I’m married to a man who eats, sleeps and drinks computer technology. He has been programming since he was thirteen and has a Ph.D. in electronics. Me? I was a late adopter. I got my first email address in 1998 and browsed the internet for the first time in 2002. I didn’t know that the word “blog” existed until hubby Greg suggested that I start one in 2006.
So it’s ABSOLUTELY CRAZY that I’m now the co-founder of an online fashion and style website that I love with all my heart. That I spend large amounts of time on my computer writing for it, sometimes on my laptop from planes and airports and hotel rooms. That I use my phone to take photos of in-store fashion and share them instantly. That I can give realtime feedback to someone using our mobile app to ask for input on a pair of trousers that they are trying on in a dressing room thousands of miles away.
I’m like 007 using all sorts of clever gadgets, and feeling more like the cool Mr. Bond than one of his girls.
Technology has exploded in the fashion and style world over the last 10 years. I can write something on YLF and thousands of people all over the world can read what I write because the Internet connects us instantly and seamlessly. Crazy! Thousands of fashion bloggers are each essentially creating their own uniquely compelling fashion magazine. Traditional fashion magazines are great, but the celebration of age, budget, body type and style diversity on the Internet cannot be beat. Fashion and style has never been as enriching and inclusive, or as fun.
Even more exciting than blogging are the online communities we are building. Technology allows us to connect with one another and establish ties that are often as meaningful as the ones we have in “real life”. From Mumbai to Perth, Cape Town to Toronto, New York to Hong Kong, Lisbon to Edinburgh and Berlin to the Bahamas. We can share what’s on our minds at any time of day or night and get a response to our thoughts almost immediately. Mind blowing.
Then there’s the world of phone apps. Did you ever think that your phone could be an important style tool? Did you imagine that you would be taking photos with your phone and posting them on the internet? I didn’t. Yet today, I use my phone to take photos in retail stores so that I can post helpful information for YLF readers about bargains, fab finds, items that my clients purchased, or interesting trends. I tweet and post on Instagram when I have a snippet to share, and check my weather app for rain so that I can dress accordingly.
Nowhere is computing technology’s inroads into fashion more immediately obvious than at New York Fashion Week. You can’t look anywhere without seeing someone talking, texting or tweeting into their phone. Or using their phone to take pictures. Much to the dismay of the old pros, there are even bloggers on the media riser using their iPhone to take pictures and immediately send them out to followers. And those who aren’t live-blogging from their phones are cramming into special places that the organizers set up so bloggers can use their laptops to publish from inside the show tent.
And this year all the show organizers were using iPads. Of course.
A decade ago I would have shrugged my shoulders and rolled my eyes at the idea of people posting their outfits online so that we can admire, be inspired by, and learn from them. Today I’m embarrassed to admit that I was so closed minded because I have dedicated my life to these activities. My transition from complete luddite to technology lover is very much part of my style journey. I definitely missed out by resisting it, but no more! Now I’m making up for lost time and learning new tricks.
Perhaps most fun of all: Technology and style, which used to be two separate, mutually exclusive interests for Greg and me respectively, are now completely overlapping! I never thought that these worlds would collide, but they have, and my style life is better for it.
We’ve come so far between 2002 and 2012, I can’t help but think about where we’ll be in 2022. What new technological wonders will be enhancing our experience of fashion and style? Please share your thoughts about the future, and tell us how technology is impacting your world of fashion and style today.