Dress to Code: Fashion Your Ideas Technically

Who doesn’t like fall in New York City? Crispy days start with football season and a sense of fashion. As Big Apple turns on its Runway mode, a group of people with brilliant designing ideas were gathering together for a one-day hackathon last Saturday in Flatiron, Manhattan.

Organized by General Assembly and sponsored by Glamour magazine and Council of Fashion Designer of America (CFDA), the concept of fashion hackathon is to team up software developers and fashion designers to create software projects with a better user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).

“Yes, it’s a competition and we’ll have different prizes for our top three winners.”

On the left: Cindi Leive; on the right: Steven Kolb

Cindi Leive (left); Steven Kolb (right).

The event was started with greetings from Steven Kolb, CEO of CFDA, and Cindi Leive, Editor-in-Chief of Glamour, along with a series of presentations about Application Programming Interface (API) by programming experts from multiple perspectives, including Facebook, Tumblr, Gilt, Aviary, Glamour and Hacker League.

A programmer from Aviary were presenting API

A programmer from Aviary was presenting API.

Attendees majorly consisted of software developers, fashion designers, and a few of free-lancers. During this one-day session, they all actively shared their thoughts with each other.

“I really like the event, as I always did with all the events from General Assembly,” says a developer who works in a technology firm in midtown, Manhattan. “And hackathon is a great chance to meet more entrepreneurs and opportunities.”

Regarding to several specific subjects in blending fashion with technology, fashion lovers and application programmers brainstormed creative ideas, such as customizing shopping interface for customers or mobile users by providing certain functions to help shoppers measure their clothes size without going to stores.

Inspired by entrepreneurial experience, General Assembly has been acting as an innovative supporter to assist entrepreneurs and startup companies in New York City for nearly 3 years.

“Nothing is as chic as a clean line of code. We wanna help.”

During the judging process of the competition, teams were asked to showcase their prototypes and application demos. Finally, judges made the decisions on winners by analyzing whether the demo reflected customer’s need, the product is profitable for commercial use or not, and if it provided a friendly use experience.

The first prize was gained by Thrifter, who designed an application that allows shoppers to bid clothes. Apart from cash prize, Thrifter team will also have the opportunity to pitch Andrew Siegel, head of strategy for Advanced Publications, parent company of Glamour magazine.

[Photos by Amy Xie]