Conscious Fashion Tech News & Events in NYC | 2.12.19–3.12.19 | Fashion Shows Are Dead: It is Time to Acknowledge the Industry’s Big Illusion

Dear Friend,

If you’re reading this newsletter, you most likely know that the Fashion Weeks season is on at this time. As I am seeing photos and meaningless videos of runway shows on Instagram, I am choosing to unfollow anyone who posts too much. I don’t want to be part of this anymore. There is too much illusion, very little reality in fashion.

I just wrote quite a piece on the slow death of fashion shows & the transformation of the fashion weeks era. It’s time to acknowledge the big industry’s Illusion and move on with healthier ways of presenting fashion. We only can see what’s in the dark by shedding light on it. This is why I write these articles and trust that the right people will read them. Below is a preview. Read the rest here, it’s a big article but the topic is worth exploring — by consciously adding to the fashion weeks noise we can choose to direct the industry towards sustainability.

Funny enough, I’ve been that fashion addict kind of person for years untill several years ago — the one who went to fashion shows, took photos and shared on social media all the time. Contributed to building this big illusion. Things change, priorities shift. But I’m drawn to write about this topic now that I have a more holistic and detached view of the industry and have a few stories from my personal experience to share.

Let’s start from the basics. Fashion Week season is a superficially created time extended for 2 months for generating hype to pump the ever-expanding consumption process. Fashion weeks are not real. They are a construct of the industry. Trade shows are still real, appointments in showrooms are still real. But fashion weeks are not.

These days the general purpose of fashion shows is two-fold:

  • To showcase the collection to be photographed + posted on various media outlets for stylists, buyers and customers to see.
  • To keep the status of the brand high in the eyes of press and customers.

Yes, not much more in terms of purpose. Everything else is either on social media or hidden behind the “seams”. You’ll find more here. Curious to hear your feedback on my perspective on fashion weeks.

On another note, I feel you’d benefit from checking out the latest Fashion is Your Business Podcast episode that I hosted on location at Remode conference in LA. It is an interview with Ryan Teng, Business Development for CLO Virtual Fashion (3D Virtual Design Software). Ryan is a very charismatic, knowledgable individual who is truly passionate about using innovative technology for empowering fashion businesses that improve how our industry operates. Listen to the full interview to learn more about hot CLO’s 3D visualization technology can be applied to treat fashion company’s problems of fit, returns, waste and much more.


High Consciousness: Where is our industry heading?

  • New York’S Young Designers Can’T Stop Thinking About Climate Change — Fashionista
  • Bioglitz Is The Sustainable Glitter Brand On A Mission To Save The World — Dazed
  • How Fashion Brands Can Create A More Sustainable End-To-End Retail Economy — Fashionista
  • How Biotech Is Changing The Way We Make Clothes — Labiotech
  • Céline Semaan: ‘We must look at waste as a new resource’ — Arab News
  • Amazon patents virtual changing room app with data-led style recommendations — The Current Daily
  • 6 Brands Proving Sustainability Is Anything But Basic — Paper
  • Worn Again Transforms Old Clothes Into Raw Materials — Forbes
  • How fashion brand For Days is scaling its circular business model — Glossy
  • Céline Semaan Pushes Conversations On Sustainability And Fashion Activism Forward — Fashionista
  • A coalition of giant brands is about to change how we shop forever, with a new zero-waste platform — Fast Company
  • Why fashion brands are launching podcasts — Business of Fashion
  • Slow Fashion Starts With Slow Manufacturing — Virtue + Vice

What do we need to know to prepare for the shift?

  • HM Is Sitting On $4.3 Billion Worth Of Unsold Stock — WellMade (Purposefully resurfacing this article originally published on NYT last year)
  • Retail is broken. Apple’s Angela Ahrendts has a plan — Vogue Business
  • Diet Prada, Estée Laundry and the rise of watchdog culture: harmful or helpful? — Business of Fashion
  • What a runway show really costs — Vogue Business
  • Fast fashion exploits everyone it touches — Quartz
  • Online shopping will never be sustainable. Blame these ubiquitous plastic bags. — Wox
  • Analytics are reshaping fashion’s old-school instincts — Vogue Business
  • Celebrities and social media influencers sign transparency pact — The Industry
  • Fashionista’s new survey suggests that bullying is still alive and well in the fashion industry — Fashionista (Please take time to read this!!!)


Tuesday, February 12th

7:00–9pm #SustainingSustainable: Legal Logistics

One of the topics that feels the heaviest and most confusing for designers and entrepreneurs falls into the legal department. Between legal lingo and the potential for getting into a huge amount of legal trouble or being sued, and having to pay fines or throw out extra cash to fix legal mistakes, we end up hiring lawyers for things we don’t necessarily need. Price: $20 Location: Arlo SoHo, 231 Hudson Street

6:00pm — 8:00pm Glass Slipper or Glass Ceiling? Connecting the Fashion Industry and Gender

Gender equality is a critical issue — now more than ever. It is embodied in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as global movements such as #MeToo, and others who are working to end inequalities, promoting empowerment of women and girls, ending discrimination and eliminating all forms of violence. While the movement continues to make gains in all aspects of political, economic, and public life — much still needs to be accomplished. Price: Free Location: Lebanese American University New York Headquarters and Academic Center, 211 E 46th Street

Wednesday, February 13th

8:00am — 6:30am Fashinnovation

We bridge the gap in conversation between the fashion and technology industries, inspiring an entrepreneurial mindset. Topics of discussion include design/creative, manufacturing/production, start up/ventures, e-commerce, sustainability and more. We build a diverse community of like minded individuals in intersecting industries, keeping everyone abreast the latest in trends/innovations. With founder/CEOs Kohl Crecelius (Known Supply), Ruth DeGolia (Mercado Global), Vikram Bhaskaran (Head of Market Development, Pinterest), Alfredo Orobio (Awaytomars), Gus Bartholomew (SupplyCompass), Emily Edelson (Chic Sketch), Veronika Scott (The Empowerment Plan), Eno Polo (Havaianas). Price: $249 Location: Tribeca Rooftop 360, 2 Desbrosses St

7:00–10pm Adalinda Sustainable Fashion Show

A showcase of Designers Committed to Social Progression and Environmental Awareness through Fashion. Price: $20 Location: The Canvas by Querencia Studio-Williamsburg, 132 Bedford Avenue

6:30pm — 8:30pm Influencer Marketing: Strategies for Startups

Influencer marketing has become a staple in many companies’ marketing mix, alongside their social media and content strategies. But it’s still a relatively new marketing tactic. Many still aren’t sure how to implement an influencer marketing campaign, how to find the right influencer for their brand, or where to begin. That’s why we’ve brought together influencers and marketing strategists to share their best tips and advice when it comes to influencer marketing. Price: $20 Location: ,Alley Chelsea 119 West 24th Street 2nd floor

6:30pm — 8:30pm Fashion/Retail Tech VC & Angel Rooftop Cocktails

Join us for an evening of networking during NYC Fashion Week at the newly remodeled Rooftop of the Gansevoort! This event is focused on Fashion and Retail Tech. We will have 2 hours of exclusive networking and pitches between Entrepreneurs and Investors, with some amazing views of NYC, delicious food and top-shelf drinks. This will be followed by networking happy hour from 7–8pm with leaders in the fashion community. Finally, stick around for the after-party with music/dancing and over 700 designers, models and fashion execs! Price: $95 Location: Gansevoort Hotel Rooftop, 18 9th Ave

Monday, February 18th

6:30pm — 8:30pm Telling the Story of Sustainable Fashion: How Brands Should Engage Consumers

The sustainable fashion industry is booming — many apparel brands are working to reduce the costly impact to the environment and society that clothing production has historically had. But, after they improve their process, how do they encourage consumers to make the sustainable choice? Join Bard MBA in Sustainability in partnership with esa New York for a conversation with sustainable fashion experts on how brands can educate consumers to choose responsibly produced apparel. Price: Free Location: LMHQ 150 Broadway, 20th Floor

Wednesday, February 20th

7:00–9pm Future of Sustainable Development Goals — 17 Ways to Transform the World

Join us for an inspiring conversation on how individuals and organizations are using the SDGs as a framework for building a better world by 2030. Our panel will discuss how the SDGs are providing a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all as well as ways you can get involved in the global goals movement. Price: $20 Location: Prime Produce, 424 W 54th St (between 9th and 10th aves)

Sunday, February 24th

12:00 pm — 8:00 pm Volunteer: Sustainable Fashion Clothing Swap & DIY Event!

A d.i.y. party that teaches D.I.Y. and mending tutorials, saving unwanted clothing from hitting landfills! Price: Free Location: Project Farmhouse, 76 East 13th Street

Tuesday, March 12th

7:00pm Sustaining Sustainable: Tackle your Taxes

We’ll be sitting down with Adam Zarchasrski, CPA, to talk taxes, so you know when you should be filing taxes (is it quarterly? Is it annually? When should I be doing this?), how much to put away, when your business financially matures, and so much more. We’re here to deal with the tough stuff for this one, so bring your questions! We’ll bring the knowledge. Price: $20 Location: The Arlo SoHo 231 Hudson St.


  • Dream Assembly: Farfetch Startup Accelerator (This year’s submissions are open!) — this cohort they’re focusing on sustainability in luxury fashion
  • 5 online stores for plastic free alternatives — Pebble Mag


“A crisis this critical can only be overcome by a movement founded in love.” — indigenous teen climate activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Stay Inspired,

Nataliya Makulova
Founder of Balanced Fashion, Conscious Fashion Tech Consulting Agency




Fashion Tech and Sustainability Consultant

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