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Vivienne Westwood calls to ban land ownership, Shiseido acquires Drunk Elephant, Hong Kong protests hit luxury

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

Top Stories
  • The ‘only way to save the world’ is to ban land ownership, says Vivienne Westwood (Dezeen)
  • Why Shiseido bought Drunk Elephant for $845million (BoF)
  • Hong Kong protests could hit Burberry sales by up to £100million (Quartz)
Technology
  • Adidas 1st to sell shoes via Snapchat game (Mobile Marketer)
  • 5G smartphone sales will top 1B by 2025 (Mobile Marketer)
  • Unicef now accepting donations through bitcoin and ether (The Guardian)
  • 3D-printed smart textiles consume less energy, water & chemicals (Sourcing Journal)
  • GOAT showcases world’s rarest sneakers with AR try-ons (Mobile Marketer)
  • Personal stylists are using data to strengthen relationships (Vogue Business)
  • O2 launches ‘worlds first live ad’ powered by 5G (Campaign)
Sustainability & Purpose
  • California bans animal fur products (Drapers)
  • Kat von D launches vegan footwear line from apple ‘leather’ (Sourcing Journal)
  • Farfetch partners with Thrift+, a second hand donation platform (Retail Gazette)
  • Chloe forges three-year partnership with UNICEF (WWD)
  • Forget carbon neutral, Patagonia wants to be ‘carbon positive’ (Sourcing Journal)
  • Little Mistress launches sustainable packaging (Fashion United)
  • John Lewis launches sustainable ‘buyback’ trial (Retail Gazette)
Retail & Commerce
  • Stance opens Carnaby Street flagship store (Retail Gazette)
  • Morphe launches in-store Youtube studios to drive foot traffic (Glossy)
  • H&M outlet brand Afound shifts focus towards online (BoF)
  • Rental service HURR Collective to stage pop-up shop (The Industry)
  • Vans brings new boutique concept to Covent Garden (Fashion United)
  • Givenchy unveils US e-commerce site (WWD)
  • HMV launches Europe’s largest music store (Retail Week)
Business
  • Ganni’s guerrilla approach to global growth (BoF)
  • New CEO at Stella McCartney (Drapers)
  • Race to buy Barneys heats up (WWD)
  • Toys R Us relaunches website amid Target partnership (Charged Retail)
  • Victoria’s Secret store exec departs (Retail Dive)
  • LVMH luxury venture fund invests in streetwear brand Madhappy (Fashion Law)
Marketing & Social Media
  • Instagram launches Threads, a close friend chat app with auto-status (TechCrunch)
  • The next generation of menswear designers might be on Youtube (Fashionista)
  • Teens choose Youtube over Netflix for the first time (CNBC)
  • Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister launch Instagram checkout (Retail Dive)
Product
  • Mens beauty grooming retailer Beast Inks deal for U.K rollout (WWD)
  • SprezzaBox and Esquire team up to launch subscription box (Fashion United)
  • Everlane launches ReCashmere sweater collection (Dezeen)
Culture
  • Adidas teams up with Universal Standard for a truly size-inclusive collaboration (Adweek)
  • Why 5,000-year-old fashion is making a comeback (BoF)
  • Lululemon partners with United Nations Foundation (Fashion United)
  • Kellogg’s autism-sensitive packaging for kids (Stylus)
  • Victoria’s Secret hires first plus-size model (Fashion United)
  • Havas and CALM team up to create self-care labelling for Topshop and Topman (Campaign)
  • The business of casting queer models (BoF)

How are you thinking about innovation? 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 data e-commerce mobile product Retail social media sustainability technology Uncategorized

The cost of free returns, manufacturing post-Brexit, the resale revolution

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

TOP STORIES
  • The unsustainable cost of free returns (Vogue Business)
  • The brave new post-Brexit world of UK manufacturing (Drapers)
  • Retail at risk: analyst cite resale revolution (WWD)
TECHNOLOGY
  • A guide to virtual beings and how they impact our world (Tech Crunch)
  • Facebook’s vision of glasses that read your thoughts isn’t just a dream (Fast Company)
  • StockX was hacked, exposing millions of user records (Tech Crunch)
  • UK financial watchdog finally decides which cryptocurrencies to regulate (The Next Web)
  • John Lewis partners with UK robotics companies to create blueprint for robot-human interaction (Charged Retail)
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • True sustainability not achievable until 2021 (Drapers)
  • Textile waste has increased 811% since 1960 (Supply Chain Dive)
  • Inside Nuuly, Urban Outfitter’s attempt to take on the rental clothing market (Modern Retail)
  • Waitrose to expand sustainable unpacked trial (Retail Gazette)
  • Beauty’s giant glitter problem (BoF)
  • Carrier bag sale in supermarkets drop 93% (Retail Gazette)
  • Why are fashion supply chains so wasteful? (Retail Dive)
  • H&M called out for ‘greenwashing’ in its conscious fashion collection (DeZeen)
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Retailers to scale back ‘kiss of death’ Black Friday (Drapers)
  • How Zappos used AI to rebuild its search engine (Modern Retail)
  • Amazon adds styling service to Prime Wardrobe (Retail Dive)
  • Why this Japanese e-commerce giant is doubling down on fashion (BoF)
  • Can retailers break up with the mall? (Retail Dive)
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • The golden age of Instagram marketing is over (BoF)
  • Inside Westfield’s VR jungle adventure (Retail Gazette)
  • MCM immersive pop-up playground lands in Shanghai (Jing Daily)
PRODUCT
  • Rag&Bone puts the focus on fit in fall initiatives (WWD)
  • Should brands charge more for larger sizes? (Vogue Business)
  • Duchess of Sussex to launch clothing collection (Drapers)
BUSINESS
  • Risk of global recession threatens luxury party (BoF)
  • China’s tech startups flourish in talent-rich second-tier cities (Asian Review)
  • Gucci fears spark Kering sell off (Bloomberg)
  • The Future of Maison Margiela (BoF)
CULTURE
  • Beauty is designing packaging for the visually impaired (Vogue Business)
  • Pantene breaks beauty advertising norms by celebrating grey hair (Campaign)
  • The Hong Kong protests: what brands need to know (BoF)
  • Meet the designer behind a new line of functional and fashionable accessories for wheelchair users (Teen Vogue)

How are you thinking about innovation? 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.

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Editor's pick Retail technology

Alibaba pilots AI-enabled store with Guess

Alibaba's FashionAI for GUESS
Alibaba’s FashionAI for GUESS

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has partnered with Guess to pilot an artificial intelligence-enabled store of the future concept, where the technology will improve and further personalize the shopping experience.

Located on the campus grounds of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for one weekend in July, the concept store is showcasing Alibaba’s FashionAI technology that is built around the e-commerce platform Taobao.

“By partnering with Alibaba, a dominant technology leader, we are changing the retail experience as our customers also evolve,” said José Blanco, CEO of Greater China for Guess. “It is important that we continuously invest in new technology and platforms. This entire project came together in just five months thanks to a strong partnership between our two companies.”

Upon entering the store, users can check in with their Taobao QR codes or via facial recognition. All items are RFID-enabled, and when picked up, show up in a smart mirror. The mirror also suggests outfits to complete the look either based on the user’s previous purchases or entirely new items, while directing shoppers to where such suggested items can be found in the store.

Shoppers can also use the smart mirrors to add items they would like to try on to a virtual shopping cart, while staff populate the fitting room with their choices. When entering the fitting room, shoppers have their Taobao code scanned, which triggers a dedicated smart mirror. Interestingly if shoppers cannot find what they are looking for at the Guess-branded store, they can add clothing from other Taobao virtual stores via tablets, thus shopping cross-brand. To complete purchase, they must use the Taobao virtual shopping cart.

The store also works as an opportunity for Alibaba to refine the FashionAI concept, while better understanding how the resulting data can help brands be smarter about ordering and maintaining inventory.

“Guess and Alibaba share the same vision to understand customer behaviors through technologies, ” said Zhuoran Zhuang, vice president of the Alibaba Group. “With Guess’ retail expertise, we are able to train and refine our FashionAI system, and marry technology with fashion in a way that’s never been done before. We are looking forward to deepening our partnership to innovate personalized services offered in retail shops.”

E-commerce brands are increasingly investigating how the technology that they have refined online can be leveraged in the brick and mortar experience to give demanding consumers the same level of personalized service. In April 2017, Farfetch revealed its store of the future concept, which we delved into in further detail with the project’s managing director Sandrine Deveaux for TheCurrent Innovators podcast in June. The retailer has since announced pilot programmes at Browns in London and Thom Browne in NYC, as well as a long-term partnership with Chanel.

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business

The Business of Fashion launches new event series for “big thinkers”

BusinessofFashion_Voices

In what comes as little in the way of a surprise, The Business of Fashion has announced it will enter the event space in a big way with the launch of Voices, a three-day invitation-only affair to be held on the outskirts of London next year.

Referred to as an “annual gathering for big thinkers”, it will bring industry leaders, entrepreneurs and inspirational individuals together from December 1-3, 2016. Its aim is to explore new frontiers and challenge received wisdom about this ever-changing business through a programme of rousing talks, interactive presentations and immersive experiences.

The news was announced during a satellite Voices event held in Hong Kong today. “Fashioning China’s Future”, as it was called, was run in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, and supported by principal partner QIC Global Real Estate, with additional support from DFS. QIC Global Real Estate will also be the partner for satellite versions in Sydney and New York, as well as the main event in the UK.

Attendees will be hand-selected, with the aim being to gather figures not just from fashion and other creative fields, but from science, technology, health and wellness, food, finance, politics, urban planning, film, philosophy and philanthropy. “Through a cross-pollination of personalities and industries, Voices aims to spark new ideas and solve real-world challenges impacting the global fashion business,” reads the write-up.

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social media Uncategorized

Alexander Wang serves up Instagram-worthy ice cream in Hong Kong

Alexander Wang has been spreading summer cheer in Hong Kong with a black ice cream truck stationed outside its Harbour City store for the past two weekends. The branded van has been handing out free ice cream to customers and passers-by.

The ‘Eat Me’ campaign, developed in collaboration with HK boutique, Joyce, was launched to celebrate the two year anniversary of Alexander Wang Harbour City. Those who commemorated their ‘Eat Me’ moment on Instagram using the hashtags #joycehk and #alexanderwanghk had the chance to win an Alexander Wang gift.

Sure enough, the initiative drew quite a crowd – people of all ages were captured queuing up for the chance to enjoy ice cream out of the branded ice cream cones. The result was Instagram buzz from young and old alike, with winners of the competition receiving prizes such as a yoga matt and a domino set.

Alexander Wang Eat Me Truck Alexander Wang Eat MeAlexander Wang Eat Me 3
By Anna Abrell
Categories
film social media Uncategorized

Topshop targets Chinese consumers with New Year campaign film

 

Topshop is celebrating Chinese New Year with the launch of a short film that ties together its British brand and its growing international consumer base.

The Lanterns, as it’s called, sees two models captured in front of London’s Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, with Chinese lanterns floating above them. It is set to a cover of This Little Light of Mine by Berend Dubbe and Gwen Thomas, and ends with copy that wishes the viewer a prosperous New Year in both English and traditional Chinese characters.

“We wanted to create something fun that represented the spirit of the Topshop girl whilst capturing the energy of this special time of celebration and giving,” said Topshop’s CMO, Justin Cooke.

Importantly, the film was released on Topshop’s Chinese social media networks, including Weibo where it has over 10 million followers. It also launched on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.

Topshop will open its first store in Hong Kong in May, but this film is as much about reaching Chinese consumers worldwide as it is within China itself. According to stats from Topshop, Chinese travellers took over 70 million trips abroad last year, and 150,000 headed to London.

Cooke said: “Not only do we have a huge following in Asia but there are also enormous numbers of Chinese tourists and Chinese communities based in cities all over the world – for example Los Angeles, where we open a store on February 14, we know that there is a very strong Chinese community there…  I think it’s really important as a global brand that we speak to and understand the things that really matter to them, this is a significant time of year and it’s also a very personal one where people get together and thank the people they love.”

Even the length of the film is culturally considerate. At 58 seconds it coincides with Chinese superstitions of numerology; five and eight are both lucky numbers, symbolising wealth and prosperity.

Topshop has also created limited edition lucky red gift cards and envelopes to note the Chinese tradition to gift ‘Lucky Money’ as a wish of prosperity. They are available in its flagship stores and online globally.

Topshop celebrates Chinese New Year with The Lanterns Topshop celebrates Chinese New Year with The LanternsTopshop celebrates  Chinese New Year with The Lanterns

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