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e-commerce social media

Design your own high heels: Sergio Rossi showcases WeChat mini-program

Sergio Rossi on WeChat
Sergio Rossi on WeChat

Personalization previously only existed in a high-end couture world for private clients. Now, Italian luxury shoe brand Sergio Rossi grants a similar sense of privilege to a wider range of consumers and delivers it right to the fingertips of Chinese customers with a new WeChat campaign that showcases the brand’s ambitions to court digital-savvy Chinese consumers. 

Launched on September 10, customers can access the personalization service through Sergio Rossi’s WeChat mini-program. The homepage includes an English-language video, demonstrating how consumers can design a shoe. They can experiment with a wide variety of elements to create their very own Sergio Rossi shoe – from the material, color and length of the heel to plate and customized letters. And the vehicle, the WeChat mini-program, empowers a one-stop shopping experience, from design and payment to social media sharing. 

Participating customers can see how each customization option alters the price of their shoes in real time. Of course, design decisions need to be made carefully, as there is no refund or return option for the customized footwear once it is ordered. Thankfully, the mini-program provides a 360-degree digital preview, which can help customers gauge the look and feel of their personalized footwear.  

Sergio Rossi on WeChat
Sergio Rossi on WeChat

Sergio Rossi is trying to harness the direct-to-consumer luxury trend in China. Such personalized experiences not only allow the company to better cater their productsto consumers, but it also represents a valuable marketing opportunity for the company.

According to CuriosityChina – A Farfetch Company, who helped conceptualize and launch the campaign, the mini-program has already garnered substantial traction in China.

This WeChat mini-program campaign debuted after Sergio Rossi announced its partnership with brand management and distribution company Luxba Group earlier this year.

By Ruonan Zheng

This article was originally published on Jing Daily, a content partner of TheCurrentDaily: Design your own high heels: Sergio Rossi showcases WeChat mini-program 

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent 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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Editor's pick product sustainability technology

SXSW 2018: Adidas declares 2024 moonshot to only use recycled plastics

Adidas x Parley for the Oceans - SXSW
Adidas x Parley for the Oceans

Adidas is aiming for all of its products to be made from recycled plastics by 2024, according to Eric Liedtke, head of global brands at the company.

The initiative is a follow on to the brand’s partnership with Parley for the Oceans, which has already resulted in one million pairs of shoes sold created from recycled plastics recovered from the oceans. In 2018, it is expected to hit five million.

Each pair of shoes uses the equivalent of 11 plastic bottles, meaning Adidas is recycling some 55 million plastic bottles this year, Liedtke explained on stage at SXSW this week.

To put the trajectory ahead into context however, the company makes 450 million pairs of shoes every year right now, meaning that goal really is a moonshot. “You think five million is a lot but it’s not, it’s a drop in the bucket,” he said.

In the context of the 270 million tonnes of plastic in the ocean right now, not to mention the further eight million tonnes being added every year, he explained how important it is to get to this point. “The growth of plastic just doesn’t stop. It was a great invention, but it was made to never go away, so all that has been made is still floating around the world today. It becomes a real call to arms to fixing that.”

And the fact is that plastics are not only insidious, but everywhere. Most of the shirts Adidas produces are made from polyester, which is another name for petroleum based plastics. It’s also in the micro pellets in our shower gel, and of course in the plastic bags we receive. Adidas has already eliminated use of both of those latter two.

Liedtke says the next step is to “turn off the virgin plastic tap”. The aim is to get to the point where no new plastic is made at all, because the resource is already there – all that’s needed is for the existing plastics in the system to be used again and again. From cradle to grave to cradle, he explained. “We need to redesign the problem.”

Importantly, however, is the fact doing all of this also makes good business sense, Liedtke added. “I want to prove to the world that it is good for the bottom line. This is not philanthropy. It’s good business. This is what is critical.”

He added that the consumer is expecting and demanding it more than ever as well, especially when you look at the younger generation. “Gen Z wants to give back. They’ve grown up in a world that is highly stressed… they’re looking for trusted brands they can rely on – there’s a huge opportunity for us to step in. Authenticity is going to be core for this,” he said. “People don’t just buy what you make, they buy what you stand for.”

Adidas’ mission with Parley is to enter into full-time collecting and recycling ocean plastics to enable a fully sustainable supply chain, not just for its own brand but anyone interested. The worst problem the industry has right now is inaction, he added. “Everyone has to opt in, put their hand in the pile and play.”

Update: The original version of this story reported live from SXSW quoted Eric Liedtke stating that Adidas was aiming for all of its products to be made from recycled plastics recovered from the ocean by 2024. It is in fact to use 100% recycled polyester in every product and on every application where a solution exists by that year. This ambition is not tied specifically to ocean plastic.

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Editor's pick product

These Adidas sneakers double as transport passes in Berlin

adidas BVG sneakers collaboration metro tickets
adidas EQT Support 93/Berlin sneaker

Adidas collaborated with Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), Berlin’s transport company, to create a limited edition collection of 500 pairs of shoes fitted with a season ticket worth €730.

The EQT Support 93/Berlin shoe, as it’s called, uses the same camouflage pattern used on the city’s train seats. Embedded in the tongue is a fabric version of the BVG annual ticket, which can be used as a regular ticket covering the bus, tram and underground in zones A and B.

The shoe, which is now sold out, retailed for €180, therefore attracting a mix of sneaker heads and those seeking a commuting bargain by saving significant money off their €730 annual travel pass.

adidas EQT Support 93/Berlin sneakers train ticket BVG berlin collaboration
adidas EQT Support 93/Berlin sneakers

The launch aimed to modernize BVG’s 90-year-old image, and also tapped into a wider trend of fashionable labels elevating traditionally uncool companies, such as Vetements’ recent collaboration with DHL.

The design was launched in January at Overkill, a shoe store in Berlin’s hipster Kreuzberg neighbourhood. Fans queueing outside were treated to Mettbrötchen, a minced raw pork on a bread roll, which is a decidedly untrendy breakfast that Overkill owner Julian Kalitta described as something you would imagine the city’s tram drivers eating before work.

adidas EQT Support 93/Berlin sneakers
adidas EQT Support 93/Berlin sneakers
Categories
product technology

Project Runway designer launches 3D printed shoe collection

Seth Aaron's 3D printed footwear line with Feetz on show at FashioNXT
Seth Aaron’s 3D printed footwear line with Feetz on show at FashioNXT

Seth Aaron, two-time winner of Lifetime’s Emmy award-winning TV show, Project Runway, has introduced a line of 3D printed designer shoes.

Teaming up with 3D printing footwear company, Feetz, the collection launched at fashion and technology event, FashioNXT, in Portland on Friday, October 13.

The concept is all about enabling custom-fit designs for consumers. As Feetz founder and CEO, Lucy Beard, said: “Seth Aaron’s creative design vision will explore the reach of 3D printing in fashion, enabling him to produce what only could have been imagined. That vision will be translated into ready-to-wear, customised for each customer’s unique needs.”

In the past, much of the experimentation with 3D printed footwear remained as concept pieces – rigid resin designs that were impossible to wear for their lack of flexibility. As the technology and materials have improved, that’s begun to shift quite rapidly forward. Adidas for instance, has started to 3D print the soles of a sneaker called the Futurecraft at scale; the first in the sportswear industry to do so beyond prototype or bespoke stage. It aims to produce 100,000 of them by the end of 2018.

Feetz meanwhile, uses proprietary polymers to 3D print the entire shoe; uppers and tread. Head over to Forbes to hear more about how Feetz produces its shoes, the details of the Seth Aaron collection and the sustainability focus that such footwear also provides.

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data digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: L’Oréal’s incubator, Bolt Threads teams with Patagonia, confessions of a social media exec

loreal-digital-600

There are lots of updates this past week on interesting textile developments – from the spider silk of Bolt Threads to Spiber, both of which have announced new deals with Patagonia and The North Face respectively. Also worth a read is the anonymous social media exec spilling secrets to Digiday, not to mention the idea that we will all indeed be buying our designer clothing in the future on Amazon. If that’s not enough, further fashion and tech news from the past fortnight spans Birchbox’s use of Facebook Live to a breakdown of how brands are using Snapchat. Read on for all…


  • L’Oréal invests in Founders Factory digital start-up incubator [BrandChannel]

  • Bolt Threads raises $50 million to brew spider silk, inks deal with Patagonia [TechCrunch]

  • Confessions of a social media exec on influencer marketing: ‘We threw too much money at them’ [Digiday]

  • People will eventually buy their designer clothing on Amazon, because they buy everything there [Quartz]

  • Everlane’s Shoe Park interactive pop-up offers self-guided shopping [Footwear News]

  • How Birchbox uses Facebook Live videos to engage consumers [Retail Dive]

  • How Frank + Oak built a modern loyalty program for men [Glossy]

  • Google DeepMind killed off a little-known fashion website [Business Insider]

  • SpaceX has hired a legendary costume designer to create their own spacesuits [Gizmodo]

  • The North Face to sell parka made out of synthetic spider silk by Japanese start-up Spiber [Bloomberg]

  • Thesis Couture is bringing the engineering savvy of rocket science to the design of the high-heeled shoe [The Atlantic]

  • The rise of robot tailors [Glossy]

  • L’Oréal created this training program to keep its marketers on the cutting edge [AdWeek]

  • How fashion and retail brands are using Snapchat [Fashionista]

  • Will the ‘sharing economy’ work for fashion? [BoF]

  • Bots, Messenger and the future of customer service [TechCrunch]

  • Condé Nast is launching a beauty network [Racked]

  • How a data scientist (who studied astrophysics) ended up in fashion [Fashionista]

  • Infographic: here’s how Gen Z girls prefer to shop and socialise online [AdWeek]

  • What is going on with fashion and zines? [Racked]

  • How online shopping is cannabilising mall stores [Associated Press]

  • REI’s ‘#OptOutside’ Black Friday campaign wins award [AdAge]
Categories
business Editor's pick

Man Repeller trolled Zappos’ customer service team, and it’s hilarious

zappos-personal-assistant-man-repeller-4_1024

If this isn’t the best ad for the customer service reps at online shoe retailer Zappos, then we don’t know what is.

Haley Nahman, a writer for fashion blog Man Repeller, decided to test out the company’s mandate that essentially says its team will answer any question you throw at them. And she did so in the most entertaining way possible.

First she started by asking questions related to fashion and which shoes she should wear. Straight-forward. Next, she adds in that she can’t quite find what she wants on Zappos and do they have any other suggestions – she kindly gets some Amazon links back (Zappos’ parent company), as well as some amusing details on the customer service reps name and fashion perspective.

From here on out, things start heading a little left field… from opinions on manicures, to a back-and-forth about cats vs dogs, and suggestions for artichoke dip recipes. “OMG. THIS TEAM WILL DO ANYTHING,” Nahman exclaims as she walks away with a delicious dish to try, noting simultaneously how her karma levels are slowly falling wayward.

Man Repeller writer Haley Nahman and her cat, Bug - as referenced in the Zappos customer service conversations
Man Repeller writer Haley Nahman and her cat, Bug – as referenced in the Zappos customer service conversations

On a scale of tasks related to being a Zappos rep, things only get wilder from there: Nahman heads into neediness territory, gets some killer Harry Potter quotes back (seriously), and brings in some heavy personal family matters that still manage to get the most considered of responses.

“Did I mention she thanked me for taking time out of my busy day to get in touch? I am a horrible person who doesn’t deserve nice things,” Nahman writes. “Zappos will indeed answer any question thrown at them, I no longer deserve my membership in the Former Customer Service Worker Club and I am spending my discretionary income at Zappos for the next ten years in a meager attempt at restitution for my wrongdoings.”

What a win for Zappos, who has of course based its entire business on the quality of its customer service team. “Seriously, the goodness of these people nearly drove me to poetry,” Nahman adds. Now there’s a testimony.

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data digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Ralph Lauren’s connected fitting room, IBM Watson predicts holiday shopping, Burberry customers can star in new campaign

Here’s a round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

A Polo Ralph Lauren associate trying out the interactive fitting

  • Ralph Lauren and Oak Labs debut interactive fitting rooms [WWD]
  • IBM Watson trend app predicts hot holiday shopping items [AdAge]
  • Burberry makes customers the star of their own fashion campaign [Brand Republic]
  • Sephora’s new retail stores will take cues from YouTube [Digiday]
  • New Balance will sell 3D-printed shoes in Boston starting next year [Beta Boston]
  • Target’s big digital holiday campaign combines Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram [AdWeek]
  • J Crew and American Girl embrace social commerce ads for the holidays [AdWeek]
  • Andy Dunn’s plans to build a digital native brand empire with Bonobos [Redef]
  • Burberry receives top ranking in L2 digital index [Yahoo]
  • Macy’s imagines the shop of the future in time for Black Friday [PSFK]
  • What’s behind the exodus from Rent the Runway? [Fortune]
  • Amazon touts new drone prototype [WSJ]
  • Brooklyn’s Catbird prioritises digital over brick-and-mortar expansion [Fashionista]
  • Is there still hope for fashion crowdfunding? [BoF]
  • Can artificial intelligence sell shoes? [WSJ]
  • Three ways data is transforming fashion retail [WGSN]
  • Instant messaging will change the way brands talk to customers, says Tictail [Wired]
  • The potential of geolocation for revolutionising retail [HBR]
  • Retail enters third phase of digital evolution [FT]
  • Will social selling work in fashion? [BoF]
  • Hands-on with Facebook’s haphazard shopping feed [TechCrunch]
  • The future of shopping is… Second Life on acid? Imagining a virual reality mega mall [Co.Design]
  • Stitch Fix creates an army of brand advocates, one social share at a time [The Future of Commerce]
Categories
Editor's pick technology

Nike unveils real pair of “Back To The Future” self-lacing sneakers, Michael J Fox is first to try

NikeMAG

Back to the Future fans were waiting with bated breath following a tweet by Nike on the eve of October 21 that simply read: “.@realmikefox see you tomorrow.” Could the self-lacing sneakers promised ever since their fictionalized version were seen on the feet of Marty McFly in 1989’s Back to the Future II really be on their way?

Come yesterday, the day young McFly travelled to the future in the sequel film to save his own children, and Nike finally released that early fantasy idea of wearable tech for real.

Read the full story and see Michael J Fox wearing the first pair over at Forbes.

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Blocks e-commerce social media

Charlotte Olympia opts for gamification in #spintowin Christmas campaign

charlotte olympia1

Footwear designer Charlotta Olympia is introducing a festive slot machine on its website during the first 12 days of December in a bid to drive new traffic to its online store.

Fans will be able to spin to win iconic pieces from the brand’s seasonal collection, including Glitter Kitty ?ats, Jingle Bell Dolly platforms, Holly Pandora clutch and Frosty pouch, as well as a flurry of classic styles like the Dolly platforms, Pandora clutch box, spiderweb earrings and more.

Spin to win

All they have to do is get three matching styles on the virtual machine over the course of three tries.

Bonnie Takhar, president of Charlotte Olympia, told WWD: “During a busy holiday season with a competitive retail landscape…brands are focused on new-customer acquisition. We wanted to ensure that this word-of-mouth campaign brings new customers to Charlotte Olympia.”

The campaign is being pushed via social media with a countdown bauble each day alongside the #spintowin hashtag.

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social media

Nicholas Kirkwood on his social media arrival: exclusive interview

kirkwood

British footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood has recently launched his social media presence, kickstarting with a focus on Instagram and YouTube, and anchoring it with a short film called Arcs of Orbit.

The move comes hot off the heels of LVMH taking a majority investment stake in the business in September 2013, which rapidly led to new hires and international growth including its first own-brand presence in China as of this month. As reported by the Business of Fashion recently, the big push for Kirkwood now is around brand awareness.

CEO Christopher Suarez said: “[This is] a real focus of the company, ‘How do we further develop the communication and messaging?’ An engaging language that has resonance; that has much more awareness — how can we develop a modern luxury brand that still carries a certain level of integrity and respect for product and craftsmanship?”

We caught up with designer Nicholas Kirkwood himself to find out what all his plans are for social as a part of achieving this up ahead.

F&M: You’ve just launched your social media channels – what can we expect?

NK: Social media is an important communications tool for any brand but specifically as we are a non-advertising brand it’s a vehicle to share the vision and create greater context for our growing customer base. It allows us to communicate the collections and products available, and our growth as a company, but also it’s a way to involve them in our world and engage with them on a more personal level, tapping into a more emotional side.

Social media gives you a certain amount of freedom to create and share imagery, like the ‘Arcs of Orbit’ film. I’d like to push this further and work on more creative content.

F&M: You’ve said you will focus heavily on Instagram, can you tell us why you feel this is suited to you as a platform and what we can expect to see?

NK: Instagram in particular has naturally been more of a focus purely because it is a more visual channel. A strong image is so powerful and can really capture someone.

I’m a very visual person. I get inspired by interesting shapes, form, detail, colour when designing so I’m more pulled to this. I’m wanting for our customers to share that response to imagery on our channels and relate to this when they wear my designs.

kirkwood2

F&M: With YouTube as your secondary key platform, can you tell us what all we can hope to see from a video perspective?

NK: Film again takes that emotive response and reaction to that next level. Sound is a compelling component and can change the tone in an instant to really communicate the story you’re trying to tell. These short films are ways to create impactful moments.

The inspiration behind ‘Arcs of Orbit’ was to interpret and celebrate the making of a shoe but again to show the more passionate side of what design and creation is. That opening image is quite mysterious, poetic and delicate. I wanted the sound to be like the vacuum of space to emphasise this otherworldly place to captivate the viewer.

F&M: How do you see consumers engaging with your content and what will be your measure of success on social?

NK: Our customers are people who are aware of and confident in their sense of style. I love seeing how people wear my shoes on Instagram with shoe selfies.

We’ve seen an incredible response already with people enquiring with our stores into the designs and collections that are posted. It’s amazing to see how followers react to posts as well with comments and emoticons. Obviously sales are a measure of success but I think that response is for me a personal measure of success.

kirkwood1