The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator is a hub for ethical fashion and design providing designers with the resources they need to transform their ideas into successful businesses and recently kicked off a fashion + tech residency with NYCEDC’s Futureworks Shops. Resources for the three new residents include: a studio space, an R&D center for advancing the manufacturing of responsible smart garments and functional textiles, a small scale production lab for knit, cut and sew, technical embroidery and weaving, access to conference/showroom space, and an on-site sustainability resource center where designers can create practical roadmaps to optimize the complete lifecycle of their designs.
This year, the BF+DA became part of Futureworks Shops, a network of spaces across the five boroughs where product entrepreneurs can turn their ideas into reality. Futureworks NYC has partnered with us and 11 other production hubs to provide entrepreneurs with a diverse set of resources and discounted services to build and grow their businesses here.
As part of our collaboration, Futureworks Shops sponsored three tech businesses at the BF+DA including two wearables startups and a fashion tech publication. The three businesses started Nov 1 and will continue to grow their businesses through Apr 30, 2018.
Here’s a little bit about the three.
Olivia Burca, Garment Engineer at Wearable X
Olivia is a designer in sustainability and technology and a garment engineer at Wearable X, a fashion tech company that brings together design and technology to create a better quality of life. In July 2017 Wearable X launched its first direct to consumer product, Nadi X, a line of activated yoga apparel.
“During my time at the BFDA, I am wanting to improve the sustainable manufacturing processes for Wearable X. We are making yoga less intimidating and easier by providing consumers the ‘touch’ they need,” says Burca.
“Our technology enhances the yoga experience by providing vibrations that guide awareness in the areas on the body you should focus on.”
Vanessa Siverls, Founder of BUPeriod
Vanessa Siverls is the developer of BUP Smart Pad, a smart sanitary pad which will detect, monitor and indicate menstrual information.
In April of 2015, doctors removed 22 fibroids from BUPeriod founder Vanessa Siverls’ uterus. These fibroids caused unpredictable and unmanageable periods for 10 years of her life.
“It affected my work, my job and ultimately my marriage. It was during recovery I started to draw apparel sketches with tech functions that I thought would help other women manage their periods more effectively. I believe the use of technology gives us the opportunity to actively listen and learn from each other so we can solve problems more effectively,” says Siverls.
She adds that by May 2018 she hopes to create a product which will allow her BUP Smart Pad to receive and communicate information to women wanting to keep track of their menstruation cycle.
Ray Fontaine, Founder of Clever Tech Digest
Ray Fontaine is the creator and writer behind the online literary platform Clever Tech Digest. She calls it “Science dressed up in fashion editorial, primary research, and interactive media.”
Ray began Clever Tech Digest with the intention of reframing the conversation about technology in the public eye.
“So much media around the high-tech landscape promotes dystopian fears and developer exclusivity, I wanted to talk about the aspirational, relatable, human side of the high-tech tools innovators are developing,” says Fontaine.
While at the BF + DA, she says she hopes to complete Clever Tech Digest volume 1, an editorial publication curated from a years worth of research and interviews with creative technologists around the globe. Clever Tech Digest will tell a narrative that forecasts the coming year’s direction for society’s relationship with technology, both economically and culturally.
She also hopes to tell the unheard stories of many female and minority tech innovators to inspire a more diverse tech design industry.
Futureworks Shops provides New Yorkers with prototyping and production credits, access to coworking opportunities, studio time, mentorship, and events across the city. At each of the Shops, you’ll find advanced manufacturing machinery, an engaged, supportive community, and expert leaders. No more wondering where you can create the next great product or iterate on your existing one. It’s all right here. Futureworks Shops is part of NYCEDC’s Futureworks NYC initiative and is spearheaded by SecondMuse.
Futureworks NYC is a key component of the City’s Industrial Action Plan to help emerging and existing manufacturers promote, adopt, and create advanced technologies and increase local production. To ensure these technologies are made accessible to all New Yorkers, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) created Futureworks NYC as a platform of shared resources from educational programming to access to equipment and space, and connections within the growing community. Get to know the community, and join them at @futureworksnyc.