Putting on a major fashion week under most circumstances is a demanding enterprise. You need beautiful clothes, talented designers and breathtaking models -- not to mention sponsors.
To create a fashion week for Silicon Valley, Chris Lindland, the CEO of Betabrand, faced a different set of demands, like figuring out how to fit drones and robots into clothes and convincing software engineers to strut their stuff on the runway.
But it’s the unique challenge of combining drones, engineers and Burning Man aesthetics with fashion that inspired Lindland to launch Silicon Valley Fashion Week? in the first place (and yes, that question mark is intentional).
“It’s coming up with a big idea that’s like, ‘oh god, that would be either brilliant or a gigantic failure,’ and then going for it,” Leland says.
The fashion week, which takes place May 12-14 at the Chapel in San Francisco, features three nights of tech-centric style. The first night, sponsored by GenZe, focuses on “Electric Motion,” showcasing electric scooters, electric skateboards and other commuting-themed products. The second night is dedicated to “Tech Wearables,” and is sponsored by PHC. And the third night, “Funded Fashion,” supported by Betabrand, celebrates with a parade of outfits created through crowdfunding.
The title of the event is deliberately posed as a question: should Silicon Valley have a fashion week? While Lindland wants the question to spark conversation, he himself is convinced that the fashion snobs in New York have grossly underestimated the Valley’s influence on style.
“Internet fashion is no joke -- it’s becoming a huge industry,” Lindland states.
Buying a ticket might be tricky -- according to Lindland, the 1,000 tickets for the fashion week sold out in just three days. In fact, enthusiasm for the event is so great that Lindland is considering adding a fourth day, and he’s looking even further ahead than that.
“I hope we keep extending it as long as Beach Blanket Babylon has been running in San Francisco.”