This year was the 25th anniversary of SXSW, so it seems only fitting for it to be the debut year of StyleX. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and while they definitely have a lot of things to edit and work out for next year, I was happy and impressed overall. Unfortunately I missed all of Friday’s events, but I was able to check things out on Saturday.
The very first thing that I did during Style X was attend a panel. I arrived a few minutes late (oops!), so I didn’t get the introductions. According to the website there were supposed to be five speakers:
The Difference Between Fashion & Style and How to Break into the Biz
– Moe Boualaphanh, new faces, development & imaging, Marilyn Modeling Agency
– Bradley Carbone: lifestyle/sneaker editor, Complex Magazine
– Chloe Dao: fashion designer, Project Runway winner
– Allen Onyia: founder, UpscaleHype.com
– Amal Safdar: runway show coordinator, OneKick Productions
Obviously from my pictures there were only 4 (the moderator is in the center). The only two people I know from the panel are Chloe Dao (far left) and Moe Boualaphanh (far right). Overall I didn’t learn much that I haven’t been told at school. It was a lot of “spend time to perfect your product”, “know yourself and your market”, “make sure you produce quality products so your consumer will come back”… etc. While it was interesting and somewhat informative a concert may have been a better use of my time. For me, as an aspiring fashion designer, I would have enjoyed hearing from Chloe more about how she got started in the business and what she has done to grow and expand her brand. That would have been well-worth my time.
Afterwards I went to the Am Appy flea market, which seemed to be a big draw for most of the people at StyleX. As soon as I got in I bee-lined it for the vintage section. It was more sparse than last year (probably because it was midway through the second day) but I was able to find an AMAZING oversized olive-green corduroy mens blazer. Seriously people, this thing is to die for. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be buried in it. I also was able to snag a pair of tights and a mens chambray shirt. I spent more than I was planning but I’m super happy with my finds! At this point I had some time to burn (over an hour) so I ran back to my car which was a mile and a half away to put my bag up and then ran back and made it just in time to get a good seat for the second panel.
This was what I was really looking forward to. Indiana Adams, of AdoredAustin.com and Kelly Framel, of TheGlamourai.com are two of my favorite fashion/style bloggers so there was no way that I was going to pass up the opportunity to go see them! In fact I missed my friends’ play their last show of the weekend in order to go to the panel (sorry guys!). Again, according to the website there were supposed to be more people speaking, but this time I know who all was there: so here’s the edited list:
Technology is Cool, but Technology+Fashion is Cooler
– Indiana Adams: blogger & co-founder of Texas Style Council
– Marissa Evans: CEO/founder, GoTryItOn.com
– Kelly Framel: creator/designer, TheGlamourai.com
– Devin Hunt: co-founder, Ly.st
– Syuzi Pakhchyan: author, Fashioning Technology
– J. Erik Schaeffer: CEO/co-founder, RetailrApp.com & DoubleStereo.com
This panel was much more informative and interesting (and much more crowded) than the one earlier in the day. Kelly and Indiana talked a little bit about their style and about monetizing their blogs, Syuzi talked about her work where she puts crazy wires and lights and stuff into her designs (way cool but so not me), but what I found most interesting was what the other three – Devin, Marissa, and Erik talked about. All three of them are really excited about a new business sector that is opening up that has to do with the merging of fashion and technology. Devin mentioned at one point he and his business partner had met with a fashion house in Paris and they were told that the house held the belief that the internet is a fad (he phrased it differently, but that was definitely the gist of it). I’m sure I laughed the hardest of anyone in the audience at that notion. I’m all about being connected online: facebook, twitter, linkedin, foursquare, bloglovin, my blog, last.fm, and I’m sure my myspace is still out there somewhere (I should probably delete it if I haven’t already…). I don’t know how any business, fashion or not, can survive without taking advantage of putting their product and branding out there for everyone globally, and not simply with their website but also by being connected to other sites like ly.st or gotryiton.com.