The London College of Fashion dresses up. Photo by Jason Purple
The article first appeared on the Forbes.
Britain's prestigious London College of Fashion is not the first academic institution that comes to mind as a natural partner to the tech giant Microsoft, but the two organizations have just collaborated on the Future of Fashion Incubator project.
The partnership came about after Microsoft's senior global marketing manager, Maruschka Loubser, met the London College of Fashion's head of fashion innovation agency, Matthew Drinkwater, at a conference. Microsoft had been looking to begin a creative alliance with an educational body and Loubser immediately saw that the London College of Fashion was fostering the environment that it was looking for. In conjunction with the college, Microsoft devised a brief that they gave to students in February 2018 and they were given a term to turn their ideas into actual possibilities.
"We asked the students to look at their designs from a digital disruption perspective, but they had to focus on the industry or consumer need, not the possibilities of the technology," explains Loubser. "Top students were selected from the London College of Fashion Business School, School of Design & Technology and School of Media & Communication and we had an induction day at the end of February where we bought the 30 students into the Microsoft office in London's Paddington. It was a very hands-on intensive day where students met with our creative technology department and engineers."
Students attended workshops exploring various Microsoft technologies throughout the course, with a focus on mixed reality or 3D, the internet of things and artificial intelligence. They also met with fashion industry insiders to find out about the problems that they faced and discuss how they could be solved. "The way that they applied what they learnt about the technology in such a short time was incredibly inspiring and useful," says Loubser.
The finished projects included a mixed reality store that would give consumers a truly immersive multi-luxury-brand experience; an app that uses mixed reality to interior design a store more cost-effectively and speedily; a smart tagging service that would enable brands to track a garment’s lifecycle; and, a smart personalised advertising service enabled by artificial intelligence.
Read more on the Forbes.