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business Editor's pick sustainability

We should all take a leaf out of Stockholm Fashion Week’s book

Stockholm Fashion Week‘s decision to cancel this year’s event to focus instead on a more innovative and sustainable alternative, gives the entire industry something to think about.

Due to take place in August, the occasion has been pulled for the foreseeable future as a way of addressing the “major challenges” the industry is facing.  The very role of fashion week is one of those factors, as is how to move towards a more sustainable future.

If we break that down for a moment, there are some key considerations to think about:

Firstly, fashion weeks have undeniably changed at the hands of the digital age. Over the past 10 years they’ve become democratized to the extent that we can question the need for a physical show at all. 

Consumers around the world are now able to see collections in real-time as they‘re revealed, not to mention experience them across all other channels thereafter. On top of that, designers are able to gain awareness in a myriad of other ways for the very same reasons.

The result of this has been heavy debate around moving to a see-now buy-now business model, meaning the show becomes primarily a marketing opportunity aligned with a calendar for real-time consumer purchases as opposed to for industry buyers. This means the trading part of the collection is already done in advance for wholesale.

Alongside this at the same time, mind you, is the broader industry shift we’re witnessing towards a direct-to-consumer model, which negates the need for the third party seller at all. When integrated with innovative manufacturing processes, this can further ensure greater alignment between supply and demand, thus reducing waste.

What that also considers related to fashion weeks under the sustainability header, is a reduction in air miles. As designer Katherine Hamnett said this year at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, an annual event dedicated to sustainability: “We shouldn’t even be reunited here in Copenhagen when we could have done this digitally. We should all be ashamed of our carbon footprint.”

Under the United Nations’ Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, is a goal for the industry to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, something that is a long way off at this point in time. While the bigger challenges lie in everything from raw materials to fulfilment, every little shift – including fewer individual flights – helps.

On top of that is the cost savings that removing fashion week brings. Shows can notoriously cost anywhere in the region of $100,000 for a designer, dependent on all manner of variables. Cutting the need for Swedish brands to spend this sort of budget frees up capital for other endeavors, which the Swedish Fashion Council, which runs Stockholm Fashion Week, is seemingly pushing primarily towards sustainability.

In a press release, CEO Jennie Rosén said part of the aim is to support designers towards their sustainability targets and help them adopt new business models such as rental, repairs and subscription services.

It’s worth noting that Sweden as a country is already at the forefront of implementing tangible change aligned with these goals, for instance by reducing VAT rates on repair services by 50% (from 25% to 12%) in 2017. The move was part of the country’s plans to reduce carbon emissions and encourage more people to participate in the sharing economy. The tax breaks apply to shoes, clothes and bicycles, making repairing each of them all the more affordable. 

Much of the commentary compares this fashion week with its larger counterpart in Copenhagen, suggesting competition as a primary reason to cancel the event. But rerouting budget towards circularity, reducing carbon footprint and moving towards more innovative means of marketing and selling in order to capture higher margins and reduce waste, ultimately seems one of the smartest moves we’ve seen in a while for an industry in such desperate need of change.

“We need to change now to steer the industry in the right direction…We need to put the past to rest and to stimulate the development of a platform that is relevant for today’s fashion industry,” Rosen noted. “The Swedish fashion industry is extensive and growing, so it is crucial to support brands in their development of next-generation fashion experiences. By doing this we can adapt to new demands, reach sustainability goals and be able to set new standards for fashion.”

The council is planning to reveal its new strategy later this year. 

How are you thinking about sustainability, innovation and new business approaches? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more. 

Categories
business social media

Get influencer marketing right and you’ve got luxury e-tail sewn up, says study

Influencer marketing is increasingly important for luxury brands
Influencer marketing is increasingly important for luxury brands

Who decides what we buy online? Well, we do of course. But other people have an influence too. Friends, family, significant others, and celebs (from A-list to Z-list) can all play their part in our final e-buying decisions, as well as how we shop in physical stores.

Which is why influencer marketing is so important and is going to become even more relevant to the luxury and premium brand sectors over the next decade, global influencer marketing platform Traackr and digital marketing agency The Myndset say. They reckon influencer marketing can be a way for smaller brands to compete with the major players.

The reason is that if brands get it right, influencer marketing can be both cost effective and generally effective, reaching the parts other marketing channels can’t and at lower cost.

Myndset president Minter Dial said: “Luxury market CMOs must re-evaluate and realign budgetary spend around achieving true impact. The measurable benefits of advanced influencer marketing practice are enabling niche luxury clients to compete on a level playing field with major players…[As a result] all luxury brands can achieve compelling ROI and demonstrably increase sales, brand resonance and achieve superior insights into their valued customers.”

So how do Traackr and Myndset reach this conclusion? A recent study by McKinsey and Altagamma Foundation estimates the percentage of luxury sales made online should rise from their current 6% of total luxury sales to 18% in 2025, reaching €70bn.

And influencers are key when consumers shop online. Luxury may have been late to this, but as they realise that the future is all about the younger millennial shopper and that this shopper is fully connected, they’re racing to come up with effective influencer marketing strategies.

Luxury brands have traditionally relied heavily on expensive marketing methods such as glossy print and flashy TV campaigns, as well as creating expensive online brand experiences and spending heavily on creating beautiful stores. But achieving the personalisation, true engagement with and impact on their customers has remained difficult to achieve.

Traackr thinks they’ve been missing a trick lately with “trust [being] largely driven by peers and authoritative content” with only 3% of individuals driving 90% of conversations and impact online.

Luxury and premium brands are, of course, taking notice of this. Traackr cites an Econsultancy report on fashion and beauty. Apparently, 59% of company decision-makers are planning to boost their budgets for this area this year and Myndset research reveals 67% of luxury brands and 60% of premium brands considering digital “important to very important” in understanding their customers.

That’s because digital has been such a huge disruptor for their business. While 11% of non-premium and non-luxury companies say digital is a disruptor, 42% of luxury brands and 28% of premium brands say so. If you want to know more, the white paper can be downloaded here.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday. 

Categories
product Startups technology

New Future of Fashion store supports emerging designers with tech focus

future of fashion store
The Future of Fashion store in Camden Market

A new store has opened in London dedicated to the future of fashion. A partnership between start-up growth company IncuBus Ventures and Camden Market, it aims to showcase some of the UK’s most innovative upcoming fashion designers, with a heavy lean towards those experimenting with technology.

Over the next three months, there will be 3D printing, laser cutting and 3D body scanning techniques on show, courtesy of an ever-changing line-up of brands and labels.

Currently in-store is T D Kent, a bespoke eyewear brand that creates bespoke glasses for consumers based on 3D printing and the latest face scanning technology; Bodi.me, a 3D body scanning company that matches informartion gathered from the individual to accurate garment data and recommends sizing accordingly; Zolà, a hand-crafted printwear designer; and Rein, a womenswear brand using a unique laser cutting process that has been worn by the likes of Lady Gaga, Eve, Charli XCX and Little Mix.

In a bid to be more than just a transactional environment and instead something both engaging and interactive, the space will also host regular Q&A sessions with resident designers, as well as fashion shows and product launches for the 500,000+ visitors who come to Camden Market each week.

The designers featured are all part of the IncuBus Future of Retail growth programme, which also provides them with access to a large network of mentors. Representatives from Nike, Marks and Spencer, ASOS and Net-a-Porter will be on hand to provide the entrepreneurs with advice and guidance on business plans, sales, marketing and more.

The Future of Fashion store is open until the end of September in Camden Market’s North Yard.

Categories
Blocks e-commerce

New York vs London: a fashion week infographic

Did you know the 3460 miles between New York and London is about the equivalent of three million times the length of supermodel Karlie Kloss?

That’s just one style-related stat from a new infographic released in time for fashion week season by online fashion marketplace Lyst. The focus otherwise is on pitting the two cities against each other from a trend perspective – given I’m a Brit in the Big Apple, this one is a winner for me.

New Yorkers are favoring the Isabel Marant Samuel sweater, while Londoners are after a particular Miu Miu pink number, it suggests for instance. It also shows little black dresses are trending in both cities ahead of Valentine’s Day, with key styles by Acne Studios, Maje and Etoile standing out.

Lyst tracks over one million items, from more than 9,000 global fashion designers and retail stores, on its site. It also generates $100m in annual sales. That leads to a reported 100,000 fashion data changes every hour.

Part of the infographic is below, but read more about it and see the rest via Forbes.com.

Style and The City by Lyst TOP

Categories
film Uncategorized

DSquared2 designers star in own campaign film

DSquared2 has released a short film called The Substitutes as part of its autumn/winter 2012/13 campaign.

Shot by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, it stars a group of high school students sat bored in class before the arrival of their substitute teachers, otherwise known as the brand’s designers Dean and Dan Caten. The duo liven up the room with a lesson on how to “walk”.

Among the models are Daphne Groeneveld, Benedikt Angerer, Simon Van Meervenne, Liuk Bass, Ralf Javoiss, Frida Aasen and Bette Franke. The film is set to 1960s hit track, The Clapping Song by Shirley Ellis…