Kent State hosts second annual Fashion/Tech Hackathon


Team Roame explains the prototype of its design at the finalist presentations of the Fashion/Tech Hackathon event hosted in Rockwell Hall on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. Roame won first place and a $1,500 award with the design of a backpack that also acts as a hands-free navigational device. The 36-hour event challenged students to combine fashion with technology using resources such as the textile lab available in Rockwell Hall as well as their imaginations.

Alexandria Valverde

Fashion and technology came together for one the weekend as students crowded Rockwell Hall for the second annual Kent State Fashion/Tech Hackathon from Jan 30 to Feb 1.

More than 200 students from more than 70 universities worldwide competed in teams and combine fashion and technology to create new, innovative products.

The teams came up with a product idea and presented a prototype at the end of the weekend.

Freshmen fashion design majors Kayla Blackerby and Sarah Payne were hoping to win with their idea of a fashionable jacket that heats up, a product they felt a personal need for.

“Which in this case is going to school in Ohio and needing a warmer coat,” Payne said.

While the fashion design students felt nervous, they also said that they felt prepared for the weekend.

Kevin Wolfgang, outreach manager of the Tech Style Lab and one of the leaders of the Hackathon, said the Fashion/Tech Hackathon event is important because it shows what the Kent State Fashion School has to offer.

Wolfgang said that judges chose a winning team based on how successful the students were with combining both technology and fashion.

“You may have a great app, or you may have a great sensory; you may have a great piece of hardware or software,” Wolfgang said. “But it’s got to go on the body; it’s got to be comfortable; it’s got to be sellable.”

The event ran from Jan 30 to Feb 1. Project and award submissions were on Sunday from 1 to 2 p.m.

Contact Alexandria Valverde at [email protected].