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Editor's Comment: Innovate and celebrate

Last week I attended the launch of Plexal, which is set to be the largest innovation centre in Europe. Based in the Here East site within the Olympic Park in Stratford, the 68,000 sq ft space aims to host between 300 and 500 businesses.

Keely cropped for web

Keely Stocker 2015 by Sam Chick

Opening fully in May 2017, Plexal will be home to businesses across a range of sectors from financial services to 3D printing, sports, wellbeing and tech fashion start-ups. As chief executive of Here East Innovation Centre Claire Cockerton said of the initiative: “We are making an international stage for opportunity, innovation and performance.”

This drive in the capital to boost creative talent can only support increased innovation across the fashion sector.

Also at the event was Liam Maxwell, national tech advisor for the government, who said technology and digital is growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy and creates £45bn in exports and 1.4m jobs, highlighting its importance for the future.

UK fashion businesses are pushing the boundaries with technological innovation and it’s what inspired us to include a Best Use of Innovation category at the Drapers Digital Festival.

This award looks for the most ground-breaking development of the year which could relate to content, service, technology, marketing or any other discipline. Previous winners have included Bravissimo for the launch of video chat and Topshop for its online activity – including a 3D virtual-reality experience – during London Fashion Week.

These initiatives show how the sector is embracing new technologies and catching the customers’ eye with innovative new campaigns or customer service tools. Industry terms such as omnichannel, personalisation and multichannel integration are often talked about but the essence of it all is providing a better experience for the customer and standing out in a highly competitive crowd.

Innovation is at the heart of any great fashion business and I encourage you to enter Drapers Digital Festival to celebrate your finest achievements at or by contacting Felipe Ramirez on 020 3033 4342 or

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