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Much ado about Shakespeare: Selfridges in fashion, tech and culture blitz

Shakespeare ReFashioned at Selfridges
Shakespeare ReFashioned at Selfridges

Is this a handbag which I see before me, its handle towards my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Doesn’t quite work as a great soliloquy does it? But this preamble is indeed much ado about something, and not just a lack of ability to get our hands on lustworthy designer bags. Because British department store Selfridges has brought together designers, musicians and drama heavy hitters for a giant campaign that blends fashion with tech and culture (with a capital C), this summer.

“Shakespeare ReFashioned” celebrates the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, introduces loads of designer and brand one-offs, gives us a massive VM extravaganza and even sees a temporary theatre in-store where a new production of Much Ado About Nothing will be staged.

There’ll also be a major tech presence with cameo appearances by some big names, but in the form of holograms projected onto static mannequins.

Dries van Noten as part of Shakespeare ReFashioned at Selfridges
Dries Van Noten as part of Shakespeare ReFashioned at Selfridges

In the meantime, shoppers can see the play being rehearsed and buy from over 100 limited edition collaborations. Designers and brands taking part include Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen, Van Cleef & Arpels, Shrimps, Paige Denim, Hudson Jeans, Olympia Le Tan. Maison Margiela, Marques’ Almeida, Dries Van Noten, Erdem, Craig Green, Givenchy, JW Anderson, Gareth Pugh, Rick Owens, Roja Dove and Simone Rocha.

Although it doesn’t officially start until July 4, the windows have already been taken over by one-offs from some of those names with the current display (Act I) being all about the comedies and romances, and the next phase (Act II) being focused on the tragedies. What’s the betting Givenchy, Gareth Pugh and Rick Owens put their hands up to dress the latter?

It all runs until September 24, so get down there if you can.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday

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Digital snippets: Brexit fallout for fashion, big brands hit Reddit, Uniqlo’s digital identity

sibling_brexit
Sibling’s designers showing their support to stay in the EU during their menswear fashion show ahead of the referendum

We’re back with another round-up of everything you might have missed in fashion and technology news (and beyond) over the past week or so. Needless to say, Brexit has been the big subject as the industry tries to weigh up what such a result means for them going forward. We’ve highlighted some of the must-read pieces on the subject. Beyond that there’s an update on the value of Reddit for brands, insight on Uniqlo’s evolving digital identity and to cheer everyone up, Amazon’s new #saysomethingnice campaign…


  • Britain votes to exit EU, unleashing untold damage on the fashion industry [BoF]

  • Brexit: Retail chiefs must lead in the creation of a prosperous future [Retail Week]

  • What Brexit means for British fashion brands [Esquire]

  • Here’s why Brexit might not be so bad for… Burberry [Yahoo]

  • E-commerce winners and losers in the wake of Brexit [Glossy]

  • Why big brands are suddenly getting cozy with Reddit [AdWeek]

  • How fashion brands are starting to design like tech companies [Co.Design]

  • How Uniqlo plans to establish a digital identity [Glossy]

  • Amazon Fashion launches #saysomethingnice social campaign [The Industry]

  • Online fashion curator FarFetch, which links shops to customers, grows in China [SCMP]

  • Nicola Formichetti on subcultures, digital life & advertising on Pornhub [Oyster]

  • Augmented reality bot brings virtual lipstick try-on to Facebook Messenger [Forbes]

  • Target shoppers love this superfan account [Racked]

  • Snap, swipe, like: The mobile future of fashion retail [BBC]

  • The evolution of the mobile payment [TechCrunch]

  • E-commerce is supposedly capital intensive. So why do the companies that raise the least tend to do the best? [Pando]

  • How social media turned into shoppable media [The Industry]

  • Pinterest adds a shopping cart and visual search to challenge Amazon [AdWeek]

  • Refinery29 is building a 10-person Facebook Live team [Digiday]

  • Meet the new wave of wearables: stretchable electronics [Fast Company]

  • Iris Apfel emojis are happening with Macy’s [Fashionista]
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Digital is essential to growth and competitive advantage for British fashion, says Massenet

Caroline Rush CBE, Dame Natalie Massenet & Anya Hindmarch MBE at the Launch of LFW (Darren Gerrish, British Fashion Council)

Digital competency and a greater opening up of the industry through technology, was at the heart of a briefing delivered by Natalie Massenet ahead of the official start of London Fashion Week tomorrow.

As chairman of the British Fashion Council (BFC), Massenet (who also collects her Damehood from Buckingham Palace tomorrow) reflected on the successes seen in London over the three years of her tenure, weighting much of that towards the digital space.

“It is exciting to see so much talk of a new focus on the consumer, a re-thinking of the platforms we can use to engage with them and an embracing of change. From the outset of my time as chairman we have been championing opening up our world and sharing the experience – so many designers have supported that vision including Burberry’s recent news that shines such a strong light on our leadership in this field. We are very proud that this started in London,” she remarked.

“We were the first capital to live stream our shows from our central venue in 2009 making London now a capital for fashion and technology. As an organisation we are fiercely proud of that reputation – FashTech is essential to growth in our sector and it keeps us well ahead of the competition.

“Living and breathing in the digital world informs everything that we do. As an organisation we amplify our events to a global audience through live streaming, social media and content distribution. This season we will be taking the world of London Fashion Week to outdoor digital screens in London and around the UK thanks to Ocean Outdoor and Land Securities (with viewing figures of beyond 37 million people over the week). Our sponsor Sunglass Hut are powering content into over 3,000 of their global stores and giving our international guests an incredible welcome in Terminal 5.

“In addition to this, the majority of designers questioned in our recently conducted survey are now online compared with a much smaller numbers three years ago. 97% of our designers are on Instagram, 87% on Facebook and 86% on Twitter, reaching millions of fashion fans across the world – importantly they are all starting to embrace e-commerce and via all of their social platforms, engage with and listen to their customer.”

Her focus at the BFC has been to reposition British fashion in the global economy as one that champions creativity, innovation and business, she added. At last official count, the industry was worth £26bn to the UK economy and employed 800,000 people.

“I believe that London is really the greatest fashion capital in the world, the centre of creative talent, a hub of technological innovation and a vibrant business community – with Fashion Week at its creative and commercial heart – attended by thousands and watched by millions worldwide,” she said.

She also announced she will stay on as chairman of the BFC for another year. “We are of course ambitious and there is much more to do.”