business digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media Startups technology

What you missed: Rebecca Minkoff’s LA show, Ivanka Trump’s Nordstrom response, exec musical chairs

Rebecca Minkoff (right) with blogger Aimee Song at the designer's LA show
Rebecca Minkoff (right) with blogger Aimee Song at the designer’s LA show

Rebecca Minkoff kicked off the first of the LA fashion shows this season (Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford and Rachel Zoe to follow), with a shoppable collection as well as a series of connected handbags on offer. There was also entertainment galore, which gives Tommy something to try and outdo later this week.

Meanwhile, other news this week has focused heavily on the execs movements at various brands, including Stefan Larsson out as CEO at Ralph Lauren, Riccardo Tisci leaving Givenchy, rumoured headed to Versace, and Clare Waight Keller exiting Chloé. Also worth reading is detail on the John Lewis delivery trials straight to your car boot, insight on everything you need to know about the Snapchat IPO and Gap’s new 90s inspired campaign.

  • Rebecca Minkoff teams with Like to Know It to make LA show shoppable [WWD]
  • Ivanka Trump’s brand responds to Nordstrom [Racked]
  • John Lewis and Jaguar Land Rover are trialling shopping deliveries straight to your car [Forbes]
  • LVMH sets up new investment vehicle for emerging brands [Fashion United]

  • Ralph Lauren CEO Stefan Larsson quits after dispute with founder over creative control [WSJ]
  • Riccardo Tisci is leaving Givenchy [BoF]
  • Clare Waight Keller exiting Chloé [BoF]
  • Hudson’s Bay reportedly in talks to acquire Macy’s [Retail Dive]
  • Farfetch sets share options scheme for all employees [WWD]

  • 8 things marketers need to know about Snapchat’s IPO [AdAge]
  • How social media turned Hollywood’s beauty prep into marketing gold [BoF]
  • Step inside the YouTube-fuelled, teenaged extravaganza that is Beautycon [Wired]

  • Gap debuts ’90s-inspired ads starring the children of its former campaign stars [Fashionista]
  • Adidas tells the stories of female athletes’ struggles with ‘Unleash Your Creativity’ campaign [The Drum]
  • Luxury brands leverage custom emojis for peer-to-peer communication push [Luxury Daily]

  • DKNY taps Farfetch to revitalise e-commerce strategy [Glossy]
  • How Lululemon and Adidas use RFID to set the stage for omnichannel [Apparel]

  • The promise of augmented reality [Economist]
  • Why retailers struggle to adopt mobile payments [Digiday]

  • Caraa CEO Aaron Luo: Startups have given up on good, old-fashioned (non-tech) product innovation [LeanLuxe]
business data digital snippets e-commerce film mobile technology

What you missed: Luxury on Amazon, understanding data, Nike’s Mark Parker

Luxury is resistant to selling on Amazon
Luxury is resistant to selling on Amazon

The big news this week surrounds the ongoing resistance from luxury to sell on Amazon. Jean-Jacques Guiony, CFO of LVMH, said last week, there is “no way” it would do business with Amazon. “We believe that the existing business of Amazon… doesn’t fit our luxury, full stop, but also doesn’t fit with our brands,” he explained.

Quartz writer Marc Bain has a great overview on this. As he starts his story: “Next year [Amazon is] expected to become the biggest apparel seller in the US, and it boasts an enviable customer base for higher-end brands”. Yet of course, it also presents the problem of being too accessible and not reflective of the high quality customer experience luxury brands are aiming for online – many of them only recently.

Meanwhile, also worth reading this week is a piece on Nike’s Mark Parker and his view on imagination, innovation and art, another on how tech hubs are helping luxury brands return to their roots, and one on the way in which artificial intelligence is changing retail forever. If that wasn’t enough, be sure to also check out new campaigns from Abercrombie & Fitch through to Patagonia.

  • Is it even possible to sell “luxury” on Amazon? [QZ]
  • Fashion marketing is failing to understand data [Glossy]
  • Nike’s Mark Parker on imagination, innovation and art [Another]
  • How Silicon Valley (and other global tech hubs) are helping luxury return to its roots [LeanLuxe]
  • Number of Europeans using mobile payments triples, Visa study finds [Internet Retailing]

  • How Brexit is set to affect how we shop [Daily Telegraph]
  • How do you sell a $6,000 bag your customer can’t touch? [QZ]
  • In stagnant luxury market, luggage brands roll on [BoF]

  • Abercrombie & Fitch tries on a new attitude: friendly [WSJ]
  • New Patagonia short film shows how fair trade shopping is good for business [Co.Create]
  • In REI’s tearjerker, people carry out a fellow hiker’s lifelong dream in tribute to his life [AdWeek]
  • Longchamp takes virtual stroll through Paris to mark boutique renovation [Luxury Daily]
  • Avon calling: #BeautyBoss campaign reboots brand [BrandChannel]

  • How artificial intelligence is changing online retail forever [TechCrunch]
  • Karen Millen launches B2B-only tech concept store [Decoded Fashion]
  • British Telecom launches connected store concept [Decoded Fashion]

  • We’re getting closer to clothing made entirely by robots [QZ]
  • How mobile is transforming product search — and why voice may be next [Retail Dive]
  • Alibaba’s new payment system lets virtual reality shoppers pay by nodding [Reuters]
  • VR is where my fashion dreams can become reality [The Verge]
  • Silkworms spin super-silk after eating carbon nanotubes and graphene [Scientific American]
  • Elle’s augmented reality experiment: fad or future of media? [WWD]

digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Richemont invites LVMH as e-commerce partner, Google and Levi’s on Project Jacquard, JLab’s final 21 start-ups

A particularly oversized round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…


  • Richemont invites LVMH to join site to compete with Amazon [BoF]
  • Google is partnering with Levi’s for its Project Jacquard smart fabric (as pictured) [TNW]
  • The 21 tech start-ups getting John Lewis excited in 2015 [The Drum]
  • Marc Jacobs gets Periscope, follows in footsteps of fashion brands Burberry, DKNY & Rebecca Minkoff []
  • Macy’s embraces a ‘digical’ world [AdAge]
  • Why Nordstrom is the Amazon of department stores [Fortune]
  • How an Instagram “like” from artist Alice Lancaster unspired Calvin Klein 2016 resort collection [Vogue]
  • Forever 21 drives sales through consumer-generated outfit gallery [Mobile Commerce Daily]
  • Why adidas created content that no one will ever see [Marketing Magazine]
  • Candie’s focuses campaign on Instagram [Media Post]
  • Wayfair gains three times more revenue from YouTube’s shoppable ads [AdAge]
  • MikMak is the smartphone-based reinvention of the infomercial [TechCrunch]
  • Hey retailers, Pinterest just got a whole lot more shoppable – ‘buy it’ button unveiled [AdWeek]
  • Instagram is introducing new shoppable ads [Yahoo! Style]
  • Buy buy buy: Why all of your favorite social networks want you to shop now [Mashable]
  • From startups to mass retailers, it’s a tough time for fashion [Fashionista]
  • Retailers have mishandled mobile payments for years. It’s time to surrender to tech [Quartz]
  • Can Silicon Valley fix women’s fashion? [Buzzfeed]
  • Fashion films: what works and what doesn’t [Fashionista]
  • At Silicon Valley’s very first fashion week, flying pants seem totally normal [The Verge]
  • Coming soon to your smart watch: ads targeting captive eyeballs [Bloomberg]
  • Bolt Threads raises $32 million to make gene-engineered fabric grown in fermentation vats [Forbes]
  • Why we still don’t have cheap, customisable 3D-printed shoes for all [Fast.Co Design]
  • How bloggers make money on Instagram [Harper’s Bazaar]
  • The Kendall Jenner effect: how social media is changing modelling [MTV]
Blocks e-commerce Startups technology

Top tips for retail start-ups from VCs at #SXSW


In two years’ time, retail innovation will be led by start-ups more than by corporations, a panel comprised of venture capital firms stated on the closing day of SXSW Interactive.

Eurie Kim of Forerunner Ventures, Janie Yu of Fung Capital and Stephanie Palmeri from SoftTech VC, each have a foot heavily placed in the retail space thanks to investments with companies including Warby Parker, Birchbox, Wanelo, Bonobos, Poshmark, Fitbit, Fab, Olapic and more.

They took to the SXSW stage to discuss how, why and where they’re investing in retail innovation. Mobile payments, disruptive shipping models and opportunities around predictive analytics were the core areas they said they were looking to. They advised the start-ups in the audience as to how to bring those ideas to their attention.

Here’s a recap:

Build your brand first

“We try and see 80% to 90% of things that are out there. As a result, all the ideas that come through we’ve probably seen before. If not, then it’s probably too early for them,” warned Kim. She called for start-ups to approach VCs once they have their team in place and a great brand they can prove they’re building. “The best move is to do a friends and family round [of funding] first, and demonstrate that you can stick around.”

Develop customer relations

The VCs are looking for founders who are extensively in tune with who their consumer is, and is focused on relationship building with that consumer. “It’s not enough to just have a good product as someone else will also be doing that,” Kim added. She’s looking for a management philosophy that tracks this closely and develops accordingly.

Ensure renewal rates

Evidence of customer acquisition is one thing, but in growth phase what VCs are really looking for is not just the fact there are those prepared to pay for your solution but also renew it, said Yu. “We want to see that something meets the criteria on product side so you have customers willing to pay for it, and then importantly pay for it again.”

Know the retailers

Numerous start-ups come in and assume retailers don’t realise what problems they’re facing. The truth is they’re very aware of the issues, but they can’t just make flip decisions to try something new as it affects so much, panellists agreed. “We look at how much someone knows retail and really understands it,” said Kim. A company that is already piloting with retailers and can prove they know them is always going to be more appealing.

Demonstrate connections

In terms of making connections with VCs, the panellists advised to go through people you know. “We look to thousands of opportunities a year and meet with hundreds. We then do one or two deals a month, or about five a quarter. The chance of standing out with a cold email just doesn’t happen,” said Palmeri. It’s good to demonstrate you’re connected in the market, she added.

Prove why you

It’s worth remembering that VCs have a great overview on the industry; they know where the pain points are and what needs solving, said Yu. When they’ve found the right product therefore, the decision as to whether to invest or not often comes down to whether it’s the right person to do so with. Kim emphasised the fact what she really asks is “why this founder” and not just why this problem or this solution.

This post first appeared on

e-commerce mobile social media technology

Digital snippets: Amazon, Burberry, Apple Watch, Bloomingdale’s, L’Oréal, Selfridges

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…


  • Amazon to open first brick-and-mortar site in New York [WSJ]
  • Burberry remains digital luxury leader, while Céline trails industry [BoF]
  • Apple Watch graces cover of Vogue China (as pictured) [Mashable]
  • Bloomingdale’s tests “smart” fitting rooms [Fortune]
  • BuzzFeed steps into e-commerce game with “buy now” button on L’Oréal post [WSJ]
  • Selfridges in £40 million website revamp [The Independent]
  • Spring app: what’s working – and what isn’t – six weeks in [Fashionista]
  • Gap’s new CEO is its digital guy, Art Peck [Business Week]
  • Why Dove is trying Snapchat for self-esteem effort [AdAge]
  • This is why Facebook was so aggressive about migrating users over to messenger: mobile payments [Fast Company]
  • Facebook and Twitter are making a push as social shopping destinations [Business Insider]
  • Retailers will win holidays with omnichannel [USA Today]
  • Apple Watch, smartwatches and the wearables fashion gap [The Guardian]
digital snippets mobile social media technology Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Diesel, Wrangler, John Lewis, Covetique, Daily Mail, Grazia

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

  • Diesel’s pre-internet shoe experience challenges consumers to go offline for three days [Creativity Online]
  • John Lewis seeking to make social media a ‘more integrated’ part of its business [Marketing Magazine]
  • Daily Mail group launches fashion sharing website [Media Week]
  • Grazia magazine launches on the iPad [Grazia]
  • In a click, a vivid fashion garden: how technology is enabling a new genre of prints (as pictured) [NY Times]
digital snippets mobile technology Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Bodyform, Chanel, Gap, Uniqlo, Thomas Pink, Hermès, Facebook

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:


  • Bodyform responds to viral Facebook rant with ‘The Truth’ video (as above) []
  • Brad Pitt’s Chanel No 5 ad: the smell of disaster [The Guardian]
  • Gap tests Whispering Window ‘invisible audio’ displays [BrandChannel]
  • Uniqlo model draws as much on Intel and Toyota as Gap [Wired]
  • Thomas Pink launches instant mobile check out app [The Drum]
  • Hermès gets tech-y with computer-inspired ties [Styleite]
  • Facebook tests new ‘want’ feature for retailers [FT]
digital snippets e-commerce social media Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Alexander Wang, Nike+, Nordstrom, Elle UK, Woolmark

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:


  • Alexander Wang releases autumn/winter 2012 Confessional Series video featuring Shalom Harlow (as above) [Alexander Wang]
  • Nike+ Kinect Training launch will mean virtual personal trainers in your living room [Mashable]
  • Nordstrom teams up with GQ for e-commerce push [WWD]
  • Watch Elle UK’s behind the cover video of David Beckham [Elle UK]
  • Woolmark Co sets social media campaign [WWD]
  • This start-up pulls in top pins on Pinterest and crossreferences against 250+ e-commerce sites [Business Insider]
  • Some 15% of luxury goods sales are directly generated by digital media [FT]
  • Square doubles its retail presence, now in 20,000 outlets [TechCrunch]
  • Can social breathe life back into the high street [Guardian]
mobile Uncategorized

Macy’s extends QR code campaign, educates with TV spot

Macy’s is continuing its “Backstage Pass” QR code campaign this autumn with additional content and a supporting television ad, in a bid to further enhance the consumer shopping experience via mobile technology.

Created in collaboration with JWT New York, the campaign offers shoppers access to videos that deliver trend advice from the store’s stable of star designers and industry experts, by scanning the custom-designed codes with their mobile phones.

The initiative builds on the success of its spring 2011 launch by introducing further inspirational content across the categories of fashion, home and cosmetics.

A 30-second television ad featuring Sean “Diddy” Combs, Tommy Hilfiger, Rachel Roy, Jessica Simpson and Martha Stewart, aims to educate consumers on the campaign, touching upon how QR codes work, as well as demonstrating some of the content featured and highlighting the chance to win Macy’s shopping sprees.

“This past spring we introduced QR code technology to our customers via Macy’s Backstage Pass and focused not only on delivering fun and informative video content via their mobile phones, but also on educating consumers on this new way of engaging with us,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s executive vice president of marketing.

“This new layer of communication between Macy’s and shoppers delivers an enhanced in-store shopping experience and creates new opportunities for personal interaction. For the next phase of this campaign, we will usher in a new series of interactive videos and provide extra incentives for customers who scan the Backstage Pass.”

The store also offers an informative demo video called “How to use Macy’s Backstage Pass”, accessible to customers online at, Facebook and YouTube, as well as to those on the go by texting “learn” to MACYS (62297).

Macy’s is also set to be among the first retailers to launch Google Wallet, the NFC-enabled mobile payment system, this September. It will do so in five markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington DC.

mobile technology Uncategorized

Retail’s mobile-led future loses sci-fi feel

Eric Schmidt

Looking back through my notes from Cannes Lions, I remembered the fact I wanted to flag up some thinking relevant to retail from Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, 2011’s Media Person of the year.

One of the most interesting speakers during the week of seminars, he covered everything from globalisation to self-driving cars and accessing consumer social graphs (which makes far more sense since following the launch of Google +).

He also spoke about the benefit of ‘cloud computing’ and asked delegates to imagine that everything they needed for daily life was accessible through their smartphone. [Not a bad focus considering this is a company that has previously said everything it now does is based on a “mobile first” policy].

You’re walking along the street in Cannes, he said, your phone knows you, knows who you are. You tell it you want a t-shirt. As you’re walking it tells you which stores are nearby that you can go to, and which ones have discount or offers on. It directs you to one of them and you go in. The shop assistants already know you’re coming and welcome you as you arrive. You take your t-shirt and pay for it through your phone.


Now, that would have sounded foreign just a mere few years ago – science fiction almost. To many it probably still does. But when you consider the fact technology for location-based services and offers are commonplace, with mobile transactions (Google wallet) the latest focus, it’s all perfectly feasible. Schmidt further highlighted this at Cannes when he said a third of all checkouts in restaurants and retail stores will allow “tap and pay” through mobile phones within about a year.

The concept reminded me of one of my favourite-ever posts from Federated Media’s John Battelle: The Gap Scenario. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you do now.

In it, he takes the idea of the retail experience itself to the next level, incorporating everything from customer service to CRM. Now not only does your phone know you, but the store does.

As Battelle highlights, however, while the technology and the platforms exist for such scenarios to play out, what’s not solved as yet are the business processes that sew it all together.

Watch this space. The term Google “branding” might just take on whole new meaning for retail.