Town Hall 7: SWAPCHAIN
By: Brianna Vera
The Canvas’ seventh Town Hall featured Patrick Duffy, Founder of Global Fashion Exchange, ShihYun (Eliana) Kuo, COO and Co-Founder of Lablaco, and Lorenzo Albrighi, CEO and Co-founder of Lablaco. The discussion centered around Swapchain, the blockchain-based swap system encouraging a tech-powered circular economy.
Patrick Duffy, Founder of Global Fashion Exchange
Patrick Duffy founded the Global Fashion Exchange (GFX) in 2013 with the mission to challenge the fashion industry to create a more sustainable world through inspiring forums, educational content and cultural events, including fashion swaps and consulting. As an expert in developing networks and activating ideas, Patrick guides creative teams for GFX in 30+ countries where GFX has taken place at institutions like V&A in London, Federation Square Melbourne, Madison Square Garden in NYC and more. Patrick experience producing events and creating marketing campaigns for some of the world’s most recognized brands across the art and fashion space include HM, Moët,Hennessy, Microsoft and spans 15 years, hundreds of events in 5 continents. In addition to his work with GFX, Patrick also manages global partnerships for Common
Objective (CO), an intelligent business network for the fashion industry, has launched "Mr Duffy” a 100% circular and sustainably focused clothing collection with partner Fashion 4 Freedom in Vietnam and is a partner at Design Pavilion, NYC’s Largest public interfacing event with over 7 million visitors in partnership with Times Square and NYEDC during NYCx Design week each May.
ShihYun (Eliana) Kuo, COO and Co-Founder of Lablaco
Born in Taipei and living between Paris and Milan, ShihYun Kuo is a Data and Digital Innovation Entrepreneur and Speaker with more than 8 years of experience in Luxury Retail Buying and Merchandising Management, Data Systems and Digital Media. After obtaining a luxury fashion MBA at SDA Bocconi School of Management, she entered the luxury industry as a Retail Business Analyst in Etro, following APAC Merchandising and then buying supervisor in Giorgio Armani HQ, in Milan. She was one of the first pioneers to activate new technology projects in Giorgio
Armani HQ, and brought to life a few startups across Europe and Asia in KOLS Online Media, Digital Marketing and Fashion and Lifestyle Retail sectors, with clients such as Vogue, Officiel, Dolce and Gabanna and Vionnet. Building a global platform to accelerate digitization of fashion industry has always been her personal goal since 2010. In 2016, ShihYun has finally founded Lablaco, the first Circular Fashion Platform with the mission to accelerate the digitalization and transition towards the Circular Economy of the Fashion Industry. By leveraging Blockchain within an open source platform, Lablaco aims to redesign a new ecosystem for fashion industry by introducing new sustainable business models and
re-defining the relationships among retailers, brands, designers, influencers, content creators and consumers in a single system.
Lorenzo Albrighi, CEO and Co-Founder of Lablaco
Lorenzo was born in London on November 1987 by an Italian/American father and an English mother, growing up between Florence and Milan, grew a deep passion for the Italian fashion scene, which brought him to start sewing as an apprentice tailor at 20 years old in the historical sartoria A. Caraceni in Milan, serving clients from Karl Lagerfeld, Gianfranco Ferrè, Calvin Klein and many other high profile individuals.
After two years of learning the basics of traditional Italian bespoke tailoring he moved to Florence to learn the basics of cutting suits from Neapolitan cutter and master Mario Sciales at Sartoria M. Marinaro, serving the Florentine aristocracy as the Pucci family
and other historical families. After two years of cutting and sewing suits he set up his own tailoring house, featured in the Louis Vuitton Milan City Guide as one of the best ateliers in town, with clients ranging from members of the Arab Royal family, fashion photographer Giovanni
Gastel, to the Co-Founder of Net-A-Porter, Arnaud Massenet, who then became the first investor in Lablaco. Having worked for almost ten years in the fashion industry and launching his ready to wear line, he met ShihYun Kuo, working at Giorgio Armani as Buying and Merchandising Manager for Asia Pacific and realized the current fashion system is broken as it is now one of the largest polluting industries in the world. So they Founded Lablaco in 2016, the first Circular Fashion platform with mission to tackle fashion’s biggest challenge of redesigning a new digital and circular fashion system for a transparent and sustainable future for brands and consumers worldwide.
Clothing swap has become an increasingly popular method of giving unwanted items a new home. Through swapping, the customer can exchange great quality garments while becoming more conscious of the way they consume.
Block chain is based on a peer-to-peer (P2P) topology, blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) that allows data to be stored globally on thousands of servers – while letting anyone on the network see everyone else's entries in near real-time. Learn more here.
SWAPPING + BLOCKCHAIN = THE SWAPCHAIN.
The SWAPCHAIN brings clothing swaps to your fingertips. With Blockchain technology, you can SWAP with others around the world with the click of a button. Create community, share style tips, renew your wardrobe and extend the life of your clothing—which is good for the planet! On SWAPCHAIN, clothing becomes digitized via users uploading items to the Blockchain. Once uploaded, a unique QR code is created for each item. The QR code contains information such as how much water was used to produce the garment, where it was produced, as well as the brand and retailer. Blockchain also tracks the consumer side of the garment through showing ownership history. Items can be scanned in store or selected from the online platform, and ownership is automatically transferred to the buyer.
BENEFITS OF SWAPCHAIN.
The SWAPCHAIN connects an international community of swappers via the online platform. It helps eliminate the stigma of second hand clothing and makes users more aware of their wardrobe’s impact on the environment. SWAPCHAIN aims to build a circular fashion platform for brands and retailers to decrease the fashion industry’s impact on the environment. It is a tool that will rewrite the current fashion model.
Click below to listen to this discussion on Spotify.