Wearable Fashion Design: Silicon Valley Cannot Design Like Engineers Anymore

Confession: I’m blogging less and using Facebook more.  Yesterday was a perfect example.

There was a great topic addressed by Forbes regarding what women can bring to the table with wearable tech.   It was simple to drop my thoughts and paste the article in my Facebook feed.  Its an important post and if I had more time yesterday it would have been posted here.  Check out the post here where you can click on to the Forbes article.

While you’re at it, feel free to dig through my Facebook feed and if you find it is interesting content for you, go ahead and follow me.

5% of US iPhone users say they’re very likely to buy Apple Watch

Welcome to 2015, the Year of the Wearable.  Lets kick it off by taking a look at survey results out today from Quartz that say only 5% of US iPhone users say they’re very likely to buy an Apple Watch. Survey Question

Another way to look at the survey is the numbers, and when I say numbers I mean show me the money.  The problem is the only money numbers in the article about the survey were watch prices.  Here’s a number I found by using the survey numbers and the comScore report cited in the Quartz piece:  $1.4 billion.

The math:  176 million smart phone users, 41.9% iPhone OEM market share is 73.7 million iPhone users.  Of iPhone users surveyed, 2.2% were extremely likely and 3.2% were very likely to purchase an Apple Watch within a year.  5.4% of 73.7 million iPhone users is just shy of 4 million Apple Watches sold in 2015.  At $350 a pop that is $1.4 billion dollars in revenue from US Apple Watch sales in 2015.

Do I trust this number?  Nope.  These are back of the envelope calculations.  Plus, the survey pool isn’t the best. The people who took the survey are SurveyMonkey Audience members which means they have signed up to take surveys on  Their responses may not exactly mirror what markets will experience in 2015.  We will not know exactly what is happening when sales do start as Tim Cook said Apple won’t report sales of the watch.  The year of the wearable will be full of analyst expectations and plain old guessing.  That doesn’t mean the survey is completely useless and $1.4 billion is exactly loose change; people will spend good money for it.

“What is the most you’d be willing to spend on an Apple Watch?” The survey asks.   So many surveys have asked a similar question and time after time the overwhelming majority will spend far less than the minimum asking price for the watch.  This means Apple is presented with a challenge: convince consumers of the value the watch brings.  Do that and that $1.4 billion goes up, way up.  Apple cannot sell only watches; Apple must sell compelling, value-generating use cases for the watch.

FootLogger: Wearable Shoe Insoles That Sync & Charge Wirelessly

Check out my latest #WearableTech piece published on WearableWorldNews by clicking here


Audience raises hands indicating wearable ownership/use at #KOTRA2014 Connected Self Panel September 24, 2014 in Santa Clara, CA

Audience raises hands indicating wearable ownership/use at #KOTRA2014 Connected Self Panel September 24, 2014 in Santa Clara, CA


WorkTechWork Founder Josh Bradshaw with 3L Labs CEO Jinwook Lee in Santa Clara, CA September 25, 2014

WorkTechWork Founder Josh Bradshaw with 3L Labs CEO Jinwook Lee in Santa Clara, CA September 25, 2014



Improving the Online Fashion Retail Experience

Technology is changing the retail world improving the online fashion retail experience. This is due in large part to personalization, the main topic of tomorrow’s @VLABretail event at Stanford GSB. Here is a sneak peek at the companies that will showcase their technology-enabled products and services prior to tomorrow’s @VLAB event. For a peak at what the event is all about, have a read here or visit the VLAB event site.

Think it’s a pain to order shoes online? Shoefitr is out to reduce the pain by offering 3-D modeling of shoes. This gives customers the option to see in detail exactly how a shoe is expected to fit based on other shoes in their wardrobe. Instead of ordering three pairs of the same shoe in different sizes with the intention of returning two, you can confidently order one pair and skip the returns.

Men typically hate shopping. All of us, regardless of gender, are doing more browsing on phones. The problem, though, is that shopping on retailer’s sites is not easy on a mobile device and spending is not occurring from the mobile phone as much as it could. is designed to make the shopping experience for men easy from their mobile phones. Swipe left to dislike, right to like and down to purchase. From viewing products to checkout, Dapper provides simple shopping for the savvy man.

Ever have trouble finding the perfect polo shirt? Vastrm is an online retailer providing tailored made to measure polo shirts for men. Vastrm is less about whether you are a medium or large and more about what fit within medium or large is best for you. Taking a page out of the Warby Parker book, you can have three polo shirts shipped for free to help you discover your fit.

For women looking for easy online shopping that is also personal, check out during the event. Their message: “The best in women’s fashion, picked by our style experts just for you.” A simple 3 minute quiz starts you on your way to shopping through items that are right for your style and fit so that you can purchase items from your favorite retailers.

3/7/2016 updated link to VLAB event website.  You can view a recording of the event too.  Also corrected the links to and  The sites for and are no longer functioning.  Former CEO Amir Malayery is now at Industry Ventures, a Silicon Valley VC.  I’ve yet to confirm what is happening with

Fashion Tech Improves Personalized Style and Fit

For thousands of years custom made clothing filled all wardrobes. Mass production, enabled by the industrial revolution, created larger wardrobes with many more clothing options and a conundrum: there is no easy way to find affordable clothing that matches personal fit and style without the common pain points of retail shopping. But wait; this is the 21st century so can technology solve this problem and bring customization to the masses? A look at the upcoming VLAB event, Click to Fit: How Startups are Personalizing Fashion, and one might suppose the answer is yes.

Let’s hope so because I hate shopping for pants. You know the ritual, grab a few pairs of the same pant in different sizes, head to the dressing room and try them on. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The perfect pair is never there; perfect fitting slacks come after tailoring, either in the length, the seat or the waist.  Where are the perfect fitting jeans? On the same aisle as unicorns and pots of gold. As an added bonus, jeans aren’t tailor-friendly to get the fit just right.

Levi’s introduced Levi’s Curve ID fit system because “All asses were not created equal.”  Levi’s Curve ID seems to work for women, making it easier for them to find great fitting jeans as this CBS story reports:  Levis Making Customized Jeans for Reasonable Price

While Levi’s Curve ID appears to work for women, men only have a fit guide that displays pictures of the fourteen different fits. Now, not only do you need to know your waist and length, but your desired fit as well. As homework for this post and with fit guide in hand, I tried four fits 511, 513, 514, and 569 during a visit to the mall last week. It took 10 attempts to find the right pair:


Could this be easier? Levi’s introduced Lot No. 1, custom made jeans. After a visit to San Francisco and a price tag starting at $750 a pair, custom jeans can be yours.  This solves the problem of personalized fit, but can this level of personalization be done at scale and will customers pay for it?

Made-to-measure men’s shirt company Trumaker found a way to provide great fitting dress shirts that are #BuiltToFit by using outfitters who provide a local fitting and they do it without breaking the bank. Your personal measurements are used again and again to build a closet full of favorite shirts through online re-ordering; bid farewell to the hassle of apparel stores and their concomitant fitting rooms.

For women, Stitch Fix battles the fitting room saga by shipping hand-picked items to you based on your personal style profile. Keep what you like and send the rest back. Your decisions create further insight into your personal style and more unique and interesting pieces come in your next Fix™.

Technology is the enabler for both Trumaker and Stitch Fix who will participate at the VLAB panel April 15, 2014. Without the internet, shipping tracking, inventory management systems and the ability to harness the power of analytics to turn data into insight, these innovative companies and companies like Warby ParkerOutfittery, J. Hilburn, and Zafu would not be able to provide value to their customers by putting technology to work for you.