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business Podcast product Retail

Stadium Goods: Riding the sneaker culture boom

The success of Stadium Goods comes off the back of unprecedented consumer desire for sneakers and the need for a rich brand experience in which to buy them, says the platform’s co-founder and co-CEO, John McPheters, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast. 

“For me the light bulb was that demand had never been higher. It was continuously growing, there were more and more people that wanted to buy our products, but there wasn’t a rich experience that consumers could go to to buy that stuff that was trusted, where they knew what they were getting, where they could really hang their hat on the brand experience and the presentation.” he explains.  

As a result he and his partner, Jed Stiller, set about creating a site that is focused on consignment – meaning it resells existing sneaker stock as well as broader streetwear – but it only does so with unworn and authentic styles. That focus on trust is the key, he says.  

Only launched in 2015, the site was acquired by ecommerce marketplace Farfetch in 2018 for $250 million. Very few emerging businesses have seen such rapid growth. It’s now considered such a market leader, it recently announced a partnership with auction house Sotheby’s to sell 100 of the rarest, most coveted sneakers ever produced.  

The site’s explosion aligns with the growth of sneaker culture worldwide. Expected to hit nearly $100bn in global sales by 2024, sneakers are outpacing much of the rest of the industry, including that of handbags. As a result, they have become the new ‘cash cow’ and awareness driver for all manner of brands, not least those in the luxury space, where such products are used as entry to otherwise more aspirational price points. 

In all parts of the market this has resulted in ‘cult’ or ‘it’ sneakers to own as a result. A rare pair of Nikes today can easily sell for as much as those from Gucci or Balenciaga as a result. This means it’s increasingly a race, with some limited edition styles going for $10,000 or more. 

Co-Founder & CEO, Current Global, Liz Bacelar and Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Stadium Goods, John McPheters

In this episode, recorded live at the British Fashion Council’s annual Fashion Forum, we chat to founder John McPheters about the cultural relevance of such products, the evolving role of exclusivity and desire in luxury today, and just how what he’s doing is really about teaching the industry to give up control.

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

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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Editor's pick Events sustainability technology

BFC and Current Global host leadership event focused on industry growth

The British Fashion Council’s annual Fashion Forum curated and produced with Current Global, extended to two days this year with a focus on “Investing in the Future”.

A think tank dedicated to industry leaders from fashion, investment and technology, it invited experts to share knowledge and debate subjects ranging from business and growth, to sustainability and inclusivity.

Attendees also got to experience some of the latest innovations in the market up close, thanks to an innovation showcase pulled together by Current Global. This included some of the world’s best tech companies carefully selected for their focus on areas such as customer service, personalization, supply chain, traceability, AI, augmented reality and more.

The on-stage program was designed to both inspire and inform the audience, with sessions geared to key subjects such as driving efficiency in the supply chain, how new business models are affecting culture, the role of data and experience in retail, designing for circularity, creating a fair supply chain and more.

One of the keynotes of the event came from John McPheters, co-founder of Stadium Goods. In a fireside chat with Current Global’s Liz Bacelar, he spoke about how he grew his sneaker and streetwear marketplace to its successful acquisition by Farfetch in 2018. Current Global’s Rachel Arthur also hosted a keynote with Jo Malone about her experience growing global brands, including her latest, Jo Loves.

Victor Luis, CEO of Tapestry, opened day one talking to his role at the US luxury group, while Emma Grede, founder and CEO of Good American brought the topic of entrepreneurship to size inclusivity and Roland Mouret honed in on his sustainability journey.

Rachel Arthur of Current Global at the British Fashion Council’s annual Fashion Forum
Rachel Arthur of Current Global at the British Fashion Council’s annual Fashion Forum

Arthur also took to the stage to discuss investing in innovation. She broke down the evolution of big tech and what it means for brands today, including a deep-dive on how it is blending and bending our perception of reality, the role of data within the balance of experience and privacy, and where brand activism is stepping in over pure brand management.

Other key speakers at the event came from brands including Burberry, Rapha, Lululemon, Rixo, Timberland, Kering, Levi Strauss & Co, Lyst and more.

Christopher Wylie, director of research at H&M, and Tom Berry, director of sustainable business at Farfetch, joined Bacelar for a panel on how technology will shape the future of sustainability, covering topics from predictive analytics and AI to new business models. Another conversation focused on Google’s work in the sustainability space with Current Global. Ian Pattison and Maria McClay of Google both joined Arthur alongside Claire Bergkamp, sustainability and innovation director at Stella McCartney, to talk about the data analytics and machine learning tool powered by Google Cloud technology they are currently building.

Gwyneth Paltrow closed the event in a conversation with British Vogue’s editor in chief Edward Enninful. She shared lessons from her entrepreneurial journey launching Goop, the successful lifestyle brand she founded in her kitchen in 2008.

Edward Enninful and Gwyneth Paltrow in conversation at the British Fashion Council’s annual Fashion Forum
Edward Enninful and Gwyneth Paltrow in conversation at the British Fashion Council’s annual Fashion Forum

Throughout the event, our Innovators podcast team was also onsite, recording upcoming episodes with experts including Adam Brown, founder of Orlebar Brown; Nicolaj Reffstrup, founder of Ganni; John McPheters, co-founder of Stadium Goods; and designer Roland Mouret. Stay tuned for the first of our new series in July.

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How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more

Categories
business Editor's pick sustainability

Purposeful innovation leads British Fashion Council award winners


“Purpose is the new luxury,” said Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans, at the British Fashion Council’s annual awards last night, which celebrated creativity and innovation from across the industry. 

He picked up the Special Recognition Award for Innovation, for his work recycling plastics recovered from the ocean into new products for brands including adidas, G-Star and Stella McCartney.

He echoed a theme that resonated throughout the evening focused on pushing for a positive revolution in light of climate change. “The planet is broken, the oceans are nearly dead and we need a dream of a magic blue universe that is well protected – something that we actually fight for together,” he said.

Also focused on this message was Dame Vivienne Westwood, who picked up the Swarovski Award for Positive Change. She used the occasion to give an impassioned speech about capitalism and the industry’s enormous responsibility to protect the planet.

Activism continued as a theme throughout the evening, with references made to Brexit, the Paris riots and even the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data scandal revealed earlier this year.

Miuccia Prada, on reception of the Outstanding Achievement Award, added: “Just a little note for fashion, I think more and more we should feel a responsibility for defending human rights and freedom.”

Dame Vivienne Westwood
Dame Vivienne Westwood

A surprise for guests meanwhile came when HRH The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, arrived on stage to present the British womenswear designer of the year award to Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, who was of course the designer behind the dress for her wedding to Prince Harry.

Meghan took the opportunity to reference female empowerment: “As all of you in this room know, we have a deep connection to what we wear. Sometimes it’s very personal, sometimes it’s emotional. But for me, this connection is rooted in really being able to understand that it’s about supporting and empowering each other, especially as women. When we choose to wear a certain designer, we’re not just a reflection of their creativity and their vision, but we’re also an extension of their values, of something in the fabric, so to speak, that is much more meaningful. I recently read an article that said, ‘The culture of fashion has shifted from one where it was cool to be cruel to now, where it’s cool to be kind’.”

Other awards during the evening went to Craig Green as menswear designer of the year, Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga as accessories designer of the year, Marco Bizzarri for Gucci as business leader, and Virgil Abloh for Off-White, in the Urban Luxe category. Gucci won the brand of the year, while Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino picked up the overarching designer of the year award.

Emerging talent accolades went to Samuel Ross for A-COLD-WALL* and Richard Quinn, while Kaia Gerber picked up model of the year. There were also special recognition awards to Kim Jones as the 2018 trailblazer and to Mert & Marcus, who won the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator.

This year also marks the first time the awards have celebrated a young global creative community with the launch of the“NEW WAVE: Creatives”, which recognized 100 of the most innovative and inspiring young creative talent from around the world.

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

Categories
data social media technology

London Fashion Week to illustrate digital conversations with data tree

London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week

The British Fashion Council (BFC) is turning to data for the upcoming London Fashion Week, by releasing an eye-catching visual display of live conversations happening about the event.

Using data derived from social media and other digital channels, it will unveil the so-called “Blossoming Fashion Conversation” at the 180 Strand venue that hosts the bi-annual event.

The visualization, developed in partnership with Google and technology company Holition, will be shaped like a tree. It will showcase the most talked-about topics on its roots, while its branches will show the number of social outlet mentions.

Conversations will be collected from social media mentions, as well as from Vogue UK and Harper’s Bazaar UK.

Subject matter is expected to be diverse, including relevant conversations on sustainability, the luxury and streetwear sectors, diversity, and innovation in general.

The installation will kick off on Friday September 14, to coincide with the official start of LFW, and stay on display for the duration of the event.

As part of its mission to ensure evolution within the industry, the BFC is investigating ways in which fashion players can be innovating across the board. In June, TheCurrent curated and produced the BFC’s annual Fashion Forum, which discussed future-facing industry topics and saw a keynote with designer Tommy Hilfiger and chief brand officer Avery Baker.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
Editor's pick Events technology

The BFC and Current Global host industry pioneers to discuss the future of fashion

Tommy Hilfiger and Avery Baker in conversation with Jo Ellison

How to break through barriers was the overarching topic at the British Fashion Council’s annual Fashion Forum, curated and produced in collaboration with Current Global, in London yesterday.

Held at The Ned hotel, the event welcomed BFC members to an exclusive day-long learning experience where they heard from pioneers across fashion and technology and got face-to-face with some of the latest innovations in the market.

Under Current Global’s curation, this year’s content saw experts across the industry discussing topics that are particularly in line with the modern consumer’s fast-changing expectations. Topics covered included everything from the store of the future to the importance of ensuring a code of conduct is present across the industry in light of the #MeToo movement.

Meanwhile, a panel hosted by Current Global’s founder, Liz Bacelar, saw the founders and CEOs of direct-to-consumer brands Away, Allbirds and Heist Studios, who we previously interviewed for Current Innovators podcast, discussing the importance of creating products that are anchored in consumer insights.

Another conversation saw skater and artist Blondey McCoy with Ferdinando Verderi, creative director of Johannes Leonardo, Stavros Karelis founder of store MACHINE-A, and Tammy Smulders, president of fashion and luxury at Vice Media, focused on how streetwear culture has reached an inflection point and how luxury brands can learn a thing or two about how to engage with passionate consumers.

TheCurrent's Liz Bacelar with Jen Rubio (Away), Tim Brown (Allbirds) and Toby Darbyshire (Heist Studios)
Current Global’s Liz Bacelar with Jen Rubio (Away), Tim Brown (Allbirds) and Toby Darbyshire (Heist Studios)

For this year’s event, Current Global also brought keynotes including Ulric Jerome, CEO of MATCHESFASHION.COM to open the morning, and designer Tommy Hilfiger with chief brand officer Avery Baker to close, with a series of stellar conversations about brand growth and innovation.

Our chief intelligence officer Rachel Arthur, meanwhile, spoke to a packed room on three major trends impacting how consumers currently interact with brands, including a deep-dive on the importance for technology to be more invisible and increasingly humanised – a topic we saw beginning to bubble up at this year’s SXSW festival.

Much like 2017’s event, Current Global also curated an innovation room where 10 of the world’s best startups showcased their products and services to guests. These carefully selected ready-for-market partners, showcased innovations across digital, customer service, personalization, supply chain, loyalty, visual augmentation and more.

Throughout the day, Current Innovators team was also on-site recording upcoming podcast episodes on topics ranging from sustainability to leveraging counter-culture, and why physical retail matters even for brands born online. Stay tuned for our first of this series publishing next week.

Current Global’s Rachel Arthur

Categories
Campaigns social media

Anya Hindmarch kicks off LFW with city-wide love installation

Anya Hindmarch Chubby Heart at Wellington Arch, on Hyde Park Corner, London
Anya Hindmarch’s Chubby Heart at Wellington Arch in London

British designer Anya Hindmarch has sent out a love letter to the city of London, in the form of giant ‘chubby hearts’ that will be suspended above, or squashed within a series of 29 London landmarks.

The hearts serve as a declaration of love for the city. After emerging on February 14 for Valentine’s Day at Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner, and as a video takeover on Landsec’s Piccadilly Lights outdoor billboard for 40 seconds, they will now be travelling around the city throughout London Fashion Week. Each evening the balloons disappear, only to re-appear at a new landmark in the morning, so that as many people as possible will get to enjoy the spectacle.

Hindmarch designed the balloons, inspired by her SS18 collection, which includes chubby, cartoon-like bags and this is where the name came from, as she wanted to bring the same fun and playfulness to this project.

The designer said: “The idea for this project came to me whilst sitting in a packed Royal Festival Hall. I was in awe of the resilience of Londoners and its visitors. Tying giant helium filled Chubby Hearts on to buildings all over the city is simply a ‘surprise love letter to London’ as a tribute to its strength and to celebrate our amazing creative city.”

Chubby Hearts by Anya Hindmarch
Chubby Hearts by Anya Hindmarch

The mayor of London, the British Fashion Council, the City of Westminster, councils, landowners, businesses, districts and the Civil Aviation Authority came together to create this project.

Ocean Outdoor is also supporting the campaign on other screens across London, including in Leicester Square and at both Westfield shopping centres.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As London Fashion Week showcases the capital to the world, these huge heart balloons animating our great spaces and architecture will show once again that London is open to talent and creativity and gives it a warm welcome.”

Councillor Robert Davis MBE DL, deputy leader and cabinet member for business, culture and heritage at Westminster City Council, added: “Love is traditionally in the air on Valentine’s Day, and will be quite literally over our many famous landmarks as the inflatable chubby hearts rise into the air for the day. What better way for Londoners and our many visitors to celebrate our love for the capital and the West End.”

You can follow the hashtag #chubbyhearts on Instagram to receive updates from each location, or visit the website to see the schedule and map.

Chubby Hearts mapped out across the city
Chubby Hearts mapped out across the city

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce product social media technology

What you missed: See-now-buy-now, Nicopanda x Amazon, Kering tops sustainability index

Nicopanda spring 2018 will see one-hour delivery from Amazon
Nicopanda spring 2018 will see one-hour delivery from Amazon

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion business, digital comms and tech industry news over the past week.


TOP STORIES
  • Three seasons in, see-now-buy-now is going nowhere [Glossy]
  • Amazon tests one-hour catwalk-to-doorstep deliveries at Nicopanda show [Reuters]
  • Kering tops the Dow Jones Sustainability Index once more [FashionUnited]
  • British Fashion Council launches climate change initiative with Vivienne Westwood [BoF]

BUSINESS
  • The trouble with Topshop [BoF]
  • Hermès hits record first-half profit [FT]
  • BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund announces JD.com partnership [The Industry]
  • Giorgio Armani on London fashion week: ‘It’s the only true city where you see the creative turmoil’ [The Guardian]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Victoria Beckham takes top spot in digital engagement during NYFW [WWD]
  • How Mario Testino found a new lens through Instagram [Campaign]

MARKETING
  • Mick Rock shoots Rome residents for Gucci campaign [Dazed]
  • Inside Dior’s first micro-influencer campaign [Glossy]
  • Puma signs long-term partnership with Selena Gomez [FashionUnited]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Liu Qiangdong, the ‘Jeff Bezos of China’, on making billions with JD.com [FT]
  • eBay moves into luxury with fashion start-up Spring [Racked]

TECHNOLOGY
  • All the tech plans for Tommy Hilfiger’s LFW show [Forbes]

PRODUCT
  • Stone Island’s thermo-sensitive ice knitwear collection changes colour in cold weather [Design Boom]
  • Nike introduces Flyleather, its latest ‘super material’ [BoF]
  • Nike unveils ‘connected’ jersey for NBA partnership [BoF]

START-UPS
  • Fashion start-up wants customers to be able to customise every item they buy [PSFK]
  • Natalie Massenet joins seed funding for hosiery start-up Heist [BoF]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups technology

What you missed: Amazon as the most innovative company, Canada Goose IPO, AI versus fraud

Jeff Bezos' Amazon has been named the world’s most innovative company of 2017 - retail fashion tech
Jeff Bezos’ Amazon has been named the world’s most innovative company of 2017

It’s been a pretty quiet season as far as technology goes during New York and London fashion weeks – live content is playing its part, as is politics, but there’s little in the way of the big innovations we’ve seen in the past. There’s lots to be said about that, so look out for some commentary around it in the coming weeks as we cycle into Milan and Paris. In the meantime, one of the highlights there has been is the Fashion Innovation Agency’s return to mixed reality with designer Sabinna.

Elsewhere, news to catch-up on this week spans Amazon as the world’s most innovative company, the digital printing technology taking us closer to fully customisable clothing, the fact Canada Goose has filed for its IPO, and how artificial intelligence is becoming the newest weapon in the fraud fight.


TOP STORIES
  • Why Amazon is the world’s most innovative company of 2017 [Fast Company]
  • Canada Goose IPO: Its smartest business move was expanding beyond Canada [Quartz]
  • How digital printing technology is taking us closer to fully customisable clothing [Forbes]

BUSINESS
  • British Fashion industry steels itself for Brexit [BoF]
  • The all-new Hermès: Taking its cues from… Michael Kors? [LeanLuxe]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Snap lowers valuation expectations in highly awaited IPO [Reuters]
  • Emma Watson launches eco-fashion Instagram [WWD]

MARKETING
  • Browns kicks off year-long #cooltobekind campaign ahead of LFW [The Industry]
  • River Island on navigating the divide between brand marketing and culture [The Drum]
  • A$AP Rocky stars in Zalando’s new spring campaign [The Industry]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • 3 trends shaping retail cybersecurity in 2017 [Retail Dive]
  • Why Indochino is opening new stores in shopping malls [Glossy]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Samsung goes for a new look in virtual reality at New York Fashion Week [Fortune]
  • Rise of the learning machines: How AI is becoming the newest weapon in the fraud fight [Retail Dive]
  • ‘Smart mirrors’ come to the fitting room [Bloomberg]

START-UPS
  • VC Cheryl Cheng: ‘Fashion has not shown it can be disrupted’ [Glossy]
Categories
technology

Google and the BFC launch educational platform for British fashion

Google and the BFC's new platform for British fashion
Google and the BFC’s new platform for British fashion

The British Fashion Council has partnered with Google’s Arts & Culture team to celebrate British fashion via a new educational platform that includes several virtual reality experiences.

Launched ahead of last night’s new Fashion Awards, which honoured designers and other industry players from around the word, the g.co/britishfashion site is designed to inform and inspire future generations of young fashion creatives and students.

Support the BFC’s Education Foundation, it brings to life the creativity, heritage and craftsmanship of British fashion, pulling together content from big names in the space – including brands, designers, craftspeople, photographers, stylists, models and more – and using technology to tell their stories.

There are immersive digital exhibits from the likes of Burberry, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood for instance, a virtual reality experience of Manolo Blahnik at work in his atelier, and a high resolution capture of a couture dress from Alexander McQueen’s SS17 collection, allowing people to zoom in and see its threadwork in never-before-seen detail.

To mark the launch of the project, Paul Smith has also designed a special-edition Google Cardboard to enable the virtual reality viewing, and created online exhibits around five objects that represent his creative vision and brand.

Caroline Rush CBE, CEO of the BFC said: “The internet has been an incredible resource for opening up the fashion industry to a new audience, giving young people access to information not previously available. This collaboration represents a new step, bringing together diverse information into one, engaging place. We hope this legacy project will not only inspire but also educate – allowing young people wanting to get into fashion to see the breadth of individuals, skills and careers that make up this multifaceted industry.”

In total, there are over 1,000 assets to explore, including 20 multimedia exhibits, 25 videos and three virtual reality experiences, all accessible from anywhere in the world, on desktop, laptop or mobile.

Sarah Mower MBE, American Vogue chief critic and BFC ambassador for emerging talent, has also directed a short film captured in 360 VR so viewers can come face-to-face with industry luminaries. Included are Naomi Campbell, Anya Hindmarch, Edward Enninful and Joan Burstein.

Users can also search archive material from British fashion houses by colour and chronology, explore profiles of numerous of the industry’s other key players, and go behind-the-scenes with top craftspeople and producers of British fashion, including the Royal School of Needlework and Brora Cashmere.

Categories
business e-commerce Editor's pick

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.”