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e-commerce Editor's pick product

Amazon Fashion takes a leaf out of streetwear’s game with The Drop

Amazon has teased a new fashion line called The Drop, which will see limited edition collections launching for 30 hours at a time.

The e-commerce giant unveiled the news this week, referring to it as “limited-edition street style, designed by global influencers”.

Those influencers include Paola Alberdi, Sierra Furtado, Patricia Bright, Leonie Hanne and Emi Suzuki, all of whom will be involved in creating looks for the exclusive drops, which will be released every few weeks.

Users are invited to submit their phone number to receive text updates when the latest drop comes in.

The company also promises a sustainability play in all this, highlighting how the initiative will mean less waste because of the fact things are only made to order. Alongside the limited edition pieces released will also be a handful of “staples” in order to complete each look.

The website of The Drop reads: “Trends move fast. The Drop does, too. Each collection is live for 30 hours or less because fabrics are limited. Then we make each style only when you order it to reduce waste.”

Amazon is of course jumping on the bandwagon of streetwear’s drop collection game, looking to emulate the scarcity and hype factor that has seen such huge success stories as Supreme and others. Broader fashion and luxury brands have also been exploring such opportunities, from Burberry to Ralph Lauren, through a combination of new business models and collaborations.

The idea of made-to-order however is also something Amazon has been hinting at for sometime. It filed a patent in 2017 for an on-demand clothing manufacturing process, which does indeed suggest speed as well as volume.

How are you thinking about retail and product innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The 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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product sustainability

Ocean Outdoor creates accessories out of recycled billboards for London Fashion Week

UK outdoor media owner Ocean Outdoor is teaming up with eco-label VIN + OMI to launch an exclusive collection during London Fashion Week that will be manufactured entirely from vinyl panels taken from billboard displays.

The partnership will feature men’s and women’s accessories and not be available for sale. Instead, Ocean will donate the pieces to its charity partner, the Marine Conservation Society, to help fund the fight against plastic pollution in order to protect the world’s oceans and marine line. This is in one with Ocean’s commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation, as the majority of its out-of-home advertising is already purely digital.

“As a 95 percent based digital media company, Ocean is actively moving away from the use of vinyl,” said Liliana Teixeira, Ocean’s senior marketing executive. “That said, it’s important we find the best possible way to upcycle the vinyl we do still use. This partnership also allows us to support emerging creative talent which adds to its scale and impact,”

UK-born VIN + OMI works in developing recycled polyester (rPET) textiles, including silk-like finishes and wool which are spun from salvaged plastic primarily sourced from rivers and oceans. For this project, it will be working with students from Oxford Brookes University who will help design the collection. This means that in addition teaching a new generation how to work with sustainable garments, the project will further bring together a community with the common goal of raising awareness to the cause.

The range will feature at VIN + OMI’s London Fashion Week show on February 14, while Ocean will display highlights of the presentation on February 18 across its The Grid digital displays country-wide as well as on the iconic Piccadilly Lights display in Piccadilly Circus, London. Last fashion week season, Ocean teamed up with designer Victoria Beckham to livestream her show on the same screens, marking the first time the company streamed live content on its 4K displays.

Are you thinking innovatively enough about sustainability? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The 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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product Retail

Benetton launches Selfridges line featuring 109 colorways

United Colors of Benetton
United Colors of Benetton

United Colors of Benetton is teaming up with Selfridges on an exclusive capsule collection that will feature items in 109 different colors.

The collection will draw from the Italian brand’s archives and aims to reiterate its colorful history, with a modern British twist. Meanwhile, the vast color choice aims to pay an homage to Selfridges itself: the department store’s iconic yellow is number 109 on the Pantone palette. Shades will vary from bright pop hues to more pastel tones.

“It’s our first collaboration with a department store and it is an exciting new line that celebrates the colorful look, history and Italian ethos of the brand,” said Tommaso Bruso, chief operating officer of the Benetton Group. “It’s a confirmation of the brand’s history. From the Sixties to today there have been social and cultural revolutions and this has become the essence of the brand.”

The unisex collection, which will launch as a pop-up at Selfridges this Friday (September 14) to coincide with London Fashion Week, will feature sweaters, co-ords and accessories such as caps and duffel bags. Prices will range from £10 to £180.

In line with the nostalgia trend that has pervaded fashion for the past few years, sportswear and 90s favorites such as Benetton are increasingly coming back into the spotlight and joining the cultural conversation with collaborations with contemporary brands or retailers.

Sportwear label Champion is another example, teaming up with the likes of Danish cult label Wood Wood and Japanese streetwear retailer BEAMS on exclusively collaborations; meanwhile this month, Polaroid celebrated its 80th anniversary by releasing a limited edition sneaker with Puma that features its iconic rainbow stripe; and from a luxury standpoint, subversive French label Vetements has been responsible for resurrecting a few old favorites on its runways season after season, such as Juicy Couture, Eastpack and Umbro.

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.

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Campaigns Editor's pick product

Diesel teams up with cult Berlin kebab shop for latest collab

Diesel x Mustafa
Diesel x Mustafa

Diesel has teamed up with cult Berlin-based kebab kiosk, Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap, for a limited edition collection drop.

The line launched last weekend at Zalando’s customer-facing trade show, Bread & Butter, a model aiming to emulate the success of ComplexCon in the US by hosting immersive customer experiences, exclusive drops and live music. At the event, Mustafa himself was also serving his popular kebab creations.

In line with the Italian brand’s satirical approach to fashion, Diesel is hoping to challenge what is expected of typical collaborations with this launch – where one brand piggybacks on another’s ‘cool’ factor through limited edition clothing that targets the trend-driven demographic. It also serves as commentary on how collab-obsessed the younger generation (and subsequently, brands who wish to target such customer) have become.

The Diesel x Mustafa collaboration includes jumpers, t-shirts and hats, and will also be available for sale on diesel.com and at selected Diesel stores worldwide.

Diesel’s latest initiative follows on from previous marketing activity that serves to reinforce the brand’s commitment to celebrating the unusual, and doing so with a sense of humor.

In January this year, it launched its “Keep the World Flawed” campaign, which included a video with digital Easter eggs in which everything was just slightly off; in February, it launched a “Deisel” pop-up store at NYC’s Chinatown neighborhood, selling ‘fake’ versions of its designs; and most recently in May, it launched the prototype for the world’s most uncomfortable meeting room, aiming to keep meetings as short and efficient as possible, while making fun of the fact they are often unnecessary.

Earlier this year, TheCurrent also featured Stefano Rosso, Diesel’s CEO of North America, on TheCurrent Innovators podcast, where he talked about the idea of challenging conformity.

Diesel x Mustafa
Diesel x Mustafa

Are you thinking innovatively enough about your brand messaging and collaborations? 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.
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Campaigns Editor's pick film technology

Moncler explores emotional intelligence with Sophia the Robot

Moncler - "Emotional Intelligence"
Moncler – “Emotional Intelligence”

Moncler has enlisted Sophia the Robot to launch a digital campaign exploring the relationship between man and machine.

The campaign, which was developed by the New York Times’ creative agency T Brand Studio, promotes the label’s newest collection under the Genius line, this time by Japanese designer Kei Ninomiya. In the short film, Sophia is accompanied by actress and musician Ryan Destiny in a garden, exploring the definition of friendship.

“Sophia’s presence catalyzes new questions about the future of the social zeitgeist,” reads the accompanying copy. “In a new age of art and technology, will A.I. beings — all far more advanced than Sophia — become our friends? Will they develop their own capacity for thought and free will?”

The choice of Sophia comes down to not only its realistic features, but how it was conceived in the first place: the robot has been developed to portray emotions and warmth, not too dissimilar from a real human.

Moreover, the man versus machine theme is particularly relevant to Ninomiya’s collection as its clothing merge traditional origami traditions with futuristic designs, thus converging craft and technology.

The short ad campaign is available to watch on Moncler.com and through paid advertising on Instagram Stories.

This is Moncler’s sixth iteration of the Genius line, which takes inspiration from the ‘drop’ model made popular by streetwear labels, where merchandise is released on a recurring basis, rather than the traditional seasonal retail model. In following suit, the Italian brand hopes to engage with a younger generation who has become accustomed with having faster and more differentiated access to fashion.

As for Sophia the Robot, the humanoid has quickly catapulted into pop culture for its extensive coverage across TV and print. Earlier this year, it graced the cover of UK-based Stylist magazine, which dedicated an entire issue to machines. In June, TheCurrent’s founder Liz Bacelar interviewed her on stage at Impact festival in Krakow, Poland.

This month, the Italian luxury label also launched Moncler Beyond, a wider advertising initiative highlighting 19 men and women who are “pushing the limits”, including British actor John Boyega and Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown.

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.

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Campaigns Editor's pick social media

HQ Trivia announces sponsored games with Nike and Warner Bros partnerships

HQ Trivia
HQ Trivia

Gameshow app, HQ Trivia, which was founded by former Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll and has gained millions of users since launching in August 2017, has announced its first brand partners, Nike and Warner Bros Studios.

The app, which hosts trivia-like shows twice-daily where users can compete to earn money, offers its Gen Z users the chance to participate in gamified experiences that brands are now beginning to leverage.

On Nike’s Air Max Day celebration on March 26, the sportswear brand teamed up with the gaming app to sponsor a surprise bonus round with a $100,000 grand prize. The game also gave away 100 limited edition Nike x HQ Trivia Air Max shoes to lucky participants.

HQ Trivia x Nike Air Max
HQ Trivia x Nike Air Max

Meanwhile, according to AdAge, the Warner Bros deal is worth $3m and is set to promote three films, starting with Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. Launching on Wednesday (March 28), the app will host a $250,000 game featuring questions related to the film.

By creating a 21st century version of traditional TV gameshows such as “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”, HQ Trivia is playing on many aspects of how younger consumers engage digitally, such as constantly seeking new, one-off experiences that challenge them and give them a sense of having to ‘work for it’.

The app itself, however, only comes to life twice a day and for 13 minutes at a time, which is the length of a game show. It’s the perfect example of digestible yet scheduled programming – the opposite to the on-demand economy we’ll all become accustomed. It’s guaranteed at a specific moment in time, offering the same level of predictability that traditional TV used to. Shows are hosted live – often with guest hosts which have included Jimmy Kimmel – at 3pm and 9pm ET.

Prior to the sponsorship deals, its largest jackpot to date had been $50,000, and its record high for players in one game neared 2.2 million during this year’s 90th Academy Awards on March 4.

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Editor's pick product Retail social media

Nike sells limited pre-run of Air Jordan III “Tinker” on Snapchat

The Nike Air Jordan III “Tinker” sold out on Snapchat
The Nike Air Jordan III “Tinker” sold out on Snapchat

Nike became the first brand to sell a product via Snapchat this week, with the pre-release of its Air Jordan III “Tinker” following the NBA All-Star game.

Achieved via a partnership between Nike, Snap, Darkstore and Shopify, the initiative enabled attendees of the Jumpman All-Star after-party in Los Angeles to scan exclusive Snap codes to buy and receive the shoes by 10:30pm that same night.

All of them sold out within 23 minutes.

“This is the Holy Grail of the experience [Nike is] trying to intend, which is direct to consumer — to the actual consumer, versus a bot — and same-day delivery,” Darkstore CEO, Lee Hnetinka, told TechCrunch. “The Snap code introduces a new paradigm for commerce.”

“Jordan Brand and the Jumpman represent greatness, so we hold ourselves and our partners to that standard to create distinct and meaningful experiences for our community,” Dan Harbison, Jordan Brand’s senior director of global digital said. “To execute on that, we worked with some of the industry leaders in this space. Snapchat had an existing partnership with Shopify to create the frictionless commerce experience, so we felt that would make sense. We had also talked to Darkstore and liked their same day delivery solution and learned they had partnered with Shopify in the past, so that became an easy decision.”

The Nike Air Jordan III “Tinker” sold out on Snapchat
The Nike Air Jordan III “Tinker” sold out on Snapchat

Darkstore is an on-demand fulfillment startup that looks to locations such as malls with excess capacity to store products, and uses them to then ship from same day. They become fulfilment centers with just a smartphone.

In this instance, the official release of the shoe isn’t until March 24, but using Darkstore and the other partners, served as an opportunity to drive interest and engagement with fans.

Nike has been experimenting with this idea of requiring shoppers to be in a physical space in order to get their hands on specific product, for some time. It previously did so via an augmented reality treasure hunt, for instance. We’re also seeing numerous other brands heavily playing with the notion of scarcity and experience, particularly surrounding streetwear and sneakers at present, including Palace, Supreme, adidas, and most recently, Converse.

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Campaigns Editor's pick Retail

Diesel pop-up sells limited edition “fakes” as part of SS18 campaign

Deisel pop up from Diesel
The “Deisel” pop-up from Diesel

Diesel is looking to reinforce its authentic roots with a “fake” pop-up store during New York Fashion Week. As part of its latest campaign celebrating imperfection, the brand opened “Deisel” in NYC’s Chinatown – a neighbourhood known for touting knockoffs – selling seemingly fake goods.

The stunt was eventually revealed on social media, as Diesel shared a video depicting footage of the store. Inside, the pop-up space was set up to look improvised and blend in with its Canal Street neighbors, while shop assistants tried to convince confused passersby that the goods were real.

Once the secret was out, Diesel fans began to form long queues outside the store, trying to get their hands on the limited edition goods, which were also available for purchase in Europe online.

Speaking to reporters, Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel and president of its parent company OTB Group, said the aim of the campaign is to play on the irony and sense of humor he believes the brand has always relied on, which has been lost over the past few years.

“Diesel is back,” he said. ”Diesel is modern. Diesel is a unique brand. Diesel is still alive with the real irony and with the real DNA that it used to have before.”

Andy Bird, chief creative officer at Diesel’s recently appointed agency Publicis, told Adweek: “I think a brand like Diesel has the balls and the right to talk like this. There aren’t many brands that would take a calculated risk like this, but because they kind of know that they already have the cachet with the past history of advertising, they’ve always been a bit more adventurous and it fits perfectly with their outlook.”

Moving forward, the brand believes social media and campaign stunts are becoming a major focus for engagement. According to Rosso, the next soon-to-be-released stunt will see an individual jump from atop St Marcus tower in Venice, Italy.

In our recent episode of TheCurrent Innovators podcast, Stefano Rosso, Diesel’s CEO of North America, talked in-depth about the brand’s approach to challenging conformity.

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digital snippets e-commerce social media technology

Digital snippets: Nike, Bloomingdale’s, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Armani, Sephora

A round-up of stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

meality

  • Holographic ad gives live demo of Nike shoes on the street [PSFK]
  • Bloomingdale’s installs body scanners to help you find jeans that fit (as pictured) [Mashable]
  • Michael Kors releases limited edition sneakers to celebrate reaching 500 million fans on Facebook [Web & Luxe]
  • Marc Jacobs to dress famous Japanese holograph, Hatsune Miku [Fashionista]
  • Armani touts brand personality in latest Frames of Life eyewear campaign [Luxury Daily]
  • How Sephora differentiates in digital [Digiday]
  • The Business of Fashion is nominated for a Webby Award [BoF]
  • This Bond No. 9 ‘digital fragrance’ is only sold via QR code [Styleite]
  • Tavi Gevinson creator of The Style Rookie is the next big media mogul [AdWeek]
  • Menswear e-tailer FreshCotton creates drug cookbook to promote Stüssy’s spring line [Campaign]
  • Fashion e-commerce flowers in the Middle East [BoF]
  • Japanese luxury market evolves to keep up with digital generation [Japan Daily Press]