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business Podcast product Retail sustainability

Christopher Raeburn: How to scale circularity

There is so much opportunity in being a big business that there’s no excuse for not doing the right thing, says Christopher Raeburn comparing his British-born Raeburn brand with the global scale of Timberland, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast. 

Raeburn has been creative director at the latter since late 2018, where he says he is focusing on putting responsible, innovative design at the centre of its strategy. But it’s through his work and experience for the smaller Raeburn business that he’s able to do so, he explains. 

“One of the ways I’ve always looked at Raeburn is almost like a Remora – those small fish that clean sharks… sometimes they can clean the teeth and everything like that. I think it’s a really interesting analogy, because by swimming alongside sometimes those big big fish in the ocean, A) you have the opportunity to clean them, and that’s exciting because they want to be cleaned. B) you have the opportunity to talk to them a little bit and then maybe you can start to really steer them. And if they want to be steered and it’s a really good partnership then you’re going to go in the right direction together,” he says. 

Raeburn, which was founded in 2009, has built up its business focused on three key areas that all come under the circularity header: reduced, remade and recycled. But that was the case long before sustainability itself became a “trend”. 

“I never really set out to start a responsible company. It was more a company that started from common sense. And it fascinates me, as I say, that there is all of this stuff out there. And why can’t we reuse and remake it before we even need to buy anything new,” Raeburn notes.

Join us as we also explore why scaling such a model is essential for the future of our industry, how much opportunity is coming down the pipeline from what we currently consider trash, and the role business has to play in education today.

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. 

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
Editor's pick film

Mulberry film hints at first season with new creative director Johnny Coca

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Mulberry has released a short film sharing the thoughts of its new creative director Johnny Coca ahead of the brand’s relaunch during London Fashion Week this season.

“That was then, this is now”, as the company refers to it, sees Coca speaking about his inspirations and his focus for the new collection. He refers to “Britishness” as an attitude and something individual, saying that it’s about “tradition and how it’s mixed with modernity”.

He’ll be bringing that to his first collection, mixing rebellion with “a balance of femininity; poetic but strong”.

Structure of the garments and bags will be a big focus, drawn from his love of architecture, while colour will also play a part, heavily influenced by his obsession with red; something he says is probably because it’s very Spanish, but appropriately also very British. He also talks about his decision to restore an original 1970s logo he found in the brand archives.

There are multiple additional hints as to his thought process from the film – the bank of the Thames, food slopping on a plate, models walking up concrete steps of the Barbican, a gargoyle, heavy florals, a china teacup, piano keys, an orange (perhaps a Seville orange nodding to where he was born), cycling, a washing machine. “I’m inspired by things I see everyday,” he explains.

In a press statement, he adds: “I wanted to reinforce the British character and sensibility of Mulberry. It’s quite humbling – to be trusted with this brand that people love and feel is very much part of them and their lives. In my role as creative director I want to push the boundaries, but also respect the values and DNA at the core of Mulberry.”

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Coca is part of a turnaround plan at Mulberry that has also seen a new CEO put in place, and a shift away from the brand’s original intention to move upscale. More bags have been introduced around the £500-£1,000 mark, while a big focus has been put on enabling digital sales. It returned to positive during H1 2015 (six months to September 2015), with pre-tax profit of £60,000, compared with a loss of £1.1m a year earlier.

Coca follows Emma Hill, who left the company in 2013. He was most recently head designer director for leather goods, accessories, shoes and jewelry at Céline. His vision for Mulberry has been entirely shrouded in secrecy until now.

The full reveal will take place during the show at 4pm GMT on Sunday February 21. Until then, Mulberry will also be revealing more via both Instagram and its new Snapchat channel. Follow along via @MulberryEngland and #MulberryEngland.

Categories
social media

Nicholas Kirkwood on his social media arrival: exclusive interview

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British footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood has recently launched his social media presence, kickstarting with a focus on Instagram and YouTube, and anchoring it with a short film called Arcs of Orbit.

The move comes hot off the heels of LVMH taking a majority investment stake in the business in September 2013, which rapidly led to new hires and international growth including its first own-brand presence in China as of this month. As reported by the Business of Fashion recently, the big push for Kirkwood now is around brand awareness.

CEO Christopher Suarez said: “[This is] a real focus of the company, ‘How do we further develop the communication and messaging?’ An engaging language that has resonance; that has much more awareness — how can we develop a modern luxury brand that still carries a certain level of integrity and respect for product and craftsmanship?”

We caught up with designer Nicholas Kirkwood himself to find out what all his plans are for social as a part of achieving this up ahead.

F&M: You’ve just launched your social media channels – what can we expect?

NK: Social media is an important communications tool for any brand but specifically as we are a non-advertising brand it’s a vehicle to share the vision and create greater context for our growing customer base. It allows us to communicate the collections and products available, and our growth as a company, but also it’s a way to involve them in our world and engage with them on a more personal level, tapping into a more emotional side.

Social media gives you a certain amount of freedom to create and share imagery, like the ‘Arcs of Orbit’ film. I’d like to push this further and work on more creative content.

F&M: You’ve said you will focus heavily on Instagram, can you tell us why you feel this is suited to you as a platform and what we can expect to see?

NK: Instagram in particular has naturally been more of a focus purely because it is a more visual channel. A strong image is so powerful and can really capture someone.

I’m a very visual person. I get inspired by interesting shapes, form, detail, colour when designing so I’m more pulled to this. I’m wanting for our customers to share that response to imagery on our channels and relate to this when they wear my designs.

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F&M: With YouTube as your secondary key platform, can you tell us what all we can hope to see from a video perspective?

NK: Film again takes that emotive response and reaction to that next level. Sound is a compelling component and can change the tone in an instant to really communicate the story you’re trying to tell. These short films are ways to create impactful moments.

The inspiration behind ‘Arcs of Orbit’ was to interpret and celebrate the making of a shoe but again to show the more passionate side of what design and creation is. That opening image is quite mysterious, poetic and delicate. I wanted the sound to be like the vacuum of space to emphasise this otherworldly place to captivate the viewer.

F&M: How do you see consumers engaging with your content and what will be your measure of success on social?

NK: Our customers are people who are aware of and confident in their sense of style. I love seeing how people wear my shoes on Instagram with shoe selfies.

We’ve seen an incredible response already with people enquiring with our stores into the designs and collections that are posted. It’s amazing to see how followers react to posts as well with comments and emoticons. Obviously sales are a measure of success but I think that response is for me a personal measure of success.

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Categories
digital snippets film Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Donna Karan, Kate Spade, Natalie Massenet, Tommy Hilfiger, Alexander Wang

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

  • Anjelica Huston gets behind the camera for Donna Karan hosiery film (as pictured) [Telegraph Fashion]
  • Kate Spade’s digital play [WWD]
  • British fashion gets a web dynamo: Natalie Massenet [NY Times]
  • Tommy Hilfiger launches “le voyage seafarious” campaign, first ever webisode [Vogue.it]
  • T by Alexander Wang taps Bon Qui Qui for spring video [AdAge]
  • Rachel Roy opts for digital runway show [WWD]
  • Whistles launches new website [Whistles]
  • Milk Made’s top 10 Instagrams to follow for NYFW [Milk Made]
  • How Pose became the ‘Instagram of fashion’ [Mashable]
  • Here’s Net-a-Porter’s new magazine The Edit [Fashionista]
  • Pinterest’s retail problem [AdWeek]
  • Ebay in agency talks over fashion project [Campaign]
  • Seven apps perfect for fashion week (or any week) [Refinery29]
  • Branded mini-movies as China marketing tool: boom or bust? [JingDaily]
Categories
film social media Uncategorized

Topshop targets Chinese consumers with New Year campaign film

 

Topshop is celebrating Chinese New Year with the launch of a short film that ties together its British brand and its growing international consumer base.

The Lanterns, as it’s called, sees two models captured in front of London’s Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, with Chinese lanterns floating above them. It is set to a cover of This Little Light of Mine by Berend Dubbe and Gwen Thomas, and ends with copy that wishes the viewer a prosperous New Year in both English and traditional Chinese characters.

“We wanted to create something fun that represented the spirit of the Topshop girl whilst capturing the energy of this special time of celebration and giving,” said Topshop’s CMO, Justin Cooke.

Importantly, the film was released on Topshop’s Chinese social media networks, including Weibo where it has over 10 million followers. It also launched on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.

Topshop will open its first store in Hong Kong in May, but this film is as much about reaching Chinese consumers worldwide as it is within China itself. According to stats from Topshop, Chinese travellers took over 70 million trips abroad last year, and 150,000 headed to London.

Cooke said: “Not only do we have a huge following in Asia but there are also enormous numbers of Chinese tourists and Chinese communities based in cities all over the world – for example Los Angeles, where we open a store on February 14, we know that there is a very strong Chinese community there…  I think it’s really important as a global brand that we speak to and understand the things that really matter to them, this is a significant time of year and it’s also a very personal one where people get together and thank the people they love.”

Even the length of the film is culturally considerate. At 58 seconds it coincides with Chinese superstitions of numerology; five and eight are both lucky numbers, symbolising wealth and prosperity.

Topshop has also created limited edition lucky red gift cards and envelopes to note the Chinese tradition to gift ‘Lucky Money’ as a wish of prosperity. They are available in its flagship stores and online globally.

Topshop celebrates Chinese New Year with The Lanterns Topshop celebrates Chinese New Year with The LanternsTopshop celebrates  Chinese New Year with The Lanterns

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Kate Bosworth sings in Topshop’s Christmas film, revealed as face behind #whosthatgirl teasers

Topshop connects physical and digital worlds with #trickortweet Halloween campaign

Topshop #LFW show to offer customisable, instantly shoppable looks online

Categories
film social media Uncategorized

Kate Bosworth sings in Topshop’s Christmas film, revealed as face behind #whosthatgirl teasers

Topshop Kate Bosworth Winter Wonderland

After an impressive teaser campaign that ran across social media channels for five days, Kate Bosworth has been revealed as the star of Topshop’s Christmas film (as below).

Stood atop a grand piano, the Hollywood actress sings a rendition of Winter Wonderland in the spot; a track that Topshop hopes has a chance of reaching number one. Accordingly, it is available to download on iTunes as well as through Shazam and Spotify.

The film was directed by Michael Polish and was inspired by the famous piano scene from 1989’s The Fabulous Baker Boys with Michelle Pfeiffer.

It sees Bosworth wearing a custom-made Topshop dress, designed by her in partnership with the retailer’s team. Both that and her shoes will be available to order on Topshop.com to tie in with its new store opening in LA in February 2013. The make-up worn in the film however is available to order immediately.

“This project brings together two important aspects of my life: cinema and fashion. I have always been a fan of the Topshop brand and it has been an honour to work with Sir Phillip and the team. I hope everyone enjoys watching it as much as we did making it,” said Bosworth.

She has also sent personalised digital messages introducing the film to numerous Topshop customers.

Check out a couple of videos from behind-the-scenes below too. And read more about the teaser campaign, #whosthatgirl, here: Topshop teases holiday film with social game of celebrity guess who

 

 

Kate Bosworth album image - Topshop

Categories
film social media Uncategorized

Topshop teases holiday film with social game of celebrity guess who – #whosthatgirl

Topshop6

Given the fact online films now pop-up left, right and centre from fashion brands and retailers, it’s always fun to see those who go the extra mile to make sure their fans are fully engaged ahead of launch, almost securing the spot’s virality before it does so.

Kudos then to Topshop, who has made its first holiday campaign an altogether more significant affair by using social media to tease who its star is.

“Winter Wonderland” will premier tomorrow on YouTube, fronted by a Hollywood A-lister. Accordingly, Topshop has been using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram to build anticipation as to who she is.

 

Five teaser trailers reveal shots of her from the neck down, pictures on Instagram capture her in London over the weekend from behind, and comments on Twitter provide clues into where she’s from and what she likes doing. A board on Pinterest houses everything together in one space.

All of it is accompanied with the hashtag #whosthatgirl encouraging consumers to guess for the chance to win a £500/$1000 shopping spree at the store.

Justin Cooke, CMO at Topshop, said: “We are very excited about the launch of our first Christmas movie, its a true 360 degree campaign with some surprise elements that you will see tomorrow! We wanted to create real anticipation before it premiered and it looks likes its working with over 100,000 people watching 10 second teasers and an incredible number of posts and tweets across all platforms.”

Some of the clues have included:

Topshop_whosthatgirl_teaser2Topshop_whosthatgirl_teaser1

This one is particularly fabulous:

Topshop_whosthatgirl_teaser3

And the guesses have been flying in. “From Elizabeth Olsen & Georgia May Jagger to Whitney Port & Diane Kruger…” tweeted Topshop on Saturday, December 1. So too have there been suggestions such as Cara Delevingne, Kate Bosworth, Chloë Grace Moretz, Emma Stone and more.

Fans themselves have been saying things like: “@Topshop’s #whosthatgirl competition is so addictive, keep trying to guess who it is, I really haven’t got a clue!”

And: “@Topshop #whosthatgirl can’t wait til Tuesday to find out if I’m correct, most fun game I’ve played in a long time, feel like a detective!”

And: “Tortured by @Topshop’s #whosthatgirl campaign. Talk about brilliant social media marketing. Can’t wait to find out who she is tomorrow!”

As for the film itself, Topshop says its inspired by The Fabulous Baker Boys – the film that made Michelle Pfeiffer famous. Until tomorrow then… (and some more pics below in the meantime).

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Uncategorized

Matthew Williamson launches on Twitter, announces new digital strategy

British fashion brand Matthew Williamson launched on Twitter today, marking its first commitment to a new digital strategy headed up by Rosanna Falconer, previously of the British Fashion Council.

Created to give followers an insider view, the @MWWorld handle will capture all the action from behind-the-scenes of the collections and the studio. It kickstarted this morning with the above tweet, and has since continued with a photo of Matthew mid-meeting as well as a link to his YouTube page where a video documenting the shoot for his forthcoming XV film starring Sienna Miller, Poppy Delevingne and Valentine Fillol-Cordier exists (as below).

Matthew himself will also be sharing his insight, inspirations and travels.

As a follow on, the website and e-commerce platform will soon be relaunched to “reflect developments in technology, including mobile, and capture the brand digitally”.

Matthew Williamson will celebrate its 15-year anniversary this spring/summer 2013. The XV film will be officially unveiled next week.

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e-commerce Uncategorized

Multimedia Burberry campaign invites users to pre-order new collection

Burberry is inviting consumers to purchase directly from its autumn/winter 2012 campaign and ahead of store delivery, through a series of short films and imagery.

In a continuation of the brand’s Runway to Reality concept, which allows consumers to pre-order items straight from the catwalk, fans will be able to buy straight from the campaign gallery on Burberry.com for the first time.

The campaign – starring up-and-coming British actress Gabriella Wilde, alongside musician Roo Panes – will break on June 1, with new creative rolled out on a monthly basis thereafter. Referred to as the brand’s “most cinematic shoot to date”, it was captured by Mario Testino at the Royal Naval College in London at night.

“We wanted to play with everything that’s at the heart of the Burberry world – celebrating our brand and London through imagery, film, music, weather and our iconic outerwear, all in a very poetic and British way,” said chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey.

Panes has written and recorded a track called “Indigo Home” exclusively for Burberry, due to be released on iTunes also on June 1. The campaign will also be pushed across international platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, Douban, Kaixin001 and Youku.