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Teen hacker CyFi fronts Nicholas Kirkwood’s LFW debut

CyFi for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19
CyFi for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

Teenage hacker CyFi walked the runway at shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood’s first ever London Fashion Week show on September 16.

The 17-year-old US hacker, who was booked by Current Global to appear, was accompanied by actress and #MeToo activist, Rose McGowan. Their appearance was tied to an underlying political message from Kirkwood against conformity, with the topic of hacking seen throughout the show as both inspiration for the immersive experience and the shoe design itself.

The event began with McGowan as the leader of a resistance, surrounded by a stage environment crowded with screens and computers, so as to imply a dystopian future.

Rose McGowan for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

Models (or the NK19 resistance rebels) strutted down the runway, mingling among the set while ‘hacking’ computers and playing with VR headsets. To add to the immersive undertone, the show culminated with the undercover police force (known as the Anti-Creative PoliZe Force) then directing showgoers to the Evidence Room where they could explore the collection from up close.

CyFi, who is one of the leading female hackers in the world, began her coding career at the age of 10. These days, she uses hacking to teach children how to protect themselves online. Most notably, she runs the yearly r00tz Asylum conference, a hacking and cybersecurity event held during DEF CON in Vegas, to help children practice cryptography and reverse-engineering, and learn more about tech security and privacy.

Current Global also booked a hologram technology for the Kirkwood show experience, which was on display on entering the warehouse venue in Central London. The collection’s main shoe, a boot with neon yellow detail, was showcased in 3D by UK company Hologrm.

Nicholas Kirkwood SS19
Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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

What you missed: Burberry’s ARkit, AI transforming Shop Direct, Stella McCartney and The RealReal

Burberry's new ARkit integration
Burberry’s new ARkit integration

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


TOP STORIES
  • Burberry turns to Apple for augmented-reality fashion app [Bloomberg]
  • AI will transform every retailer, says Shop Direct boss [Drapers]
  • Stella McCartney wants you to resell her goods in new partnership with The RealReal [Fashionista]
  • Could kelp be the future of sustainable fashion? [Observer]

BUSINESS
  • Direct to consumer brands vs commodities: who will prevail? [LooseThreads]
  • Decoding Chanel’s Gen-Z strategy [BoF]
  • More luxury stores closed in China over the last year than in any other country [Jing Daily]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Target will begin incorporating Pinterest’s Lens visual search technology [AdWeek]
  • John Lewis pioneers Facebook’s 360 shoppable ad [Campaign]
  • Dior debuts Weibo story, stays in lead with Chinese millennials [Jing Daily]
  • Inside Birchbox’s 40-person social media war room [Glossy]
  • Snapchat debuts Sponsored 3D World Lenses at Advertising Week New York [The Drum]

MARKETING
  • Gant to launch ‘Couple Thinkers’ TV show on YouTube [Fashion Network]
  • Nas brings street cred to effortlessly cool animated ads for Timberland [AdWeek]
  • Why United Colors of Benetton is parting with catwalk convention to showcase its brand DNA [The Drum]
  • Fashion brands still succumbing to the high-priced artsy film [Glossy]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Patagonia has launched its own online thrift store [PSFK]
  • New Macy’s loyalty program nudges customers to spend more [Retail Dive]
  • Uniqlo’s retail empire embarks on a digital revolution [Nikkei]

TECHNOLOGY
  • AR is now a must-have in retail [Business Insider]
  • A way to repeatedly recycle polyester has just been discovered [Eco-Business]
  • These high-tech knitting machines will soon be making car parts [Bloomberg]
  • Fashion’s future may rest on an old technology: glue [Fast Company]
  • Modiface is becoming the go-to provider of augmented reality to beauty brands [Glossy]

PRODUCT
  • Google and Levi’s ‘connected’ jacket is now on sale [TechCrunch]
  • To make a new kind of shoe, adidas had to change everything [Wired]
  • How these female engineers reinvented the bra [Fast Company]

START-UPS
  • With lab-grown leather, Modern Meadow is engineering a fashion revolution [BoF]
  • Amazon has acquired 3D body model startup, Body Labs, for $50M-$70M [TechCrunch]
Categories
product social media

Under Armour responds to Curry 2 ‘Chef’ shoe mockery: we’re now truly in the footwear race

steph-Curry-2
The Curry Two Low “Chef” shoe

You release a new product into the market and instantly it gets panned. Not just in a subtle, no one seems to want to buy it way, but in an explosion of negative responses all over social media kind of way. What do you do?

That was the challenge facing the team at Under Armour earlier this month, when its new Curry Two Low sneaker – a white-on-white low-top attached to basketball player Stephen Curry – got a true Twitter roasting for being “uncool”. Now nicknamed the “Curry Chef” for its all-white, comfortable and functional kitchen appeal, it’s also been referred to as everything from a nurse shoe to a dad’s shoe. Not quite the market Under Armour is aiming for.

Speaking at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity today, David Droga, founder of Droga5, the agency of record for Under Armour, said: “When a hiccup like that happens, the usual client response is panic, retreat, mask or deny. In this case, the flurry of emails that came from [Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour] said ‘this is potentially f*cking amazing, we should lean into this’. That’s exactly the sort of thing you want to hear. It’s not about panicking, it’s about how do you make something great?”

Plank, who was also on stage, admitted he was excited for the way in which it lit up Twitter, even as the sneaker was referred to as everything from a lawnmowing shoe to a barbecuing one. “I thought oh my gosh, after 20 years in business doing this, people finally care,” he said. “That is everything you’re trying to do in marketing… the worst thing in life is apathy; when no one cares if you show up or not. “

Under Armour celebrates 20 years in business this year and is on target to hit $5bn in revenue during 2016. Within that it’s been making footwear for 13 years and selling them for 10. “It’s taken a long tine to get to where we are now, but we’re still developing the company we want to be,” explained Plank.

He hopes to use the emotion driven from the launch of the Curry Two Low to move the business forward. It’s proof, he commented, that it’s no longer a two-horse race in footwear, but three – or in other words that Under Armour is now up there competing with Nike and adidas in that specific space.

Overall, Under Armour is now the number two sportswear brand in the US after Nike (it overtook adidas in early 2015). And that idea of competition and the competitive nature that Under Armour inherently has was discussed on a much broader scale too.

Plank referred to the idea of having moonshots, or big ambitions, in everything they do: “We don’t think about what if a competitor makes a new fleece upper; we think about what if Amazon and Apple and Google decide to start making clothes? When we challenge our product teams, we start there.” That future-proofing, provides them with the ability to never be on the back foot if competitors do release something, he said.

But ultimately his key message came down to always maintaining a point of view and having real belief in what you do. “You’re not a brand if you don’t have a point of view, in my opinion,” he noted. “And the brand is everything. The brand, the brand, the brand – everything comes back to the brand.”

Categories
e-commerce social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Breaking up with the Apple Watch, NY or London as fashion-tech capital, Ted Baker opens virtual store

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

Applewatch

  • Vanessa Friedman: Why I’m breaking up with the Apple Watch [NY Times]
  • New York vs London: which is the world’s fashion-tech capital? [BoF]
  • Ted Baker experiments with virtual reality as digital concept store opens in Shoreditch [The Drum]
  • Net-A-Porter moves into profit after a year of digital innovation [Internet Retailing]
  • Bonobos profiting from surge in online menswear sales [The Street]
  • Avon Ladies learn to tweet, embrace e-commerce [Digiday]
  • Knyttan, a customisable knitwear start-up, gets investors’ seal of approval [Fashionista]
  • Why Amazon’s drone delivery is growing trickier [CNBC]
  • 3-D printing will fix the way we order shoe sizes [PSFK]
  • This high-tech hijab will literally make Muslim women cooler [BuzzFeed]
  • Why ‘buy’ buttons will pose big Challenges for Google, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter [re/code]
  • Real-time strategies essential element of retail rehaul: report [Luxury Daily]
  • ShopStyle banks on bloggers, relaunches influencer network [WWD]
  • How a mole in the tech sector is helping shape the look of ‘Silicon Valley’s’ women [LA Times]
Categories
Blocks mobile

Harrods enters gaming space with shoe-based app challenge

Harrods_stilettowars

Harrods is celebrating the opening of its new luxury shoe salon with the launch of a mobile game called Stiletto Wars.

Introduced as part of the Harrods magazine app, which has been downloaded over 100,000 times worldwide, the game challenges users to form as many rows of three of more designer shoes against a timer. Scores can be sent to a leaderboard where prizes are up for grabs including gift cards and VIP shopping experiences with the department store.

“We are delighted to be adding this fashionably fun game to our ever-evolving app. Every secret geeky pleasure needs a stylish outlet – and Stiletto Wars brings together the fun of game playing, the luxury of designer shoes and the possibility of winning prizes – a perfect combination,” says Harrods’ director of creative marketing, Deborah Bee.

A giant interactive version of the game will also be in the store’s windows on Brompton Road from August 27 – September 22.

Categories
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]
Categories
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]