Challenge 4: Reimagining the consumer and retail experience
Industry Lead: Holition
A marked shift in consumer demand has opened the door to the fashion experience economy. Consumer engagement for fashion, textile and technology (FTT) businesses now entails a complex mix of providing compelling experiences and convenience, further complicated by the collision of physical and virtual retail environments.
Advances in technology offer greater opportunity for integration and complementarity between the high street and online channels.
For SMEs, online retail provides immediate access to international markets without any physical presence, but evidence suggests that physical retail space also offers good returns for small firms.
Retail interventions such as pop-ups and short-run exhibitions represent valuable experiences for consumers, and have the potential to launch smaller brands.
Technology has accelerated rapidly over the past two decades, with the power of consumer data and visualisation capabilities yet to reach fashion businesses in a wholescale manner.
Prof Jane Harris
Jane draws upon over 25 years experience in transdisciplinary research, with a background in textile design and extensive experience of computer graphic imaging. Jane’s role includes working with internal and external stakeholders including industry partners, up to Government Ministerial level.
Jane devised novel approaches to the digital representation of dress and textiles. With a track record of leading collaborative industry and academic research and development initiatives, involving cross disciplinary creative industry practitioners. Jane’s experience includes board-level representation in sector-leading organisations such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and advisory roles for the EU, EPSRC, AHRC, ACE and Arts Foundation. She is Director of Research and Innovation (Stratford) and Professor of Digital Design & Innovation at University of the Arts London. Core skills and competences include:
- Strategic leadership and project direction
- Design research in digital and material cultures
- CGI for fashion and textiles
- Knowledge Exchange
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Mark (Dino) Dinoulis was involved in some of the early pioneering research into machine learning whilst studying Computer Science at Manchester University during the 80s. He then went on to build a career within the Fin Tech industry, managing the development of Investment Banking Financial Risk Management Systems before deciding to move his career in a more creative direction, completing an MA Fashion Photography degree at UAL where he used leading edge technologies and machine learning to create captivating visual works within the domain of fashion, costume and performance. Dino’s work on the BFTT programme, focusses on the application of Deep Generative Learning models as an enabler of sustainable fashion. He is currently investigating the use of Generative models in the reconstruction of 3D human body shape and form and for the real-time photorealistic rendering of fabric and garments. Core skills and competencies
- Machine learning
- Augmented reality
- Fashion photography
- Project management
Dr Adam Drazin
Adam Drazin is an anthropology lecturer at UCL (University College London), where he coordinates the MA in Material and Visual Culture and teaches design anthropology. His work has been published in books and journals including Ethnos, Social Anthropology and the Journal of Design History. He is co-editor of the journal Home Cultures and recently edited, with Susanne Küchler (2015), the volume The Social Life of Materials, about anthropological and ethnographic approaches to materials and materials innovation. His forthcoming book on Design and Anthropology will be published by Routledge.
- Design Anthropology
- Material Culture
Emma is both a Senior Lecturer at The Cass School of Architecture, Art and Design (London Metropolitan University) and a PhD candidate in Material Culture at UCL. Her inter-disciplinary research interests include everyday dress, sartorial expertise, design studies, ethics, museology and educational theory. As a University Teaching Fellow at The Cass, Emma is developing pedagogical projects around academic identity and communities of practice. Her PhD project is focused on the concept and practice of expertise amongst dress specialists in California as understood through the lens of social cognition, design thinking and fashion studies.
Emma is a PhD researcher in the anthropology department at UCL, investigating independent diasporic fashion designers, looking specifically at their use of digital tools and the significance of their work in negotiating identity and building networks. Emma’s background is in Economics and Development, with a BA in Economics from UCSD, and an MSc in Anthropology and Development Management from the London School of Economics, as well as previous experience with NGOs and international organisations. Her research stems from an interest in the intersection of digital entrepreneurship, notions of identity and belonging, and the creative freedom of the fashion industry.