Nike Women in Mexico is encouraging women to exercise more with a group competition that sees combined exercise minutes tallied for the chance of winning a final prize.
In order to join the competition, titled “Juntas Imparables” (Unstoppable Together), women must register their teams of four on a dedicated website, and from there continue to log their minutes of exercise through the Nike Training Club or Nike Running Club apps. The group that collectively tallies the most exercise minutes within a six week period (September 10 – October 19) will win a year’s worth of Nike sponsorship.
Nike is further supporting the participating teams by creating WhatsApp group chats where they will be connected to a Nike representative who will coach them throughout the competition. Groups are also able to monitor their progress and position in the ranking by visiting the Nike Imparables site, which features a leaderboard.
To promote the initiative, Nike has released a TV spot that sees top female Mexican athletes, such as football player Nayeli Rangel and boxer Mariana Juárez, sprinting through the streets of Mexico City while being faced with challenges such as men wolf-whistling, traffic and construction sites.
The campaign features a charitable aspect too – Nike has vouched that for every minute of exercise registered, it will fund another minute of play or exercise in collaboration with the NEMI foundation next year. This is part of the sportswear brand’s Hecho para Jugar (Made to Play) program, which was created to help Mexican children live happier and healthier lives.
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Italy’s fashion body, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI), in partnership with Eco-Age and the Italian government, is investigating the future of sustainable fashion and the notion of “Made in Italy” with a design competition for up-and-coming designers.
The contest, which is also being supported by the Bicester Village Shopping Collection by Value Retail, will culminate at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia, happening at the end of Milan Fashion Week on September 23.
Judges include British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, Derek Blasberg (who has recently been appointed as the head of YouTube’s new fashion & beauty content partnerships division), Eco-Age founder and creative director Livia Firth, and singer Ellie Goulding. Between them they have handpicked five finalists who will be showing their creations at the award ceremony in September.
“The design talent and innovation this year has blown me away,” said Firth. “The designers we’ve seen are not only highlighting traditional Italian craftsmanship but also creating their own materials when they can’t find sustainable solutions on the market. Through their creativity, drive and passion they are setting a clear challenge to the wider industry.”
Finalists include Teatum Jones, who created a dress made from recycled polyester and other materials such as laser cut sequins made from recycled plastic water bottles; Gilberto Cazolari, whose look was created from jute coffee bags originated from Brazil and bought at a navigli (flea) market in Italy; Behno, who created a gown made of GOTS certified organic silk and ECONYL® regenerated nylon (a yarn made of discarded fishing nets and carpets); Davide Grillo, who created a cape covered in silk ‘feathers’ and a gown with a hand-painted design using onion skin, logwood and walnut shell; and Wrad, who created a ‘mint fabric’ made from 50% mint bamboo viscose and 50% GOTS certified organic cotton.
“This year’s entrants are making deep connections that run into the Italian supply chain but also offer commentary and in a way solutions to the global plastic pandemic or climate change,” said Carlo Capasa, president of the CNMI. “Young designers invested in sustainability are pushing the limits of fashion further every year. It is stunning to see.”
All five finalists are now embarking on a mentorship program with the Bicester Village Shopping Collection by Value Retail, which will include interactions with mentors spanning across Europe and China, whose expertise range from fashion, retail, supply chain management, consumer insight, brand building and marketing, among other topics. The final designs will also feature in The Creative Spot, a platform showcasing new talents at Fidenza Village outside Milan.
At the award ceremony in September, one designer will receive the Franca Sozzani GCC Emerging Designer Award and be given the opportunity to present at Milan Fashion Week in February 2019 with the support of the CNMI.
Deutsche Telekom has launched its second annual ideas competition supporting the future of fashion and technology; inviting young talent to realise visionary concepts for high-tech apparel through to digital lifestyle products.
The Telekom Fashion Fusion challenge, as it’s called, is looking for creative ideas from across Europe in three categories: connected devices and smart accessories, haute couture and show fashion, and business solutions and smart services.
Entries are open until November 17, following which a shortlist of 10 finalists will be empowered to develop quality prototypes of their concepts in the Fashion Fusion Lab in Berlin from February to May 2018, before presenting them at an exclusive award show at Berlin Fashion Week in July 2018.
International coaches from the nexus of cutting-edge fashion and technology, including designers Pauline van Dongen, Julia Körner, Jasna Rok and Danit Peleg, will support the initiative.
“In our Telekom Fashion Fusion competition, young talents are given the unique opportunity to realise their dream of high-tech clothing, wearables or digital lifestyle products and bring them to market with the help of experts from the industry, the fashion world and the start-up scene,” says Antje Hundhausen, VP of brand experience at Deutsche Telekom.
The 2016 edition of the challenge saw 120 applicants from 25 countries. Trainwear, a virtual personal trainer integrated in smart fitness clothing, emerged as the winner, closely followed by Mimime, an augmented reality app that allows consumers to add patterns, accessories and artistic forms to clothing. Third place went to TranSwarm Entities, which combines 3D printing and drone technology, alongside music producer Beorn Lebenstedt (Newk), to curate a fashion performance.
This year’s entries will be judged by an esteemed jury including Dirk Schönberger, creative director at Adidas and Anita Tillmann, managing partner at Premium Group.
True to the slogan for this year’s edition – Technology becomes Fashion – the seamless integration of technology and the need to keep an eye to marketability of a product, all the way from initial concept to readiness for market, will play a central role in choosing the three eventual winners.
The Telekom Fashion Fusion competition is sponsored by Adidas, Intel, Lufthansa, Zeiss and Wired Germany. It is open to start-ups, entrepreneurs, engineers, fashion designers and students of the European fashion, design and technology scene, to apply either individually or in teams.
To do so, they need to send in information about their idea of concept, illustrative material that supports and visualises it, and information about the people behind the project and their motivation to participate.
The challenge can also be followed on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by using the hashtags #FashionFusion and #Telekom.
Finnish design house Marimekko is running a hackathon inviting 50 young creators to challenge the conventions of the textile and clothing industry.
Focused on fusing design with technology, the Marimekko Designathon will look to virtual and augmented realities specifically to help.
It will run in collaboration with European tech event Slush and hackathon company Junction, and be held as part of the Helsinki Design Week from September 15-17, 2017, at the brand’s headquarters.
Six jury members, including Etsy.com chairman and Flickr co-founder, Caterina Fake, will select the top 3-5 ideas at the weekend, with those winners then given the opportunity to present their innovations to an audience of investors and start-ups at Slush 2017, on November 30 and December 1.
The next generation of designers will be the ones who bring wearable technology to the fore, writes Tito Chowdhury of FashioNXT, but we have work to do to help get them there.
Up until last year, much of the personal technology industry was holding its breath for the Apple Watch to open up the wearables ecosystem. Perhaps predictably, it failed. Sales of this “me too” product remain significantly below market projection for an Apple device, app development has been weak, but most importantly, the rectangular computer-on-the-wrist look, despite some high-fashion brand collaborations, are fundamentally uninspiring to many.
As a result, the industry is spinning on its head after hitting this huge wall. The name of that wall is the human body, and importantly, the human psyche of what we’ll put on them: fashion.
Technology and fashion, anthropologically, are two very different animals; so are technologists and fashion designers. Technology thrives on mass adoption and scale-ability; fashion thrives on exclusivity and aspiration. Fashion designers have been fine-tuning their craft for tens of thousands of years, technologists barely a hundred or two (and for personal technology that time period is just a few decades). When it comes to what people desire, fashion designers have got it down; technologists often don’t deal with people at all.
Therefore, when it comes to wearable technology, fashion has to take the lead.
But why is it this simple one liner isn’t getting put into practice? The answer lies in the aforementioned anthropological reason – old habit dies hard, or should I say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Technology companies are still making billions through existing business practices and from enterprise clients, making it less motivating for them to go through the steep learning curve of making the necessary changes for the consumer. The old guard of computing technologists from the PC/Laptop era, or of late industrial designers of the cellphone era, aren’t going to concede their leadership positions to the newcomers from the fashion industry unless they have to.
Nowhere has this been more obvious than with Apple, which was the most proactive in hiring high profile fashion influencers, including former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts. Yet, when Apple sponsored the biggest technology-inspired event to date by the fashion industry, the 2016 MET Gala for the Costume Institute’s Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, exhibition, Apple put industrial design-era Sir Jonny Ives front and centre, not Ahrendts. Yes, Ives is the design lead, and Ahrendts is retail, but what face of Apple would the fashion industry likely get more inspired by? It’s an obvious choice, as even pointed out by Vanessa Friedman at The New York Times.
Other major companies trying to participate in the wearables world are truthfully still barely dipping their toes, rather than plunging into it. And the fashion industry doesn’t reward those who don’t take a leap of faith.
So what’s to be done? Wearable technology has to create a paradigm shift in the qualitative difference it brings to clothing, and it will require a fundamentally different thought process of the designers of the clothing to materialise such vision. In short, the change has to be lead not by technology, but by fashion.
This will require current leaders in the fashion-technology space to get in the trenches and work with the next generation of designers; enabling them to flourish with the art of the possible. At FashioNXT, we started such a program three years ago in collaboration with numerous leaders in that industry. Intel’s venture lead Mark Francis, Samsung’s design lead Howard Nuk, Nike’s global design director Matt Rhoades, and Digital Trends’ executive editor Jeremy Kaplan, all joined hands with us to launch a wearable tech fashion competition.
The aim of FashioNXT is to bring technology to the attention of fashion influencers, providing the critical audience and critique that wearable technology needs. One success story is Q Bracelets, an iPhone-charging piece of jewellery that was a finalist in 2014, and has continued on to have successful market adoption since. In 2015, the competition saw further excitement from the industry as Google Wearable’s creative director Shiho Fukuhara joined the panel, and submissions to the competition skyrocketed – from 11 countries across four continents. This year’s competition is still open for designers and wearable brands to apply until September 8, 2016.
The fact of the matter is, people will be wearing smart clothing and accessories as the norm, not by exception, in the future. What we can do in the meantime, is help shape what that landscape looks like by connecting the dots between relevant parties.
Tito Chowdhury is an Intel engineer turned fashion experience executive who runs FashioNXT, a platform that creates access to fashion experience for the world in innovative ways. Its annual fashion show documenting what’s next in the industry, runs from October 5-8, 2016 in Portland, Oregon.
A few days before New York Fashion Week begins and needless to say much of the focus is on those plans – from Tommy Hilfiger’s carnival to Misha Nonoo’s Snapchat show, not to mention an update on Google that will see fashion brands curating what their search results look like pertaining to the new season.
Also hitting the headlines over the past week has been everything from M&S cutting head office jobs, Smashbox’s virtual reality campaign and our interview with Westfield’s Lindsey Thomas. Don’t forget to check out our full list of upcoming events at the bottom too…
This fashion week, Google gets a new look [NY Times]
Condé Nast’s Style.com is now open for business [The Industry]
Tom Ford makes comeback at Venice festival with his second movie [Reuters]
H&M open entries for 2nd annual innovation grant [Fashionista]
Marks & Spencer looks to cut up to 500 jobs at London head office [The Guardian]
How online fashion companies use data to enhance sales [Fashion United]
You release a new product into the market and instantly it gets panned. Not just in a subtle, no one seems to want to buy it way, but in an explosion of negative responses all over social media kind of way. What do you do?
That was the challenge facing the team at Under Armour earlier this month, when its new Curry Two Low sneaker – a white-on-white low-top attached to basketball player Stephen Curry – got a true Twitter roasting for being “uncool”. Now nicknamed the “Curry Chef” for its all-white, comfortable and functional kitchen appeal, it’s also been referred to as everything from a nurse shoe to a dad’s shoe. Not quite the market Under Armour is aiming for.
Speaking at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity today, David Droga, founder of Droga5, the agency of record for Under Armour, said: “When a hiccup like that happens, the usual client response is panic, retreat, mask or deny. In this case, the flurry of emails that came from [Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour] said ‘this is potentially f*cking amazing, we should lean into this’. That’s exactly the sort of thing you want to hear. It’s not about panicking, it’s about how do you make something great?”
Plank, who was also on stage, admitted he was excited for the way in which it lit up Twitter, even as the sneaker was referred to as everything from a lawnmowing shoe to a barbecuing one. “I thought oh my gosh, after 20 years in business doing this, people finally care,” he said. “That is everything you’re trying to do in marketing… the worst thing in life is apathy; when no one cares if you show up or not. “
Under Armour celebrates 20 years in business this year and is on target to hit $5bn in revenue during 2016. Within that it’s been making footwear for 13 years and selling them for 10. “It’s taken a long tine to get to where we are now, but we’re still developing the company we want to be,” explained Plank.
He hopes to use the emotion driven from the launch of the Curry Two Low to move the business forward. It’s proof, he commented, that it’s no longer a two-horse race in footwear, but three – or in other words that Under Armour is now up there competing with Nike and adidas in that specific space.
Overall, Under Armour is now the number two sportswear brand in the US after Nike (it overtook adidas in early 2015). And that idea of competition and the competitive nature that Under Armour inherently has was discussed on a much broader scale too.
Plank referred to the idea of having moonshots, or big ambitions, in everything they do: “We don’t think about what if a competitor makes a new fleece upper; we think about what if Amazon and Apple and Google decide to start making clothes? When we challenge our product teams, we start there.” That future-proofing, provides them with the ability to never be on the back foot if competitors do release something, he said.
But ultimately his key message came down to always maintaining a point of view and having real belief in what you do. “You’re not a brand if you don’t have a point of view, in my opinion,” he noted. “And the brand is everything. The brand, the brand, the brand – everything comes back to the brand.”
Harrods is celebrating the opening of its new luxury shoe salon with the launch of a mobile game called Stiletto Wars.
Introduced as part of the Harrods magazine app, which has been downloaded over 100,000 times worldwide, the game challenges users to form as many rows of three of more designer shoes against a timer. Scores can be sent to a leaderboard where prizes are up for grabs including gift cards and VIP shopping experiences with the department store.
“We are delighted to be adding this fashionably fun game to our ever-evolving app. Every secret geeky pleasure needs a stylish outlet – and Stiletto Wars brings together the fun of game playing, the luxury of designer shoes and the possibility of winning prizes – a perfect combination,” says Harrods’ director of creative marketing, Deborah Bee.
A giant interactive version of the game will also be in the store’s windows on Brompton Road from August 27 – September 22.
Marc Jacobs is sparing no effort to promote its fragrances in London at present. The all-new Daisy Dream scent has been supported by both an online competition and an offline interactive Dream Room, while the Daisy fragrance theme at large will play host to a pop-up Tweet Shop in Covent Garden later this week.
The online Daisy Dream Capsule works like this: users can choose four images out of a selection on the dedicated website. These are then added into a square frame that carries the hashtag #MJDaisyDream. The resulting collage, which slightly resembles a polaroid, represents the ‘dream capsule’. After entering one’s country, name and email, the capsule can be submitted and shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Tumblr.
An intermediary step involves the opportunity to opt in to a competition, of which the grand prize is a three-day trip to New York City that includes a £500 shopping spree.
The Dream Room (as below) that was open in London’s Westfield until July 30 with the help of Fuse Sport & Entertainment and ClinkClink, served as an offline extension of the Dream Capsule website. Set in the atrium of the shopping centre, it was designed to fully immerse consumers into the ‘Dream’. Shoppers were able to upload their Dream Capsule directly from the space via iPads and were offered souvenirs of the experience in the form of cloud-shaped cookies and photos.
The second campaign, a pop-up Tweet Shop, will open its doors in London for the first time on Friday August 15 until Sunday August 17, at 4 East Piazza, Covent Garden. As per the teaser below, shoppers will be able to purchase items with social currency by using the hashtag #MJDaisyChain – no card or cash accepted. The more creative effort they put into their post – from a simple text through to an image, or even a Vine video – will lead to greater prizes, including the chance to win a Marc Jacobs handbag each day.
The space will also feature Daisy-themed artwork by Langley Fox, a Marc Jacobs nail bar, as well as a live Daisy photo booth and Vine booth.
This is not a new concept for Marc Jacobs; the brand opened a Tweet Shop in New York back in February to mark New York Fashion Week. Like the London version (already), this launch was preceded by an enormous amount of press coverage and hype ahead of opening.
The premise in reality, is actually a very simple and effective way to build social engagement while simultaneously ensuring a following around a pop-up physical space. In fact the locations in which both campaigns have been executed were well thought-out. Westfield and Covent Garden not only enjoy exceptionally high footfall, but are prime areas for tourists – the latter especially is becoming increasingly known as a go-to destination for beauty retail, following the launch of dedicated boutiques from the likes of Burberry and Chanel.
It is of course a clever move to get shoppers searching through the whole site, not to mention popping back on a regular basis, at a time when present inspiration doesn’t go amiss.
US online jewellery retailer, Bauble Bar, is running something similar for the festive season too. Email subscribers are being sent clues to “Buried Baubles” each day – items with serious markdowns hidden somewhere on the site. Meanwhile, its “30-days of Sparkle” campaign – as below – also sees daily discounts and offers being unveiled in the run up to Christmas.