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Editor's pick product sustainability Uncategorized

ASICS gives used sportswear a new lease of life for 2020 Japan Olympic uniforms

Japanese sportswear label ASICS has introduced a program that will use donated sportswear as the raw material for the official uniforms of the Japanese Olympic and Paralympic teams at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. In order to collect the unwanted items, the brand is placing collection boxes across Japan, including at own stores, partner retailers and sporting events, up until May 31.

The “ASICS Reborn Wear Project” hopes to gather approximately 30,000 items of sportswear and give the Games’s competitors uniforms rich with the memories of the people who have worn them, in order to further spur them on. 

Anyone is allowed to donate clothing, and collection boxes will also display a barcode that once scanned opens a dedicated website inviting people to sign up for a special newsletter. Users will then receive messages from athletes, information on Tokyo 2020 and progress reports on what is happening with all donated clothing. There will also be a digital tool that enables people to digitally frame photos of their own sportswear that holds sentimental value and share it on social media, hoping to further build up a sense of positive energy ahead of the Games.

Former freestyle wrestler Saori Yoshida

To promote the program, ASICS will also roll out advertisements featuring the brand’s staff members, as well as Japanese sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu and former freestyle wrestler Saori Yoshida, showcasing their own personal sportswear.

The sustainable initiative is a part of the brand’s bigger ambitions towards sustainability. It has also announced a target to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will include replacing polyester materials used on its shoe uppers and sportswear products with 100% recycled polyester. 

How are you thinking about sustainable textiles? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners for your sustainability strategy. 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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business Campaigns digital snippets Editor's pick film product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Industry faces its #MeToo moment, tech hits Olympics, Vogue and Amazon Echo Look

Tom Ford - ICYMI #metoo metoo fashion week
Tom Ford

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

TOP STORIES
  • New York Fashion Week: industry faces its #MeToo moment [TheGuardian]
  • Can an app launch the fashion world’s #metoo reckoning? [Vanity Fair]
  • Olympic clothing designers try to beat the cold with technology [Scientific American]
  • Vogue and GQ will test content inside Amazon’s Echo Look [Digiday]
  • Can Christian Louboutin trademark red soles? An EU court says no [NY Times]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Intel unveils smart glasses that you might want to wear [Engadget]
  • Walmart’s tech incubator buys VR startup Spatialand [Reuters]
  • Opinion: Blockchain technology will make true luxury more lucrative [JingDaily]
  • JD.com and Fung align for AI development [RetailDive]
  • Asics Ventures invests in conductivity textiles [FashionUnited]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • Eileen Fisher, Columbus Consulting reveal details for sustainable design plan [WWD]
  • Primark publishes global supplier map showing all of its factories [TheIndustry]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Target CEO: Our personal shoppers will deliver to ‘your kitchen table’ [CNBC]
  • Macy’s plans pop-ups to amplify discovery [RetailDive]
  • Malls are dying, but things remembered is still hanging on [Racked]
  • Tips from the e-commerce giant Zalando [Maize]
MARKETING
  • Benjamin Millepied directs Ansel Elgort and Kate Mara in a mesmerizing film for Rag & Bone [CreativityOnline]
  • Nike rolls out NikePlus membership benefits [WWD]
  • Asics personal trainers will kick your butt as you use its fitness app [CreativityOnline]
SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Instagram entices brands with new shopping-enabled ads [TheDrum]
  • Pinterest sees 600 million visual searches every month [VentureBeat]
  • Swarovski and KiraKira+ launch fashion week ‘brilliance’ filter [WWD]
PRODUCT
  • UA HOVR, ushering in a new chapter of sneaker tech innovation [FashNerd]
BUSINESS
  • Canada Goose craze continues as shoppers flock to new stores [BoF]
  • British designer Misha Nonoo is rewriting fashion’s playbook [FastCompany]
  • The cautionary tale of H&M and digital disruption [BoF]
  • LVMH Luxury Ventures backs Stadium Goods [WWD]
  • Tapestry shares rise after earnings beat expectations [BoF]
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Campaigns Editor's pick technology

The New York Times launches AR campaign capability ahead of Winter Olympics

The New York Times' AR experience mobile editorial Team USA olympic games
The New York Times’ AR experience

The New York Times has launched its first ever in-article augmented reality campaign, spotlighting Team USA athletes ahead of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea.

Available within the publisher’s app, the feature allows users who are reading an Olympic-focused article to experience athletes in 3D by activating their phone cameras and pointing towards a flat surface. At key moments in the written story, the text fades to reveal an image of an athlete, including figure skater Nathan Chen and hockey goalie Alex Rigsby.

Walking around the 3D figures opens up new points of view and more information on their expertise. For instance, Austrian snowboarder, Anna Gasser, is featured executing a jump, which prompts the screen to encourage the user to walk the 60ft she travels, creating a physical idea of distance.

The experience is peppered with visual highlights that light up when the user walks around the virtual object. It’s a strong example of a brand nudging the consumer towards the behaviour of interacting with digital realities from a UX standpoint.

Graham Roberts, the publisher’s head of immersive storytelling, told AdWeek that it was imperative to develop an integrated approach that didn’t require downloading a different app or leaving an article to engage with – and thus, treating AR like any other piece of media consumers are used to interacting with. “There’s a whole language that needs to be learned on both sides, the producers and the consumers,” he said. “It’s almost like introducing the mouse for the first time; it’s a new way of interacting with something.”

The activation also includes a 3D view of ice dancers Alex and Maia Shibutani, sponsored by Ralph Lauren.

According to Jared van Fleet, director of new business at the publisher’s in-house experiential agency, Fake Love, the market for augmented reality within advertising is quickly picking up speed: “The first brands that we saw that were really excited to experiment were largely in categories like fashion or auto: brands that have premium physical products,” he said. “A lot of brands are starting to understand that they need to begin to build a strategy for how they’re going to communicate their brand in 3D, whether or not they’re B2B services or B2C physical products, in all kinds of forms.”

Van Fleet is also optimistic about what this means for consumer adoption of the technology: “When a brand with the distribution and credibility that The New York Times has gets into AR, we start to reach an audience that we haven’t really yet engaged with this technology. Any kind of new medium or technology is developed with iterations that take into account user behavior and understanding how people are responding.”

Working on this campaign was experiential agency Fake Love, who scanned the athletes for 3D rendering, and the publisher’s in-house content arm T Brand Studio, using Apple ARKit.

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Editor's pick product technology

Ralph Lauren introduces heat-conducting smart jacket for USA Olympics team

Ralph Lauren has launched a smart jacket that will allow the USA Olympics team to keep warm at this year’s Winter games, taking place in PyeongChang, South Korea.

As part of the team’s official uniform, which the brand has been designing for six years, a parka and a bomber jacket each use heat-conducting ink that generates warmth similar to an electric blanket.

“We’re looking back and celebrating what’s iconic and symbolic of America, and merging that with where we’re headed,” says David Lauren, the brand’s chief innovation officer. The uniform, which includes classics of American fashion such as jeans and thick suede gloves, nod to different American frontiers, he adds. “The frontiers of the 1800s and 1900s, and then the frontier of today, which is technology.”

Lauren explains that the design’s top priority was to allow for flexibility: while temperatures in South Korea can reach below zero in the winter, athletes needed to feel equally comfortable wearing the jacket while waiting at the backstage area ahead of the Opening Ceremony. After investigating suitable fabrics, the brand landed on technology.

 

Ralph Lauren's Heated Parka, tech-enabled textiles
Ralph Lauren’s Heated Parka

The garment’s heat is achieved through a special type of carbon and silver ink bonded to the jacket lining, which in keeping with the brand’s roots, were sewn in the shape of an American flag.

The ink connects to a battery pack sewn into the garment, which when fully charged can heat the jacket for up to 11 hours. Athletes can then adjust the temperature up or down via an app.

To develop the jacket, the RL innovation team worked with several US-based  partners such as engineers at Delaware-based tech giant DuPont, who had previously developed heated garments which were deemed to heavy for everyday wear. The brand also worked with Butler Technologies, a high-tech precision screen-printer based in Pittsburgh; apparel manufacturer 99Degrees, who helped bond the heater to the jacket’s lining; Key Tech, a high-tech design firm that helped design the battery packs with user experience in mind; and Principled Design, who designed the connectors that attach the battery pack to the heater in a streamlined way.

A sketch of Ralph Lauren's Olympics opening ceremony outfit connected tech, textiles
A sketch of Ralph Lauren’s Olympics opening ceremony outfit

Lauren explains that the jacket is an experiment towards launching a consumer-facing connected product this year: “Our hope is that we’ll learn enough that we’ll be able to go into production with a different, limited edition jacket for this fall.”

For years, the brand has been experimenting with technology and how it can improve performance when embedded in textiles. In 2015, it launched the PoloTech smart shirt, which captures biometric information and transmits it to an accompanying app, while for the 2016 Summer Olympics, it created a blazer with electroluminescent panels for torch-bearer Michael Phelps.

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digital snippets e-commerce Uncategorized

Digital snippets: adidas, Garance Doré and Kate Spade, Bergdorf’s, Hipstamatic

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

  • adidas builds on Olympic success with ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ Team GB video (as above) [The Drum]
  • Super blogger Garance Doré launches collaborative collection with Kate Spade [Vogue.co.uk]
  • Bergdorf Goodman’s online push [WWD]
  • adidas creates sneakers that display real-time tweets [PSFK]
  • W magazine partners with iPhone photography app Hipstamatic [Mashable]
  • Faces of NYFW aggregates real-time data from fashion week [Fashion Notes]
  • The potential of e-commerce in China [MaoSuit]
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Uncategorized

Olympic pixel tablets create giant 360? screen, inspire live events worldwide

From The Queen’s cameo alongside James Bond to the reunion of the Spice Girls, there’s no doubt Danny Boyle’s approach to the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics, was sheer creative genius. As Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport, said, it proved the occasion to be “as much a celebration of creativity as sport”.

But so too was it a feat of technical brilliance. Thousands of participants, dozens of vehicles and endless video cameras, but better yet, some 230 miles of cabling to enable 70,500 tablets, and a total of 634,500 pixels, to turn the audience into one enormous digital screen.

Yep, in case you hadn’t realised, the digital animations that appeared as though overlaid on the spectators throughout both ceremonies, were in fact the result of high-powered paddles attached to every seat.

Created by Tait Technologies, each one had nine full colour lights that, when controlled by custom-designed programmes from digital solutions company Crystal CG, sent multiple images around the bowl-shaped arena. In doing so, they not only achieved Boyle’s vision of wanting those in attendance to feel more involved in the action, but also created the world’s biggest ever screen; a 360? and seemingly “human powered” one.

During the closing ceremony, more than 75 minutes of digital animations were seen in this way. One example was a psychedelic 1960s sequence that took over 500 hours to produce. Do watch the video below to see some of it action.

“No longer limited by large flat screens, we were presented with the challenge of creating animations to bring the stage and the spectators together,” said Will Case, creative director at Crystal. “We delivered. The live audience and those watching at home were drawn into the action. We are witnessing the death of the traditional video screen – this will transform the way event content is presented in future, becoming a more immersive experience.”

Boyle added: “Every Olympic Ceremony aims for a major technical breakthrough. Our remarkable audience pixels have opened up amazing new images, effects and spectacle, but most of all they have enabled our live stadium audience to be part of the ceremony in a way that’s never been possible before.”

What fantastic crossover that could have for the fashion industry, let alone live events around the world full stop. Imagine catwalk stands that instantly become immersive displays for the collections as they come out; a reflection of the season they’re in, or the inspirations cast by the designer. As the late Alexander McQueen said back in 2009 in reference to live-streaming: “This is the birth of a new dawn. I am going to take you on journeys you’ve never dreamed were possible.”

Let’s hope so…

 

You might also like:

Burberry World Live launches with immersive 360-degree experience in Taipei

Ralph Lauren superimposes 4-D light show on storefront

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Digital snippets: London 2012 #Olympics special!

London 2012 has been dubbed the “social media Olympics”, and rightly so given the overwhelming growth seen all things digital even since Beijing in 2008.

All the usual platforms are proving relevant, from YouTube to Instagram, and of course Twitter for real-time updates. Facebook launched a special page featuring links to athletes, teams and sports, while so too is there an official Olympic Hub from the IOC, and a partnership between LOCOG and Foursquare. There was even a dedicated hashtag to keep what happens during the opening ceremony a secret: #savethesurprise.

And then of course there are the brands. Official sponsor or not, the online space is awash with those tapping in as closely as they can to sporting fever.

It all kicks off officially from tonight, but until then here are a couple of the best campaigns we’ve seen across the digital space so far:

  • adidas and David Beckham surprise fans: This one might be a real-world activation, but there’s nothing quite like a viral video to get everyone talking about it: 2.3m views and counting of adidas surprising shoppers having their pictures taken in its #takethestage photo booth with a guest appearance by David Beckham (as below) [YouTube]
  • Coca Cola’s Move to the Beat campaign: In the aim of connecting younger people to the action, Coca Cola teamed up with Mark Ronson and turned to music. The Grammy Award-winning producer recorded the sounds of five different Olympic sports and used the resulting beats to create a track, as shown below. The brand is also inviting fans to have a go at remixing themselves via a dedicated app [Coca Cola]
  • EDF uses Twitter to dictate colour of London Eye: London’s infamous Ferris wheel is set to become a giant mood ring as EDF Energy teams up with Sosolimited to display different colours based on the sentiment of tweets around the Games [Mashable]
  • Nike’s Find Your Greatness spot pushes Olympic advertising rules: The first non-sponsor to mention is of course Nike. An expert at ambush marketing (Write the Future a case in point), the brand has launched an ad that references other places around the world also called London (as below). “Greatness is not in one special place, it is not in one special person; greatness is wherever somebody is trying to find it,” says the narrator. It is also backed by a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #findgreatness [Fast Co]
  • Visa invites consumers to send in cheers: Part of Visa’s Go World campaign for the Olympics invites fans to submit a cheer to the participating athletes in the form of a click, post or video via Facebook. A lucky few will go on to feature in special-edition spots celebrating the achievements of Team Visa athletes in real-time [TheInspirationRoom]
  • Nastia Liukin pushes Fantastic Gymnastics Dora doll and app: The latest doll from Dora the Explorer is a London 2012 gymnast special being promoted by Team USA five-time Olympic medallist Nastia Liukin. It also comes with an augmented reality app for kid’s to watch her come to life [BrandChannel]
  • Harrods welcomes everyone to London: A very simple one here, but nonetheless noteworthy. Harrods posted a collaged picture featuring multiple icons of London associated with its own store as well as the Olympics on Facebook. The accompanying text read: “Over the coming weeks, London will play host to many visitors. We would simply like to say… Welcome to our wonderful city. #LoveLondon” [Harrods]

In case you haven’t seen them, there’s also the incredible Best Job spot from P&G (almost 5.5m views), Specsavers’ response to the Korean flag blunder, and the giant Jessica Ennis #homeadvantage image from British Airways on the Heathrow flight path (as pictured top).

Spot any more? Do add them to the comments…

 

 

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Stylist mag launches interactive #Olympics issue with Blippar

Stylist magazine launched its first augmented reality issue today with an interactive cover featuring Great Britain’s synchronised swimming team.

Enabled through a partnership between the UK free weekly title and image recognition app Blippar, the cover can be scanned to trigger a video of the Olympic hopefuls performing an exclusive routine.

“We knew we wanted to do something really special to mark the Olympics, and when we spoke to the Blippar team it became apparent they could help us create something innovative that would totally engage our readers and celebrate this incredible event,” said editor Lisa Smosarski.

The issue has various additional scannable pages throughout (recognisable by the Blippar logo), giving readers access to more videos as well as social media content and a “Style List” you can shop directly from. There’s also an Olympic medal leader board due to be updated daily throughout the Games.

“There’s so much to see, do and play with in this issue,” Smosarski adds in a video explaining how to use the app, here.

Stylist follows in the footsteps of Tatler and Asos who have previously made their magazines come to life using augmented reality.

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digital snippets mobile social media Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Louis Vuitton, Project Runway, Westfield, Nike, Macy’s, Ikea

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

 

  • Louis Vuitton’s Yayoi Kusama app turns pics into polka dot art prints (as above) [PSFK]
  • Virtual Heidi Klum rates outfits of visitors to New York’s High Line via interactive Project Runway billboard [AdWeek]
  • Westfield pits East against West in social media Olympics campaign [Campaign]
  • Nike to run real-time Olympics Twitter ads [The Drum]
  • Macy’s rolls out Shopkick mobile rewards app nationwide [AllThingsD]
  • Retail brands can benefit from greater reach on Facebook by targeting their fans’ friends [Media Week]
  • B2B fashion sites on the rise [WWD]
  • Spoonflower lets users design and sell own custom fabric [TechCrunch]
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digital snippets Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Dior, YSL, Ralph Lauren, Zara, Lyst

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

 

  • Backstage Dior video shows one million flowers being installed at couture show (as above) [Fashionista]
  • Ralph Lauren organises Facebook send-off for Olympic athletes [Mashable]
  • Social commerce platform Lyst secures $5m funding [TheNextWeb]
  • KCD and Spring form partnership for global fashion communications, will help brands navigate complex new media landscape [WWD]
  • Designer uses Photoshop and textile software program to knit medical images into high fashion [The Atlantic]