Silicon Valley Fashion Week? No, I'm not asking a question; that punctuation mark is an intentional move by Betabrand, the creators of a 3-day event that aspired to bridge the gap between fashion and technology.
Reports from opening night, which was held on May 12th at The Chapel in San Francisco and not Silicon Valley -- although who knows the difference these days? -- spoke of drones taking flight with clothes on hangers, a BMX trick rider flying off stage and hitting a reporter, and the night climaxing with a performance by women in lingerie.
JP Mangalindan, a writer for Mashable who was in attendance, pin-pointed why that last bit is such a cringe-worthy misstep: "For an industry that is working hard to appear, and actually be, more inclusive to women, ending its very first fashion week attempt with scantily-clad women doing risqué dance routines sends a message."
Betabrand's CEO Chris Lindland says the grand finale wasn't his idea: "If I or the event producer had known in advance, we would have asked them to axe that part." But this isn't the first time his company has been involved with something that tone-deaf.
The company's approach to clothing design seems to be less about style and more about some gimmick or joke. Take this disco tuxedo jacket or this poo emoji dress, for example. Harmless fun, even if it's not your bag.