Siopaella's first online anniversary is fast approaching, and as the site continues to grow, our knowledge of technology does too! On November 5th, we headed along to the last Web Summit in Dublin (it's in Lisbon next year - booo but yay for warmer weather hopefully!!). With 21 Summits, there were so many different talks and panels to choose from, but it was the Fashion Summit that we were most interested in (naturally!). From the Digital Editor of Conde Nast to the Founder of Refinery29, there was a such a wide range of speakers and fashion insiders to hear from. But from all the notes we managed to take (and believe me - there was A LOT of information to take in!), there were five things that really stood out to us about the future of fashion and technology. Here's what we learnt!

  1. The majority of people working in technology are men - It seemed that there was one woman to every thirty men at the Summit! OK this might be an exaggeration but STILL. It was kind of intimidating at times as there were moments where we'd be walking for ages and just be surrounded by seas of suits. We'd love to see more women working in the technology industry - there's such a wide range of jobs behind the scenes that not many know about, particularly in fashion....and on that note, the Web Summit is the perfect place for all the single ladies out there! Okay, we're only half joking here. As Rachel pointed out, there were a lot of attractive young guys there. Smart AND handsome, what's not to love?
  2. Video =  the future of fashion? One thing that was extremely apparent across many of the discussions was the role of video in the fashion industry. It seems we're moving away from simple images to the world of fashion film. Burberry are one of the leaders in this area - their Snapchat account is one of our personal favourites. Refinery29 even have a small camera crew JUST for Snapchat! From short Snapchat videos to full length Youtube campaigns, video is clearly something to look out for over the next year in fashion. As Maria Hatzistefanis (founder of Rodial) said, "don't think outside the box, think like there's NO box".
  3. Personality and honesty on social media is extremely important - Although many bloggers and brands are very structured on social media, the ones that are open and honest are the ones doing well. Don't be afraid to open up on social media, your followers will really appreciate it! Canadian Blogger Estee Lalonde admits her viewers have seen her with her makeup off, zits everywhere and waxing her moustache! The best brands are the ones that are open and personal - Simon Chambers from Storm Model Management cleverly discussed how social media is for talking and engaging. One thing we at Siopaella pride ourselves on is the connection with our customers - we honestly can say we have the best customers in the world! It's important to build up trust with your audience, and then the customers will follow!
  4. The Importance of Digital Influencers - Before brands could simply hand products over to celebrities to get their word out whereas now Digital Influencers are fast becoming the game changers and are the true leaders within their communities, with powerful social networks and credibility.  In saying that, brands also need to be careful about choosing the right Influencers. Many of Ireland's top Digital Influencers bring in unwanted "gifted" pieces to us here at Siopaella. And of course we think why on earth would Brand XYZ give this horrific top to Blogger ABC? Surely they should know better that Blogger ABC would not be caught dead in it! Partnerships that benefit both the brand and the Influencer is the key to success.
  5. Using the right social media with authenticity - Brands should know that content on their Facebook pages should differ from their Instagram and Twitter platforms and that snapchat shouldn't replace youtube. Quality, relevant content is key and different audiences for all the different platforms should be respected and acknowledged. We've been guilty in the past of posting the same content across all channels at times  (ie- over sharing on our FB and instagram pages that spills over onto twitter etc...) but we are trying to get better at it.  Speaking of which....Youtube, watch this space! PS - any talented videographers out there?!

We hope some of you found our tips helpful - if you were at the Web Summit this year, let us know what you thought! -Rachel (@ohheythererach) and Ella (@elladeguzman77)