When wardrobe stylist Liana Galardi-Murgola was invited to be on a fashion-tech panel, she questioned whether she had enough technology experience to talk about the subject, she told the audience at the Jersey City Tech Meetup last month.
But the morning after she got that invitation, an overwhelmed bride called her because she couldn’t find the perfect dresses for her bridesmaids.
Galardi-Murgola turned to the internet. She used Pinterest, WhatsApp, Google Sheets and other online software that allows stylists to create customized catalogs of items from the internet. Then she sent the curated collection to her client.
“There was no way I could have done all that work in a day without technology. So, yes, technology has helped me,” she told the other panel members and the crowd at the Harborside Atrium, in Jersey City, where the monthly event was held.
The topic was “FashionTech: Exploring the Future of Fashion in Jersey City.” Galardi-Murgola, the owner of Be Brilliant Styling (Jersey City), was joined on the panel by Lynn Hazan, the founder of ChicpeaJC (Jersey City), and male fashion and fitness mentor Voy Wiacek.
Challenge to Stay Unique in an Online Shopping World
The panelists all agreed that it’s challenging to be and stay unique in the online shopping world. They talked about staying focused on providing a personal touch and daring to be different. And they discussed how fashion paves the way to more confidence and greater productivity.
Hazan said that fashion in the future will be simple, humble and unisex. Wiacek suggested that future apparel will be efficient, like those fanny packs that transform into rain jackets.
For the present, however, the accent is on individuality and personal inspiration.
As Galardi-Murgola noted, “I use images online as inspiration for clients, and then have conversations with them about their lifestyle, experiences and personality to help create a style that is a customized and authentic expression of their unique style, not just what they see on social media.”
She added, “We get to the core of their issues with body image by having an open conversation about why they are choosing to wear certain things, so we can move through those concerns and give them freedom and confidence in what they’re wearing.
“Empowerment is about uplifting each other and not being adversarial or diminishing anyone else in the process,” she continued. “I keep the message positive.”
Hazan said, “I like standing out. I like being me. It’s not for everybody, but that is my personal brand. Just be you and be comfortable with who you are.”
Ben Yurcisin, Jersey City Tech Meetup lead organizer and panel moderator, asked Wiacek, “Do you put a lot of focus on what the brand is? What is your thought process with branding and clothes?”
Referring to his We The Rivals brand as an example, Wiacek said that “you have to establish a vision for the brand.” He then recounted the time when a friend who was in marketing joined the team. “When we sat down together, it was clear as day about what we wanted to do and how we wanted to present it — because building the brand and building the lifestyle around the actual brand was selling the product. For us, branding is essentially providing the lifestyle of what we do.”