MIT Tech Walk Forum: When Fashion Meets Technology!

Are you ready to get inspired?

Living in Miami I am constantly surrounded by inspiring people, especially other women who are doing incredible things.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend an event with one of my favorite people and brands. Megan Tierney, founder of Louise and Eleanor invited me to attend the MIT Tech Walk: When Fashion Meets Technology event held here in Miami at the CIC.

The event was presented by MIT Enterprise Forum of South Florida. This organization is a non for profit that is run completely by volunteers with the mission to, ” provide educational programs and services that promote and strengthen innovation at the intersection of business and technology.” (http://www.mitforumfl.org/)  The event specifically focused on how technology is shaping the future of fashion. I had the pleasure to speak with members of this organization and you can tell from just talking with them for a few minutes how passionate they are about educating the community about technology and it’s impact on our society.

For this post I would like to focus on the work of some incredible women who are breaking barriers in the area of fashion and technology.

Megan Tierney, Founder of Louise and Eleanor

“LOUISE & ELEANOR is more than a fashion brand. It’s a platform for women to collaborate and join together to inspire one another.”-Megan Tierney

Louise and Eleanor   is an extraordinary luxury handbag brand.  Each bag is crafted with hand picked fabrics and a percentage of each sale goes to a featured non for profit organization. Technology also plays a large role in the development of this brand. Technology allows Megan to easily work with vendors and manufacturers around the globe. She can instantly send ideas and receive mock-ups for new designs. Feedback and changes can be given over email, streamlining the entire process. She said with the help of online technology a handbag can go from concept to reality in as little as 1 month!

Social media technology also offers Megan’s customers an enhanced user experience. Customers can instantly connect with the brand, follow Megan on her adventures around the world, and engage with each other. Customers and fans of the brand are also informed of local charities and non profits that Louise and Eleanor supports through a percentage of their sales. The stories of inspirational women are often features on the brand’s social media, using technology to promote fashion that empowers.

Follow Louise & Eleanor on social media here:

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An example of the beautiful hand picked fabrics used in Louise and Eleanor’s designer handbags.

These fabrics are used to make unique clutches just like this one below.

Watch this exclusive video to hear Megan’s thoughts about the merging of fashion and technology:

Angie Cohen, Founder of Design Lab Miami

Angie Cohen attended the forum along with her student, Kayra Yasa. Cohen is the founder of Design Lab Miami which is teaching young adults everything they need to know about making more sustainable fashion. This program is using 3D printing and bio couture to shape the future of fashion and technology.

Angie explains the Design Lab’s mission in the video below:

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Kayra Yasa, Student at Design Lab Miami and DASH(Design and Architecture Senior High)

Kayra is a student at a specialized high school here in Miami called DASH. This high school helps talented students study art and design, allowing them to get real world experience in their field while completing their high school studies. Along with her studies at DASH, Kayra is doing an internship at Design Lab Miami. Her focus is on using more sustainable materials in clothing production.

At her internship at the Design Lab, Kayra is learning all about textiles, pattern making, and more! She presented her 3D printed designs at the MIT forum including a vegan leather jacket made out of kombucha (pictured above).

3D printed top made through the Design Lab program.

This is a 3D printing machine which helps bring designs to life.

Kayra shares about herself and her work:

Ibis Arrastia, Chapter Leader of Girl Develop It

If there is one thing I learned from hearing Ibis speak it is that the future of women in technology is bright. LED bright! All puns aside, Ibis is helping young women pave the way for more female representation in tech careers.

Ibis presented on how technology is being integrated into fashion specifically through the use of LED tights and wearable computers. Did you know that you can actually sew a computer into your dress or clothes?! Ibis showed me this small kit in the photo below and explained that these kits can easily be purchased online at an extremely affordable price, making this type of fashion technology accessible to the masses!

Ibis believes, “People want to be able to experience something beyond the retail experience. Technology allows us to create this “beyond the retail” experience for the shopper.”

You can purchase your own LED sewing kit just like this one here: http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Adafruit/1285/?qs=%2fha2pyFadujt0Mfkz%2fppNGM8iQwcssz8IU9CG%252byt5E%252bpZ2rxbUnYfA%3d%3d

Not only are lights being sewed into clothes but also computers to measure vital signs, sweat, and more. Swimsuits are being designed to tell you when to apply more sunscreen, belts can display tweets, and special sensors can adjust lighting on a ball gown depending on how dark or bright the room is.

Fanny Hanono, Executive Vice President of Administration for Perry Ellis was also in attendance at the forum to share her thoughts on fashion and technology. She noted that Perry Ellis is using tiny RFDI computers in their clothing to be able to track every single piece of inventory. This is improving the entire process of stocking stores and making it easier than ever to keep track of items each season.

Along with developing high tech fashion, Ibis is also the chapter leader for the non for profit, Girl Develop It.

” Girl Develop It helps women of diverse backgrounds achieve their technology goals and build confidence in their careers and their every day lives.” (www.girldevelopit.com)

Ibis said the goal is to allow women to feel comfortable with technology, feel included, and know that there are no limits to women influencing the future of technology.  Her goal is to empower women and inspire them to take part in the growing world of technology.

If you want to hear more about what Ibis has to say about technology follow her here: https://twitter.com/techibis

 

I am so glad I was able to attend this event and I haven’t stopped thinking about these inspirational women. They are doing incredible things to empower other women and change the face of fashion and technology. I hope you enjoyed learning more about each of them and make sure you follow them on social media so you can stay up to date with what they are doing. After this event my interest in fashion technology has really be sparked so if you would like me to do more posts on fashion tech let me know in the comments section.

Leave me any other comments or questions down below because I love to hear from you.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and I’ll talk to you very soon!

 

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Outfit Of The Day: South Beach Wine and Food Festival

Yesterday my husband and I attended the South Beach Wine and Food Festival here in Miami and it was a blast! I posted a lot on Snapchat and Instagram stories so if you’re not following me there you definitely should! I am getting a lot better with Instagram stories too. Woo!

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I want to share my outfit from yesterday because I am really happy with how it turned out.  One thing I love about living in Miami is that ANYTHING goes when it comes to personal style. You can rock whatever look you want and love and (almost) no one will judge you badly. I think I did give some tourist a little shock as I walked down the beach yesterday and I caught someone snapchatting/taking a photo of me but it’s all good. I was actually really tempted to go over to them and say, “Hey, love my outfit? You can take a better photo if you want!”.

One guy on the street stopped me and said I looked like “a cute little pixie”. Hehe I will take that as a huge compliment, Sir because pixies are adorable!

The look I was going for yesterday was mermaid-inspired.  I paired neon pink fishnet tights with a pair of teal shorts as the main focal point of my outfit.

Details:

Top: Black Sleeveless chiffon top. This top was a gift from my mother-in-law a few years back but you can use any black top you like!

Camisole(under top): The black top was a bit sheer so I added a silky black camisole underneath. I am not sure where it’s from though because I took the tag out. Any black camisole will work.

Shorts: I found these shorts at Goodwill but originally they were from KimChi Blue. I snagged them for $4!

Fishnets: These Neon Pink Wide Mesh fishnets are from We Love Colors. $9.00

Shoes: My shoes are black sandals with a chunky 3 inch heel. They are from Christian Siriano.

Necklace: I decided to not wear any earrings and go for this long necklace with a prism pendant.

Sunglasses: These are from Betsey Johnson and I found them at Nordstrom Rack.

 

I want to do more outfit of the day posts like this so let me know if you would like to see that!

Thank you so much for stopping by and I’ll talk to you soon! <3

 

 

 

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Bubble Curls: Quick and Easy Hair Tutorial

Today I combined two of my Black Friday finds to create a hair tutorial for you all.

If you follow me on Instagram (courtney.val) then you may have seen my new camera (yay!). I spent all of yesterday taking photos of my rabbit so today I thought I would branch out and give the video function some love. I also found a new hair curling device at a Black Friday sale yesterday and after I tested it out I was so happy with the result I just had to *try* to film a hair tutorial. This is my first tutorial so I hope it is easy to follow and you all enjoy it! 

Let me know if you would like to see any other types of tutorials and I will do my best to film them. 
Watch here:

Have a great weekend! 
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