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ICYMI: Payless wins with fake luxury store, British MPs grill fast fashion, UN forms sustainability alliance

Payless's fake luxury store Palessi
Payless’s fake luxury store Palessi

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Payless opened a fake luxury store with $600 shoes [Fortune]
  • MPs grill fast fashion bosses on sustainable practices at select committee hearing [The Industry]
  • UN to form alliance to make fashion more sustainable [FashionUnited]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Cambridge Analytica whistleblower joins H&M to lead AI research [TheCurrent Daily]
  • Muji designs “friendly” autonomous shuttle bus for Finland [Dezeen]
  • Smart speakers are everywhere this holiday season, but they’re really a gift for big tech companies [Vox]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Patagonia’s billionaire founder to give away the millions his company saved from Trump’s tax cuts to save the planet [Forbes]
  • Can the ‘broken’ fashion industry be fixed? [BBC]
  • For retailers and brands, sustainability needs good tech [Forbes]
  • Lane Crawford switches to greener shopping bags and packaging [WWD]
  • Next season’s must-have isn’t a handbag, it’s a conscience [i-D]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • How Casper is designing experiential retail moments [TheCurrent Daily]
  • A year in, Marks & Spencer’s virtual assistant has helped drive £2m in sales [Digiday]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • YouTube rolls out merchandise selling function [Drapers]
  • Nike tugs on heartstrings with ‘My Crazy Dream’ IGTV series [Mobile Marketer]
  • Steph Curry tells Under Armour to market his shoes to girls [BoF]
  • Instagram adds ‘close friends’ to let you share stories to a more limited group [The Verge]
  • Benefit to create pink train carriage for last minute brow treatments [Campaign]
PRODUCT
BUSINESS
  • Black Friday took one third of sales from smartphones [FashionUnited]
  • Kering to end Yoox partnership, take control of e-commerce by 2020 [BoF]
  • H&M to shut Cheap Monday [WWD]
  • Condé Nast to combine US and international businesses [BoF]
  • Cash-strapped millennials turn to instalment plans to buy t-shirts and jeans [BoF]
CULTURE
  • Bread & Butter cancelled for 2019 [Drapers]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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business Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce film mobile product Retail social media Startups sustainability technology

ICYMI: Dolce & Gabbana’s downfall, the double-edged sword of discounting, a trillion-dollar holiday season

Dolce & Gabbana is in trouble in China
Dolce & Gabbana is in trouble in China

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • The crash and burn of Dolce & Gabbana [NYT]
  • The double-edged sword of discounting [BoF]
  • Get ready for the first-ever trillion-dollar shopping season [Fast Company]
  • ThirdLove publishes a scathing open letter to Victoria’s Secret in a New York Times ad [AdWeek]
TECHNOLOGY
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Sustainable fashion searches surged in 2018 [Forbes]
  • Trawling for trash: the brands turning plastic pollution into fashion [The Guardian]
  • Bangladesh clothing factories face squeeze if safety push blocked [BoF]
  • How to convince a fashion brand to go fur-free in 2018 [Fashionista]
  • From Gucci to Walmart, these brands & retailers took a stand on social issues this year [Footwear News]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Inside an Amazon warehouse on Black Friday [Vox]
  • Amazon is mailing a printed holiday toy catalog to millions of customers [CNBC]
  • Walmart unveils ‘digital playground’ as it gets serious about toys [Marketing Dive]
  • Kohl’s cracks the retail code [Fortune]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Why holiday windows still matter [NYT]
  • Snapchat enlists Kylie Cosmetics to launch in-app social commerce [Mobile Marketer]
  • Canada Goose is turning the dressing room into a freezer [Free Malaysia Today]
  • Balenciaga just blew the CGI model debate wide open [Vogue]
  • How Farfetch leverages its WeChat strategy [Jing Daily]
  • Girlboss is launching a LinkedIn-like platform that’s exclusively for women [AdWeek]
  • Apple’s holiday ad is an animated short film [TechCrunch]
BUSINESS
  • YNAP drops Dolce & Gabbana following major Chinese retailers [WWD]
  • The race to replace Victoria’s Secret [BoF]
  • Gap plans to shutter ‘hundreds’ of its flagship stores [RetailDive]
  • The personal luxury goods market delivers positive growth in 2018 to reach €260 billion – a trend that is expected to continue through 2025 [Bain & Company]
CULTURE
  • Does fashion have a cultural appropriation problem? [BBC]
  • The art of woke wellness [The Atlantic]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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business Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce Events film mobile product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Reinventing the checkout line, fashion’s data war, the void of the pop-up experience

Retailers are re-inventing the checkout line
Retailers are re-inventing the checkout line

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • How retailers are reinventing the checkout line [BoF]
  • Fashion’s data war [WWD]
  • The existential void of the pop-up ‘experience’ [NY Times]
  • Mulberry launches interactive retail experience for the holiday season [TheCurrent Daily]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Alibaba and Amazon move over, we visited JD’s connected grocery store in China [TechCrunch]
  • Ford and Walmart to partner on self-driving deliveries [Engadget]
  • How retailers can tell stories by reading emotions [RetailDive]
  • New York Is a genuine tech hub (and that was before Amazon) [BoF]
  • Walmart is using virtual reality to train its workforce for Black Friday [Vox]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Big names from fashion, music and art team up for #PassOnPlastic pop-up [The Industry]
  • Kering Foundation unveils campaign against cyberbullying [WWD]
  • Avon fights for LGBTI rights alongside the United Nations [Fashion Network]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Talk to me: The rise of voice commerce [WWD]
  • Denim tailors and t-shirt tattoo parlours: Inside Levi’s New Times Square flagship [BoF]
  • Chinese shoppers crave experiences with their bags, LVMH says [Bloomberg]
  • FAO Schwarz puts a new spin on its dance-on piano as part of splashy NYC comeback [CNBC]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • How brands are finally realising the full potential of personalization [Marketing Week]
  • These are all the problems with Iceland’s banned Christmas advert [Wired]
  • John Lewis unveils Christmas ad and experiential store activations [Fashion Network]
  • A third of brands admit to not disclosing influencer partnerships [Marketing Week]
PRODUCT
  • Gucci expands DIY service [Fashion United]
  • Clinique bets big on personalized moisturization [WWD]
BUSINESS
  • Beyoncé buys out Ivy Park brand from Philip Green [BoF]
CULTURE
  • Five lessons fashion can learn from Disney [BoF]
  • How cannabis became chic [i-D]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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business Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce film product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Topshop buzz score drops, advanced analytics for apparel, analyzing the streetwear bubble

The streetwear bubble
The streetwear bubble

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Topshop “Buzz Score” drops after Green allegations [The Industry]
  • Geek meets chic: Four actions to jump-start advanced analytics in apparel [McKinsey]
  • Is the streetwear bubble about to burst? [Highsnobiety]
  • How open-source innovation may transform fashion [BoF]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Menswear retailer Jacamo launches voice shopping [Drapers]
  • Tencent is launching its own version of Snap Spectacles [TechCrunch]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Plastic waste elimination pledge by 2025 attracts more big firms [BBC]
  • Is fashion’s eco-consciousness more than a label yet? [BoF]
  • These gorgeous colors come from dye made by bacteria, not chemicals [FastCompany]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • If we built the retail model from scratch, what would it be? [BoF]
  • Goop opens first permanent store in New York City [Glossy]
  • Singapore’s frictionless grocery store and dining concept [LS:N Global]
  • Digging into drop culture: Evolving a roaring retail ritual [Forbes]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Dior aims to lure new audiences with digital influencer Noonouri [Vrroom.buzz]
  • Barbour Christmas campaign celebrates 40 years of iconic festive film [The Scotsman]
  • H&M launches holiday 2018 campaign starring Aubrey Plaza [Highsnobiety]
  • Designing people’s Instagram Stories is now a million-dollar business [FastCompany]
PRODUCT
BUSINESS
  • Revolve’s blend of data and fashion supports case for IPO [WWD]
CULTURE
  • Why voting is in fashion [New York Times]
  • How Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty is changing the lingerie game [Vogue]
  • What can luxury brands learn from Gucci about millennials? [Forbes]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce film Retail Startups sustainability technology

ICYMI: Balenciaga’s futuristic show, Nike as the biggest fashion brand, robots to beat US tariffs

Balenciaga's SS19 Show
Balenciaga’s SS19 Show

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Back to the future: a futuristic theme was present at Balenciaga’s spring/summer 2019 show [Vogue]
  • “The vibe of the times”: How Nike became the biggest fashion brand in the world [GQ]
  • Hong Kong shirtmaker Esquel turns to robots to beat US tariffs [SCMP]
  • Can Paris grow its fashion-tech game? [BoF]
TECHNOLOGY
  • How biotechnology is reshaping fashion [BoF]
  • Walmart requires suppliers to use traceability system for leafy greens [Supermarket News]
  • You know nothing AI, that’s why you’re bad at conversation [The Next Web]
  • EasyJet tool lets people use photos to search for flights [Digiday]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Germanier unveils sustainable Christian Louboutin collaboration [WWD]
  • Patagonia uses recycled wool for ‘woolyester’ fleece [Apparel Insider]
  • ‘Sustainability means nothing’: How atelier Repairs’ Maurizio Donadi approaches responsible fashion [Glossy]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Finnish department store launches gender-neutral floor [FashionUnited]
  • Inside the J. Crew-Universal Standard collaboration [RetailDive]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Gap chatbot enlists ‘wear testers’ for men’s athleisure line [MobileMarketer]
  • MyTheresa and Miu Miu celebrate women’s empowerment with playful Rebel, Rebel film [FashionUnited]
BUSINESS
  • Michael Kors acquires Versace [Fashionista]
  • Converse is ready to rebound after a streak of struggles [FootwearNews]
  • Next beats UK heat as it raises full-year profit outlook [Bloomberg]
  • Chanel acquires Orlebar Brown [BoF]
  • Investors are pouring millions (and millions) of dollars into streetwear startups [Fashionista]
CULTURE
  • Kim Jones thinks it’s time to retire the term “streetwear”  [Highsnobiety]
  • Why companies like Bumble and 7-Eleven are trying to sell you skin care and makeup [Vox]
  • Instagrammable pop-ups are everywhere. What does that mean for art? [Vox]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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film Retail Startups technology

Harvey Nichols unveils in-store shoppable video screens

Harvey Nichols

British department store, Harvey Nichols, is introducing shoppable videos via in-store touch screens.

The full-length installations feature a variety of films through brand collaborations with the likes of Calvin Klein. Customers can simply tap on the touch screen to bring up more information about individual products, and then add them to their basket for immediate checkout. They can also connect to their phone through a QR code.

Created by shoppable video startup Smartzer, the experience follows a successful trial online. The Calvin Klein launch also extends to the Harvey Nichols website and social channels.

Peter Howroyd, head of CRM and digital marketing at Harvey Nichols, said: “We are always looking to bring our customers closer to our product in a unique and innovative way. Smartzer’s technology has enabled us to do just that and bring the digital experience to our customers, not only online but in our stores as well.”

Harvey Nichols

This initiative comes at a time when brands are increasingly trying to not only balance their creative work with driving conversions, but also looking at how to encourage new levels of engagement in store. Touch screens and interactive mirrors aren’t new to the retail space, but this example shows a different way of combining storytelling with an endless aisle play.

According to Smartzer, initial results show an average engagement rate of 48.3% and a click-through rate of 15.7%. CEO Karoline Gross says interaction rates the company sees across the board tend to be on average 20 times higher than that of standard video ad formats. The platform provides such video performance metrics, as well as click maps to show which part of the videos have generated the highest interaction.

Smartzer has previously worked with other brands in the fashion and retail space including Burberry, Galeries Lafayette, Adidas, Emilio Pucci and more.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Moncler explores emotional intelligence with Sophia the Robot

Moncler - "Emotional Intelligence"
Moncler – “Emotional Intelligence”

Moncler has enlisted Sophia the Robot to launch a digital campaign exploring the relationship between man and machine.

The campaign, which was developed by the New York Times’ creative agency T Brand Studio, promotes the label’s newest collection under the Genius line, this time by Japanese designer Kei Ninomiya. In the short film, Sophia is accompanied by actress and musician Ryan Destiny in a garden, exploring the definition of friendship.

“Sophia’s presence catalyzes new questions about the future of the social zeitgeist,” reads the accompanying copy. “In a new age of art and technology, will A.I. beings — all far more advanced than Sophia — become our friends? Will they develop their own capacity for thought and free will?”

The choice of Sophia comes down to not only its realistic features, but how it was conceived in the first place: the robot has been developed to portray emotions and warmth, not too dissimilar from a real human.

Moreover, the man versus machine theme is particularly relevant to Ninomiya’s collection as its clothing merge traditional origami traditions with futuristic designs, thus converging craft and technology.

The short ad campaign is available to watch on Moncler.com and through paid advertising on Instagram Stories.

This is Moncler’s sixth iteration of the Genius line, which takes inspiration from the ‘drop’ model made popular by streetwear labels, where merchandise is released on a recurring basis, rather than the traditional seasonal retail model. In following suit, the Italian brand hopes to engage with a younger generation who has become accustomed with having faster and more differentiated access to fashion.

As for Sophia the Robot, the humanoid has quickly catapulted into pop culture for its extensive coverage across TV and print. Earlier this year, it graced the cover of UK-based Stylist magazine, which dedicated an entire issue to machines. In June, TheCurrent’s founder Liz Bacelar interviewed her on stage at Impact festival in Krakow, Poland.

This month, the Italian luxury label also launched Moncler Beyond, a wider advertising initiative highlighting 19 men and women who are “pushing the limits”, including British actor John Boyega and Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns Editor's pick film

ASOS launches influencer video series exploring identity through beauty

ASOS
ASOS

ASOS has launched a YouTube mini series exploring gender and identity through the lens of beauty, hosted by its influencer network, known as Insiders.

The series aims to further promote diversity and self-exploration to its Gen Z audience, continuing the message first established when it launched the Face + Body category in September 2017.

The first video, which explores “gender, identity and performance”, begins with all five Insider hosts introducing the viewer to the “challenge” that one of the Insiders, in this instance Joel, has to complete.

As viewers find out, Joel is tasked to find his drag alter ego with the help of performer Dinah Lux. Meanwhile the remaining Insiders set out to explore what the topic means by interviewing peers that transform themselves into different characters through performance art.

The second instalment of the series, released yesterday (July 30), explores biodegradable glitter and body confidence and sees Insider Alice create a full body look using nothing but glitter.

Below each video, ASOS prompts viewers to further explore the topic and shop their Insiders’ looks through dedicated pages on ASOS.com.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Campaigns film

Dollar Shave Club breaks down gender stereotypes in Get Ready campaign

Dollar Shave Club, Get Ready, Grooming, Bathroom Rituals, video, campaign, advertisment
Get Ready

Dollar Shave Club is focusing on breaking down gender stereotypes in a new campaign that marks its biggest video production to date.

Get Ready, as it’s called, is a short film from the subscription razor company that shows 26 different bathroom sets and their accompanying consumers, each demonstrating a particular grooming ritual.

Included is a man enjoying a luxurious bubble bath in a pink-tiled bathroom, for instance, or a woman shaving her bald head. The aim of the video is to show customers who are far more varied than the archetypes the shaving industry usually portray. 

Each of the 26 scenarios shown are all based on the responses of a consumer survey. 

The film also sees a cameo from the brand’s CEO, Michael Dubin, who in once scene puts toilet paper in his underwear and views himself expectantly in the mirror. It’s a move that only reinforces the deliberately not-so-serious tone that made the very first Dollar Shave Club video, Our Blades Are F***ing Great., such a success.

With the Get Ready campaign, it is continuing to demonstrate its distinctive marketing voice, while also emphasizing its creative independence after being acquired by Unilever for an estimated $1 billion in 2016. In a strategic decision to not seek help from an external agency, the company employed its in-house marketing team for the entire creative process. 

The finale of the video sees all characters unite (breaking down bathroom doors, climbing over tiled-walls) and leave the purposefully obvious TV-set design. The caption reads “Welcome to the Club”, which then cleverly shows all the different bathroom essentials the company can now provide its customers with, following its expansion beyond razors and into other grooming essentials.

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Campaigns film

Kenzo explores cultural identities in mini feature film

Le Renard Bleu, Kenzo, Luxury Fashion, Fashion Film
Le Renard Bleu

Kenzo has released a 20-minute film that brings to life the Fall 2018 collection in a cinematic composition of music, performance and dance, in support of the second edition of its Folio publication.

Entitled Le Renard Bleu, the fashion film is inspired by the chilling Icelandic fable The Blue Fox, which in its original form gives a haunting account of human nature. Kenzo’s re-interpretation is directed by artist Partel Olivia, who decided to expand beyond the initial cultural identities and incorporate ancient Dogon and Japanese folktales, which give a portrayal of the fox as an animal susceptible to chaos and of a cunning nature.

The resulting intertwining of different cultural heritage lies at the heart of the brand’s creative output, with the atmospheric video chronicling the journey of the fox as a spirit animal, portrayed by street dance artist Qwenga. He is accompanied by a musical composition which was especially created through a collaboration between musician Midori Takada and LA pop-artist Lafawndah, whose spontaneous creative output imagines her own conversation with the animal. 

This is the first time in 20 years Takada, has created music; a decision that she traces back to her love for the brand (she wore Kenzo for her very first musical performance) and the compelling nature of the fox in her own culture. 

The tone of the music as well as the performance is at first pensive but soon becomes tenser, with scenes capturing fragmented sequences of dance, performance, and moments of stillness, all accompanied by the dramatic musical interlude. 

Ultimately, the focus is on the clothes however, which act as strong visual cues while also being seamlessly integrated into the overall atmosphere of the video. Fittingly, the Fall collection, entitled La Collection Memento N°2, blurs the line between Western and Eastern fashion iconography, paying homage to Japanese and Hawaiian style elements. 

Le Renard Bleu was released on the brand’s YouTube channel, with the print publication of Folio available soon on the Antenne Books website. This magazine is rooted in the brand’s aspiration to show and explore different aspects of culture and cultural identities, which in this second installation are prominently formed by the cultural aesthetics of the East, as per the latest collection. It follows the publication of Folio #1 from April 2017, entitled Gidi gidi bu ugwu eze — Unity is Strength