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digital snippets Retail sustainability technology

ICYMI: Lush abandons social, buyers send sustainability message, learning resale from Nike

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

TOP STORIES
  • Lush abandons social media: it’s ‘getting harder’ to talk to customers [The Drum]
  • The world’s fashion buyers are sending a strong message to designers about sustainability [Quartz]
  • What Chanel can learn from Nike about the resale market [BoF]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Amazon readies Alexa-powered earbuds [Retail Dive]
  • Ikea’s new smart speaker looks like a HomePod crossed with a lamp [The Next Web]
  • Everything you need to know about the Pinterest IPO [NYT]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • ‘Buy local’ seeks to reduce fashion’s environmental footprint [Vogue Business]
  • Salvatore Ferragamo promotes sustainability with art and fashion exhibition [WWD]
  • Galeries Lafayette launches second-hand fashion platform [Fashion Network]
  • Fur supporters plan to keep fighting New York City’s proposed ban on fur sales [WWD]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • According to Amazon’s new horoscopes, the stars want you to go shopping [Vox]
  • The line between social media and e-commerce is beginning to disappear [Fashionista]
  • Gucci opens doors to pop-up apartment [Campaign]
  • The new retail: today’s China is tomorrow’s America [Jing Daily]
  • Singapore’s $1.3 billion airport expansion is half botanical garden, half mega-mall [Fast Company]
  • H&M subsidiary to start trialing secondhand sales next week [WWD]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Ermenegildo Zegna introduces new fragrances with special installations [WWD]
  • New Balance invests in gamified mobile ads to win over young, global customers [Glossy]
  • Asos ‘upweights’ digital spend as it puts focus on acquisition [Marketing Week]
PRODUCT
  • Rodarte unveils a collaboration with Universal Standard [Vogue]
  • Guess to sell vintage capsule via Fred Segal [Fashion Network]
  • How Cos is changing the way we think about design [Vogue]
BUSINESS
  • Asos pre-tax profits plunge 87 percent [Fashion United]
  • Why Tommy Hilfiger is selling better than ever [Vogue Business]
  • Sales surge at LVMH [Drapers]
  • Allbirds goes all-in on China [WWD]
  • Debenhams falls into administration [Drapers]
CULTURE
  • Estée Laundry: the Instagram collective holding the beauty industry to account [The Guardian]
  • The shady truth about inclusive beauty (and how brands can improve) [BoF]
  • Virgil Abloh’s real value to Louis Vuitton isn’t about the clothes he can sell [Quartz]

How are you thinking about 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 Events technology

NYFW roundup: #MeToo conversations, immersive runways and supersized robots

Models close the Prabal Gurung AW18 show
Models close the Prabal Gurung AW18 show

It was a quieter New York Fashion Week season than usual, as big-name designers including Altuzarra and Tommy Hilfiger chose to decamp to other cities – Paris and Milan, respectively – to host their much buzzed-about runway shows. Even fashion week parties, which in the past provided magazine fodder for weeks to come, have also been scaled down, with the industry seemingly more subdued in general.

That didn’t stop various buzzworthy moments however, including subtle nods to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, various more immersive runway presentations, and a dash of the futuristic with Google TiltBrush and an oversized robot.

Here we highlight some of the most interesting conversations that took place, and where there was still room left for improvement…

Cultural statements

There was little direct acknowledgement of the powerful conversation around the #MeToo movement, but shows attempted to create a stage for female empowerment. For Tom Ford, the approach was literal and included models strutting down the runway donning shoulder pads and a “Pussy Power” handbag. For Prabal Gurung, which The Washington Post has previously described as the “most woke man in fashion”, it was a nod to the #TimesUp conversation as models closed the show as a group, carrying white roses.

Tom Ford AW18
Tom Ford AW18

Also alluding to the message of empowerment, designer Jonathan Simkhai presented a Suffragette-inspired collection, while Kesha’s song on speaking out on harassment, “Praying”, greeted guests.

Following the second yearly Woman’s March, which took place globally on January 20, Brother Vellies teamed up with a roster of labels, such as Clare V. and Rachel Comey, to design a capsule collection benefitting the march and Planned Parenthood.

Meanwhile designer Rebecca Minkoff, who was due to give birth to her third child during the week, forwent a formal presentation, instead opting to showcase her see-now-buy-now on 20 powerful women online. That cast includes members of the Women’s March committee, as well as actress Zosia Mamet and fashion presenter Zanna Roberts Rassi. The designer also teamed up with networking app Bumble Bizz to host a speaker night titled “Trailblazers: Women who have started their own company or have forged their own way within their industry”.

The topic of diversity was ever-present during NYFW too, though perhaps rather positively it was less buzzed about as more designers included a variation of ethnicities and sizes on their runway. Designers such as Christian Siriano and one of this season’s favourites, Eckhaus Latta, enlisted models at each end of the spectrum. Meanwhile model Kendall Jenner hosted an Adidas Originals presentation that featured a colourful cast and the showcase of the brand’s first hijab.

Alternative runways

In addition to the designers whose presence was missed in New York this season, many others moved away from formal runway shows to explore new ways to engage with a new, savvier audience.

Kirsten Dunst for Rodarte AW18
Kirsten Dunst for Rodarte AW18

Adidas teamed up with trendy New York label and lifestyle store VFiles to host a multimedia photoshoot at the Terminal 5 venue in Hell’s Kitchen, for instance. As music played for partygoers, models stood on stage posing against white backdrops, thus partaking in a live photoshoot. The immersive event aimed to respond to a community who wants to participate, rather than watch from the sidelines, said Julie Anne Quay, founder of VFiles.

Online, Zac Posen launched his collection via a photoshoot starring actress and friend Katie Holmes. Similarly the Rodarte sisters published the “Women that Inspire Us” lookbook, which features a pregnant Kirsten Dunst and young R&B duo Chloe x Halle, among others.

Perhaps cleverly steering clear from live presentations, which have in the past not received the best of reviews, Kanye West leveraged his online fandom by releasing his Yeezy Season Six collection online, in a lookbook starring women such as Paris Hilton and actress Sarah Snyder dressed up as Kim Kardashian look-a-likes, as well as the woman herself.

The future is here?

In a week primed for entertainment and participation to take place, designers were surprisingly timid when experimenting with technology this season.

Irina Shayk and robot companion at Philipp Plein AW18

As previously reported, Rebecca Taylor teamed up with Google’s Tilt Brush to create an immersive in-store environment for customers to enjoy her collection in, while Badgley Mischka harnessed technology to better receive their immediate audience’s feedback.

Meanwhile, Nicole Miller teamed up with AI and image recognition company RevelGlam to pilot their software on her runway show. The software analyses insights from fashion shows as well as celebrity sightings and influencer activities in order to predict trends.

Never one to shy away from the spotlight, it was German designer Philipp Plein who became a major topic of conversation however; giving the week a much-needed injection of futuristic tech. In a display of extravagance he has become known for, model Irina Shayk entered the runway from a spaceship and strutted alongside a giant bot with the designer’s logo plastered all over it.

In a week where most designers arguably played safe on many fronts – from not taking a truly clear stand on serious conversations to engaging with new technologies – Plein’s stunt may have trumped the collection being shown, but it simultaneously provided an irreverent and timely take on the future.

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

What you missed: Ralph Lauren’s Instagram Stories, Apple’s augmented reality, brand activations at NYFW

Ralph Lauren on Instagram - Instagram Stories
Ralph Lauren on Instagram

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


TOP STORIES
  • Decoding the digital strategy behind Ralph Lauren’s ‘garage’ show [BoF]
  • Apple shows off breathtaking new augmented reality demos [The Verge]
  • Apple’s new Animojis are the latest sign that brands need to embrace augmented reality [AdWeek]
  • 7 of the smartest brand activations so far at NYFW [PSFK]

BUSINESS
  • Should Amazon buy Nordstrom next? [Recode]
  • The modern luxury supply chain is log jammed at the front door of your apartment building [LeanLuxe]
  • Kering and LVMH draft charter on models’ well-being [The Fashion Law]
  • Everlane founder Michael Preysman: ‘Denim is a really dirty business’ [Glossy]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Cath Kidston collaborates with Pinterest on “Colour” QR codes [The Industry]

MARKETING
  • Matchesfashion.com to launch daily content with Style Daily [The Industry]
  • AI is so hot right now researchers are posing for Yves Saint Laurent [The Verge]
  • Rodarte’s Laura and Kate Mulleavy on their first feature film [The Impression]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • To save retail, let it die [BoF]
  • Amazon’s 1-click patent is about to expire. What’s the big deal? [NPR]
  • Alibaba to open ‘More Mall,’ a physical mall connecting online shoppers in China [Jing Daily]
  • eBay launches new digital concept to mark New York Fashion Week [Fashion United]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Data from your clothing could soon earn you digital currency thanks to this blockchain integration [Forbes]
  • How AI is transforming the shopping experience based on the images consumers look at online [AdWeek]

PRODUCT
  • Nike to launch custom shoes in less than 90 minutes [Fashion United]
  • Adidas has created a pair of beer-repellent shoes [PSFK]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media technology

What you missed: AI for retail, the selfie’s influence on fashion, last mile challenge

AI is not optional for retail
AI is not optional for retail

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


TOP STORIES
  • AI is not optional for retail [VentureBeat]
  • How selfie taking has influenced fashion [Edited]
  • In global e-commerce, the race to solve the ‘last mile’ [BoF]

BUSINESS
  • Avenue32.com confirms closure [The Industry]
  • Matchesfashion in £600m sale talks as buyers circle [RetailWeek]
  • Alibaba uses its shopping leverage [Bloomberg]
  • Amazon’s private label business is booming thanks to device sales, expanded fashion lines [TechCrunch]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • This influencer marketing shop created fake accounts to prove that the industry is full of ad fraud [AdWeek]

MARKETING
  • How the sisters behind cult clothing brand Rodarte mastered fashion and film [FastCompany]
  • Sephora is creating the world’s largest beauty forum [The Cut]
  • The all-woman agency team on Nike who ‘Just Do It’ [AdAge]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Nordstrom and Macy’s: A lesson in surviving the retail apocalypse [RetailDive]
  • ‘Retail isn’t dying’: How brands are competing for brick-and-mortar space [Glossy]
  • 4 things American department stores must do to survive [BoF]
  • What if stores charged admission? [BoF]

TECHNOLOGY
  • The virtual revolution of retail [Medium]
  • Do your customers actually want a “smart” version of your product? [HBR]
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce film social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Farfetch acquires Browns, Net-a-Porter launches social network, Warby Parker raises $100m

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

thenetset

  • Browns acquired by Farfetch as part of omnichannel growth strategy [BoF]
  • Fashion retailer Net-a-Porter’s new social network wants to combine your photo-sharing and shopping in one app (as pictured) [Quartz]
  • Warby Parker raises $100m to expand store network, technology [Fashionista]
  • The Rodarte designers are making a movie [The Cut]
  • Toms wants you to Instagram your bare feet for charity [Fashionista]
  • The future of retail looks like Macy’s, not Amazon [L2]
  • Infographic: wearable tech at the intersection of function and fashion [AdWeek]
  • How 3-D printing is saving the Italian artisan [Bloomberg]
  • Could 3-D body scanners help you find the perfect pair of jeans? [AdWeek]
  • Launching a fashion Kickstarter? Consider this [Medium]
  • V-Files relaunches as trendy start-up determined to become the shoppable Instagram [Business Insider]
  • With big names and money flowing in, tech start-ups in India heat up [NY Times]
Categories
film

Rodarte focuses on narrative with new short fantasy film

The Rodarte sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, have released a short fantasy film based on the mythological and medieval inspirations from their spring/summer 2013 collection.

Their third collaboration with director Todd Cole – last seen shooting Elle Fanning for the brand in 2011 – the 13-minute video is called “This must be the only fantasy”. It’s a whimsical endeavour, but one that successfully ticks the box for narrative that so many fashion films forget

It stars 19-year-old newcomer actress Sidney Williams, alongside model Guinevere Van Seenus and actor Elijah Wood, in what Vice magazine refers to as a “VFX-driven ode to fantasy role-playing games”. There are unicorns, cloaked horsemen, sword fights, and glitchy projections of a fairy (Van Seenus); all of whom Williams encounters on her quest to find Wood who appears in his room amid a sea of bulky 80s gaming equipment. What you never knows is whether it’s real or what she’s imagining as she herself is playing a game.

Importantly, it’s those questions you ask at the end. The clothing is beautifully weaved in throughout, but it’s not pivotal to the story. Rather than a catalogued look at the line, it’s a tale with a beginning, middle and end. “It’s an artistic expression… so it’s not necessarily about here’s this collection we did and we want to show it,” said the designers in a behind-the-scenes video that accompanies.

They reference inspiration from films such as The Dark Crystal, Lord of the Rings, E.T., The Princess Bride, The Never Ending Story, La Belle et La Bête, The Wizard of Oz and Spirited Away. “You live your life in the every day but then in this other world—in your mind, your imagination—you get to transform into the hero, and this is the duality that we wanted to capture.”

The film was produced by The Creator’s Project, a partnership between Vice and Intel. It is set to a soundtrack by Beach House.

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