A night to remember: Geek is the new Chic - island6 Shanghai, Friday 13 June 2014
Geeks rubbed shoulders with fashionistas as the flagship gallery of Shanghai’s exciting art collective Liu Dao played host to a glittering party on Friday the 13th June. The 200 guests were drawn from across the dynamic worlds of technology, fashion and e-commerce - and of course, contemporary art.
The idea of Geek is the new Chic was to gather industry leaders to celebrate the new partnership between digital inception agency VELVET GROUP and TechNode, a technology blog that covers in both Chinese and English the latest news and start-up trends in China and Asia. TechNode was founded by Dr Gang Lu, one of the most influential tech bloggers in the global web industry. The newly-forged partnership bridges the 220-million French-speaking global community and China’s expansive digital landscape. In a major developmental move, TechNode is now French-speaking with the launch of TechNode.fr, the tech news portal’s new addition to its English and Chinese counterparts. TechNode is the official partner of breaking tech news website TechCrunch, managing TechCrunch China.
The theme of the night at island6 Shanghai was Geek Is The New Chic and the proceedings were hosted by the CEO of VELVET GROUP, Patrice Nordey, a man whose sense of style owes more to Yves Saint Laurent than GAP. Geek style, a Mohawk or two, brightly-coloured trainers, Givenchy boots, Italian suits, open-necked shirts and cutting-edge jewellery - all mixed freely on the floor of island6’s main gallery.
No one could doubt the exponential digital growth in China which boasts an internet-using population of 618 million, with 500 million mobile internet users and more than 100 million tablet owners. China is the world’s largest e-commerce market.
Some of the global companies represented at Geek is the new Chic included Hermes, Chopard, Ermenegildo Zegna, Richemont, Clarins, L’Oreal, Yves Rocher, Benetton, Jaguar, Fiat, Conde Nast, Elle and Adidas Originals – the list goes on. Luxury brands mingled with e-commerce start-ups in a rare social occasion which brought together diverse ways of doing business in China.
As the digital artwork of island6 flickered on the walls of the collective’s Shanghai headquarters, conversation flowed about the exciting new relationships being developed between the technology, fashion and luxury brand industries. The artwork was a great talking point, illustrating the potential of finding daring, technology-driven ways to express new ideas. The artists of Liu Dao say that collaboration is at the heart of their practice and Geek Is The New Chic is a vibrant example of how we can breach the silo mentality and roadblocks of the past to form new cross-industry relationships. We just need to start the conversation.