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ICYMI: Apparel manufacturing coming home, shopping by voice, French brands focus on startups

Is apparel manufacturing coming home?
Is apparel manufacturing coming home?

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

TOP STORIES
  • Is apparel manufacturing coming home? [McKinsey]
  • Voice command: is it the future of online shopping? [FashionUnited]
  • French retail and fashion groups deepen focus on startups [WWD]
  • Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are sending a clear signal that Amazon is the future of fashion, and it’s terrible news for department stores [Business Insider]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Magic Leap is real and it’s a janky marvel [TechCrunch]
  • Fast Retailing signs deal to fully automate warehousing [WWD]
  • ‘Building the digital factory’: 3D printing comes to Shopify [Digiday]
  • Chinese investment into computer vision technology and AR surges as US funding dries up [TechCrunch]
  • Amy Winehouse is going on tour as a hologram [Hypebeast]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Dove gets certified cruelty-free [FashionNetwork]
  • Why fashion’s anti-fur movement is winning [BoF]
  • The Maiyet Collective’s concept store: reshaping ethical lux [Stylus]
  • You buy a purse at Walmart. There’s a note inside from a “Chinese prisoner.” Now what? [Vox]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Amazon Fashion to launch London pop-up [Drapers]
  • Brandless is launching a pop-up shop in NYC [TechCrunch]
  • Supreme envy: The drop model gets used for burgers, tacos, toothbrushes [Digiday]
  • Jenna Lyons is back, and she’s returning with a brand-new multi-platform venture [Vogue]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Three Nasty Gal ads banned by watchdog [FashionNetwork]
  • ASOS unveils campaign and collection for new Gen-Z label Collusion* [TheIndustry]
  • Adidas launches new membership program [HighSnobiety]
  • Why brands are launching secret apps for superfans [BoF]
  • Snapchat becomes the mobile HBO with 12 daily scripted Original shows [TechCrunch]
  • Superdry unveils disabled mannequin shop window for Invictus Games [TheIndustry]
PRODUCT
  • Alexander Wang is launching a new Uniqlo collaboration that’s all about underwear [Vogue]
BUSINESS
  • Judge removes Deciem founder from CEO role [BoF]
  • Sears files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy [WSJ]
  • Superdry issues profits warning [Drapers]
  • Coast falls into administration and is bought by Karen Millen [TheIndustry]
  • Walmart acquires online lingerie retailer Bare Necessities [Reuters]
  • Lyst launches French version after LVMH investment [FashionNetwork]
CULTURE
  • The most diverse fashion season ever on the runway, but not the front row [NY Times]
  • Met Costume Institute embraces ‘Camp’ for 2019 blockbuster show [NY Times]
  • ‘Gender Bending Fashion’ to be focus of new show at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston next March [WWD]

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.

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

What you missed: Mobile 2.0, Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, plastic bottle fashion

What you missed - mobile 2.0, Raf Simons for Calvin Klein
Raf Simons’ debut for Calvin Klein

An absolute must-read this week (away from fashion specifically but heavily based around tech and consumer behaviour and therefore highly relevant to anyone in this space), is this view on “mobile 2.0” from Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz. If there are a billion people with high-end smartphones now, what assumptions can we leave behind in terms of what that means, and what does the future look like accordingly? With AR and machine learning, it’s a pretty fascinating one.

Elsewhere, the latest news is of course geared to New York Fashion Week, with everything from Raf Simons’ successful debut for Calvin Klein and ongoing analysis of what exactly a see-now, buy-now model looks for those partaking. There’s also an update on new features from Pinterest and a big push from Instagram for its Live tool during the shows.


TOP STORIES
  • Benedict Evas on the Mobile 2.0 era [Ben-Evans]
  • Fashion shows adopted a see-now, buy-now model. Has it worked? [NY Times]
  • Raf Simons’ Calvin Klein debut is a hit on social media [Glossy]
  • Lone bidder Boohoo snags bankrupt Nasty Gal for $20m [Retail Dive]
  • H&M’s new Conscious Exclusive Collection turns discarded plastic into evening gowns with Bionic Yarn [Vogue]
  • What see now-buy now means for the production side of fashion [Apparel]

BUSINESS
  • Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent shine for Kering [Reuters]
  • Prada revenue falls again as house attempts to revamp [The Fashion Law]
  • Ethics controversy grows over Trump-Nordstrom spat [WWD]
  • Yoox Net-a-Porter on the downswing, FarFetch on the up [LeanLuxe]
  • Tiffany CEO Cumenal exits following sales slump [Retail Dive]
  • Sophisticated shoplifting gangs are costing US retailers $30 billion a year [Quartz]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Instagram Live makes fashion week debut [WWD]
  • Pinterest bets visual search can drive shoppers from inspiration to purchase [Internet Retailer]

MARKETING
  • Fendi just launched a new digital platform targeting millennials [Fashionista]
  • These five fashionable brands have mastered content that sells [Fast Company]
  • Barneys takes powerful stance on female equality, empowerment [Luxury Daily]
  • Adidas’ latest Y-3 fashion film is inspired by a futuristic dystopia [LS:N Global]
  • See Nike’s stirring ‘equality’ ad from the Grammys [AdAge]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Should Amazon challenge Hudson’s Bay for Macy’s? [BoF]
  • New Neiman Marcus in Fort Worth built with tech and convenience layered on top of art and fashion [Dallas News]
  • Nifty app links with New York Couture Fashion Week [WWD]
  • Mon Purse CEO Lana Hopkins: “We’re treating Bloomingdale’s, Selfridges as marketing and branding opportunities” [LeanLuxe]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Why fashion brands should think more like tech companies [Fast Company]
  • Magic Leap’s patented an augmented reality price-checker [The Verge]
  • New York designer Ab[Screenwear] combines fashion with light-responsive holographic panels and operable touchscreens [BrandChannel]

START-UPS
  • Techstars Q&A: How start-ups can accelerate retail innovation [Retail Dive]
  • Rêve en Vert to launch £300,000 crowdfunding campaign [The Industry]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media technology

What you missed: personalised retail, AR in Covent Garden, what went wrong for Nasty Gal

augmented reality
Augmented reality in Covent Garden

As we move ever closer to the end of the year, there are lots of forward-looking stories coming out, speculating around what the future of the industry might look like. Perhaps unsurprisingly, personalisation and machine learning are popping up time and again. A must-read this week is the perspective from Benedict Evans on what sensors in cameras everywhere means for data, retail, fashion trends and more.

Also worth taking a look at is the augmented reality that’s taken over Covent Garden, how adidas is taking inspiration from Uber in its latest m-commerce app, and insights on the rise and fall of both Nasty Gal and Karmaloop.

Don’t forget our Snapchat Masterclass takes place in London tomorrow (November 22) – just three tickets left for anyone looking to take advantage of our last minute 20% off offer using code “community”.


TOP STORIES
  • Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Dressipi: The next revolution in retail is data-based, personalised services, and the UK is at the vanguard [City AM]
  • ForerunnerVC on tailoring investments to the new reality of retail [Medium]
  • Covent Garden becomes world’s first augmented reality shopping destination [The Industry]
  • How Adidas’ m-commerce app takes inspiration from Uber to go beyond influencers [The Drum]
  • Benedict Evans on cameras, e-commerce and machine learning [Benedict Evans]

BUSINESS
  • Nasty Gal: What went wrong? [BoF]
  • What the hell happened to Karmaloop? The rise and record-breaking fall of the pioneering e-commerce clothing site [Complex]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • What WeChat teaches about the future of social commerce [AdAge]
  • How 5 brands are testing Instagram’s new shopping feature [Glossy]
  • 6 examples of how marketers are using Snap Inc’s Spectacles [AdWeek]
  • Snapchat parent files for $25 billion IPO [WSJ]

RETAIL
  • WAH Nails to open “salon of the future” in Soho [The Industry]
  • How predictive AI will change shopping [HBR]
  • The Marks & Spencer brand needs an experiential makeover to win back consumers [The Drum]
  • How luxury retailers are navigating Black Friday [Glossy]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Apple considers wearables expansion with digital glasses [Bloomberg]
  • Reebok brings jobs to America, along with 3D printing innovation [BrandChannel]
  • Virtual reality takes fans inside the world of watches [NY Times]
  • 11 exciting new materials designers should watch [Co.Design]

UPCOMING EVENTS
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business digital snippets e-commerce film social media technology

What you missed: What Trump means for retail, Alibaba’s $17bn Singles’ Day, Snapchat’s Snapbots

Trump America election retail
Analysts are weighing in on what a Trump presidency means for retail and for fashion

With the world reeling from the news of the US election over this past week, analysts have been trying to wrap their head around exactly what a Trump government will mean for retail. There are several good reads listed below.

Also hitting the headlines has of course been the mindblowing success and growth of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day – this year a $17bn affair, up from ‘just’ $14bn in 2015.

Meanwhile, some lighter bits to absorb: a wealth of new campaigns launched for the holiday season. John Lewis vs Marks & Spencer has got us excited, but also below is everyone from Gap to Macy’s, Debenhams and Kohl’s.

ps. Don’t forget to sign up for our Snapchat Masterclass – we’re currently offering 20% for our readers using code “community”.


TOP STORIES: US ELECTION & ALIBABA’S SINGLES’ DAY
  • What President Trump means for retailers [Retail Dive]
  • Fashion industry reacts to ‘devastating’ Trump victory [BoF]
  • Is fashion’s love affair with Washington over? [NY Times]
  • New Balance customers revolt after company welcomes Trump [Campaign]
  • $17 billion in one day: How Alibaba turned China’s Singles’ Day into a shopping bonanza [Digiday]
  • Virtual reality lets Chinese customers shop Macy’s New York store on the world’s biggest shopping day [Quartz]
  • Why luxury fashion brands are showing up for Singles’ Day [Glossy]
  • Michael Kors dished out discount codes with a casino-themed game on WeChat for Singles’ Day [AdWeek]
  • Five takeaways from Alibaba’s gigantic $17.8 billion shopping festival [AdAge]

BUSINESS
  • Nasty Gal files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy [Retail Dive]
  • Burberry profit falls 40% as costs rise [WSJ]
  • Kenneth Cole to shut down almost all its brick-and-mortar stores [Bloomberg]
  • Luxury coatmaker Canada Goose said to line up banks for IPO [Bloomberg]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Snap Inc.’s Spectacles are dropping in these crazy cool vending machines called Snapbots [AdWeek]

ADVERTISING
  • Luxury brands are failing in their storytelling [The Guardian]
  • Gap harnesses optimism in holiday ads [MediaPost]
  • Macy’s bets on power of Santa belief this holiday [AdAge]
  • Jennifer Saunders and Ewan McGregor sign up for Debenhams Christmas campaign [The Drum]
  • Kohl’s ramps up giving message in holiday campaign [AdAge]
  • Browns unveils new look, new website and innovative window campaign [The Industry]

UPCOMING EVENTS
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business Comment Editor's pick

Abercrombie’s mistake has been about evolution, not just sex

abercrombie

Abercrombie & Fitch is looking to ditch its focus on “sexualised marketing”, moving away from the half-naked models it has used across its website, store windows and shopping bags for years.

By July, both the Aberbrombie & Fitch and Hollister brands will also no longer hire their sales staff based on body type or attractiveness, nor refer to them as models, but rather brand ambassadors.

Frankly, it’s about time. “Sex sells” might still be a relevant concept (the recent runaway success of 50 Shades of Grey as proof), but nowhere near as blatantly as it was in the 90s and early 00s, and Abercrombie hasn’t evolved much since.

Back then, it was powering forward through a world that also saw Tom Ford dominating at Gucci; reviving a brand based on another version of that very same sexualised notion. Its 2003 campaign featuring model Carmen Kass with a ‘G’ shaved into her pubic hair is still one of the most memorable.

For both brands at that time, associating clothing and accessories with a touch of the controversy worked. Gucci under Ford evolved from near bankruptcy to a group valuation of $10bn in 2004. Abercrombie led by CEO Michael Jeffries became one of the most recognisable global teen retailers, with 965 stores in 20 countries.

gucci

Comments in a 2006 interview are indicative of Jeffries’ focus on this sexualised, or if you’d rather, “exclusionary”, marketing. On sex and sexual attraction, he said: “It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”

He continued: “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”

His formula however didn’t stand the test of time. Abercrombie sales have plummeted since – falling in six of the past eight years, with profit down 5.1% for 2014, and same-store sales by 10% last quarter. Shares have tumbled accordingly, down 39% over the past 12 months; all of which led to Jeffries departure in December of last year.

But the error Abercrombie made wasn’t in this strategy – it did after all work for quite some time – it’s in the fact it’s never changed it (the same could be said for the product, though that’s almost another story). In fact, walking into one of its stores in Manhattan this weekend, it might as well have been 15 years ago. Not only for the models, but also for the fact its powerful trademark aroma and exceptionally dark lighting were still the same – two other features also on their way out.

Marketing and communications have significantly evolved in the age of Instagram and other social media platforms. Where once it was all about the hard sell on aspirations to look like one of those oiled, buff bodies, now it’s arguably more about the “selfie”. There’s still aspiration there, but on a much more attainable level.

It’s your consumer’s contemporary, their friend next door, not the model hired to work the door. That’s why Brandy Melville does so well in this same market for girls, or why Nasty Gal took off to such an extent – products consumers want, sold to them in a way that absolutely makes sense to their lifestyle today. It’s hashtag marketing: your brand through the eyes of the very person you’re selling to.

In short, Abercrombie missed one vital thing in its revolution… evolution.

victoriassecret

But its time warp is representative of a whole wave of other US retailers at risk of meeting a similar fate. American Apparel is forever in the headlines for the same reason.

Even Victoria’s Secret, though still a marker leader, continues to run the same campaigns, with the same Angels, with the same fashion show. It’s becoming a tired model on the one hand, but it’s also one consumers are starting to push back against. A campaign in the UK featuring the line “Perfect Body” splashed across a shot of supermodels led to 27,000 signatures on a petition about body shaming in late 2014.

At some point, these brands will realise it’s not the same world it was 15 years ago, even if a hint of sex will always go a long way in marketing.

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs

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digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Yoox, Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, Lord & Taylor, Burberry, Nasty Gal, Nike

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

Yoox

  • The Yoox and Net-a-Porter merger is creating a tech giant as much as a fashion giant [Quartz]
  • Farfetch’s global platform play [BoF]
  • Did Lord & Taylor’s hot Instagram campaign thumb its nose at FTC disclosure rules? [AdWeek]
  • Burberry broadcasts ‘London in L.A.’ show via Periscope [Creativity]
  • Nasty Gal’s uncertain future: does it have what it takes to stay on top? [Racked]
  • Nike’s latest addition to the “lady empowerment ad” genre is one of the most relatable [Fashionista]
  • Stuart Weitzman campaign starts with cool cinemagraphs on Instagram, then follows up on Facebook [AdWeek]
  • Neiman Marcus introduces new image recognition “Snap. Find. Shop” app [Haute Living]
  • How Old Navy is winning at YouTube [Digiday]
  • Old Navy and Banana Republic among first brands to use Instagram’s carousel ads and link to product page [AdAge]
  • Asos eyes emerging artists on Vevo to deepen ties to 20-somethings [The Drum]
  • Amazon quietly acquired Shoefitr to improve how it sells footwear online [TechCrunch]
  • Viral style: why are we obsessed? [BBC]
  • Fashion brands are ignoring the internet because the market hasn’t yet forced them to take action [BoF]
  • What can fashion learn from science? [i-D]
  • Digital beauty businesses aim for breakthrough [BoF]
  • Forget the Internet of Things, there is a digital revolution taking place in our shopping malls [Forbes]
  • If you text this phone number, a guy named Stefan will send you limited-edition clothes [Business Insider]
  • The RealReal raises $40 million to double sales in 2015 [Fashionista]
  • Fashion can win the wearables war [BoF]
  • Ad spend on smart watches estimated to reach nearly $70m by 2019 [The Drum]
  • Six retailers doing the most to make mobile part of the in-store experience [PSFK]
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce film social media technology

Digital snippets: Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Net-a-Porter, ModCloth, Nasty Gal, Dove

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

calvinklein_bieber

  • Justin Bieber drives 3.6m+ new social followers for Calvin Klein [WWD]
  • Tommy Hilfiger becomes digital showroom pioneer [Pursuitist]
  • Net-a-Porter hints at launch of new social commerce experience [The Drum]
  • What changes at ModCloth and Nasty Gal mean for e-commerce [TechCrunch]
  • Dove’s latest film encourages girls to love their curls [AdWeek]
  • Footwear brand Merrell invites Sundance attendees to virtual reality hike [PSFK]
  • Op-ed: A picture is worth a million likes [BoF]
  • Why celebrity casting is spring’s biggest campaign trend [Fashionista]
  • Microsoft’s HoloLens presents a bold near-future for augmented reality [WGSN/blogs]
  • Are magic mirrors the next big thing? [Retailing Today]
  • Ringly has raised $5.1 million to make cocktail rings that light up when you get a notification [Business Insider]
Categories
data digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media technology

Digital snippets: Selfridges, Prada, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Asos, Lancôme, Valentino

A highlight of the top stories surrounding all things fashion and digital of late:

Selfridges_drivethru

  • Drive-through Dior? Coming right up at Selfridges London [CN Traveler]
  • Wes Anderson debuts latest Prada feature [Fashionotes]
  • Victoria’s Secret creates 3D-printed angel wings for fashion models [Huffington Post]
  • Gap rolls out “reserve in store” service [CNBC]
  • Valentino jumps in on China’s high-tech runway revolution [JingDaily]
  • Under Armour looks to take a bite out of FuelBand success with MapMyFitness acquisition [BrandChannel]
  • Pinterest opens API to retail partners [TechCrunch]
  • Google’s Eric Schmidt invests in retail tech designed to help personalisation and data measurement [WWD]
  • Here’s why ‘The Internet of Things’ will be huge, and drive tremendous value for people and businesses [Business Insider]
  • Why companies desperately need to make wearables cool [Wired]
  • How brands get shoppers to volunteer their personal data: transparency and better experiences [PSFK]
  • Social media drives less than 1% of shopping sessions, study says [Fashionista]
  • Fashion retailers are still failing to optimise email marketing for mobile [Econsultancy]
  • What retailers can learn from mobile commerce in the UK [Shop.org]
  • 15 stats that show why click-and-collect is so important for retailers [Econsultancy]

Note: Look out for a separate holiday-specific digital round-up later this week, featuring all the top retail campaign stories as well as insights into the biggest innovations being pushed for the festive season.

Categories
digital snippets social media

Digital snippets: Diesel, J.Crew, David Beckham, New Look, Benefit, Alexander Wang

Here’s a highlight of recent stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital:

Diesel_reboot

  • Diesel goes to Tumblr to cast Reboot ad campaign (as pictured) [WWD]
  • J.Crew takes autumn catalogue digital with exclusive Pinterest debut [BrandChannel]
  • David Beckham strips for H&M Bodywear range once again [Campaign]
  • 17 reasons for New Look’s 79% leap in online sales, and eight areas for improvement [Econsultancy]
  • Benefit’s ballsy mascara ad touts nice “packages” [Mashable]
  • Alexander Wang crowdsources charity bag for Samsung [Vogue.co.uk]
  • Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer: hail to the chief [Vogue.com]
  • Sophia Amoruso expands Nasty Gal [WSJ]
  • Comparison shopping comes to Google Glass through new app, Crystal Shopper [The Verge]
  • DailyCandy partners with Tribeca Enterprises for Fashion in Film festival [DailyCandy]
Categories
digital snippets mobile Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Uniqlo, Abercrombie, Louis Vuitton, Nike, J.Crew, Club Monaco, Tory Burch, adidas

I’m playing a massive round of catch-up post work and leisure travel… more on the former to follow, but in the meantime, here’s a look at some of the biggest stories surrounding all things fashion and digital from the past couple of weeks. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below…

 

  • Uniqlo mesmerises Pinterest users with mass pinning for Dry Mesh Project [BrandChannel]
  • Abercrombie & Fitch models cover ‘Call me Maybe’, video goes viral (as above) [Abercrombie & Fitch]
  • Louis Vuitton’s new interactive site teaches you how to pack [FastCo.Create]
  • Nike becomes first UK company to have Twitter campaign banned [The Guardian]
  • J.Crew’s latest online venture, Hello World, invites Scott Schuman and Garance Doré to capture five global tastemakers [Refinery29]
  • Club Monaco launches Facebook Timeline app [Mashable]
  • Tory Burch resets with app, revised blog [WWD]
  • adidas athletes #takethestage in its biggest-ever marketing push [Campaign]
  • Fashion to embrace ‘social gaming’ [WWD]
  • Nasty Gal’s Sophia Amoruso: fashion’s new phenom [Forbes]
  • Pinterest has users, Fancy has a business model [AdWeek]
  • NYC and Mayor Bloomberg launch Project PopUp, a fashion tech start-up competition [BoF]
  • 10 fashion memes that took the internet by storm [Fashionista]