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Rebecca Minkoff, possibly fashion and tech's most fervent supporter within the industry, has announced a pretty expansive partnership with Intel to promote women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math education) careers. The partnership itself has actually been in the works for about a year — Intel announced that the company would be working with Rebecca Minkoff on getting more women into STEM careers last March — but this year, the partnership will start to take shape in the form of college campus visits, hackathons, and "design ideation camps" that focus on connecting college-aged women with role models and career opportunities in STEM-related fields.
It makes sense that Intel wanted to partner up with Minkoff on this project; the designer has made a name for herself in being the first to try plenty of different fashion-tech integrations. Last year, the brand filmed the final walk of its Fall 2015 show to be viewed in virtual reality and promoted the film by selling Minkoff-branded VR headsets on its website. Minkoff has gotten a ton of press for her intuitive, tech-integrated stores in New York and San Francisco, and she was way ahead of the "see now, buy now" trend that shook up a bunch of the shows at New York Fashion Week.
To promote the Intel partnership, Minkoff hosted a Reddit AMA at 2pm ET today with Sandra Lopez, an Intel executive working within the company's wearables department. They covered a lot of ground, fielding questions mostly from tech industry hopefuls who were looking to learn more about what kind of career path one should follow to work in the integration of fashion and tech.
When asked about what "the iPhone" of the fashion-tech world will be (since we definitely haven't seen that one stellar wearable yet), Lopez said that she doesn't see this as a space where "one killer app will prevail." Instead, she predicted that there's going to be a lot more experimentation going on rather than everyone chasing after the one great way to integrate fashion and tech.
Speaking of wearables, one Redditor asked the pair to identify what the big hurdle was to adopting more of that technology into fashion, and, ultimately, mainstream culture. "I think it comes down to a well designed piece and getting more females in this space," says Minkoff. "That will vastly change the dynamics of this arena and get more into what we want to have that will help our lives."