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digital snippets Retail sustainability technology

ICYMI: Puma’s sustainable material goals, retailers team up to improve AR/VR, guide to ethical certifications

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

TOP STORIES
  • Puma aims for 90% of materials to be sustainable sourced by 2020 [Fashion Network]
  • Retailers, tech companies team up to improve AR/VR [Retail Dive]
  • Fashionista’s complete beginner’s guide to ethical fashion certifications [Fashionista]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Retailers are tracking where you shop—and where you sleep [Bloomberg]
  • How Amazon automatically tracks and fires warehouse workers for ‘productivity’ [The Verge]
  • Japanese taxis are using facial recognition to target ads to riders [Futurism]
  • AI could replace 42% of UK wholesale and retail jobs [Drapers]
  • IBM, FIT to train future designers on AI [WWD]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Levi Strauss launches denim recycling program [Fashion Network]
  • UK retailers might have to pay all their packaging waste costs [WWD]
  • Can cheap fashion ever be ethical? [Quartz]
  • T-shirt recycling is here, and it could transform fashion [Fast Company]
  • True blue: Denim has to change to save the planet [Retail Dive]
  • Packaging is killing the planet—these start-ups offer luxe, sustainable solutions [Vogue]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Alibaba’s Tmall chief establishes ambitious 3-Year plan [Bloomberg]
  • The rise of live-streamer style [NYT]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
PRODUCT
  • Zozo’s experiment in customized clothing was too early [Quartz]
  • Lululemon bets on product innovation, expansion for 5-year growth plan [Fashion Network]
BUSINESS
  • Shares of US retailers drop following Amazon’s one-day delivery announcement [BoF]
  • Goldman Sachs says dragged-out Brexit is doing deeper damage to UK economy [Fashion Network]
  • Puma enjoys ‘best ever’ quarter as it ramps up stocks [Reuters]
  • Debenhams names 22 stores to close [BBC]
CULTURE
  • Patagonia has only 4 percent employee turnover because they value this 1 thing so much [Inc]
  • Tapping the men’s wellness opportunity [BoF]
  • How a niche designer brand won Coachella [BoF]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. Current Global 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. 

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Podcast product

Universal Standard on leveling the playing field for ‘plus-size’ fashion

“We really and truly believe that the plus size woman will never be serviced as well as she will be when there’s no such thing as plus size,” say Alexandra Waldman and Polina Veksler, co-founders of size-inclusive label, Universal Standard, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by the Current Global.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RSS

Fashion tends to segregate women who are on the larger end of the spectrum, they say, and so they’re on a mission to level the playing field and make clothes for everyone. To that end, the brand, which had already gained a cult-like following for its size-inclusive clothing since launching in 2015, introduced an even larger range in 2018, from 00 to 40 – an industry first.

Understanding how women of all sizes shop has been key to the brand’s success, which last year also raised its first round of investment from the likes of GOOP’s Gwyneth Paltrow, TOMS’ Blake Mycoskie and Imaginary Ventures’ Natalie Massenet. They’ve also introduced collaborations with brands including J.Crew and as of just this week, Rodarte.

Much like many direct-to-consumer counterparts, the e-commerce experience is playing a major part in its popularity: all of its SKUs can be viewed at every size available within the range, making it easier for women to compare and make confident decisions; and its Universal Fit Liberty Program allows shoppers to replace their purchase, free of charge, within a year of completing it, should they go up or down in size.

During this conversation, recorded at the Current Global’s Innovation Mansion at SXSW this year, Waldman and Veksler break down the many product development challenges that come with the industry’s traditional fit formula; tell co-host Rachel Arthur what they’re putting in place to reduce hostility to women of larger size ranges, and share why their bold moves are shifting the way the whole industry approaches this market.

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.

Categories
business data digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Inside Magic Leap, no one buys through Alexa, Supreme’s covetable newspaper ad

Magic Leap
Magic Leap

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

TOP STORIES
  • Inside Magic Leap’s quest to remake itself as an ordinary company (with a real product) [Wired]
  • Surprise, no one buys things via Alexa [TechCrunch]
  • New York Post Supreme ad turns tabloid into impossible to find commodity [NY Times]
  • Adidas has a clever plan for staying relevant: withholding its biggest hits [QZ]
  • Toward a different language of size [NY Times]
TECHNOLOGY
  • How fashion retailer H&M is betting on artificial intelligence and big data to regain profitability [Forbes]
  • Wayfair unleashes mixed-reality shopping [RetailDive]
  • Starbucks may let customers pay with bitcoin [CNN]
  • Red Bull, Swarovski test Kik’s cryptocurrency rewards app [MobileMarketer]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Could rental fashion help us become more sustainable? [Harper’s Bazaar]
  • Walmart tried to make sustainability affordable. Here’s what happened [QZ]
  • Esprit and IndustriALL collaborate to improve workers’ rights [FashionUnited]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Online retailers are using empty mall spaces to test products [Digiday]
  • Are retail stores now museums too? New beauty shop charges you to enter [Observer]
  • 9 tips for mastering the in-store experience [BoF]
  • Most consumers abandon online shopping carts due to lengthy checkouts [WWD]
  • Casper to open 200 stores across North America [RetailDive]
  • Levi’s unveils Project F.L.X. customization studio in Downtown LA [WWD]
  • Why isn’t Zara on every street corner? [Forbes]
  • Debenhams begins roll-out of in-store gyms [TheIndustry]
  • Store, café or art gallery? The rise and rise of the concept store [FashionUnited]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • L’Oréal brings AR makeup sampling to Facebook [MobileMarketer]
  • How the #VanLife movement is influencing car design [FastCompany]
  • ‘Stories’ was Instagram’s smartest move yet [Recode]
  • Snapchat expands Shoppable AR to its top creators [Digiday]
  • How Poshmark’s sellers made $1B off the ‘social mall’ [RetailDive]
  • You are not original or creative on Instagram [QZ]
PRODUCT
  • Walmart is reportedly launching an Everlane-like clothing brand [QZ]
  • Vans aims to inspire and educate with its Van Gogh museum collection [AdWeek]
  • Are fashion brands pivoting to focus on cosmetics and fragrance? [Fashionista]
  • Amphibio is a 3D-printed shirt that lets you breathe underwater [FastCompany]
BUSINESS
  • Wrangler owner VF plans to spin off jeans business [WSJ]
  • How Benefit Cosmetics stays young [BoF]
  • Is Burberry’s simple new logo catnip to copycats? [Jing Daily]
  • Black designers have to work twice as hard – & are still ‘emerging’ [Refinery29]
CULTURE
  • Community, the missing ingredient in luxury’s streetwear pivot [BoF]
  • Bad taste is the best thing to happen to fashion [Vogue]
  • Black women are dominating the September issues [Evening Standard]

 

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 Editor's pick product

Aerie pushes empowerment with new product, campaign and experience

Aerie - "Bras make you feel real good"
Aerie

Aerie is launching a 360-degree campaign that aims to create a positive environment for women to shop and feel good about themselves.

The initiative, titled “Bras make you feel real good”, includes advertising, a new bra collection and a reinvented shopping experience, all of which aid the brand’s mission to promoting female empowerment and inclusivity.

Speaking of the brand’s overarching message of empowerment in January, Jennifer Foyle, Aerie’s global brand president, said: “At Aerie, we believe in authentic, real beauty and never airbrush our models.” Adding: “Now, more than ever, we want to encourage women everywhere to feel empowered to embrace their own unique qualities and beautiful REAL selves.”

The unretouched print campaign features a cast of 57 real women, which includes contest winners such as a cancer survivor, a woman with a colostomy bag and a woman with an insulin pump, as well as Olympic gymnast and sexual abuse survivor Aly Raisman.

In-store, the experience translates into two new consumer-facing features: a new bra fitting process titled Best Fit Finder (BFF) that provides a less invasive tool to finding the perfect bra fit; and in the fitting room, encouraging consumers to leave sticky note affirmations behind for the next woman to see, not too dissimilar from an experience found at mirrors in their Soho, New York flagship.

Moreover, the initiative also includes staff training: the brand has implemented a body confidence training campaign for its store team in partnership with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which is designed to create a judgement-free zone during the shopping experience.

To accompany the #AerieReal campaign, the American Eagle-owned brand is launching a new bra collection that includes products such as The Real Happy™, Real Me™ and Real Power™. All styles feature enhanced details such as softer fabric, removable padding and j-hooks for easy adjustments.

Appealing to real women both in its communication strategy and in-store experience, has worked in the Pittsburgh-based brand’s favor, as it announced a same-store sales growth of 38% in the first quarter of 2018, adding to a 25% increase in 2017.

The success reflects a clear appetite for realistic messaging, one which brands such as Victoria’s Secret have failed to swiftly respond to – in comparison, L Brands’ (the group that owns the lingerie company) stock has fallen by more than 45% in 2018.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? 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
business data digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Inside Target’s test store, algorithms threatening jobs, L’Occitane’s AI personalization

Target
Target

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

TOP STORIES
  • Inside Target’s top secret test store [Co.Design]
  • How algorithms are threatening fashion’s white-collar jobs [BoF]
  • L’Occitane boosts mobile conversions by 159% with AI-powered personalization [Mobile Marketing]
TECHNOLOGY
  • What blockchain can’t do [HBR]
  • Think you know how disruptive artificial intelligence is? Think again [Forbes]
  • Top Japan fashion site bets big on custom-fit fast fashion [BoF]
  • Baidu’s self-driving buses will hit Japan’s streets next year [TNW]
  • How SK-II disrupted the beauty industry in Japan with emerging technology [TheDrum]
  • Watch MIT’s blind robot run, jump, and climb stairs [TNW]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • Factory Tour: Eileen Fisher helps make the eco-fashion dream of circularity come true [Fashionista]
  • Wrangler and MyFarms talk ‘field-level’ sustainability in new report [WWD]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • 27% of apparel sales are now online [RetailDive]
  • Why virtual reality won’t revolutionize retail, but scan-and-go will [RetailDive]
  • Sophia Webster puts her spin on experiential retail with second London boutique [WWD]
  • Reporter’s notebook: A quest for experiential retail [RetailDive]
  • Walmart.com launches 3-D virtual reality tour [WWD]
  • Amazon claims it doesn’t want to take on UPS and FedEx. So why is it introducing tons of its own Amazon delivery vans? [Recode]
  • Samsung brand experience opens its doors in the heart of Paris [BrandChannel]
  • Kirsten Green’s survival guide for the ‘retail reckoning’ [BoF]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Inside Instagram’s social shopping masterclass [BoF]
  • Hilfiger’s next TommyNow runway show to touch down in Shanghai [WWD]
  • Are influencers really worth the money? [BoF]
  • Roger Federer signs $300 million sponsorship deal with Uniqlo [BoF]
PRODUCT
  • These people with disabilities have ideas for making shopping more accessible [TeenVogue]
  • Tiffany & Co. will now let you personalize with custom symbols and monograms [Town & Country]
  • What FDA approval of CBD could mean for the beauty industry [Racked]
  • Walmart pulls “Impeach 45” t-shirts after Trump supporters threaten boycott [FastCompany]
BUSINESS
  • Paris Fashion Week’s front rows speak to fashion’s complicated stance on #MeToo [TheFashionLaw]
  • Chanel’s digital strategy takes shape amid executive shuffle [BoF]
  • Subscription box market fights fatigue [AdAge]
  • How Revolve has built a billion-dollar fashion company for millennial women [Inc]
  • Fans of ModCloth and Bonobos were aghast when Walmart bought the brands. But they’re still shopping [Quartzy]
Categories
product technology

Project Runway designer launches 3D printed shoe collection

Seth Aaron's 3D printed footwear line with Feetz on show at FashioNXT
Seth Aaron’s 3D printed footwear line with Feetz on show at FashioNXT

Seth Aaron, two-time winner of Lifetime’s Emmy award-winning TV show, Project Runway, has introduced a line of 3D printed designer shoes.

Teaming up with 3D printing footwear company, Feetz, the collection launched at fashion and technology event, FashioNXT, in Portland on Friday, October 13.

The concept is all about enabling custom-fit designs for consumers. As Feetz founder and CEO, Lucy Beard, said: “Seth Aaron’s creative design vision will explore the reach of 3D printing in fashion, enabling him to produce what only could have been imagined. That vision will be translated into ready-to-wear, customised for each customer’s unique needs.”

In the past, much of the experimentation with 3D printed footwear remained as concept pieces – rigid resin designs that were impossible to wear for their lack of flexibility. As the technology and materials have improved, that’s begun to shift quite rapidly forward. Adidas for instance, has started to 3D print the soles of a sneaker called the Futurecraft at scale; the first in the sportswear industry to do so beyond prototype or bespoke stage. It aims to produce 100,000 of them by the end of 2018.

Feetz meanwhile, uses proprietary polymers to 3D print the entire shoe; uppers and tread. Head over to Forbes to hear more about how Feetz produces its shoes, the details of the Seth Aaron collection and the sustainability focus that such footwear also provides.

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

What you missed: Nike scavenger hunts, AI changing how we shop, Reebok’s Oscars letter

Nike's scavenger hunts
Nike’s scavenger hunts

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


TOP STORIES
  • Inside the wild world of Nike’s high-tech scavenger hunts [Mashable]
  • No clicks required: Artificial intelligence is changing how we shop, Boxed CEO says [CNBC]
  • Reebok just sent an open letter to the Academy Awards asking for a new award to honour fitness trainers [AdWeek]
  • The evolution of retail personalisation, in five charts [Glossy]

BUSINESS
  • Aldo to buy Vince Camuto in a merger of shoe brands [NY Times]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Dior and Louis Vuitton are the fashion brands with best Instagram Stories engagement [BoF]
  • How H&M is using Instagram to drive buzz for its latest brand, Arket [Digiday]

MARKETING
  • Shoemaker Kickers capitalises on FOMO to spur purchases [Digiday]
  • Boohoo enlists all-female crew for #AllGirls ads, but critics claim diversity vision is lost in casting [The Drum]
  • Female empowerment imagery more effective than sex appeal in ads, says Facebook [The Drum]
  • The fashion influencer has found a new gig [Refinery29]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • 3 things retailers can do to compete with Amazon [Retail Dive]
  • GGP looks to revive its malls with interactive concept stores [Glossy]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Streetwear brands are tapping the creative power of AR [JWT Intelligence]
  • The end of typing: The next billion mobile users will rely on video and voice [WSJ]
  • Here’s what you need to know about voice AI, the next frontier of brand marketing [AdWeek]

START-UPS
  • With “return bars” and “returnistas”, Happy Returns is eliminating the hassle of returning online orders by mail [LeanLuxe]
  • This virtual try-on system for clothing might actually work [Engadget]
Categories
business data Events

Vote for our SXSW panel: The Fight for Fit in Retail

SXSW - vote for us for 2017!
SXSW – vote for us for 2017!

How’s this for a stat: according to IHL Group, returns accounted for $642.6 billion in lost retail sales in the US during 2015. One significant factor behind that: fit.

We all know the headache of not knowing what size is right in an item we want to buy (both online and in-store), but given the data-led age we’re in, does it really still have to be that hard?

That’s the basis for the proposed panel we’ve been invited to be a part of at SXSW Interactive in 2017. To make it happen, we very kindly need your vote. It takes just a minute to register and click the thumbs up for us. SXSW operates on a Panel Picker system, meaning you, the audience, get a say in what you see once you arrive in Austin, Texas, next March. (And even if you’re not attending, voting for us will mean lots of content to follow on here on this subject, so please do click!)

Our session bids to explore how “fit” factors into a retailers’ success and survival, and what retailers can do to reduce returns, increase customer loyalty and meet the needs of changing consumer demands accordingly.

I’ll be joining Jessica Murphy of True Fit?, Marge Laney of Alert Tech? and Sarah Engel of DynamicAction to discuss how it has evolved from the early days of ready-to-wear clothing to custom clothes-on-demand. From apparel to cosmetics, we’ll explore how retailers need to keep up with changing styles, sizes and gender identities, the shifting role of sales associates, and how technology – from smart mirrors and body imaging to virtual reality – is changing the way shoppers find the perfect fit.

Please click here to vote before it closes this Friday, September 2!

Categories
data digital snippets e-commerce mobile product social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Pokémon Go, McQueen’s DNA, luxury’s executive changes, AI, VR and more

McQueen pure human - digital snippets
Alexander McQueen’s DNA turned into leather in designer Tina Gorjanc’s Pure Human project

If there’s one thing that’s grabbed everyone’s attention this past fortnight, it has of course been Pokémon Go. The augmented reality mobile game has reportedly gained as many users as Uber and Tinder, topped Twitter’s daily users, and started seeing people spend more time with it than in Facebook. It also caused Nintendo’s share price to increase by more than $7bn.

We published a great piece looking at what retailers can learn from it in a broader location-marketing sense.  Also worth reading is this story tracking the retail invasion of Pokémons, via Racked, and another looking at why retailers should care about Pokémon’s forthcoming ads.

Beyond that, the news to know in the fashion, digital comms and technology space this week (and there’s a lot of it!), spans everything from an experiment with DNA in textile design to the plethora of changes at the helm of the industry’s luxury houses, the impact artificial intelligence might have on brands, not to mention how we’re faring with virtual reality so far…


  • Fashion that gets under the skin – designer creates leather prototypes grown from Alexander McQueen DNA (as pictured) [NY Times]

  • Luxury fashion: a year of big moves [The Industry]

  • Amazon Prime Day: Wow… but not yet a fashion must-buy [Trendwalk]

  • What Amazon could learn from Yoox Net-a-Porter, the “world’s biggest luxury fashion store” [Quartz]

  • Fashion apparel retailing in the age of artificial intelligence [WWD]

  • Luxury brands get off to an awkward start with virtual reality [Glossy]

  • Is a holographic fashion show for VR clothing the future? [The Creators Project]

  • The store of the future: physical retailers must stage experiences, embrace omnichannel and harness data [BoF]

  • 5 ways shoppers are using mobile to make purchase decisions, according to Google [Fashionista]

  • Sephora is driving mobile sales with Tinder-like features and digital mad libs [Ad Week]

  • Stores must learn to think like Facebook [BoF]

  • Warby Parker is offering Snapchat-exclusive sunglasses [Techcrunch]

  • Birchbox tests Snapchat for customer service – turns to revamped video and voice calling feature [Digiday]

  • Why advertisers are forking over big bucks for custom Snapchat lenses [Ad Week]

  • Snapchat is looking at a way to recognize objects in your snaps and serve you related ads [Business Insider]

  • New study says people are more likely to buy from brands that use virtual reality [Ad Week]

  • Luxury brands embrace digital, but still wary of programmatic [The Drum]

  • Using an algorithm to figure out what luxury customers really want [HBR]

  • Amazon is developing a 3D modelling system to solve online clothes shopping’s biggest problem [Quartz]

  • How the future of fit could spell the end of retail returns [Retail Dive]

  • Back to bricks and mortar: how e-commerce has embraced the real world [The Guardian]

  • Where machines could replace humans—and where they can’t (yet) [McKinsey]

  • Confessions of a fashion start-up founder: ‘Fashion tech is the Wild West’ [Glossy]

  • 3 need-to-know live streaming apps in China (and how bloggers & brands are using them) [WGSN]

  • Payments firm Klarna adds Lyst to its collection [Reuters]

  • How valuable is trend forecasting in the post-internet age? [NJAL]

  • These acrylic nails double as an Oyster Card [PSFK]
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media technology

Digital snippets: previewing Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent, Herrera on Snapchat, Primark’s 3m followers

SaintLaurent
A snapshot of Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent preview on Instagram

A round-up of everything you might have missed in fashion and technology news (and beyond) over the past week or so. Read on for a sneak peek of Anthony Vaccarello’s new Saint Laurent, detail on how Primark got to three million Instagram followers, and why Samsung wants to bring VR to fashion…


  • An Instagram sneak peek at what Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent will look like [Yahoo]

  • Carolina Herrera taps Snapchat publication Sweet [BoF]

  • How retailer Primark got to 3 million Instagram followers in less than three years [Digiday]

  • Fendi and Elle collaborate on interactive video campaign [Glossy]

  • River Island rolls out RFID to boost sales [Drapers]

  • Kohl’s launches in-app voice search to boost mobile growth [BrandChannel]

  • Why Samsung wants to bring virtual reality to fashion [Glossy]

  • The rabidly-followed leggings brand you can only buy on Facebook [Racked]

  • Snapchat launches a colossal expansion of its advertising, ushering in a new era for the app [AdWeek]

  • How try before you buy is going to revolutionise retail [The Drum]

  • How pricing automation is impacting e-commerce [Forbes India]