FashioNXT 2013 sponsor
Mark J. Vaiciulis is Intel’s global marketing manager and leads the Intel campaign with Project Runway. For five years he’s worked as a sponsor on Project Runway, working closely with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn on using advanced technology tools to inspire designs on the runway, while developing innovating thinking at the same time. Increasingly, Project Runway contestants are showcasing their final designs at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, while utilizing both HP and Intel technology. I spoke with Mark on his involvement with Intel and FashioNXT.
Tell us more about your work with Intel.
I am a global marketing manager with Intel’s Corporate Marketing Group, responsible for our partner marketing efforts. In this capacity, I have had the opportunity to partner with some of the world’s leading brands, talent, and influencers—including our partnership with HP on the Project Runway fashion television series.
Intel is a company known to most people for its technology, but not for fashion. What’s the connection?
At Intel, we believe that technology can enrich the lives of everyone on the planet. Technology with Intel Inside connects and inspires people, enables creativity and makes amazing things possible. Within the fashion industry, technology plays a vital role in the design process, whether it is being used as a communication mechanism, a tool to capture and aggregate inspirations and ideas, or a device used for pattern and line design. Designers also rely on technology to run their small businesses effectively and efficiently. On the consumption side, people use technology to learn about and share information related to the latest fashions and trends. As compute devices like the Intel-inspired Ultrabooks and tablets become thinner, lighter and more mobile, the devices themselves are even transcending into stylish fashion accessories.
You have been leading the Intel campaign with Project Runway. Tell us about that experience and what it means to Intel.
The Intel and HP relationship with Project Runway started about five years ago with the idea of integrating technology into the design room of the show. At the time, it was a very forward-thinking and, perhaps, novel concept. We weren’t sure to what extent the designers would use the technology or how Project Runway fans would react to technology on the show. Today, this technology is an expected and necessary component of the show. Designers now have access to innovative new technology products, including a range of Intel-powered, portable all-in-ones, touch-enabled Ultrabooks, and 2-in-1 devices.
What draws you from the runways of New York to FashioNXT in Portland?
I have lived in Portland almost twenty years and love it here. Portland is very unique culturally, sort of edgy but also progressive and savvy in terms of fashion and technology. While the bright lights and glamour of New York are exciting and fun, I love the grass-roots raw appeal of Portland.
FashioNXT is known to leverage a runway show that creates a connection with personal technology. We’ve seen you speak in our FashioNXT 2012 video on how FashioNXT is a good fit for Intel. Please explain how this collaboration enables fashion and technology to come together.
I personally find FashioNXT fascinating, not only because it is on the cusp of cutting-edge design, but also because of its unique connection with innovative technology. Intel makes the technology that inspires and enables people to create and discover new possibilities, whether in the fashion industry or beyond, so it is natural for Intel to be at this convergence of fashion and technology.
Portland’s own Michelle Lesniak has just won Project Runway. Can you share with us how Intel has been working with her?
As a result of our partnership with Project Runway, Intel and HP have established relationships with some of Project Runway’s best designers, including Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung Chee and now Michelle Lesniak. In May, Intel launched “Experience Intel. Look Inside,” which is a global tour set up to introduce consumers to Intel’s range of cutting-edge devices.
What are you most excited about at FashioNXT 2013?
I’m personally excited to see the unexpected at Portland’s FashionNXT. The event seems to be at the forefront of “what is next,” and I look to be inspired by the latest styles, designs, trends, and technology.