In Brief

Famous retailers and startups share ideas about the future of fashion technology at mentorship hub

Opening today in Austin, SXSW Interactive is an opportunity for creative thinkers and business to share their visions for a technology-enhanced future. Yet, with so many formidable brands attending (AT&T, McDonalds, and GE are all making appearances), some worry that SXSWi has transformed from an idea-sharing event into a large-scale marketing stunt.

Retail heavy hitters Swarovski and Simon are combatting this conception by attending SXSW as mentors, rather than marketers. Both are sponsoring the Decoded Fashion @SXSW Mentorship Hub, an educational center that provides startups and emerging designers with the opportunity to meet industry executives and ask for advice. Mentors from Google, ASOS, Rebecca Minkoff, and others will offer 10-minute sessions of candid feedback, on topics such as branding, pricing, and distribution channels. The full list of mentors includes:

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