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Are fashion brands prepped to forego quality in order to fulfill the wants of Snapchat?

Image via Stolnik magazine

Something is happening with social media content. Where once highly pristine images made all the more perfect with an Instagram filter were a sure-fire strategic win, what’s beginning to take over with younger generations and the early adopter set is a much more candid approach to documenting a moment in time.

From Snapchat to Periscope (and all the other live streaming apps in between), there’s much more of a raw aesthetic filling our content feeds. It’s unedited, unscripted, totally of the moment, and more authentic as a result. As Lucie Greene, worldwide director at J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, explains, it’s part of a consumer shift in terms of what is deemed acceptable with visual language.

“We’re seeing intimate, real, and even amateur style photography becoming aspirational. And consumers, meanwhile, becoming active creators of content. They’re even starting to see themselves increasingly as their own brand. What’s interesting is that traditional entertainers and fashion brands are embracing this — they’re moving from slick, glossy, synthesised content to more ‘real’ looking imagery,” she says.

Inevitably it’s a big shift for the majority of brands however. In the fashion industry particularly, this more organic form of content is at odds with the increasingly strict controls in place around social media output. For many brands, content is created months in advance. For the giants in the space able to be more flexible, there are large teams and significant creative budgets in order to produce such flawless assets.

Those doing a really nice job of it however (on Snapchat check out Burberry, Valentino and Everlane), are still remaining ‘on brand’ with their output, just with a slightly more lighthearted view. If you’re a subscriber, check out the full report on WGSN to read all about what they’re doing to achieve it, and how true interaction will be the next leap forward in this space.

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Lyst’s ‘big data’ visualised in projection mapping from Holition


With an inventory of over one million items from more than 9,000 global fashion designers and retail stores, not to mention a solid group of actively purchasing consumers (a record $10m in sales was generated in a recent month), it might come as no surprise to hear Lyst has also got a lot in the way of data.

The once social curation site, now e-commerce platform, recently showcased that fact in collaboration with Holition.The latter created a projection that visualised the vast amount of data Lyst receives daily, in real-time. As per the video below, it documented around 250,000 items of clothing and accessories on the screen at any one time. Prices were shown, as were brands, combined designed to enable the viewer to understand and spot popular trends.

This “engaging and colourful piece of digital art”, as Holition refers to it, was on show at Lyst Studios, the company’s headquarters, in Shoreditch, London.

Said Holition CTO, Russell Freeman: “[Lyst] sucks up a huge amount of information every day and we wanted to be able to visualise that in a really beautiful way.”

Lyst, which launched in 2010, has also just announced what it refers to as a “complete brand refresh”. A new logo, a content-led homepage (as below) and a redesign across desktop, tablet and mobile are included. Working in partnership with creative agency Wednesday, the company has introduced a new aesthetic that it refers to as “modern, bolder and more distinctive”.

Chris Morton, Lyst CEO and cofounder, said: “We’ve spent much of the last four years focussed on building a deeply engaging product that delivers a truly personalised shopping experience for each of our millions of users around the world, and that’s now generating very meaningful sales for our partner brands and stores globally. I’m delighted that we have now been able to turn more attention to our brand, with this new identity and content based homepage forming the first of several exciting brand- led initiatives in the coming months.”

The move comes off the back of the aforementioned successful sales figures as well as the fact the company is on track to grow 400% year-on-year for the third year in a row. Its universal checkout launched in 2013, which enables shoppers to buy from different fashion brands and stores in one basket on Lyst’s website and mobile apps, is reportedly behind the growth.