CurvyCon proves the future of fashion is fat (Fashionista)
M&S presents sunflower lanyards to support customer with disabilities (Retail Gazette)
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Fred Segal has teamed up with Mastercard to introduce a virtual shopping experience that will launch exclusively from Refinery29’s 29Rooms concept in Los Angeles.
The initiative allows shoppers to explore the three-dimensional physical store as if they are there in person, through any online browser. This enables them to navigate the space as they would in real life, rather than by using search terms and category breakdowns to scroll through product pages, as well as interact with different brands and engage with digital content curated by the retailer.
“Fred Segal has always been at the forefront of experiential retail. From our inception, our curated offerings made the store a must-shop destination in Los Angeles,” said John Frierson, president of Fred Segal. “Having an online presence is of course an essential part of business, however at Fred Segal we rarely do things the traditional way. We’re thrilled to be the first major retailer to create a truly experiential online shopping destination.”
The experience is backed by Mastercard and Next Retail Concepts. It also allows frictionless, secure payments to occur through the same environment by integrating with the merchant’s existing e-commerce platform.
“At Mastercard, we’re using our products and services to create solutions for retailers that allow them to meet the ever-growing expectations for a frictionless, customized experience, across any channel or connected device,” said Sherri Haymond, executive vice president of digital partnerships at Mastercard.
The companies have curated an exclusive collection of holiday gifts shoppable only online. The experience at 29Rooms will otherwise come to life in Los Angeles from December 5-9.
Retailers have been exploring the use of 3D simulations for retail for some time. In 2015, Harvey Nichols in the UK created a virtual version of their new store, allowing anyone to take a tour of the space themselves at home. Others including Macy’s and Walmart have been experimenting with virtual reality for retail, trialling initiatives that allow for immersive experiences facilitated by VR headsets. A successful example of both experience and conversion rates remains to be seen.
How are you thinking about retail 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.
Ahead of the holiday season, British department store Harvey Nichols has introduced a charitable shopping experience discoverable via a real-life choir whose looks are available via Instagram.
The initiative benefits women going into the job’s market through the Smart Works charity.
The Harvey’s Angels, as the choir is called, were sent to offices across London – from Google to Estée Lauder – last week, donning partywear available to shop from the retailer, by designers such as Roland Mouret and Peter Pilotto. All looks could be purchased directly through its Instagram account via shoppable posts.
Additionally over four days, 10% of all purchases made at Harvey Nichols’ Knightsbridge location or online using the code “HNAngels” went to Smart Works.
“At Smart Works we are lucky enough to witness every day the impact that great clothes and good advice can have on a women’s life. We believe that fashion can be used as a force for good, and that is why we are thrilled to be working with Harvey Nichols on this exciting Christmas shopping experience,” says Kate Stephens, CEO of Smart Works. “Every shopper at Harvey Nichols who uses the dedicated code HNangels online or in store over the next three days will be helping a women to be her best.” The charity gives women across the country the tools to enter the job’s market, including clothing and self-belief and practical tools required to succeed.
For Harvey Nichols, the campaign ties to the company’s history as well as its continuous support of women in the workplace – at present, seven out of nine people of the company’s board are women.
“Our partnership with Smart Works is a natural extension of our values. Christmas is the fashion season, because it’s also party season. But we know that our customers are rushed off their feet,” said Deb Bee, group marketing and creative director at Harvey Nichols. “So we have partnered with Smart Works to raise awareness of this partnership and help busy women in London find a party outfit even if they can’t take time out of work. This will be delivered in the most Christmassy way we know; with a fun, glamorous, party-song-singing, shoppable Christmas choir.”
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.
The environment’s new clothes: biodegradable textiles grown from live organisms [Scientific American]
More than ever, our clothes are made of plastic. Just washing them can pollute the oceans [Vox]
Skechers delivers 15,000 pairs of shoes to children still in need in Puerto Rico [Businesswire]
Where Burberry waste goes now label isn’t burning clothes any more [SCMP]
Is certification the answer to fashion’s ethical issues? [LS:N Global]
New study shows that Gen Z will strengthen sustainability trend [FashionUnited]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
Amazon Storefronts is a new retail hub exclusively for US small businesses [TheVerge]
Container Store tracks appointments with voice tech [RetailDive]
Italy’s first Starbucks serves cocktails, ice cream, and a side of augmented reality [Mashable]
The future of airport retail is hyper-personalization [LS:N Global]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
Victoria’s Secret’s Pink revamps loyalty with mobile app [RetailDive]
Gucci’s surprise new Instagram account truly revitalizes its beauty offering [i-D]
How Nordstrom reinvented its retail loyalty program [Digiday]
The epic ‘Game of Go’: a real-time experience showcasing Nike’s latest React technology [TheDrum]
Bespoke tailoring in the athleisure age: how China changed Savile Row [SCMP]
How De Beers learned to love lab-grown diamonds [BoF]
Walmart is borrowing luxury’s playbook to gain an edge on Amazon in fashion [Quartz]
Store investment pays off as Harvey Nichols profits soar [TheIndustry]
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.
British department store, Harvey Nichols, is introducing shoppable videos via in-store touch screens.
The full-length installations feature a variety of films through brand collaborations with the likes of Calvin Klein. Customers can simply tap on the touch screen to bring up more information about individual products, and then add them to their basket for immediate checkout. They can also connect to their phone through a QR code.
Created by shoppable video startup Smartzer, the experience follows a successful trial online. The Calvin Klein launch also extends to the Harvey Nichols website and social channels.
Peter Howroyd, head of CRM and digital marketing at Harvey Nichols, said: “We are always looking to bring our customers closer to our product in a unique and innovative way. Smartzer’s technology has enabled us to do just that and bring the digital experience to our customers, not only online but in our stores as well.”
This initiative comes at a time when brands are increasingly trying to not only balance their creative work with driving conversions, but also looking at how to encourage new levels of engagement in store. Touch screens and interactive mirrors aren’t new to the retail space, but this example shows a different way of combining storytelling with an endless aisle play.
According to Smartzer, initial results show an average engagement rate of 48.3% and a click-through rate of 15.7%. CEO Karoline Gross says interaction rates the company sees across the board tend to be on average 20 times higher than that of standard video ad formats. The platform provides such video performance metrics, as well as click maps to show which part of the videos have generated the highest interaction.
Smartzer has previously worked with other brands in the fashion and retail space including Burberry, Galeries Lafayette, Adidas, Emilio Pucci and more.
How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.
Despite the holiday countdown being truly underway, the past week’s top stories are less about the festivities and more to do with a look forward – whether it’s the launch of more tech-enabled stores or significant developments with the likes of drones and blockchain.
Also worth checking out is a view on fashion immediacy from Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger, some further uptake of chatbots and an overview on this year’s major fashion and beauty mergers.
Blockchain is being adopted beyond Bitcoin, from fashion to finance [JWT Intelligence]
Report: Few retailers are omnichannel ‘leaders’ [Retail Dive]
Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger: Lessons in fashion immediacy [BoF]
Why retailers stop selling online: the hidden cost of e-commerce [The Guardian]
Move over Singles’ Day: Alipay’s ’12.12’ event breaks records [Jing Daily]
Luxury and charity are like oil and water – they don’t mix well [LeanLuxe]
Harvey Nichols profits tumble on aggressive revamp [The Telegraph]
Young, quick and very hip: Missguided and Pretty Little Thing hit the big time [The Guardian]
The year in major fashion and beauty mergers [Glossy]
Dove flips #MannequinChallenge in extension of Real Beauty campaign [The Drum]
How Stuart Weitzman is using WeChat to expand its Asian footprint [Glossy]
New Nordstrom mobile chatbot is ready to help shoppers find the perfect holiday gift [GeekWire]
How sporting giants Nike and Adidas are pushing the future of retail [Fortune]
The holiday season has become a big opportunity for retailers and brands to create a deeper emotional connection with their customers at a pivotal time of year for spend. 2016 continues much in the same way, powered by big launches including a message of female empowerment from M&S with Mrs Claus, another iconic nod from John Lewis with Buster the Boxer, and a big cinematic piece from Burberry.
Whether the intention is to encourage happy tears or just have your audience laugh, brands are stepping up to the challenge of showing a strong sense of self, and conveying a powerful message in the process, all in a bid, of course, to drive some of that all-important Q4 revenue in their direction.
Read on for our pick of the best campaigns across the fashion and retail space in Europe and US this year (beyond those already mentioned), as well as a bevvy of further ones to know about below…
Mulberry: It’s What’s Inside That Counts
Mulberry tugs at the heartstrings for the holiday season with an endearing story of love and acceptance played by child actors pretending to be grown-ups. The two-part film, which was shot in the British countryside in Surrey, tells the story of a traditional Christmas where three siblings return to their childhood home to spend the holidays with their difficult mother. As the story unravels, secrets and problems come to light. At the end of Part I, in an act of generosity, one sibling gifts her sister her much loved new Bayswater bag, in a realisation that “it’s what’s inside that counts”.
Directed by Albert Moya and written by Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel), it explores a deeper meaning of accepting each other for who they are. As Johnny Coca, the label’s creative director, explains: “When I was a kid, all that I wanted to do was to be grown up so I could be like my dad. Now that I am an adult, I just want to be a kid again! Christmas brings out the kid in all of us, and this is what I love about using children to tell our story this year.” The second and final version, which shows the family coming to terms with each others’ faults and weaknesses, premieres later this month.
Macy’s: The #SantaProject
The tagline for Macy’s holiday campaigns has long been about the idea of “Believe”. For 2016, they’ve turned that into an exploration of whether children today do indeed believe in Santa Claus. Cue a series of seriously cute clips featuring young kids sharing their thoughts on the miracle of Christmas, before a reminder message of the sort of realities they’re faced with when turning to the internet to search out the truth instead. It’s a positive note revolving really around kindness with what we post online, which let’s face it, can be applied to all parts of life, especially after this rocky year.
Rebecca Minkoff: Holiday My Way With @arielle
Rebecca Minkoff teams up with Vine star Arielle Vandenberg to tell the story of an independent woman trying to navigate the holidays by herself as she decides to stay in the city for the first time, and not go home to see her family. Each video, or chapter, focuses on a different achievement as the main character stumbles into adulthood, from decorating the apartment, to hosting a Friendsgiving, alluding to Thanksgiving as well.
Rebecca Minkoff, the designer herself, makes a cameo as a friend disappointed with the (clumsily wrapped) gift she receives from the main character. On other platforms, the #holidaymyway hashtag is being used to promote a Christmas gift guide and additional marketing content.
Harrods: A Very British Bear Tale
Seemingly inspired by Disney’s Frozen, Harrods tells an animated tale of a young teddy bear serving as the only (snuggly) survivor when an ice storm takes over the palace thanks to a mischievous elf. Hugh, as he’s called, comes to the rescue by climbing to the rooftop in order to signal help from Father Christmas in the North Pole. As the narrated story continues, the spell is broken and Hugh ends up crowned a prince thanks to his courage.
In addition from Harrods this season, is A Very British Fairy Tale in partnership with Burberry; a stop motion short made from paper cutouts.
Coach: A Holiday Film Starring #RexyTheCoachDino
Coach continues its good-humoured approach to luxury with a holiday film starring its now beloved mascot, Rexy the Coach Dino. The film shows what happens at the label’s New York City workshop after hours, when one rogue Rexy leather dinosaur comes to life. Aiming to wreak havoc, the dinosaur runs free pushing over boxes, breaking baubles and generally creating a mess, all while dancing – by herself – to the soundtrack of Billy Idol’s “Dancing with Myself”, as sung by The Donnas. As the sun rises, Rexy spots an open window and sets herself free, roaming the streets of the city independently.
Kate Spade: Make Magic Happen
Kate Spade’s short but sweet spot, starring model Jourdan Dunn and stylist Catherine Baba, features a small cameo by the iconic Miss Piggy. Shouting over the spot in a possessive manner, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”, the fabulous Muppets’ character attempts to keep all handbags to herself. The campaign also promotes the designer’s latest collaboration, with Miss Piggy herself. The holiday line includes wallets, phone cases, and accessories with the character’s “Who, moi?” catchphrase.
Speaking to WWD, Miss Piggy talked of her excitement to join the great group of women associated with the brand: “Moi was already a big fan of Kate Spade New York’s Miss Adventure’s series. I mean you see all these fabulous and incredibly strong and wonderful women like Anna Kendrick and Zosia Mamet having fun. So, I thought: I’m fabulous, incredibly strong and wonderful, I need to be part of this. When I discovered they wanted to create product inspired by moi: Well, it was a done deal.”
Target: The Toycracker
Target is betting big on its holiday campaign with an eight-minute musical titled The Toycracker, a cheeky take on the Nutcracker classic that reimagines the Tchaikovsky soundtrack as a modern hip hop track. Developed by ad agency 72AndSunny, the spot stars singer John Legend as the Rat King, his wife, model Chrissy Teigen, as the Nutcracker and Isabella Russo (The School of Rock) as Clara. This year’s popular toys, such as Trolls and Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles, have replaced classic characters such as the Sugar Plum Fairy and toy soldiers, while the play’s famous sword fight scene will be told as a rap battle.
The full musical will air in two four-minute spots during ABC’s network premiere of the film Frozen on December 11 in the US. Meanwhile, the brand has launched behind-the-scenes footage of the night of the musical in the shape of a trailer, starring the Bullseye dog and a young girl, Marisol, as well as toys that have come to life to work on the production. The campaign will be supported by further marketing activity that includes a Snapchat filter and a “10 Days of Deals” promotion.
Farfetch: The Holiday Remix
For this Christmas season, Farfetch is presenting a remix of all things festive with a shoppable video that takes on a modern twist of the Nutcracker story. The e-tailer worked with choreographer Dana Foglia, of Beyonce’s Formation fame, to create a modern-day version of Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy, with dancers donning this season’s best partywear.
When watched on Farfetch.com, the video allows customers to shop by displaying circles over certain garments, thanks to a partnership with touchable video platform Cinematique. Clicking the circles will showcase more information about the outfit, and allow users to add to a basket and checkout at the end.
Warehouse continues its ‘Resolutely British’ reinvention, under the helm of newly appointed creative director Emma Cook, with a video campaign that celebrates what happens in the girl’s room, or the ladies’ room at public spaces, from nightclubs to bars. The short video shows women touching up their make-up, socialising and generally letting their guard down, in a space where “strangers become allies, the compliments are free and the drama is left on the dancefloor”.
Topshop: The Anti-Cliché Christmas
Topshop appeals to its young and trendy demographic with a call to express individuality. The spot showcases models of all different styles, from modern sportswear to grungy, walking as cuts outs in front of backgrounds including cityscapes and the beachside, emphasising the idea of party dressing “without the one-size-fits-all approach” in order to represent an anti-cliché sort of Christmas.
To celebrate the sentiment, Topshop has also launched its still image campaign presenting its next generation of rising fashion stars, which are models Stella Maxwell, Londone Myers, Cami Morrone, Jing Wen, Kiki Willems, Marjan Jonkman, Damaris Goddrie, Caitie Green and Lottie Moss, Kate Moss’ youngest sister. Explaining the campaign, Kate Phelan, the retailer’s creative director, says: “This season is about the individual spirit of a woman – she no longer wants to be part of a tribe, she has her own style.”
House of Fraser: Christmas is Coming for You
British retailer House of Fraser is aiming to convey the excitement and anticipation that precedes the season with a modern dance spot, in the same vein as Farfetch. Teaming up with choreographer Suzette Brissett, the spot showcases dancers going through a whirlwind of settings, including an opulent dining table and a forest where trees are filled with presents. The upbeat soundtrack is courtesy of British songstress Laura Mvula, who reinterprets The Fugees’ classic Ready or Not track.
Additional ones to check out below include Cartier, Very.co.uk, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Harvey Nichols, Jack Wills, Boohoo.com, Debenhams, New Look, Tiffany & Co, Gap and Banana Republic. As a bonus: also tugging our heart strings outside the fashion space, is Sainsbury’s The Greatest Gift.