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© SABINNA
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Emerging Austrian Designer Rivals Vogue and Burberry at Fashion Futures Awards

Picture of India Doyle
Updated: 16 May 2017
As the winners of the Fashion Futures Awards 2017 are announced, Culture Trip surveys the exciting talent pushing the boundaries within the fashion industry today.

Presented by Decoded Fashion and British Fashion Council, the Fashion Futures Awards scours both emerging and established talent to celebrate the brightest and most experimental campaigns in fashion over the last year.

Of particular interest is the Beyond the Runway, an award which – as the name somewhat suggests – honours those who have taken initiatives to think outside the confines of the traditional catwalk format. In an Instagram age the access that global audiences have to fashion audiences already exceeds old systems. However designers such as SABINNA’s Virtual Reality showcase for her 004 Season collection earlier in the year take innovation to next levels.

In the presentation, the designer adopted virtual reality technology to immerse audiences in the collection, and offer unprecedented interaction with the creative process. “Everyone tries so hard to copy a successful story, which is normal, but sometimes the solution is elsewhere. In general fashion has gone beyond the product now.” Sabinna Rachimova explained to us when we met her earlier in the year. “You have to find another way of bringing people in.”

For her augmented reality collection, which was presented in partnership with Pictofit, FIA and Fashion Scout, Sabinna invited the audiences to try on each garment within the created space. Each garment was captured by a rig of 64 high resolution DSLR cameras and calibrated light sources, meaning that the results audiences saw were authentic and truthful – they could shop in confidence.

© SABINNA

Other nominees in the Beyond the Runway category included Burberry’s Makers House activation (a dynamic and immersive partnership with the Henry Moore foundation during London Fashion Week) and British Vogue‘s chatbot. The latter offered a versatile new system in which users could choose the type of fashion content that they wanted to receive. Launched during London Fashion Week, the chatbot meant that personalisation became communicative and collaborative; Vogue could speak directly to it’s users, in real time, ensuring they received a fully bespoke content delivery service.

These innovations speak of a truly exciting time in the fashion industry, in which brands have the opportunity to harness new technology and reimagine clothes in mediums never explored before. And while big brands certainly have the financial leverage to voyage across new horizons, new labels that build themselves with this savvy thinking from the ground up will certainly have a fighting chance at competing in the long term.