Valentino is luxury fashion’s fastest-growing company [Vogue Business]
The age of political correctness will kill great fashion [Highsnobiety]
Maria Grazia Chiuri on her inclusive vision for Christian Dior [Fashion Network]
Virgil Abloh is in the midst of backlash for lack of diversity on his Off-White staff [Fashionista]
How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. Current Global 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.
“Dare to be different,” said Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast, to a crowd of advertising executives in the South of France today. In a digital world overloaded with information, and more pressure than ever to produce in volume, she encouraged the audience to think about stepping out of the mainstream, even if it might be scary to do so.
She applied that same thinking to what she looks for in the talent she supports in the fashion industry. As the foremost woman that designers wish to have seated firmly on their front row during fashion weeks, not to mention the continuing battle occurring to stand out in such a saturated space, she suggested the idea of focusing on sincerity over size.
“Personal, emotion-driven presentations can just as easily become blockbusters as the huge extravagances,” she said at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
She highlighted Demna Gvasalia as one of the best examples of this. His first show for Balenciaga did indeed feel particularly sincere, she noted; reminding her of John Galliano’s show in the autumn of 1994, which with just 18 all-black looks completely changed the way women think about dressing. “It sent the 80s power suit packing once and for all,” she said. “It was feminine, and romantic and emotional.”
To introduce her onto today’s stage, Christopher Bailey, chief creative and executive officer of Burberry, also told the tale of how she first came to know about the designers behind Proenza Schouler – Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. Sat on a flight, Hernandez noticed that Wintour was up ahead of him. As a student at that point, he was too nervous to go and speak to her himself, but asked the airhostess to pass her a note written on a napkin. Wintour was reportedly so touched by that move, she soon invited them to see her at Vogue and set them up with internships at Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors.
The rest, as they say, is history. But it was that slight dare to be different that of course made Proenza Schouler stand out – and no doubt become memorable to Wintour down the line.
Back in her own talk, Wintour also emphasised the fact such moves – or indeed fashion show formats – don’t have to be small and precious to be creative. An example of someone winning in both the sincerity and scale stakes, she said, is Alessandro Michele at Gucci.
“He’s been doing remarkable things in that role. Gucci was this huge flashy, trashy house, and Alessandro disrupted that.” She made reference particularly to the fact he saw gender-neutral fashion coming before the rest of the industry and made it his own.
“I want to emphasise how hard this sort of disruption is. Not just because of the need to try and do what hasn’t been done before, but because stepping outside of what’s expected is frightening,” she said.
And she also talked to the idea therefore of disrupting herself. “When we are young we dream of moving upwards, but as I’ve got older my joy has come from moving forward,” she explained. “When I became editor of Vogue in 1988, if you had told me about everything that was to come in digital, that we would be coding our content, not to mention that [Condé Nast] would also be doing film and books and television, as well as events, podcasts and more, I would have had a heart attack. I was struggling to get the magazine on the newsstand every month.”
Today she’s gone from newsstand to stand up, having just delivered an amusing video swapping roles with comedian (and this month’s Vogue cover star) Amy Schumer – as above. And it was this passion for not just humour but being that little bit more daring that she left the crowd with: “We live in a virtually unstoppable time. Let’s seize it, embrace it, but most importantly let’s enjoy it.”
Work in (or with) the fashion industry and heading to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this year? Then we’ve done you a solid… Here’s a list of all the relevant sessions you should attend directly related to this industry, from Anna Wintour and Christopher Bailey in conversation, to exciting start-ups including MikMak and Wearable Experiments, not to mention keynotes from Kevin Plank of Under Armour, and John C Jay from Uniqlo.
We’ve also outlined a few bonus must-see talks from other verticals each day in order to get your creative juices flowing.
10.45am: Digital Darwinism: From the Makers of Monty the Penguin The creative team at MPC will be sharing the process behind the CG character work they do, exploring the science behind ‘Monty the Penguin’ for John Lewis.
5pm: Want Brand Fans? Create a Movement Sports performance clothing manufacturer SKINS is teaming up with BBD Perfect Storm for a conversation around building fans by challenging what harms the sports industry: corruption and cheating.
Sunday’s bonus content – 11am: Can Good User Experience Change the World? If you want any insight into what works in China, this is the session to attend – a deep dive into how one app – WeChat, owned by Tencent – has become an essential part of everyday life by focusing on the user experience.
Monday, June 20
3pm: Adobe Experience There are a series of speakers in this session, but the one to look out for is Billie Whitehouse, CEO of Wearable Experiments who will be demonstrating how physical, digital and emotional connections are shaping our future and culture (and yes, through clothing).
3.15pm: Creativity Under Pressure In the world of sporting performance, innovation and new technologies operate at speed, so to remain relevant without sacrificing authenticity, a brand has to continually innovate both products and creativity. Adidas global CMO Eric Liedtke is in the hotseat for this one, exploring co-creating the brand with its consumers.
4pm: Capturing Short Attention Spans: Custom Video Creative for Social Media If you want insights on video content, hearing from Adaptly and Refinery29 is a good place to start – this session will explore research around short attention spans through to the evolution of long-form media.
Monday’s bonus content – 1pm: Brian Chesky in Conversation with Joanna Coles Cosmo’s editor-in-chief sits down with Airbnb’s CEO to discuss the vision for his company and the current state of today’s sharing economy. This is a not to miss session as one of the world’s hottest start-ups. Other Monday highlights include Samsung’s virtual reality experience at 12pm, NASA in IPG Mediabrand’s session at 4pm and Mattel in 360i’s reimagining of play at 5pm.
Tuesday, June 21
10am: Anna Wintour in Conversation with Christopher Bailey For those in the fashion industry, this is one of the most-anticipated sessions of the week, Condé Nast’s infamous artistic director starting off talking about breaking through the noise with an authoritative editorial voice, followed by a conversation about creativity with Burberry’s chief creative and executive officer. Never have the obstacles to true innovation been so real, Wintour explains – but never have the opportunities been as great.
12.15pm: From Roman Emperors to Roman Orgies Strictly speaking this is a talk about the world of agency and client relationships, but the fact United Colors of Benetton and its history of creative campaigns is the subject makes it a worthwhile one to attend. The brand’s chief product and marketing officer, John Mollanger, will be in conversation with 180 Amsterdam.
12.30pm: Invisible UI – Transforming the Way We Think About Wearables Another wearable technology conversation takes place courtesy of Fjord (part of Accenture Interactive) during Lions Innovation, this time focusing on moving beyond wrists stacked with smart watches and fitness trackers to integrating tech seamlessly into what we already have and do.
1pm: The Gang of Four As part of Lions Innovation, L2 Inc’s Scott Galloway will explain the race to grab share in the retail and media industries between Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google – outlining who will thrive and who will die in the digital age. Knowing Galloway’s style of presenting, this will be a fast-paced delivery of data and insights, meaning it’s rich in information even if your head is left spinning.
Tuesday’s bonus content – 5pm: The Art of (Brand) Seduction There’s Will Smith at 11am and Usher at 2pm, but the session we don’t want to miss is rather from FCB in conversation with the chief scientific advisor for Match.com. In a complex life, building enduring connections is difficult – whether you’re shopping or looking for life partners. The hypothesis here is there’s a lot for brands to learn from the social science behind how the world of dating has changed.
Wednesday, June 22
1pm: Stephen Sackur Interviews Gwyneth Paltrow This year’s BBC Hardtalk session – a live on-stage recording for TV – is with award winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow. For industry folk, it’s her role as the driving force behind health and wellness platform Goop that will likely be of most interest though.
5pm: Inside the Innovator’s Mindset Forbes has pulled together two entrepreneurs for its session at Lions Innovation this year – exploring what innovation and creativity means to them as game-changers. One of them is the co-founder and CPO of smart jewellery brand, Bellabeat; the other the founder and CEO of mobile video shopping network, MikMak. Both are well worth a listen.
Wednesday’s bonus content – 1pm: Wired’s Kevin Kelly on Where We Are All Heading Today’s must-see: It clashes with Gwyneth Paltrow, but if you’re happy to “consciously uncouple” yourself from her, head over to Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly’s conversation with PHD Worldwide instead. The session will explore 12 inevitable technological forces that will revolutionise the way we buy, work, learn and communicate. Failing that, you’ve also got Simon Pegg at 10am, Unilever’s Keith Weed at 11am and Iggy Pop at 3pm.
Thursday, June 23
12pm: Kevin Plank and David Droga: from Underdogs to Challengers Another big highlight of the week comes in the form of this conversation between the founder of Under Armour and the founder of Droga5 – a duo who have both built successful, innovative companies with authenticity at the core. Hot on the heels of his talk at SXSW, Plank particularly is one not to miss.
5pm: Spike Jonze & Shane Smith: Making Content We Care About How do we make content that young people genuinely care about? A key question for brands today, and who better to share key insights than Oscar winning director Spike Jonze and Vice founder Shane Smith. The discussion will be a broad one, but there should be lots of applicable snippets to learn in this session.
Thursday’s bonus content – 10am: Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase On the off-chance the pace of Cannes has started to catch up with you, there’s nothing better than Thursday morning’s New Directors’ Showcase for a spot of recovery. It’s a good excuse to sit in the dark for an hour and a quarter on the one hand, and on the other a flood of inspiration from some of the best new global creative talent. If that doesn’t take your fancy for the day, you’ve also got Oscar winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu at 2pm, plus a view on cracking China from Nils Andersson at 11am.
Friday, June 24
11am Beyond the Big Screen: The Future of Storytelling in Hollywood The relationship between entertainment and advertising is increasingly a fine one when storytelling comes in. At a time when multiple industries, fashion included, are looking to nail how they create engaging content, who better to learn from in this space than one of Hollywood’s most-awarded storytellers and visionaries, Harvey Weinstein. He’ll join Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe.
12.30pm Future Five: The Next Five Fashion Influencers As part of Lions Entertainment, StyleHaul has curated a video presentation of five key influencers to know about in the fashion space. This content will be followed by a discussion about who they are and what you need to know.
2.15pm Isobar Presents ‘Icons Of Creativity’ with Uniqlo’s John C Jay It’s a rarity to have someone from Uniqlo talking, let alone its president of global creative, John C Jay. He believes the world today is experiencing a creative revolution, changing culture and business simultaneously, and will be discussing how his organisation works to maintain its creative edge and relevancy in this fast changing, brand commerce era.
Friday’s bonus content – 3.15pm: How to Do Terrible Work Wrapping up your Friday, how about a view on how not to win, how to be maliciously obedient and how to kill things? That’s the crux of the session between the global CMO of Mars and worldwide CCO of BBDO. Also don’t miss the Lion of St Mark interview, this year with Marcello Serpa at 4.15pm, and the Cannes Debate with Ban Ki-Moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, at 12pm.
Saturday, June 25
11am: The Future is Rebellion For those making it all the way through to Saturday, there’s a session hosted by DigitasLBi featuring two rebel heroes of the internet: Ari Seth Cohen, founder of Advanced Style, and Amani Al- Khatachtbeh, founder of MuslimGirl, that’s definitely worth listening to. “These rebels have one thing in common: they saw an accepted wisdom and faced it down with technology and content,” reads the write-up.
Saturday’s bonus content – 3.30pm: Out With a Bang And last but not least, be sure to head to the closing session of the 2016 Cannes Lions programme. This year’s guest is yet to be announced, but in the past, this slot has featured Heston Blumenthal, Bono and Johnny Ive. Stay tuned.
It probably goes without saying you’re well and truly over the plethora of stories covering the cyber-themed Met Gala looks (including the true wearable tech pieces), but if you haven’t read Racked’s piece on the relationship between Vogue and Apple in the build-up to the event – as below – then do take the time. Also buzzing in fashion and tech news over the past couple of weeks is everything from further advertising plans on Snapchat to Gucci’s digital strategy and the wearable revolution taking place in Brooklyn. Read on for a complete rundown…
Unravelling Vogue and Apple’s self-serving relationship [Racked]
The digital strategy driving Gucci’s growth (as pictured) [Glossy]
Farfetch raises $110 million in ‘strategic’ move [BoF]
William Gibson and Andrew Bolton on the future of fashion and technology [Document Journal]
Influencers, brands and models alike have taken to Snapchat during this season’s New York Fashion Week in droves. Providing real-time insights into what happens behind-the-scenes, it’s been the best version yet of immediate access to what happens around the runway shows.
Brands including Tommy Hilfiger and Marc Jacobs (still to show this evening) are just a few that have launched new accounts this season, while Snapchat itself has featured two relevant live stories throughout the week. “New York Fashion Week” and “This Is Fashion”, are a curation of snaps from others attending the shows – it pulls in the best of each event, with overlaid info about which collection it’s about to screen.
From Marchesa to Public School and Michael Kors, both stories have provided a well-rounded view of each day. They’ve also, inevitably, been a go-to place to spot the famous faces in attendance, including Kate Bosworth at the Rebecca Minkoff show, Kylie Jenner at Alexander Wang, Emily Ratajkowski sitting front row at Altuzarra, and Anna Wintour at DKNY. Particularly interesting on the “This Is Fashion” story otherwise, was the integrated advertising from ASOS too. (See below screenshots)
Tommy Hilfiger’s announcement for a direct-to-consumer shift for example, was accompanied by the launch of its Snapchat in collaboration with new global brand ambassador Gigi Hadid. These “takeovers”, where a celebrity or influencer is given full reign of a brand’s Snapchat, are becoming increasingly commonplace.
Gigi shared snippets of the rehearsal, an inside peek into the make-up for the show and mini interviews with some of the other models also walking for the brand. Her perspective, no doubt, was a smart move by the designer in terms of driving interest and follower acquisition; something it will be able to capitalise on in the long run once its capsule collection with the supermodel launches in real-time this September.
Following a wide variety of Snapchat accounts over NYFW provided a broad additional view on activities taking place. Tips, tricks and trends for make-up enthusiasts were shown by @Maybelline New York, as well as @SephoraSnaps.
Meanwhile, @Houseofherrera’s story was a star-studded one with the likes of Olivia Palermo and Karlie Kloss making an appearance. And @Louboutinlive gave a great behind-the-scenes preview of Naeem Khan’s show all the while showcasing some of its heels being worn by the models.
If that wasn’t enough, influencers such as Chriselle Lim and Man Repeller even had their own Snapchat filters created, with their name, company and a life-like cartoon of themselves featuring across their Snaps during the week.
Next up: London, where we know @MullberryEngland is one-to-watch, having already started snapping for the first time with new creative director Johnny Coca.
Check out some more (cheeky) screenshots of all the Snapchat action during NYFW below:
Yes, in celebration of the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens this week, fashion site Stylight has once again transformed a number of well known fashion names, this time including the likes of Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld and his cat Choupette, Victoria Beckham, Cara Delevingne, Kanye West, Jean Paul Gaultier and Miley Cyrus.
Each of them takes on a different lead role, with the likes of Delevingne becoming Chewbacca and Beckham assuming Darth Vader.
“Star Wars has been a recurring theme on runways for many years now. Who could forget Chanel’s A/W 2010 iceage collection with distinctly Chewbacca inspired fur onesies, Balmain’s C-3PO influenced all-gold A/W 2013 runway looks and of course Rodarte’s A/W 2015 collection which actually featured Star Wars characters printed onto flowing maxi dresses,” writes the Stylight team.
Check out each of the looks they’ve created in more detail, below:
Technology is due to get a big nod of acceptance from the fashion industry in 2016 as the theme of the next Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”, will focus on the dichotomy between handmade haute couture and machine-made fashion, according to Vogue. It will showcase over 100 pieces of fashion, and unsurprisingly, be sponsored by Apple.
“Traditionally, the distinction between the haute couture and prêt-à-porter was based on the handmade and the machine-made,” explains Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute. “But recently this distinction has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the practices and techniques of the other.”
Expect to see traditional techniques including embroidery, pleating and lacework placed alongside new technologies such as laser cutting, thermo shaping, and circular knitting. Workshops on areas including 3D printing will also allow the public to see designs taking shape in real-time.
While there’s no information yet as to whether the exhibition will span into the embracing of digital by the industry thus including brands such as Burberry through to Ralph Lauren, there will no doubt be pieces on display from the likes of Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen and Issey Miyake.
Further hints lie in the fact Nicolas Ghesquière, Karl Lagerfeld and Miuccia Prada will serve as honorary chairs of the Met Gala due to take place on Monday, May 2. Apple’s Jonathan Ive as well as Idris Elba and Taylor Swift will join Anna Wintour as co-chairs.
The Minions are taking over the fashion industry… quite literally. In what might be one of the best stories to ever hit my inbox on a rainy London Friday, the infamous yellow, pill-shaped creatures have provided the basis for a makeover of some of the industry’s most iconic figures.
Karl Lagerfeld, Suzy Menkes, Anna Wintour, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexa Chung, Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs, Cara Delevingne and Donatella Versace have all been given a new look to fit their animated counterparts, courtesy of the designers over at fashion site Stylight. A be-goggled Wintour and Gaultier with a single central eye, are particular highlights.
The Minionistas, as they’ve been called, follow hot on the heels of Minion fever across the retail space of late. In celebration of the Universal Pictures film, Minion (a prequel to Despicable Me, which first featured the yellow army), themed animated product has been popping up everywhere.
There is of course the expected flood of product at the likes of Primark, while Selfridges teamed up with designers Rupert Sanderson, Giles Deacon, Tatty Devine and others, for a dedicated collection called Minions Bello Yellow.
If that wasn’t enough, Vogue also made the headlines when it introduced a (spoof) Minion-dedicated cover to accompany a documentary explaining exactly why these little organisms are so inspirational for designers across the space. Watch it and weep, below…