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What you missed: Mobile 2.0, Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, plastic bottle fashion

What you missed - mobile 2.0, Raf Simons for Calvin Klein
Raf Simons’ debut for Calvin Klein

An absolute must-read this week (away from fashion specifically but heavily based around tech and consumer behaviour and therefore highly relevant to anyone in this space), is this view on “mobile 2.0” from Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz. If there are a billion people with high-end smartphones now, what assumptions can we leave behind in terms of what that means, and what does the future look like accordingly? With AR and machine learning, it’s a pretty fascinating one.

Elsewhere, the latest news is of course geared to New York Fashion Week, with everything from Raf Simons’ successful debut for Calvin Klein and ongoing analysis of what exactly a see-now, buy-now model looks for those partaking. There’s also an update on new features from Pinterest and a big push from Instagram for its Live tool during the shows.


TOP STORIES
  • Benedict Evas on the Mobile 2.0 era [Ben-Evans]
  • Fashion shows adopted a see-now, buy-now model. Has it worked? [NY Times]
  • Raf Simons’ Calvin Klein debut is a hit on social media [Glossy]
  • Lone bidder Boohoo snags bankrupt Nasty Gal for $20m [Retail Dive]
  • H&M’s new Conscious Exclusive Collection turns discarded plastic into evening gowns with Bionic Yarn [Vogue]
  • What see now-buy now means for the production side of fashion [Apparel]

BUSINESS
  • Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent shine for Kering [Reuters]
  • Prada revenue falls again as house attempts to revamp [The Fashion Law]
  • Ethics controversy grows over Trump-Nordstrom spat [WWD]
  • Yoox Net-a-Porter on the downswing, FarFetch on the up [LeanLuxe]
  • Tiffany CEO Cumenal exits following sales slump [Retail Dive]
  • Sophisticated shoplifting gangs are costing US retailers $30 billion a year [Quartz]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Instagram Live makes fashion week debut [WWD]
  • Pinterest bets visual search can drive shoppers from inspiration to purchase [Internet Retailer]

MARKETING
  • Fendi just launched a new digital platform targeting millennials [Fashionista]
  • These five fashionable brands have mastered content that sells [Fast Company]
  • Barneys takes powerful stance on female equality, empowerment [Luxury Daily]
  • Adidas’ latest Y-3 fashion film is inspired by a futuristic dystopia [LS:N Global]
  • See Nike’s stirring ‘equality’ ad from the Grammys [AdAge]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Should Amazon challenge Hudson’s Bay for Macy’s? [BoF]
  • New Neiman Marcus in Fort Worth built with tech and convenience layered on top of art and fashion [Dallas News]
  • Nifty app links with New York Couture Fashion Week [WWD]
  • Mon Purse CEO Lana Hopkins: “We’re treating Bloomingdale’s, Selfridges as marketing and branding opportunities” [LeanLuxe]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Why fashion brands should think more like tech companies [Fast Company]
  • Magic Leap’s patented an augmented reality price-checker [The Verge]
  • New York designer Ab[Screenwear] combines fashion with light-responsive holographic panels and operable touchscreens [BrandChannel]

START-UPS
  • Techstars Q&A: How start-ups can accelerate retail innovation [Retail Dive]
  • Rêve en Vert to launch £300,000 crowdfunding campaign [The Industry]
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Comment Editor's pick

Comment counts: Human insights should drive both fashion trends and brand communications

Understanding changing human behaviour is the surest way to create a trend in fashion today, but such attitudes need to be reflected in our communications and not just products, argues Frances Docx of 18 Feet & Rising.

beyonce-ivy-park
Ivy Park

In the past, the fashion trend trajectory was simple: from fashion houses to magazines, consumers copying celebrities. Everyone knew their rightful place in the fashion food chain, and the clothes would remain on the high street until those in power decided a new season was ready to launch.

Cut to the internet and this online world has hastened and devolved the traditional fashion process entirely. Now trends can emerge from anywhere at any time – the high street, teens on Instagram… a Wikihow page with a seven-step illustrated guide to starting your own.

In a world of microwave-minute attention spans and a ‘buy now’ impulse control disorder, fashion brands have to look beyond short-lived trend sources towards something that endures and evolves as their brand does.

So where should they turn for inspiration to create fresh and enduring work? Where we’ve always looked: to people. The surest way to predict a trend is to create one. And the most effective way to create a trend is to study and predict human behaviour and attitudes.

A topline example: UK gym membership spending is up by 44%. What’s the consequence for fashion? You can’t move for box-fresh Adidas Stan Smiths, endless versions of the ‘athleisure’ trend and the likes of Beyoncé’s newly launched fitness line, Ivy Park, crashing the Topshop website.

Looking good has become so synonymous with physical fitness that by a series of cognitive leaps everyone is wearing tennis shoes – with no intention of playing tennis. And we don’t care either, by the way. We only care if the white on our kicks stays bright.

And what else? We only wear 20% of our wardrobe on a regular basis and we throw away over one million tonnes of clothing and other textiles in the UK each year. It’s not because we don’t like the rejected 80%; generally we do, but maybe the fit isn’t quite right, the neckline is a bit low and we’d rather wear one of our old favourites.

Meanwhile, instead of the buy-it-cheap-pile-it-high Primark mentality, we also see disrupters such as Tom Cridland entering the mass market with his 30-year sweatshirt. Or designers such as Vivienne Westwood that encourage shoppers to choose well so they only choose once.

Everyday people are changing the face of retail. Brands must realise, respect and pay attention to this. And the impact must be reflected not only in the product on their shelves but in the way they communicate to consumers.

Insights (the behaviour and perceptual mapping of trends) have long been the bread and butter of brand communications. But up until now they have retreated behind the “Advertising Idea” like a hungover mollusk.

Communications today are firmly driven by the “we understand you” mantra; capitalising on emotionally charged purchasing. We see this in the UK with personalised discounting like the MyWaitrose scheme, through to the advent of Memevertising such as with House of Fraser’s “My Face When…” 2015 campaign (as above, by 18 Feet & Rising).

To those in fashion scratching their heads over the latest trend reports working out how to make SS17 and beyond fresh – put down that colour palette, stop looking at what your fashion forefathers have done and consider applying these rules of thumb:

  • Be more human
  • Listen more
  • Watch more
  • Copy

Don’t predict fashion trends, predict behaviour change.

Frances Docx is a planner at creative agency 18 Feet & Rising. Comment Counts is a series of opinion pieces from experts within the industry. Do you have something to say? Get in touch via info@fashionandmash.com.

Categories
e-commerce social media

Farfetch on the impact of millennials as employees and as social media consumers

andrewrobb+PR+BW

Andrew Robb, COO at online fashion marketplace Farfetch took to the Millennial 20/20 Summit stage in London yesterday to talk about the role of the millennial audience on both workplace culture and social media trends.

Here are six recaps of key things he said:

  • On company culture: “Farfetch doesn’t have a tech culture, as such, but certainly a ‘newer’ company culture. We fit into the mould of being more open… What makes us unique is that we’re in this space of fashion and technology merging, which is very specific, but also the fact we’re global. We started global. We had two companies in London and Portugal, boutiques in five countries and we were selling worldwide. If you look at the staff we have, we’re young and very international. In our London office, we have at least 30 nationalities.”

  • On employee attitudes: “We used to hear people complaining about millennials from a workforce standpoint, but… I actually think what they’re asking for makes sense. Why would it not be a good idea to have access to the CEO? Or to have them listen to your ideas? In general this generation is very demanding, but if we listen to them it’s about the fact they want challenges, and we’re very open to giving them challenges. If you give them autonomy to do something, give them ownership of something, they learn whether they’re actually ready for it.”

farfetch1


  • On Snapchat: “Millennials, on average, are using one extra social platform than older generations. Snapchat is the eighth most important for those over 35 years old, while for millennials it’s third [behind Instagram and Facebook]… Those younger say Snapchat is more important than Instagram. So we think it will increasingly become a really important channel for fashion consumers over time.”

  • On social commerce: “For a long time there’s been this idea in e-commerce that Facebook was going to become a dominant sales driver. It’s not. Social is an amazing brand engagement tool but it’s not been for driving sales. Instagram is going to change that. Millennials use Instagram for fashion inspiration and Facebook to connect with friends. It’s much easier to convert someone looking at fashion than it is chatting to friends. You’re just much closer to the customer need, at that time.”

  • On Instagram advertising: “What I’m also excited about with Instagram is the advertising. Their model will allow brands to spend very significant sums in positive ways to connect with that audience. It’s also very measurable and has much higher ROI because consumers are in the right frame of mind. The targeting is so strong, where on many other channels that is just not the case.”

  • On what’s up next: “Last year we opened six new websites and offices [including Japan, China and Russia]. We launched our ‘Store of the Future’ business, and Farfetch Black & White, which offers brands white labeled e-commerce solutions. And lastly we acquired iconic retailer Browns. The reason we wanted to do that was to really understand how consumers are interacting in this online and offline mix. We’re focusing on all these things heavily for the year ahead.”