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Orlebar Brown: Trusting partners for growth

When you start a business, you should always be thinking about what your end goal is, says Adam Brown, founder of luxury swimwear brand Orlebar Brown, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast. In Brown’s case, it was the eventual acquisition by none other than Chanel.

Many founders pride themselves on being scrappy, and figuring it out as they go along. There is an element of truth to that approach – Brown spent the brand’s first two years in a storage unit in West London learning every aspect of the business, from pressing shorts to talking to customers on the phone. 

But he knew from the get-go that one of the strongest tools he could have under his belt was finding the people he trusted to do the things that were beyond his expertise. That is a surprisingly rare trait for a founder, who often have so much emotional stake in the game that it is hard to let go of the control. 

Brown, however, always knew he didn’t want to be a CEO with 300 stores across the globe. He also doesn’t consider himself a designer, but rather a curator. So his focus became the product, and creating a process to perfectly tailor swim shorts that fit every body shape, and could take you from the beach to a fancy dinner party. The brand filled a gap in the market and quickly created its own niche.

And in 2018, just at the right time, Chanel came knocking. The acquisition, says Brown, represents the perfect marriage of aspirations that both sides have for the swimwear brand, as well as the chance to leverage many of Chanel’s mature capabilities in brand positioning, sourcing, e-commerce, and so on.

During this conversation, Brown tells us just why the Chanel partnership is a match made in heaven, how they are looking to connect sustainability with the brand in a creative way, and just what is needed to make the luxury consumer forget the price tag.

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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business digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Mary Meeker’s internet trends, inside 24 Sèvres, robots making our clothes

Mary Meeker delivered her annual internet trends report
Mary Meeker delivered her annual internet trends report

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


TOP STORIES
  • What Mary Meeker’s 2017 internet trends report means for fashion [BoF]
  • Inside 24 Sèvres: LVMH opens its first multi-brand internet store [FT]
  • The case for letting robots make our clothes [Motherboard]
  • The Google Cultural Institute’s new digital archive could mean big things for fashion history [Fashionista]
  • How the luxury retail sector is using technology to remain relevant [Independent]

BUSINESS
  • What Trump’s climate reversal means for the fashion industry [BoF]
  • Mickey Drexler’s J. Crew departure marks the end of an era [Retail Dive]
  • Kering makes pledge to circular economy in aim to build sustainable practices [Glossy]
  • Mapping the benefits of a circular economy [McKinsey]

SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING
  • Kate Spade continues #MissAdventure campaign series [AdWeek]
  • Saks Fifth Avenue is turning to iMessage to bolster sales [Glossy]
  • Crocs thanks Instagram users for sharing with original art [MediaPost]
  • How six retailers are using chatbots to boost customer engagement (and why you should too) [ClickZ]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • What online fashion brands can learn from Amazon’s stores [Glossy]
  • This is what will happen to all the empty stores you’re seeing [Forbes]
  • The real cost of e-commerce logistics [Retail Dive]
  • How shoppers use their smartphones in stores [Retail Dive]

TECHNOLOGY
  • The Unseen has designed a t-shirt that senses climate change [Dazed]
  • Amazon patents shipping label with built-in parachute for dropping packages from drones [GeekWire]
  • Inside the production of WearableX’s first responsive yoga pant [Glossy]

START-UPS
  • Nomadic nabs $6M for its modular VR system for retail spaces [TechCrunch]
Categories
digital snippets technology

Digital snippets: all the wearable tech news from #CES

under-armour-hb-2

Trawling the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES is the equivalent of perusing 38 football fields of shoulder-to-shoulder booths featuring endless displays of new technology.

The great news about the internet: you don’t have to actually do that hard work yourself. So here’s a round-up of all the fashion-related and wearable technology news that came out of the week, as written by other people all over the web (I too gave it a miss this year!)…

  • How Under Armour plans to turn your clothes into gadgets [Wired]
  • Under Armour’s Gemini 2 sneakers are fitness trackers for your feet (as pictured) [Mashable]
  • Misfit’s wearables hide their tech behind cool minimalism [Wired]
  • Fitbit Blaze launches as $200 Apple Watch competitor [TechRepublic]
  • Samsung unveils ‘Smart Suit’ as part of family of wearables [Mashable]
  • Samsung made a smart belt that doesn’t suck [The Verge]
  • Fossil to roll out 100 wearables [WWD]
  • OMbra biometric smart sports bra woos women [BrandChannel]
  • L’Oréal patch measures UV exposure [TrendWalk]
  • Fashion icon Iris Apfel debuts luxury smart bracelets that track health [MedicalDaily]
  • Mira’s new smart jewellery combines tech and high fashion [DigitalTrends]
  • Futuristic sneakers tighten automatically, warm your feet and are controlled by an app [MailOnline]
  • Casio maps out smartwatch territory in cyclists and hikers [FT]
  • SCOTTeVEST’s new jacket lets users cleverly store a laptop inside their clothing [iDigitalTimes]
  • Clothes at the CES fashion show actually looked pretty normal [CNET]
  • A look at some of the wackiest wearables on show [Wareable]

Image via Mashable

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Comment data e-commerce Editor's pick film mobile social media Startups technology

2015: a designer meets digital year in review

AppleWatch_Hermes

It’s been another big year for the fashion industry and its integration with technology: from the release of the (Hermès) Apple Watch, to Natalie Massenet’s departure from Net-a-Porter as it merged with Yoox, not to mention the ongoing and evolving discussions around fashion weeks becoming consumer-facing events.

There’s also been a broadening discussion on the role smart fabrics play in the wearables space, virtual reality is increasingly on our radar for its relevance to retail, and we’re obsessed with how the industry is slowly adapting to a new aesthetic thanks to apps like Snapchat.

Here then, are 10 of the posts you loved the most on Fashion & Mash this year. It’s a collection nodding to many of the aforementioned subjects we continue to track, as well as the likes of personalisation, data, instant messaging, emojis and more. A veritable feast of trends we’re watching across the digital landscape as we head into the New Year…

Thank you for reading and see you in 2016. Wishing you a very happy holidays from everyone here at the (growing!) Fashion & Mash team.