As revered fashion judges deliberate over the winner of $10,000 cash and a launch supported by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, audience and media alike bask in the awesome that is the fashion week tents at the Decoded Fashion Forum and Hackathon. Creators, hackers, and disrupters sat around the runway as the presenters explained their products in under four minutes while moderated by no-nonsense Vogue contributing editor Candy Pratts Price.

The Startups

Startup presenters: 42, Coveted, and SWATCHit showcased their creations as intimidating judges Steven Kolb, Zac Posen, Uri Minkoff, Susan Lyne, and Dirk Standen asked the tough questions. After much deliberation Price announced the winner—Swatchit, an incredible and extremely disruptive way to connect designers with emerging market artisans globally.

SWATCHit Team

“Managing communication, coordination, and efficiency is fraught with complexities and frustrations as international designers navigate cultural, language and geographical barriers,” according to Hacker League. SWATCHit transcends these issues and promotes overseas trade and effective outsourcing.

Coveted, a one-click purchasing platform for Tumblr, was first runner-up. 42, a platform for in-store retail analytics, came in third. Avant-Garde and Fashion Dashboard were also finalists.

Future of Fashion Technology: Great Content

After listening to the amazing ideas of the finalists, the event transitioned appropriately into a look at what lies in store for the future of fashion tech. Decoded Fashion’s future of fashion panelists Kevin Kollenda, Coco Rocha and Valentine Uhovski explained that when it comes to social media, bloggers, writers, and even the audience are obligated to do a good job relaying the information – no uploading “fuzzy pictures.”

Rocha comments, “I would never tweet during a fashion show!” When brand supporters are connecting online she continues: “You have to make sure that it’s in fact great content.  It takes a lot of time, but I know it will be better…what’s the story behind it?  That’s way more interesting.” We the storytellers should not take the job lightly, but respect it – like how professional photographers get paid to take the best pictures, we must also take it more seriously and realize the importance of what we post.

The End is the Beginning: Embrace It

Editor of Glamour Cindi Lieve facilitated the event, quoting Kevin Kollenda’s saying “The end is the beginning.” Kevin explains the past was exclusive and protected, but with the generation on Tumblr now “all doors open…it’s a beautiful message to watch” and it’s free.  He says because we have never paid for digital before with Facebook, Tumblr, etc., they are all being used more extensively than any phone or cable service.

“In our minds, we shouldn’t pay” for services like Tumblr or Facebook, but they’re far more used as tools than any other digital service that we pay for. Kollenda concludes, “We’re at the beginning of where it’s all going to go…you have to open up and let go and say: I don’t know anymore.”

Rocha agrees when it comes to the new fashion technology frontier, “Embrace it!”