My Second Home: Alex Semenzato
Based in Second Home Spitalfields, FashTech launched in 2014 as London’s first global event series to connect the fashion and technology community. Evolving into a modern practice which is focused on helping brands differentiate through innovation, in April 2016, they launched the inaugural FashTech Summit, which saw 300 people, 57 speakers and 60 brands in attendance over two days. We met founder Alex Semenzato to find out what business lessons he’s learnt from being on fashion’s front row.
How is FashTech disrupting your industry?
Through our events we bring together industry leaders to discuss how they are disrupting the industry within fashion/retail/tech. Ultimately to empower others with the knowledge and tools to innovate themselves. Building upon this, FashTech has become a modern practice of consultants helping brands differentiate through innovation.
What recent project are you the most proud of and why?
FashTech Summit in April 2016, we brought together 60 brands, 57 amazing speakers and 300 people in attendance to discuss innovation in fashion over the course of two days. We pride ourselves on doing things different and there are a lot of conferences out there in the traditional stuffy hotel venues with picnic sandwiches. We hosted our conference in a warehouse with exposed brick walls, concrete flooring and beautiful organic food. Very authentic to fashion! We put this all together with a team of 4 in 3 months, which I’m super proud of.
What do you want your company to achieve within the next year?
To be the destination for brands that want to challenge the status-quo. The fashion industry is going through an exciting time of evolutions. The traditional fashion week model is being challenged, luxury brands are using social media and there is so much technology that can enhance the customer shopping experience it can be overwhelming. We’re here to help.
“The traditional fashion week model is being challenged, luxury brands are using social media and there is so much technology that can enhance the customer shopping experience it can be overwhelming. We’re here to help.”
What person / company has inspired you the most?
Mazdack Rassi from Milk Studios and creator of MADE Fashion Week. Mazdack created the ultimate maker community and supported emerging designers, providing them a space to work and showcase their collections. As a result amazing talent was developed and designers such as Jeremy Scott and ALEXANDER WANG were born.
What advice would you give somebody thinking about starting their own company?
Validate your idea with your peers/family and externally through surveys. Don’t underestimate the financial risk of building a start-up. Really think long and hard if you are in a position to fully commit and have back up options for survival. Overnight success doesn’t happen, it takes years of hard work. Also, for me personally I surrounded myself with older, wiser mentors that provide invaluable guidance on the direction of the company. It’s amazing to have a great ideas but you need to understand the processes that need to occur to make them happen!
How has being at Second Home helped your work?
There are a lot of inspiring people around you that are all trying to build something amazing. It’s a great place to meet like minded people. Plus there is a great cultural events programme, something for everyone to keep you thinking!
“Second Home is a great place to meet like minded people. Plus there is a great cultural events programme, something for everyone to keep you thinking!”
What is your favourite design feature about Second Home?
I love the plants and flowers around the building. Something that makes me smile every day.
What company at Second Home fascinates you the most?
Threads Styling — they have a great story and I think it’s amazing how the business communication with the customer is run off chat apps such as WhatsApp. Just shows how being customer first and agile really makes a difference.
Outside of work, what place in London stimulates your imagination the most and why?
Tate Modern. The sheer scale of the old turbine hall amazes me and there are always fantastic exhibitions.
We ask everyone to select a book to become part of Libreria’s permanent collection. Which book would you choose?
Papillon by Henri Charrière. My Dad gave me this book that he had kept from when he was a teenager. The book was in bad condition and I felt it had its own story to tell. Papillon is a great story of resilience, the gripping, shocking, ultimately uplifting odyssey of an innocent man who would not be defeated.
Finally, what is the best bit about working for FashTech?
Hosting and building a community and putting on fantastic events that people love!
Find out more about FashTech
Second Home is a creative workspace and cultural venue, bringing together diverse industries, disciplines and social businesses. Find out more about joining us here: secondhome.io