Web Summit 2018 — Blockchain, fashion, PRIMPY

Primpy took quite the exciting trip to Lisbon, Portugal just earlier this November. We stayed there from the 4th to the 7th and were completely blown away by what we experienced. Yes, the capital of Portugal is a very breathtaking city, but sightseeing wasn’t what we packed our bags for. We arrived here for the massive Web Summit of 2018.

If you are unfamiliar with the name, you’re missing out on a lot.

Web Summit is the single biggest technology event in the world. It is so big, in fact, that “technology” can’t even entirely encompass the scope of this summit. What started off as “Dublin’s Web Summit” in 2009 with a mere 400 attendees, has become the event that no single tech thought-leader can afford to miss. It started with the simple idea of connecting technology to every industry out there, and it took off.

Over the years the conference snowballed in size and attracted more and more prominent figures from various fields. In some of its previous iterations, Web Summit has attracted esteemed speakers and personalities from every corner including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Al Gore, and even Tony Hawk.

This year’s Web Summit was no less a spectacle than any of its predecessors.

Around 70,000 CEOs, thought-leaders, tech innovators, and enthusiasts flocked to Lisbon to attend the 2018 conference. This year’s summit headlined figures including Ev Williams founder of Medium, Tim Berners-Lee World Wide Web inventor, Young Sohn president of Samsung Electronics, and countless others. The topics covered in many dazzling speeches varied and touched on almost every industry. We were more than happy to be exposed totally new topics to us, but we were more interested in certain topics than others — that we also witnessed discussed at length. To name some, we were especially drawn to fashion trends, VR technology in fashion, blockchain technology, influencers market, environmental problems, and the fast fashion industry.

Technology reaches into all corners of society nowadays and fashion is no exception — we are more aware of that than anyone else. Multiple speakers spoke and discussed integrating technology into fashion and how technology and fashion trends are interconnected.

Other speakers took a different approach by rethinking fashion trends in ways that were once exclusive to technology.

One such discussion was given by one of our favorite speakers: Alexander Wang, American fashion designer and founder of his name brand fashion label. The young fashion design took the stage to address the audience in a speech titled “Fashion: user experience”. In his time on stage Wang talked about the influence of tech on fashion trends. Spoiler: that influence is pretty big. He talked about how a part of designing fashion is designing it to be marketable on online platforms. All speeches were uploaded on Web Summit’s Youtube channel, but all in all, it was a very insightful listen.

The current rising star of the tech world didn’t go unmentioned either; the blockchain and its mysterious potential were some of the hottest topics at this year’s Web Summit.

So much so that all topics related to the blockchain were bunched under the umbrella CryptoConf at the summit.

Cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and DLT were all the center of countless of our favorite talks at the conference. Elixxir’s David Chaum and TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher set the stage with a discussion on cryptocurrencies. They discussed the state of digital currencies, what Satoshi (the anonymous creator of Bitcoin and father of blockchain technology) intended with creating Bitcoin, and — most importantly — what does a better Bitcoin look like.

Carolina Abenante and Andy O’Donoghue also touched on a sensitive spot when it comes to blockchain: can blockchain technology help increase trust and transparency? The talk was more focused on the transparency blockchain technology brings to digital marketing, but it applies to so many more fields — it was a truly fantastic talk. Which brings us to the next point.

Influencer marketing, environmental problems, and the fast fashion industry: a controversial trio often brought up together.

Any fashion enthusiast or digital marketer would immediately spot the issue here. And we heard it all in the talks of multiple experts. Fashion, more often than not, propagates through brands and brand value. The bigger fashion retailers (the fast fashion retailers) know this and they are the only entities big enough to tap into the potential of influencer marketing. It’s a vicious cycle: the big brands leverage their brand value to buy influencers which in turn helps sell which, in a very cyclical fashion, adds to the fast fashion brands’ values. In the fast fashion industry — which has been growing rapidly — there is little place for equality, individuality, or community.

The talks, more or less, echoed the reason we’re working on Primpy.

We thought it was about time we have a decentralized fashion platform. We believe fashion should be all about community, not top-down trends. Primpy is peer-to-peer and gives total transparency and equality to every person on the platform. And most importantly, the community drives everything: ideas bounce around from individual to another — everyone is included.