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Podcast technology

Nick Knight on why AI cannot simulate creativity

Artificial intelligence is not yet good enough to simulate creativity, says British fashion photographer Nick Knight on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by the Current Global.

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Speaking live at a FashMash event in London, he explained that AI as it stands today, is a long way from what creativity is: “When you create a picture, it is done through desire, accident, failure, fear, love, and arousal. Predicting what I will do by how I did past steps is not a good way to create my next piece of art; it’s not a good way to simulate creativity.”

He was referring to the way in which AI looks back at past behavior in order to work out what is probable next. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t one day figure out how to do so, he noted, adding that he is working on new projects that will keep him on the frontline of it so as to have a say in what it could look like down the road.

Knight has built his career on pushing the boundaries of image making. He has photographed some of the world’s biggest celebrities and models – from Lady Gaga and Bjork to Kate Moss and the late Alexander McQueen. Almost two decades ago, he launched SHOWstudio, an online platform celebrating fashion film, and changing the way fashion was consumed through the internet.

Now his next act is understanding how technologies like AI and robotics will impact creativity, and how he can become a part of such a movement.

During this conversation with guest host Rosanna Falconer, Knight explains what the smartphone has to do with Shakespeare; how SHOWstudio broke the internet but created history with the first ever live streamed fashion show for Alexander McQueen in late 2009; and why he is an eternal optimist about the future.

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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Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce film Retail Startups sustainability technology

ICYMI: Balenciaga’s futuristic show, Nike as the biggest fashion brand, robots to beat US tariffs

Balenciaga's SS19 Show
Balenciaga’s SS19 Show

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Back to the future: a futuristic theme was present at Balenciaga’s spring/summer 2019 show [Vogue]
  • “The vibe of the times”: How Nike became the biggest fashion brand in the world [GQ]
  • Hong Kong shirtmaker Esquel turns to robots to beat US tariffs [SCMP]
  • Can Paris grow its fashion-tech game? [BoF]
TECHNOLOGY
  • How biotechnology is reshaping fashion [BoF]
  • Walmart requires suppliers to use traceability system for leafy greens [Supermarket News]
  • You know nothing AI, that’s why you’re bad at conversation [The Next Web]
  • EasyJet tool lets people use photos to search for flights [Digiday]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Germanier unveils sustainable Christian Louboutin collaboration [WWD]
  • Patagonia uses recycled wool for ‘woolyester’ fleece [Apparel Insider]
  • ‘Sustainability means nothing’: How atelier Repairs’ Maurizio Donadi approaches responsible fashion [Glossy]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Finnish department store launches gender-neutral floor [FashionUnited]
  • Inside the J. Crew-Universal Standard collaboration [RetailDive]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Gap chatbot enlists ‘wear testers’ for men’s athleisure line [MobileMarketer]
  • MyTheresa and Miu Miu celebrate women’s empowerment with playful Rebel, Rebel film [FashionUnited]
BUSINESS
  • Michael Kors acquires Versace [Fashionista]
  • Converse is ready to rebound after a streak of struggles [FootwearNews]
  • Next beats UK heat as it raises full-year profit outlook [Bloomberg]
  • Chanel acquires Orlebar Brown [BoF]
  • Investors are pouring millions (and millions) of dollars into streetwear startups [Fashionista]
CULTURE
  • Kim Jones thinks it’s time to retire the term “streetwear”  [Highsnobiety]
  • Why companies like Bumble and 7-Eleven are trying to sell you skin care and makeup [Vox]
  • Instagrammable pop-ups are everywhere. What does that mean for art? [Vox]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and 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
Campaigns film

Kenzo explores cultural identities in mini feature film

Le Renard Bleu, Kenzo, Luxury Fashion, Fashion Film
Le Renard Bleu

Kenzo has released a 20-minute film that brings to life the Fall 2018 collection in a cinematic composition of music, performance and dance, in support of the second edition of its Folio publication.

Entitled Le Renard Bleu, the fashion film is inspired by the chilling Icelandic fable The Blue Fox, which in its original form gives a haunting account of human nature. Kenzo’s re-interpretation is directed by artist Partel Olivia, who decided to expand beyond the initial cultural identities and incorporate ancient Dogon and Japanese folktales, which give a portrayal of the fox as an animal susceptible to chaos and of a cunning nature.

The resulting intertwining of different cultural heritage lies at the heart of the brand’s creative output, with the atmospheric video chronicling the journey of the fox as a spirit animal, portrayed by street dance artist Qwenga. He is accompanied by a musical composition which was especially created through a collaboration between musician Midori Takada and LA pop-artist Lafawndah, whose spontaneous creative output imagines her own conversation with the animal. 

This is the first time in 20 years Takada, has created music; a decision that she traces back to her love for the brand (she wore Kenzo for her very first musical performance) and the compelling nature of the fox in her own culture. 

The tone of the music as well as the performance is at first pensive but soon becomes tenser, with scenes capturing fragmented sequences of dance, performance, and moments of stillness, all accompanied by the dramatic musical interlude. 

Ultimately, the focus is on the clothes however, which act as strong visual cues while also being seamlessly integrated into the overall atmosphere of the video. Fittingly, the Fall collection, entitled La Collection Memento N°2, blurs the line between Western and Eastern fashion iconography, paying homage to Japanese and Hawaiian style elements. 

Le Renard Bleu was released on the brand’s YouTube channel, with the print publication of Folio available soon on the Antenne Books website. This magazine is rooted in the brand’s aspiration to show and explore different aspects of culture and cultural identities, which in this second installation are prominently formed by the cultural aesthetics of the East, as per the latest collection. It follows the publication of Folio #1 from April 2017, entitled Gidi gidi bu ugwu eze — Unity is Strength

Categories
film

Three Kenzo films take an artistic spin on life on earth

Olympus by Mati Diop for Kenzo
Olympus by Mati Diop for Kenzo

Kenzo invited three young filmmakers to interpret its AW17 collection tied to the theme of how we inhabit earth today.

The resulting series of short, conceptual films living under the header of “Kenzo Season Zero”, explore everything from the basics of orange juice to the feel of an alternative universe. The trio, which includes Mati Diop, Baptist Penetticobra and Eduardo Williams, were selected for their singular and multicultural visions of our world.

“These filmmakers are part of a generation who is more and more concerned about the frailty of a planet which contours erode to the contact of intensive activities and ecological disasters. They were not chosen randomly — mixed, expatriated, nomads, their intimate vision of the world is expressed through juxtapositions of fictional and documentary places, of hybrid, incompatible or symbiotic bodies,” the write-up reads.

Diop takes the viewer to the streets of Paris at night in “Olympus”, where a young model on a bike (the filmmaker’s brother) and a group of local young people are seen hanging out.

The collection features heavily, but secondary to the almost non-narrative of the piece. “In my work, the clothes are thought of extensively but remain invisible. They participate in the embodiment of the characters, it’s an extension of the writing to me. I often get inspiration from the actors’ clothes first, to which I add other pieces. For Olympus, I proceeded the same way, in collaboration with Georgia Pendlebury: mixing Kenzo’s pieces with the youth’s clothes. Yet, visible or not, the collection was never my main focus,” Diop explains.



“Tzzd” by Williams, meanwhile, embarks on a journey over three countries, two continents and a multitude of different visions or alternative dimensions. In one breath it’s a mundane setting of an elf on the metro in Buenos Aires, in the next it’s a robot constructor before a wrap on a group of “Voguing” dancers.

“I’m interested in the relation between the sensation of reality and fantasy, the normal and the unfamiliar. I think that everyday places and situations can be shown in a way by which this impression of reality can be questioned. The characters have their own particularities, each one is special in a different way,” Williams explained.

Lastly, Penetticobra focuses in on poems about orange juice, with detail-rich descriptions in two separate monologues for “Untitled (Juice)”.

“I wanted to talk about something trivial — like a cup of orange juice you can get at McDonald’s — and pull the thread as far as I could until it becomes almost abstract. It seemed to line up with the theme ‘Inhabit The Earth’, which touches on something universal. Cheap orange juice is pretty much the same everywhere. I liked the idea of going from something small to talking about something larger, and at the same time verging on something more and more obscure, theoretical, until it becomes almost stupid and random,” Penetticobra commented.

See all of the films on streaming platform lecinemaclub.com from Friday, November 3, to Thursday, November 9.

Categories
film

Max Mara film talks to the art of kindness

A Coat Tale by Max Mara
A Coat Tale by Max Mara

Max Mara has launched a short film that addresses the idea of kindness even in the face of adversity.

In A Coat Tale, a young woman called Clarissa, who does indeed sport a number of the brand’s outerwear pieces, demonstrates how being kind ultimately leads to a greater good.

The story starts by sharing the notion of Clarissa being magical – not in a conventional wand-waving way, but based on the very idea of her warm heart.

She aims to spread this magic in her life and does so when she comes across one of “those women”. You know the type, says narrator, actress Anna Baryshnikov, they “take themselves very, very seriously as they power through the streets, their phone in one hand and a massive coffee in the other, scarcely looking up for fear of glancing away from their very important work”.

Each time this character almost mows Clarissa over, she just responds: “Have a nice day.” Eventually, it pays off, restoring Clarissa’s faith in humanity and teaching the viewer a lesson that having a good heart will always prevail.

“The treasures of the heart are the most powerful of all,” Baryshnikov concludes.

The story was directed by Stephen Galloway, and conceived and written by Tracy Doyle. It’s a strong example of demonstrating brand values over product placement – highlighting the very notion of what Max Mara stands for and not merely what it sells.

Categories
Blocks film

First look: seven of the best autumn/winter 2014/15 fashion films so far

karlie_tamaramellon2

The new season’s ad campaigns are releasing thick and fast, with names like Rita Ora, Cara Delevingne, even Winona Ryder announced as stars. Among them all, a series of new fashion films too. Here’s a pick of some of the best so far…

  • 1. Kenzo’s journey into an “unfamiliar world”, starring Guinevere Van Seenus and Robert McKinnon by Toiletpaper magazine:

  • 2. Tamara Mellon’s way out west collection, as modelled by “Kowboy Karlie” (Kloss) shot by Tom Craig:

  • 3. Fendi showing off its new Color Block Eyewear Collection with a spot featuring guest singer Kiesza:

  • 4. Mulberry in the Scottish highlands, shot by Tim Walker and starring Cara Delevingne:

  • 5. Givenchy’s private party with models Kendall Jenner, Julia Noblis, Mariacara Boscono, Jamie Bochert and Peter Brant II, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott:

  • 6. Donna Karan’s Woman in Motion, starring Karlie Kloss by Steven Sebring:

  • 7. T by Alexander Wang’s humorous turn once again, this time featuring Chris Kattan as Mango, a character from Saturday Night Live, alongside rapper and choreographer Sharaya J and a handful of industry cameos:

And one for luck from Swide.com… male SS15 Dolce & Gabbana models. Hitting on you. On helium.

You’re welcome…