#FROW2025 Fashion & Technology Trends

In the wake of the final fashion shows for A/W 2015, and the media buzz surrounding the latest tech and digital devices being used on the catwalk, we got together fashion experts from different fashion disciplines and global locations to share their thoughts on where the industry is going and what they believe will be the focus for those on the FROW at A/W Fashion Week 2025. 

Federico Barberi, Former SVP Digital and eBusiness for the Kering GroupTony Glenville, Creative Director of London College of FashionPaulo Bernini, Creative Director of Open ReplyCreative Fashion Director and Designer Yossi Cohen and Fashion Journalist Andrew Tuck share their take on where the industry is going, what we can expect and how Fashion Week 2025 will make us feel about fashion.

From virtual trunk shows and geo-location to me-commerce and 3D collections, we hear from the experts.

Tony Glenville, Creative Director of London College of Fashion talks technology and the emergence of new designers. 

“Will we be tweeting? Will we be blogging? Will we be Instagramming? My gut instinct is no. New forms and ideas are rolling up behind us as I type this. 

“BUT I do think we will still be sitting watching catwalk shows! The truth is clothes are meant to be seen on models close up and with atmosphere. Fashion is curiously like ballet and opera - a glass wall descends between the viewer and the event when technology intervenes. It is the live event and the transitory quality of that show which enchants. No video ever looks as good as the real event and a 15 minute show on YouTube is snoresville!

“What I think we need are good editing apps for film clips on phones. I think we need better sound on mobile phones but it still is not substitute for the real thing.

“I also think in the next decade magazines and publishing will continue to improve and elevate the platform away from lower and middle end mags. Italian Vogue or V Magazine are special, worth the money and last. The disposable £1 mag is no substitute for instant internet gossip, revelations and images of celebrities caught unaware. Publications may well appear less often than the 12 issues a year, perhaps being replaced even for the top glossies with new ideas between the fabulous "in your hand" publication and the on-line content.”

Talking on the evolution of designers, Tony (pictured left) added:

“The four cities are already being challenged over their creative prominence and the local versus global argument will see this shatter further. Designers are NOT looking to launch global brands they are looking to launch successful brands within the feasible sphere. The Beirut designers, the Stockholm designers and the Sydney designers are not aiming to become the next Armani, a role impossible to replicate today. They wish to have a good solid home base and a selected number of international stockists appropriate to their image and brand. 

“In brief, retail will remain retail, technology will flap around saying it is the answer to everything and still technical body scanning, computer pattern cutting and 100% synthetic fabrics will be discussed and we will still want a bespoke suit, a one off dress and a cashmere sweater!”

Federico Barberi, (pictured right) Former SVP Digital and eBusiness for the Kering Groupdoesn’t think the core elements of Fashion Week will change, but believes digital will take it to another level; enhancing the experience for customers and opinion makers and making brands more effective and fast paced. 

“The shows will take place right before the start of the season. The week right after the show the boutiques will present the new collection in the windows all over the world. Fashion editors and key customers will access the show with electronic invitation embedded in their wearable device, that will give them instant access to content that will enrich their experience while watching the show. Inspirations, craftsmanship, invisible details will pop up in their glasses, while watching the show and with a quick little gesture they can take note, make selections and publish their editorial right after the show in a curated and crafted way, whilst in a taxi on the way to their next event.

“Customers will enjoy the show from home or on-the-go. The show will offer the viewer a different experience from those at the event - different but equally exciting thanks to productions that get closer to cinema or sport events. Mobile devices will be able to interact with any other device in order to push content on bigger screens to better enjoy the event wherever you are. VIP customers will have access to special services like virtual trunk shows where they can book, buy and make appointments in real-time for any store in the world in order to try their favourite look the week after the show.

“The retail experience will still be focusing on extremely accurate visual presentation of the products and by well-trained sales associates, but the hidden technology will enable new services and eliminate non luxury moments from the experience. Fingerprint payments, delivery options to avoid waiting for the package, real time availability of any item in the world for next day delivery, a geo-localised service to help customers avoid traffic, parking or any other practical problems – all using technology to enhance the customer experience.”

Paulo Bernini is the Creative Director of Open Reply - a global agency that creates premium digital beauty for some of the world’s most beautiful brands. Looking ahead to LFW 2025, Paulo (pictured left) believes wearable tech needs to get pretty. 

“The recent A/W Fashion Week 2015 saw more brands than ever using technology. From Burberry going social on the catwalk and tweeting followers a personalised picture from the runway if they tweeted @Burberry using #tweetcam, to Hunter being the first to live stream its show into major shopping centres across the UK and Luxe sportswear designer – Charli Cohen (despite highly debateable rumours on the ROI) who teamed up with the launch of app ‘The Edit’ to make her first ever LFW catwalk show instantly shoppable to those in attendance, designers are increasingly tempted by tech, mostly on the communications and promotion space.

“At the moment, wearable tech is ugly. In 2025 designers will have invested in the technology to make pieces that look like art. Rather than a clunky piece of jewellery or a funny looking watch, models will be adorned with enviable pieces of art that fashion fans will devour. In the next decade, the gap between design and technology should disappear. It has to!

“In addition to technology driving the agenda of Fashion Week 2025, we’ll be well and truly immersed in an era of me-commerce. Successful brands will not only meet, but exceed the digital brand experience and create a bespoke and personal one-to-one relationship that makes fashionista’s not only engage in the brands’ values, but feel a unique part of the retailers’ world. After all, me-commerce is the new black.”

Giving a designer’s perspective, Yossi Cohen, (pictured right) Creative Fashion Director and Designer with 20 years of experience working with International Fashion Brands, thinks the change in creative process and the touch and feel factor will be the key things to watch. 

“I keep asking myself that besides all the digital media and communications, by 2025 technology will have a bigger impact in the fashion creative and production side as well. Although I believe that the creative process for designers will largely be the same, technology will surely take an extra role as part of the effects or part of the creation.

“I expect deep changes in the technology of materials, with new techniques to have an impact in the overall output, such as a continuous changing print image on a garment, or changing colour of an item following the mood and feel of who is wearing it. That could become finally the merge in the ‘wearable technology’.

“Maybe we will be able to create 3D collections without the use of fabrics, all made by a computer and the technology will transform the image into a "real" item for us to wear.

“I believe we'll have the ability to feel and touch the garments by using technology... so seeing it in a computer will be almost the same as being in the show.

“The luxury shows will use technology and virtual images more and more, special effects can make a difference even on the live show for the happy few who are present in the event... so we can still keep the difference with those seeing it on a device.”

Fashion journalist, Andrew Tuck talk’s social media, thinks technology will be both a friend and foe in the future and believes there’s a lot to be learned from the Orient.

“Social media is a friend if it helps to increase a brands’ following and it can lend a new editorial angle to even the most banal brand, yet it will become a foe if it means that a brand has become too accessible or cannot control its image and there is a strong case for luxury brands reasserting a sense of exclusivity in the market.

“The Fashion Week organisations that don’t have sophisticated social media or online presences will suffer. I’ve attended a lot of secondary Fashion Week’s which have some excellent designers, but are very poorly served by awful websites in bad English and poor images. This makes them very difficult to operate and have a strong air of unprofessionalism.  

“We could learn a lot more from the way Japan, China and Korea handle ecommerce and social media and as such an important market, every western brand needs to get to grips with the region in more than a superficial way. A website that uses Chinese language in a patronising way that isn't culturally sensitive to the market is a fundamental flaw - we need to stop thinking in an imperialist fashion.”

When asked if there was anything that will never change about Fashion Week and what excites him about Fashion Week 2025, he added:

“Elitism and hierarchy of prestige will never change. But what I’m excited for is the new power structure in the industry. What else excites me? The rise of Africa as a market with its own sense of aesthetics, the lessening in importance of the luxury brands that have dominated my working life, with them being replaced by a crop of new designers, a more responsible attitude to how we consume clothes and a more evolved appreciation of luxury and craftsmanship.

“Also, the new technologies particularly in fabrications - more for their aesthetics (I'm not interested in a coat that can control my central heating!) than functionality. And finally, a sense of multiculturalism which is not about homogeneity, but importantly fun!”

So from social interaction, emerging technologies and globalisation, Fashion Week 2025 is all about progression. What do you think? Join in the conversation on twitter using @OpenReplyUK #FROW2025

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