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business data digital snippets e-commerce Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: retail’s existential reckoning, Echo Dot is the Christmas best seller, bots on the rise

2017 was the year of retail’s existential reckoning
2017 was the year of retail’s existential reckoning

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion business, digital comms and tech industry news over the final fortnight of 2017.


TOP STORIES
  • 2017 was the year of retail’s existential reckoning [Quartz]
  • The Echo Dot was the best-selling product on all of Amazon this holiday season [TechCrunch]
  • Bots are about to get better at customer support than humans [Wired]
  • The last days of Colette [Garage]

BUSINESS
  • Retailers feel shoppers’ Christmas cheer [WSJ]
  • Jonathan Saunders steps down from DVF role [Guardian]
  • Meet Oscar Olsson, the mind behind H&M’s new brand for millennials [TheCut]
  • Reformation raises $25 million to fuel brick-and-mortar growth [BoF]
  • Clothing companies are trashing unsold merchandise instead of donating it [TheOutline]
  • With Phoebe Philo leaving Céline, what’s next? [BoF]
  • UK cotton back in production in Manchester [BBC]

MARKETING
  • Adidas brings all-star talent and tech to the table [BrandChannel]

E-COMMERCE
  • Prada launches e-commerce platform in China [Reuters]
  • The fake news of e-commerce [Racked]
  • There’s money to be made in returning e-commerce orders [LA Times]
  • What fashion brands can learn from Nike’s first six months as an Amazon partner [Glossy]
  • E-commerce company ThredUP rolls out AI-powered ‘goody boxes’ to rival discount clothing chains [AdWeek]

STORES
  • Walmart is developing a personal-shopper service for rich moms — and a store with no cashiers [Recode]
  • Sephora mastered in-store sales by investing in data and cutting-edge technology [AdWeek]

TECHNOLOGY
  • This is Magic Leap’s mixed reality headset [Engadget]
  • If the bitcoin bubble bursts, this is what will happen next [Wired]
  • Mall of America gets high-tech with chatbot and humanoid robots [Racked]
  • Ikea is stepping into virtual reality by creating a game for new store openings [AdWeek]
  • Beauty tech made major strides in 2017, and it’s only the beginning [Fashionista]

START-UPS
  • Target to buy Shipt for $550 million in challenge to Amazon [Bloomberg]
  • Meet the nanotech scientist who used her mad skills to build a better party clutch [FastCompany]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Amazon Prime Day, LVMH’s Ian Rogers, Colette’s closure

Ian Rogers, LVMH
Ian Rogers, LVMH

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
  • Amazon’s Prime Day proves to be biggest shopping day ever [Bloomberg]
  • Ian Rogers, LVMH’s chief digital officer: ‘We sell culture, and the culture’s changed’ [Glossy]
  • Get ready for the internet of Louis Vuitton things [NY Times]

BUSINESS
  • The cost of dead inventory: retail’s dirty little secret [BoF]
  • Burberry among companies committing to 100% clean energy [Bloomberg]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Does the fashion industry still need Vogue in the age of social media? [Guardian]
  • Chinese social media in 2017: what you need to know [Jing Daily]

MARKETING
  • Benetton launches Power Her Choices family planning campaign for UN Population Fund [The Drum]
  • How Reebok used influencer reviews to break into the competitive running category [Digiday]
  • Benefit in hot water over UK ‘skip class’ messaging [BrandChannel]
  • How Adidas is using micro-influencers [Digiday]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • What Colette’s closure means for fashion [BoF]
  • ‘Trapped’: How Amazon is cornering fashion brands into wholesale [Glossy]

TECHNOLOGY
  • 3D printers start to build factories of the future [The Economist]
  • How Walmart uses AI to serve 140 million customers a week [VentureBeat]
  • How Adore Me used AI to double its active customers [Glossy]
  • Alibaba launches low-cost voice assistant amid AI drive [Reuters]

START-UPS
  • Felix Capital raises $150M to double down on tech startups from the ‘creative class’ [TechCrunch]
  • Luxury authentication start-up gets $2.6 million in funding round [WWD]
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product Startups technology

Colette hosts fashion and technology exhibition in Paris windows

The Dream Band by Erik Halley and Luciding for Fashion Hack at Collete
The Dream Band by Erik Halley and Luciding for Fashion Hack at Collete

One of the biggest barriers for wearable technology’s uptake in the fashion industry has quite simply been around aesthetics. Something that puts functionality first, doesn’t fit so well in an industry geared to form.

And yet this technology is slowly morphing into something that is about so much more than biometrics, for instance, and rather entire experiences. In doing so, it’s opening enormous doors for the fashion industry, indeed the luxury world, to step in and think about where craft sits alongside.

That’s the premise behind a new exhibition called “Fashion Hack”, which opens in the windows of concept store Colette in Paris today for a week. 10 prototypes have been created by fashion designers; within them embedding various new technologies relevant to this sector.

Curated by Carole Sabas, a correspondent for French Vogue and the author behind The Fashion Guides series, the technologies were scouted from the west coast of the US, where Sabas is now based.

“In opposition to the ‘wearables’ category, these fashion accessories are first and foremost luxury goods, crafted as couture objects,” she explains. “Their invisible perks are limited to a few features: a surprising comfort (re-engineered soles) or stunning experience (self-heating sheer fabric, enhanced listening…) No biometrics will be measured, no apps will be downloaded. Seamlessly merged with fashion, the tech factor is an inconspicuous bonus. A secret layer of convenience, second to fashion.”

Included is a self-heating jacket from Thermaltech and ACRNM, enabled via solar panels coated on metallic threads; a 100% natural cotton shirt embedded with nano-encapsulated technology to ensure water, oil and wine stains are repelled, from Maud Jeline and Dropel; a headband designed to induce lucid dreams during sleep, created by Erik Halley and Luciding; and a pair of embellished earrings from Michael Schmidt Studios and Bragi, which essentially sees jewellery clipped on to a pair of smart audio earphones. Tech-enabled shoes, bags, belts and glasses all feature.

There are also nine mini robot balls that have been programmed by a choreographer to execute a baroque-inspired ballet in the window.

For Sabas it was really key to look at how to integrate technology, but not have it as the central feature – arguably the direction this space is set to move in. “After all, zippers and buttons are also tech,” she explains. “We’ll pretty soon stop aweing at connected jackets, as we long stop aweing at our iPhones. But we’ll still awe at cool, fashionable jackets.”

Sabas spends her time between fashion weeks and tech shows like CES in Las Vegas and is often left bewildered at some of the suggestions put out there, she explains. “I couldn’t believe that I was seeing the same umbrellas that buzz you if it’s going to rain, rings that blink when you receive texts and belt that text you if you’re on the verge of eating too much.”

But she also came to understand how the tech circle works in terms of secrecy, NDAs, patents and more, and wanted to prove how much more could be possible through collaboration.

“The idea is to suggest to tech start-ups to collaborate with fashion designers if their intention is to target luxury stores alongside electronic retailing. It also invites fashion houses to reach out to tech people, in order to get ready for things like the wireless charging bags, smart eyeglasses, high heels 2:0, connected jackets and jewellery and other ‘hearables’ coming their way in a couple of seasons,” she explains.

She’s a technophile at heart, but one with a vision that makes sense for both consumers and brands alike: “I would like what the rest of the world would like – IoT that grows meaningful, useful, invisible, weightless, universal, with no cables and long life batteries. Something that makes you feel chic, creative and efficient.”

More importantly, she believes the fashion industry needs to wake up to the revolution happening before the tech companies themselves become more powerful as brands within the same sphere.

Categories
e-commerce

Colette hosts Art Drive-Thru at Art Basel Miami

Colette_ABMB12Parisian retailer Colette hosted an ‘Art Drive-Thru’ as part of Art Basel Miami last week, open 24/7 and complete with shoppable digital screens.

A partnership with local concept boutique, Alchemist, the initiative was inspired by retro American drive-thrus of the 50s. Far from typical burgers and fries, however, the menu offered everything from a $27,500 Bamford x Rolex watch to a $6,500 set of Damien Hirst skateboards (both sold out by the way). There were multiple other big names on sale including Jeff Koons, Kenzo, Thom Browne, Karl Lagerfeld, Zaha Hadid, Kitsune, Longchamp and of course Colette.

It was hosted at 1111 Lincoln Road on level five of the car park. Drivers could pull up to one of three kiosks reminiscent of pinball machines and use iPad size screens to order their items. Those pieces would then be delivered by girls on roller skates.

The temporary space, in place from December 2 to 8, was created by René Gonzales Architect.

Colette_ABMB1Colette_ABMB2Colette_ABMB5Colette_ABMB711Colette_ABMB7Colette_ABMB9Colette_ABMB8Colette_ABMB10Colette_ABMB3 Additional photography by shelasher.com