Microsoft x LCF
London College of Fashion: Incubating the future of fashion and empowering tomorrow’s talent to transform the industry with cutting-edge tech
Microsoft partnered with London College of Fashion, UAL to find out what happens when the future leaders of the fashion industry get their hands on the innovative technology of today. The FIA worked closely with Microsoft to deliver this unique project which provided a selective group of students with the opportunity to work with cutting-edge Microsoft technology to create new solutions that aim to innovate the fashion industry.
Microsoft co-created a custom curriculum for a semester-long incubator with LCF’s Fashion Innovation Agency and Digital Learning Lab. Students across multiple majors in both the bachelor’s and master’s programs applied to participate in this advanced course that challenged them to use cutting-edge technology like mixed reality, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence to disrupt the fashion industry. The program seeks to spark creativity and meaningful innovation, allowing the students to bring their vision of the future of fashion to life.
“Collaborating with Microsoft to empower our students with emerging technologies across courses through this project is incredibly exciting.” Fusing business ideas with mixed reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning, ultimately, will allow a pathway to creating the digital designer business of the future.” Matthew Drinkwater, Head of Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion.
Working in groups, students spent the term developing prototypes and proposals for their projects, which they presented at the LCFBA18 Degree Show in June. Technological assistance came from specialists at Microsoft, while special mentorship came from industry insiders including: sustainability-minded designer Charli Cohen; fashion creative Sofia Barattieri; Bia Bezamat, innovation editor of TheCurrent; Sophia Matveeva, cofounder and CEO of Style Counsel; designer Hayley Elsaesser; and Natasha Franck, founder and CEO of EON and a past winner of the H&M Global Change Award.
Watch this short film about the project:
“Technology is the reason that I have a brand. I think it just helps speed up and streamline the whole process.” Hayley Elsaesser, Industry Ambassador.
The students’ innovations went above and beyond everyone’s expectations. On June 5, industry, press, and students gathered in east London to examine the results. From a mixed-reality visual merchandising tool to an IoT-powered exercise app and an AI-assisted billboard that delivers hyper-targeted ads, these students offered a real glimpse of the future of fashion.
“It has been amazing to partner with London College of Fashion and their Fashion Innovation Agency, to push the boundaries of how technology can really drive impact and foster alternative creative thinking in fashion. The future of the industry is enrolled here, and we want to empower them to make a purposeful difference — not just now, but also when they enter the industry.” – Maruschka Loubser, Senior Global Marketing Manager, Microsoft.
Microsoft has been proud to empower this next generation of fashion talent, and wishes the very best of luck to all these talented students.
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