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O Boticário pioneers the launch of AI-developed fragrances

Brazil’s O Boticário cosmetics brand is launching two new fragrances specifically for millennials that have been developed through artificial intelligence.

Created in partnership with IBM, they are the result of a data-driven study by Symrise, a major producer of flavors and fragrances, that collected 1.7 million fragrance formulas – including scents sold to Coty and Estée Lauder.

This was combined with fragrance sales information, customers’ location and their age, human usage patterns and responses, to enable IBM to develop the scent AI tool called Philyra.

Philyra uses machine learning to create fragrance combinations that will match specific demographics. For Brazilian millennials, for instance, it suggests notes of fruits, flowers, wood, spices, and even caramel, cucumber, and condensed milk.

It’s not all algorithm however. The human element still exists on top with both perfumes ultimately tweaked by a master perfumer at Symrise to emphasize a particular note and improve how it lasted on the skin.

O Boticário is also known for being a brand that champions diversity and inclusion in their ads, so both AI-generated perfumes will be sold as genderless. “Fragrances are fragrances, and men and women should use whatever they prefer. We want to make our fragrance development process less bias,” said O Boticário’s marketing director, Alexandre Souza, to Exame’s publication.

Symrise’s perfumer working on fragrances created by IBM’s Philyra.

Now, Symrise plans to distribute this technology not only to master perfumers but also to its Perfumery School to help train students. Beyond developing fragrances, IBM believes the technology can aid in other uses, like flavors, cosmetics adhesives, lubricants, and construction materials, as reported by Engadget.

The two O Boticário fragrances will hit the market on Monday, May 27.

How are you thinking about product innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The 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.

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business Podcast product Uncategorized

How Havaianas is using collaborations to take over the world

“Collaborations to me, are a love affair,” says Eno Polo, US president of Alpagartas, the parent company of the world’s most popular flip flop brand, Havaianas, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by the Current Global.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RSS

Collaborations are at the core of both the brand’s success and its wide reach, but in order to become successful, they need to remain authentic, he explains. “It has to be two-way. I think a lot of brands out there force collaborations, they pay for collaborations. But if you pay for going out with a girl, I don’t call that a love affair. I’d rather it be a natural feeling – she likes me, I like her – and we go out together. That’s what I call a true collaboration, and those are the ones I think are most successful.”

Havaianas shot onto the international stage when French designer Jean Paul Gaultier accessorized his models on the New York and Paris catwalks with the flip flops in 1999, instantly turning them into an object of desire. What followed was a series of fashion brands wanting to collaborate with the now-iconic brand, hoping to borrow some of the color and freshness that only a Brazilian label could bring to the table.

Today, Havaianas produces over 250 million pairs a year, or 10 pairs a second, and is Europe’s number one sandal brand.

Beyond its ambitious expansion plans across the globe comes a mounting pressure for the brand to tackle the issue of sustainability, which may well still be in toddler stages in its native country, but is steadily becoming a business imperative elsewhere.

For Polo, the fact that the company is scaling its retail footprint and office count across Europe and the US means there is a growing internal pressure to become more sustainable. The brand is doing so by focusing on employee welfare, but also wants to tackle and own the fight for sustainability at the beaches where its products are so ever-present.

During this conversation, Polo also talks through the company’s history from catering to Brazil’s working class to hitting the beaches of Ibiza; the importance of creating a retail experience that puts a smile on the customer’s feet; and why creating such a simple product allows the brand to remain fun.

Catch up with all of our episodes of the Innovators podcast by the Current Global here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by the Current Global, a consultancy transforming how 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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digital snippets e-commerce social media technology

Digital snippets: Valentino’s Instagram strategy, YNAP and IBM team up, Lacoste’s AR book

Valentino_instagram

Beyond Paris Fashion Week, and on past SXSW, here’s your round-up of the latest fashion and technology stories to know from the month of March…


  • In the age of the algorithm, top Instagram brand Valentino needs to rethink its strategy [Digiday]

  • Yoox Net-a-porter Group, IBM partner on software, tech development [WWD]

  • Lacoste enriches its brand campaign with augmented reality book [PSFK]

  • The North Face to launch insanely smart Watson-powered mobile shopping app next month [Venture Beat]

  • True Religion is equipping its sales staff with Apple watches [Apparel News]

  • ‘It can bottle our energy’: Why Bloomingdale’s is going all in on Snapchat [Digiday]

  • Bloomingdale’s spurs branded conversation through emoji app [Luxury Daily]

  • Why Uniqlo is now selling through mobile shopping app Spring [Fashionista]

  • American Apparel offering on-demand delivery via Postmates partnership [TechCrunch]

  • Alibaba spreads its wings into VR sector [China Daily]

  • L’Oreal creates unbranded content hub to woo beauty fans [AdAge]

  • Net-a-Porter’s digital chief on how brands can get up close and personal to consumers [Marketing Magazine]

  • In the store of the future, your shopping bag connects to the internet [Fast Company]

  • How do you bring personalised shopping technology to stores? Adobe has an idea [Fashionista]

  • More influencers, fewer posts: How Instagram’s algorithm will affect fashion brands [Digiday]

  • In the future, Instagram and Facebook could be amongst the largest retailers online [WWD]

  • To big brands, from a millennial: Snapchat filters are where it’s at [AdAge]

  • How Pinterest knows who’s down to shop and who isn’t [AdAge]

  • Personal shopping services seek scale [BoF]


  • Brotailers market to millennial men who hate to shop [BrandChannel]

  • Venture capitalists: e-commerce funding to tighten [WWD]

  • Flush with tech wealth, San Francisco warms to fashion [BoF]

  • E-commerce in Brazil gets more mobile [eMarketer]

  • FedEx to expand e-commerce reach in China, Japan [WSJ]
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Comment e-commerce Editor's pick social media technology

From the archive: C&A’s Facebook Like hangers still best example of “phygital”

C&A Facebook likes

In 2012, C&A in Brazil launched a Facebook campaign for Mother’s Day that saw social media “likes” displayed via hangers in store in real-time.

The initiative invited online fans to pick their favourite items from a special dedicated collection. The results were then integrated into the retailer’s flagship store in the Iguatemi mall in São Paulo.

The beauty of it was how simple it was – consumers were asked to like items not for their own sake, but to help others in doubt over what to buy. The fact this was literally communicated in front of shoppers when in-store in person (bear in mind at that time, e-commerce was not at all significant in Brazil), is what made it work.

To date, that is still one of the most popular stories on Fashion & Mash; one that rapidly inspired coverage by numerous other publications ranging from Mashable to Refinery29.

What’s amazing, is that it’s also still used today as one of the strongest examples of digital and physical retail coming together, or “phygital” as those in the industry like to call it, constantly being referred to at technology conferences around the world. The question is, why haven’t there been any truly standout examples since?

Can you think of any others? Do share in the comments below if you’ve seen any worth shouting about.

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data digital snippets e-commerce film social media technology

Digital snippets: Bloomingdale’s, Banana Republic, Liberty London, Chanel, Brandy Melville

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

instagram

  • Bloomingdale’s launches interactive, shoppable Instagram gift guides [Luxury Daily]
  • Shyp partners with Banana Republic to help procrastinating shoppers [TechCrunch]
  • Liberty London turns Instagram likes into loyalty perks [PSFK]
  • Watch Cara Delevingne and Pharrell sing in Chanel’s latest short film [Fashionista]
  • Brandy Melville: Instagram’s first retail success [Business Week]
  • Very.co.uk leverages real-time OOH for Christmas advent calendar campaign [The Drum]
  • Luxottica and Intel take the fashion/tech hookup to a whole new level [NY Times]
  • Lady Gaga is a 1940s diva in showstopper for H&M [Creativity Online]
  • Van Cleef & Arpels creates interactive microsite for winter [Luxury Daily]
  • J.Crew goes back to Instagram for design inspiration – meet Mayhem, age 4 [BrandChannel]
  • Inspiration meets social media [NY Times]
  • How fashion retailers are using data to deliver personalised customer experiences [BoF]
  • Google want to launch a ‘Buy’ button to hurt Amazon [Business Insider]
  • How a fashion e-retailer uses Apple’s iBeacon technology to reach shoppers in Brazil [Internet Retailer]
  • ‘Bionic Bra’ could revolutionise the brassiere as we know it [Mashable]
  • Infographic: Here’s how sizing varies at different retailers [Business Insider]
  • Selfies are huge in Asia, and brands are having fun with them [AdAge]
  • WeChat reigns as top social influencer for China’s luxury shoppers [Jing Daily]
  • What is holding back fashion on YouTube? [L2 The Daily]
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film social media Uncategorized

Brazil’s Reserva turns CCTV footage of burglary into creative YouTube sales promo

 

How’s this for inspired… Brazilian menswear brand Reserva has launched a video of the robbers breaking into its São Paulo store, to help promote its seasonal sale.

The spot, hosted on YouTube and being pushed across social networks, shows real CCTV footage of a gang of thieves raiding the boutique in December. Placed over the top is bold red copy reading: “It’s not necessary to break the window. Just come in! Inventory clearance: up to 40% off.”

It shows the robbers smashing the window, knocking over mannequins and making off with armfuls of merchandise worth $20,000. “Hurry!” reads the next caption. “Why are people doing such crazy stuff for Reserva?”

The Guardian refers to it as “creative revenge”. Or as Reserva owner Rony Mesiler told Brazil’s O Globo newspaper: “They stole my clothes and we stole their image.”

The YouTube write-up outlines that the store until that point had been beautifully prepared for Christmas. The team had to do a quick turnaround to clean it up ready for shoppers the same morning. They opened without a glass window and hit sales target for the day by 4pm. “DO instead of COMPLAIN,” is the message.

Mesiler adds: “Complaining gets you nowhere, business is about doing things. Rather than suck lemons, it is better to make lemonade with them.” The video, aptly, is called Limonada Reserva.

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digital snippets social media technology Uncategorized

2012: a designer meets digital year in review

google-dvf-fr

Well what a year it’s been…

From designer musical chairs to the launch of the Nike FuelBand, not to mention Facebook’s overhyped IPO, the increasing use of animated GIFs in online communications, and Burberry as our ever-present tech powerhouse, one thing after another has rapidly impacted the role of innovation in this niche fashion x digital space.

Below, then, are the 10 posts you loved the most on fashion & mash this year. It’s an interesting collection, seemingly tied together by tangible experiences over purely inspirational concepts. We’re talking physical pop-up platforms, real-time shoppable integrations, heavily interactive images and of course, wearable technology hitting the catwalk.

Thank you for reading and look out for a very exciting update from us early on in 2013!

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Brazilian brand Triton first to make #SPFW collection available for online pre-order

Triton became the first Brazilian brand to sell straight from the runway this week; enabling consumers to pre-order its autumn/winter 2013 São Paulo Fashion Week collection while watching online.

According to Vogue Brasil, 30 select pieces including  jackets, blouses, skirts and trousers could be purchased, with delivery promised in February 2013 – at least 10 days ahead of the main store drop. While not quite at the speed of Burberry or Topshop with their six-eight week options, it’s a step forward for the digitally-savvy, but somewhat e-commerce shy, South American market.

Triton was encouraging consumers to sign up for the exclusive opportunity via its Facebook page ahead of the event on Monday, October 29. “Even better than watching the Triton show live, is being able to buy what’s on the catwalk, right?” it posted on one occasion. On another it emphasised the limited number of items available, and the ability to buy at the exact same time as the models walked out.

It directed people to a microsite that now shows the YouTube video of the show, a section from which to buy the collection, and a number of additional columns underneath tying in all the social media conversations around the event.

Colcci similarly made its collection available for pre-order during SPFW today.

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digital snippets social media Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Jimmy Choo, Uniqlo, Nike, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, Amazon

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

 

  • Digital scorecard: Jimmy Choo 24:7 Stylemakers [BoF]
  • Uniqlo bids you good morning with new social app (as video above) [Co.Create]
  • The New York Times expanding street style coverage [WWD]
  • Dolce & Gabbana presents new eyewear collection with silent short film [Luxury Daily]
  • Amazon leaps into high end of the fashion pool [NY Times]
  • The Bottom Line: Pinterest vs Facebook [BoF]
  • Styku: how Microsoft’s Kinect could replace your tailor [Fast Company]
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C&A Brazil puts Facebook likes on store hangers to push Mother’s Day collection

This was just sent to me by a friend in São Paulo… C&A in Brazil has launched a Facebook tie-in for Mother’s Day, inviting shoppers to like their favourite items from a special collection in order to push the most popular pieces.

The “Fashion Likes” campaign is then integrated into the retailer’s flagship store in the Iguatemi mall in São Paulo, with hangers that show a real-time counter. The gist of the description on the C&A Facebook page is that by ‘liking’ an item, consumers are helping those who are in doubt over what to buy.

Take a look at the video below:

 

You might also be interested in this piece: Brazil’s new luxury focus