From a Fashion Model to a Tech Entrepreneur

anina net 360 fashion network
Team Size

10

Revenue

Not Disclosed

Location

Beijing, China

STart Date

2008

Having peaked her modeling career and fame as China’s top foreign model, she decided to fuse her modeling skills with technology to create tech-enabled products designed for women.

Read on how Anina Net became a Fashion-Tech entrepreneur.

INTRODUCTION

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE BUSINESS YOU STARTED.

Hi, my name is Anina Net. I am a fashion model turned tech entrepreneur. I apply technology to fashion, build demos and examples of the future, and do workshops and events showcasing wearable tech and women entrepreneurs.

fashion tech entrepreneur
Credit: Maria Cavalli

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE AND HOW DO YOU STAY PRODUCTIVE?

I reached the top of my modeling career and thought, “I’ve now been voted China’s top foreign model, 1.3 billion people, I don’t think I can get any more well known than that.” So I decided to use my technology skills plus my modeling skills to influence the next generation of women to become engineers. 

I could make tech glamorous by creating exciting projects with fashion and beautiful accessories for women. In this way, I could contribute to the world becoming more diverse and inclusive, and leave a legacy for future generations to have more diverse solutions to support their daily life. I could be a super role model. 

THE JOURNEY SO FAR

PLEASE DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS.

Jump up at 6 am and make tea or juice, play something inspirational or spiritual on my iPhone as I’m getting ready for the day in order to set my mind on the positive. Sit down at the computer and “eat the frog” (do the one thing I don’t want to do so it’s out of the way). 

Get online and talk to my team to see where they are at in getting our products to consumers, have interviews with female founders for “giving back” to the community. Go to the lab and solve any technical problems we may be facing with electronics integration for our robotic dresses, screen-based clothing. Eat some lunch and do some online training, have meetings, or learn/setup/experiment with new technologies. Receive calls from the team in Europe and have dinner. Make final calls to the USA around midnight, and participate in some online training, sleep…and repeat 6 days a week.

fashion tech entrepreneur
Credit: Maria Cavalli

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT AND YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR BUSINESS?

Biggest Achievement: Building cutting edge fashion tech and creating events such as GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS or CES wearable tech Runway shows.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge is to find any fashion brand that wants to innovate and create tech-enabled products. Few and far between!

WHAT STRATEGY DID YOU USE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS? AND HOW?

Events, events, events all over the world. Gathering the community together and teaching sharing our vision of the future slowly found people like-minded. Always being the leaders and living in the future. Helping others to see what’s coming so they can be prepared.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS?

The future of business is a seamlessly connected world between clothing and the cloud for speed and working between virtual and real in mixed reality. Those brands who embrace this survive and thrive, those who cannot, die because the next generations of digital nomads expect this type of connectivity and integrated experience.

With harsher environmental conditions and overpopulation, hospitals will be overflowing with diabetes, cancer and other sick people, so home medical care will become the best practice along with preventative health through tech-enabled IoT clothing that connects to our home, car, and smart buildings. O2O will become our new way of living.

Related: How My Startup is Changing the Future of Fashion Retail Industry

RECOMMENDATIONS & FINAL THOUGHTS

PLEASE RECOMMEND ANY RESOURCES AND TOOLS THAT YOU USE TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS.

360fash.com for learning about electronics and design thinking. 

My favorite tools are Dubb.com, Apploye.com, and Invanto.com.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BOOKS, BLOGS OR PODCASTS? 

“The Power of One Book”, Fashnerd.com website, and Sandy Carter’s Twitter.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?

 

Be prepared to give up everything you know and embrace the new. Find mentors, allays, and people who believe in you. Reach back and grab another woman to bring forward.

WHAT BUSINESS IDEA DO YOU HAVE THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE WITH OTHERS? 

We need a way to teach online self-defense to women (maybe a VR application!)

Big thanks to our supporters & affiliates ❤️

Violeta Semenova

Violeta Semenova
Founder
theBizLadies

Welcome to the Biz Ladies interview series!

If you’re new to these series, I interview women entrepreneurs on how they started their business, what was the idea behind it, how they got where they are, the struggles, the reality and more.

By sharing their stories, we want to inspire other women to get started.

If you are interested to share your own story on the Biz Ladies LET ME KNOW!

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