Contributor Andrea Mustain attends LOOMIA event to find out what role Blockchain could potentially play in the fashion industry.
NEW YORK CITY—On a recent Thursday evening, a crowd gathered at Galvanize, a sleek event space on the western fringes of Manhattan’s epically trendy SoHo neighbourhood. I was attending the #Synthesis2017 event, organised by Loomia in partnership with Microsoft. When I arrived I stood with attendees who were sipping wine from plastic cups and drinking beer from bottles. The atmosphere was a warm buzz of conversation mingled with the gentle beats of a soundtrack with a dreamy, South American flavour.
The preponderance of men (more than 70%, according to a quick and very unscientific calculation) might suggest to the casual observer that this attractive herd worked in one of two industries: tech or finance. There were a few sharp suits and ties, and a flash of a pricey watch here and there, but the unofficial uniform seemed to be jeans (dark wash or elegantly distressed) and a t-shirt or understated button-down, topped by a smart blazer. These were creatures with a foot in both worlds—tech business guys.
The first clue that this was not your typical networking event stood at the front of the room, beneath a sign that read “PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH.” A diaphanous garment, rendered in delicate pink, with black and indigo accents.
“I’m not sure the dress is fully charged,” said Janett Liriano, a little apologetically, when a visitor inquired. “But there’s a video.” With that, Liriano hurried away to talk to other attendees demanding her attention. Because though the men may have turned out in more significant number, the ladies in this room were Women in Charge—Liriano one of the foremost among them. A great example of a Woman in Tech, Liriano is the CEO of LOOMIA, a New York Fashion tech company aiming to transform our relationship with clothing utterly. And this event, Synthesis 2017, an evening of networking and education was, in part, Liriano’s brainchild.
The headlining topic of the evening was the blockchain—which has been hailed as a messiah of sorts, a new way of doing business that will free us from the iron grip of the powerful institutions that administer the day-to-day transactions that rule 21st-century life. Its advocates say that blockchain technology—essentially, a ledger of transactions that is housed not within one entity’s servers but is distributed and “owned” by each party, will, in a decade or so, totally upend life as we know it. Since the “chain” of transactions is written in indelible ink, as it were, no single party can alter it, or change the rules set out to govern the system. It’s a nascent technology, and admittedly, pretty difficult to grasp, but trust assured that a lot of smart people are very excited about it. “This is the future,” said one attendee. “I mean, this is like the Internet. The new Internet.”
Source/More: Could Blockchain Be The New Internet?