Q&A with Pavan Bahl, founder of Open Source Fashion and the New York City
Freestyle Fashion Conference  held on March 29, 2014 at LIM College.

– This is a great opportunity for fashion businesses with a social impact! – 

What is the purpose of the Freestyle Fashion Conference and who should attend? #FFCNYC brings together innovators working in fashion, retail, and related technologies or services.  There is  heavy focus on education and collaboration.  We only allow creatives and professionals that are working in or with the fashion and retail industries.  This means designers, brands, technologists, and folks that provide services to this community of folks!

What is your inspiration behind the Freestyle Fashion Conference? I have a serious respect for entrepreneurship, and a passion for business development.  Knowing everything there is to know, and implementing all the needed strategies that go into developing a successful relevant company is overwhelming.  The Freestyle Fashion Conference is a way to bring together like minded people to learn from one another…and find collaborative opportunities to grow their businesses.I’m inspired by the talented individuals in our community.  They all need to meet each other!

Some of the class sessions grabbed our attention like: Collaborative Future of Fashion: What might one event goer expect? Leland is an incredible speaker!  He travels worldwide to educate on the changing business landscapes.  We share his passion for collaboration.  In this particular session, he will detail the future of how businesses (particularly relating to fashion and retail) will operate. This is just one example of how our sessions are focusing on showcasing the insight of educators with very specific domain expertise.  All of our classes feature speakers that have proven to be thought leaders in their particular expertise.

We see there is a class for the “Top 10 Mobile Trends” Why might that be important for your event goers? It’s no surprise that an overwhelming majority of folks are using their mobile devices to purchase consumer goods and services online.  In this session, business owners will learn about new mobile technology trends that they can leverage to drive sales conversion.  This is a class I expect to gain a lot of audience participation!

Another topic: Pop Up Retail Strategy lead by Pop Up Guru, Melissa Gonzalez – what might one expect? Melissa is definitely a Pop-up guru…mine at least! 🙂  She has produced over 60 temporary retail campaigns between New York and California.  In this session, you will learn about what all goes into executing a well thought out and productive pop up retail strategy based on your brands goals. Pop-ups are used by retailers and brands alike to test new markets, expand their marketing reach, and create strong PR for themselves.  This is only accomplished if you know what you’re doing…that’s where Melissa comes in!

What do you think the future of NY fashion looks like? What are three things people in this industry should prepare for?  Technology is finally being embraced by fashion and retail brands alike.  From wearable technologies and new materials, to various in store and online commerce technologies…there is a full on revolution going on. Oh…let’s not forget to mention data, and it’s profound effect on business strategy. It’s hard to say what the future will look like, let alone the next 6 months!  That’s what’s so exciting…the industry is transforming, and folks in our community are trailblazing it.

What are some expected takeaways from the event? You will absolutely learn a ton, and connect with some great people.  84% of attendees polled from our last run of this program said that they made a connection that would further their business or career!

If one cannot make it to the event, how can we follow the conversation online? We will be live tweeting all throughout the conference.  Follow us on twitter: @OSFashion.  And you can engage with all of the attendees tweets and instagram content at #FFCNYC!  We also setup a social hub via our friends at Socious

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