Category: Design

What an honour to be asked to judge this years textile competition.

Students were challenged to showcase their skills in business, marketing, and merchandising by creating a business concept of a hypothetical new apparel line that redesigns apparel items (leggings, t-shirts, etc.) for children (ages 2-10) with special needs and/or a disability. See the full competition guidelines for more details.


It wasn’t easy choosing a winner, but here they are.



AATCC would like to extend appreciation to the following developers and judges. Without their expertise and assistance, the Competition would not have been possible.



Muditha Senanayake, Associate Professor at California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, Assistant Professor, Design, Housing and Merchandising Oklahoma State University

Sandy Johnson, Director of Sales at Color Solutions International/Dystar

Kerry King, Vice President, R&D at Spoonflower, Inc.

Mark Sunderland, Director Academic Operations/Textile Engineer+ Strategist, Philadelphia University

Mary Brannon, Apparel Technology Coordinator at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising



Alyssa McNamara, Research & Development at Spoonflower, Inc

Claudia Romero, Managing Director at CAPR-STYLE LTD

Craig Crawford, King of Creative at Crawford IT

Emily Coleman, Designer/Merchandise Manager at Jeffries Socks

Kristie Rhodes, Manager, Product Development at Cotton Incorporated

Lauren Dalton, Product Integrity Manager at Zulily

Susan Matter, Product Integrity Manager at Nordstrom Product Group


What a swell party it was!

I was terribly honoured to host the SalesForce/Ceturna roundtable for London’s Savile Row last

Over dinner in the elegant Mayfair Browns Hotel, we discussed how digital and craftsmanship can partner to drive brand growth and customer engagement.

Digital CRM and meaningful relevant digital communications from London’s bespoke tailors to their global consumers is now expected brand behaviour, however traditional product creation is.

Successful digital storytelling requires authenticity to be effective
at creating brand awareness and sustaining customer loyalty

Savile Row’s authenticity is the stuff digital storytellers dream about.

The partnering of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology is a winning combination.

The most exciting thing about the June 2016 Product Innovation Apparel conference in NYCy was the maturity of 3D simulation tools. These are finally finding their place at the beginning of product concept–moving upstream from the consumer end.

Craig Crawford - Product Innovation NYC

Historically these technologies have been used at the end of the product design cycle–used to sell without samples.

Craig Crawford - Product Innovation NYC

But in just a few short months, 3D simulation tech has matured to be easier to use and is, therefore, finding its rightful place at product concept. Why wouldn’t designers and product developers simulate product prototypes BEFORE sample making?

Craig Crawford - Product Innovation NYC

Other exciting showcases included:

-In store Pop-Up Product Customisation tech that lets consumers create one of a kind custom product (think smartphone cases, handbags, t-shirt, water bottles) with an easy and fun to use CAD step-and-repeat software that drives dye sublimation printers to print onto product while the consumer waits.
-Manufacture New York’s incubator that is making Brooklyn the new innovation hub giving Manhattan’s garment centre a run for its money.
-A Mobile PLM platform that is independent of the enterprise PLM mothership. Integration and ingenuity enabling the product and textile design and development teams to be true mobility at work.

Last week (June 20-26) was London tech week and it all kicked off with a Fash tech curated exhibit near Old street, at The Yard in Shoreditch.

Digital knit wear designer Brooke Roberts was curator.

Tech should be transparent, she explained while waking me through her digital produced knitwear that take their patterns from MRI brain scans and CAT brain wave images.


The first truly drapable 3D printed dress by Modeclix was on display. Made of polymer, the dress is assembled by snapping each tiny printed piece together — a modern day chain mail. Swarovski crystals snap onto some of the parts allowing the dresses to me creates i. A variety of styles, colour, patterns and sparkle.

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For me the best blend of physical and digital was the hologram topped mannequin by Headworks. The bottom is a standard visual merchandising mannequin, but the top is a hologram that can be programmed to recognize faces and response. Additionally it can collect data on shopper interactions within the store

Augmented Reality by Village took viewers onto the runway in a completely immersive 360 way. “Being there” storytelling in a very chic way


The first 3D printed robot ‘InMoov Robot‘ donned a Muslin dress that a variety of different gowns were projected onto. The robot can react to voice commands and is interactive with consumers

But by far singer song writer Beatie Wolfe stole the show when she took the stage and performed in her musical jacket.

The jacket was made by the same Saville row tailors who stitches for The Rolling Stones and David Bowie and the bespoke woven fabric literally took its pattern from the sound waves of beatie’s recording of “take me home”. An NFC chip embedded in the back of the jacket triggers the song to play on anyone’s smartphone lucky enough to be near her!

Her album montage square is an homage to many of rock and rolls greats and was recorded in the former residence of John Lennon. Each cd is packed with a deck of cards “liner notesl also embedded with NFC chips that when touched to a smartphone triggers the song to play.

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Physical and digital beautiful blended with art and storytelling.

I can’t help it. I get teary eyed with pride every year when the finalists compete in the apps for good marketplace and pitch their app concepts

Look at these 8 – 18year olds who as teams identified a problem that they felt could be solved with technology, researched the market, conceived and designed the app, pitched it to executives in true “dragons den” fashion, and then pitched it to executive guests from all industry sectors in an evening marketplace


The team who produced The School Council App–helping kids stay in touch with school issues and participate in local policy making


Pitching for My Allergy Basket. At 8 years old, these guys developed an idea to allow allergy sufferers to scan as they shop in supermarket to avoid hazardous allergic reactions to food


Helping you find your way–team Destination for You


Team Yum–promoting healthy eating


Torr–these Scottish girls propose an app aimed at helping hikers find trails and mountains to tackle

This year marks the 5th year of this not-for-profit’s work: creating nurturing and sustaining the educational curriculum that makes it all happen with the support of individuals, educators and corporate sponsorships.

For a complete list of winners visit the website.

I didn’t try to find Augmented Reality; it just found me!

This week’s theme has been Augmented Reality–All randomly

Which means to me, AR is coming of age and increasingly important

It started Monday at charity:water’s UK launch. I love this American based charity. charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. As they enter their 10th year, they have funded 19,819 water projects in 24 countries helping 6.1 million people.



At the UK launch, oculus rift was used to provide a 360 immersive experience into 13-year-old Selam’s village life in Northern Ethiopia. More than a glimpse into her village and life there, you are transported; to empathize with her and her people. In the end, you feel the thrill of the water geyser rising up as the drill taps Into the underground water reserve.

Wow, who knew AR could be an empathy machine!

On Tuesday a Shea Collins, a marketing and branding colleague and I played with Interactive AR at Somo.

We manipulated objects in 3D–Pretty cool

And then Thursday I had lunch with Charly Leven of the agency Happy finish and via AR I was fully immersed in a world that few until now can understand. I could feel what it’s like to be Autistic.


Later we romped through Rihanna’s bedroom!

It appears to me that AR has finally found a use case: Immersive storytelling. AR is indeed a gateway to emotional storytelling

PS that day ended at the Worship Street `Whistle Shop were I was served—wait for it: the Augmented Martini! A dry martini with a gelatine ball that as it melts it augments the dry into a dirty martini. Ahhhh.


Delighted to have been part of the creative industry round table dinner/discussion on the role of art in fostering social change

Held at Second Home amazing new collaborative workspace in Shoreditch–the dinner was by Jago and champagne by Laurent-Perrier . In addition Our/London provided some wicked craft vodka.


The discussion led by Mario Testino+ CEO Suki Larson was indeed reaffirming that what we do in fashion and art stimulates deign thinking and social reform

And I was thrilled that Suki and the team got me a coveted copy of Mario’s book documenting and celebrating his native Peru


His non profit culture organisation Mate opened in Lima Peru in 2012 is a testament to this

And I was thrilled to meet the lovely Marianne Magnin, founder of the Cornelius arts foundation whose work is devoted to exploring the transformative power of art

Water, food, literacy, art. The cornerstones of man’s evolution

It’s hard for me to believe that Apps for Good turns 5 this year! 50,000 students have developed 10,000 apps in just 5 years through this amazing nonprofit programme that puts app development curriculum into high school classrooms.

“I’d like to use technology to make day to day life better for everybody,” one of the students told me at the 2016 app launch where this year’s winners showcased their just built apps.

Here is the team from MySoundClash — an app that lets you play music across multiple devices from a single source. It came about because one of the students wanted to share music with the family while on holiday and found sharing a set of ear plugs less than desirable.

The idea is so cutting edge, they only got the tech to work the morning of the launch!



Welcome to the big league kids. And don’t sweat it; this is how the industry does it all the time! #lastminutefinish

Download the apps from the full list of amazing winners from 2015 here 

Big Bang Data Exhibition

Let’s face it; we hear a lot about the power of Big Data. But who’s really harnessing it?

The Big Bang Data exhibition at London’s Somerset House (Dec 2015-March 2016) brings together science and art in a thought provoking display of what we currently give away: lots of personal data.



An example: Owen Mundy’s I know where your cat lives. A million feline photos (that contain latitude and longitude coordinates in their metadata) are surfaced up through APIs from popular photo sharing websites such as Instagram. Using a supercomputer at Florida State University, the photos are run through various clustering algorithms to reveal on a map where they “live.”

Since its start in 2014, only 14% of the original cats remain in the project as owners involved changed their privacy settings on their social media, showing awareness is meaningful to most of us when it comes to data sharing.


Other projects include an overhead “galaxy” of moving “stars and constellations” that were formed as global banking institutions processed transactions.

“A high school kid could do it” reveals how Safecast’s sharing of knowledge and open-source allowed people to rapidly prototype low cost Geiger counters in response to the 2011 tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi. The data collected and shared has made them the main source of independent radiation data in Japan.


What a day!  So honoured to have participated in the M&S marketing teams away day In Touch with Darren Turrell of estudio

From motivational speaker Nigel Risner to Ogilvy and Mather Vice Chairman and advertising guru Rory Sutherland, the day was packed with words to live by:

“If you’re in the room, be in the room,” advised Risner

“You can’t solve south London problems with north London maps,” quipped Sutherland as he urged the audience to understand the customer’s psychological relationship with the brand.


Which animal are you?  It’s not important explained Risner. What is important is to recognise it’s all a zoo and we need to talk to all of the animals.  We are all zookeepers.  No kidding!

The day also featured an exhibit area filled with interactive tech to inspire the teams to think about the store and customer experience of the future:

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Darren had a go at graffiti, taking him back to his youth as a graffiti artist!