift? And if so, are there clues that can tell us what to expect?
Vanessa Friedman (New York Times), Zac Posen (Fashion designer), Jeremy Varon (The New School) plus guest
FASHION WEEK IS DEAD. LONG LIVE FASHION WEEK!
Fashion Week used to be private previews for media and buyers. Now in New York everyone’s making it work in their own way - from see now buy now extravaganzas to embargoed exclusives and stripped-down ultra simple - so what’s right for you, and what’s next?
Steven Kolb (CFDA), Laura Brown (InStyle) plus guests
14:15 - 14:45 COFFEE & SOCIAL
AFTERNOON SESSION II
IS PUBLIC THE NEW PRIVATE?
Ian Schrager’s new Lower East Side hotel is called "Public" because he wants it open to everyone, this from the man who invented the velvet rope at Studio 54. With mega celebs and even the US President communicating directly with their communities via social media what’s exclusive anymore?
Ian Schrager (Ian Schrager Company), Joel Towers (Parsons School of Design), Richard Found (Found Associates)
WOMEN ARE GOOD FOR BUSINESS
How do we remove barriers so that women can thrive, whether in Asia, Africa, or here in the US. Why have we waited so long for gender equality, how do we achieve it, and why do some people still fight against it? Where is it working and what can we learn from that?
LIya Kebede (Supermodel Activist), Mary Alice Stephenson (Glam4good Activist) plus guests
LOOK BACK IN ANGER
Simon Collins and Hitha Herzog reflect on the power and the glory of ideas, what we learned and what you can take away with you.
Simon Collins (Fashion Culture Design), Hitha Herzog (MSNBC, FOX NEWS, H Squared Research)