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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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e-commerce product

Rapha launches custom cycling kits on demand

British cycling brand Rapha has teamed up with software company Unmade to launch a personalized design service that enables customers to create their own team kits.

Rapha Custom allows cyclists to design their team’s own kits by starting from a template, and then choosing from a variety of layouts (such as plain or chevron) and over 40 color combinations. To further personalize it, they can upload their team logos and add text. The software will then show photorealistic renders of the final design onto any photography, including lifestyle imagery of a group in any location-based scenario. Designs are digitally printed on demand, and delivered within eight weeks.

“When launching Rapha Custom we looked to address some of the biggest constraints for groups of cyclists creating custom kit,” said Ed Clifford, head of Rapha Custom. “The market was crying out for a design led and fully digital customer experience that was seamless in manufacturing and delivery. Unmade’s software provides us with a best in class system that is fully automated and integrated throughout the entire process.”

Traditionally, creating a custom team kit requires long lead times and a poor experience for the user, as well as from a production perspective, high manual involvement in the design and production of it. This service however offers brands seamless integration through a dedicated platform within the e-commerce site, and a much more efficient customer journey as a result.

Rapha Custom
Rapha Custom


“At Unmade it is extremely important for us to work in partnership with forward-thinking brands who share our vision for creating real change within the fashion and sportswear industries, through bespoke experiences and collections that are both innovative and efficiently manufactured,” said Hal Watts, co-founder and CEO of Unmade. “Working in collaboration with the world leading cycle brand Rapha has allowed us to expand our capabilities from a knitwear focus into print.”

Beyond the customer-facing element of this service, Rapha will also be able to create time-limited content or designs for special editions, partner collaborations as well as internally, bespoke products on-demand for prototyping and short runs.

How are you thinking about e-commerce 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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Editor's pick product technology

Adidas and Foot Locker team up to co-create sneakers inspired by consumers

adidas is strengthening its strategic partnership with US footwear retailer Foot Locker by introducing an initiative that will co-create sneakers inspired by consumers at various moments throughout the year. The pilot will deploy the sportswear brand’s SPEEDFACTORY production process, which creates limited runs of shoes on-demand up to 36 times faster than industry standard lead times.

“We’re working with Foot Locker to create incredible product for consumers and deliver it faster than ever before,” said Zion Armstrong, president of adidas North America. “With its cutting-edge technology, SPEEDFACTORY is enabling us to reach this shared ambition. We’re excited to kick off this first-of-its-kind partnership with Foot Locker and co-create the future together.”

The initiative aims to reflect the three strategic choices of Adidas’ 2020 business plan called Creating the New, announced back in 2015: Speed, exemplified through SPEEDFACTORY; Cities, wherein the group has strategically selected six key cities globally (including Tokyo and London) to disproportionally invest in marketing and retail; and Open Source, which aims to bring in external collaboration in order to spur more creativity and innovation.

The shoes, which will fall under the Made For (AM4) SPEEDFACTORY line, will be introduced across the country at various cultural and sporting moments of the year. The first run, called the AM4ATL (pictured), will be a collection of running shoes and cleats celebrating different heritages and cultures of players who make up a team and showcase how they are united as one. It will debut on pro football players during a game this week and be available for purchase online and at select Atlanta-area stores.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent 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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digital snippets e-commerce Editor's pick mobile Startups technology

Digital snippets: Every key fashion story you need to read from #SXSW

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It might be an event dedicated to technologists first and foremost, but there’s no escaping the role of branding and marketing at SXSW Interactive these days, and the fashion industry has inserted itself well and truly as a relevant vertical within that.

From SXstyle to numerous off-schedule events, there were more dedicated fashion and retail-related panels than ever, not to mention numerous pop-up activations dedicated to the future of this area.

Whether you weren’t able to make it to Austin, or indeed were on the ground but overwhelmed by the madness (weren’t we all!), here’s a comprehensive round-up of everything that went on by way of the top stories to read. Note the absence of wearables this year by the way…

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e-commerce Editor's pick

On-demand fashion economy hits SXSW with Revolve x Postmates partnership

revolve_postmates

Online e-commerce site Revolve is teaming up with delivery service Postmates for a special festival-themed campaign during SXSW this year.

Acknowledging what they refer to as the “on-demand, instant-gratification generation that is changing fashion”, the initiative will see the retailer’s festival essentials collection available in Austin in under 60 minutes for a flat delivery fee of $3.99.

To put the relevancy of festival into perspective for Revolve: it made up approximately 20% of all sales during 2015. During SXSW therefore, it’s encouraging users to access the Postmates app or browse merchandise via Instagram to see it on various influencers, and immediately click to buy.