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Vivienne Westwood calls to ban land ownership, Shiseido acquires Drunk Elephant, Hong Kong protests hit luxury

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

Top Stories
  • The ‘only way to save the world’ is to ban land ownership, says Vivienne Westwood (Dezeen)
  • Why Shiseido bought Drunk Elephant for $845million (BoF)
  • Hong Kong protests could hit Burberry sales by up to £100million (Quartz)
Technology
  • Adidas 1st to sell shoes via Snapchat game (Mobile Marketer)
  • 5G smartphone sales will top 1B by 2025 (Mobile Marketer)
  • Unicef now accepting donations through bitcoin and ether (The Guardian)
  • 3D-printed smart textiles consume less energy, water & chemicals (Sourcing Journal)
  • GOAT showcases world’s rarest sneakers with AR try-ons (Mobile Marketer)
  • Personal stylists are using data to strengthen relationships (Vogue Business)
  • O2 launches ‘worlds first live ad’ powered by 5G (Campaign)
Sustainability & Purpose
  • California bans animal fur products (Drapers)
  • Kat von D launches vegan footwear line from apple ‘leather’ (Sourcing Journal)
  • Farfetch partners with Thrift+, a second hand donation platform (Retail Gazette)
  • Chloe forges three-year partnership with UNICEF (WWD)
  • Forget carbon neutral, Patagonia wants to be ‘carbon positive’ (Sourcing Journal)
  • Little Mistress launches sustainable packaging (Fashion United)
  • John Lewis launches sustainable ‘buyback’ trial (Retail Gazette)
Retail & Commerce
  • Stance opens Carnaby Street flagship store (Retail Gazette)
  • Morphe launches in-store Youtube studios to drive foot traffic (Glossy)
  • H&M outlet brand Afound shifts focus towards online (BoF)
  • Rental service HURR Collective to stage pop-up shop (The Industry)
  • Vans brings new boutique concept to Covent Garden (Fashion United)
  • Givenchy unveils US e-commerce site (WWD)
  • HMV launches Europe’s largest music store (Retail Week)
Business
  • Ganni’s guerrilla approach to global growth (BoF)
  • New CEO at Stella McCartney (Drapers)
  • Race to buy Barneys heats up (WWD)
  • Toys R Us relaunches website amid Target partnership (Charged Retail)
  • Victoria’s Secret store exec departs (Retail Dive)
  • LVMH luxury venture fund invests in streetwear brand Madhappy (Fashion Law)
Marketing & Social Media
  • Instagram launches Threads, a close friend chat app with auto-status (TechCrunch)
  • The next generation of menswear designers might be on Youtube (Fashionista)
  • Teens choose Youtube over Netflix for the first time (CNBC)
  • Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister launch Instagram checkout (Retail Dive)
Product
  • Mens beauty grooming retailer Beast Inks deal for U.K rollout (WWD)
  • SprezzaBox and Esquire team up to launch subscription box (Fashion United)
  • Everlane launches ReCashmere sweater collection (Dezeen)
Culture
  • Adidas teams up with Universal Standard for a truly size-inclusive collaboration (Adweek)
  • Why 5,000-year-old fashion is making a comeback (BoF)
  • Lululemon partners with United Nations Foundation (Fashion United)
  • Kellogg’s autism-sensitive packaging for kids (Stylus)
  • Victoria’s Secret hires first plus-size model (Fashion United)
  • Havas and CALM team up to create self-care labelling for Topshop and Topman (Campaign)
  • The business of casting queer models (BoF)

How are you thinking about innovation? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more.

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business Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce product Retail sustainability technology

Shopify’s $6.6m sustainability fund, TikTok’s global rise, the new lure of the mall

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

TOP STORIES
  • Shopify looks to fight climate change, commits $6.6 million to new sustainability fund (BetaKit)
  • The strategy behind TikTok’s global rise (Harvard Business Review)
  • Can rollercoasters and a bunny garden lure shoppers back to the mall? (BoF)
  • Germany unveils Green Button: what you need to know about the worlds first sustainable textile label (Fashion United)
TECHNOLOGY
  • Pentland brands trials AR app (Drapers)
  • How technologies like RFID elevate the customer experience (Fashion United)
  • Luxury retailers are ladling on perks to please ultra-rich clients (Wired)
  • Coca-Cola cans activate animated stories in AR (Mobile Marketer)
  • Entrupy is an app that helps authenticate your grails (Highsnobiety)
  • McDonald’s uses AI for ordering at drive-throughs (BBC News)
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • How designers are trying to make NYFW more sustainable (Nylon)
  • Gucci vies to be even greener (NYT)
  • Stella McCartney pens an urgent letter to the fashion industry (The Times)
  • Biodegradable clothes may fix fashion’s huge waste problem (Wired)
  • Second-hand fashion hits £187m on eBay (Fashion United)
  • Harvey Nichols dips a toe into the circular economy (Vogue Business)
  • H&M announces initiative to increase e-commerce sustainability (Fashion United)
  • Sainsbury vows to halve plastic packaging by 2025 (Retail Gazette)
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
BUSINESS
  • Philip Green’s Topshop & Topman report £505m loss (The Guardian)
  • New York’s Fashion Week revamp: did it work? (BoF)
  • New MD at Net-a-Porter (Drapers)
  • C&A files to begin IPO Process in Brazil (BoF)
  • Q&A with Mark Parker, CEO of Nike (Fast Company)
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • ‘We’re doing an evolution’: Inside Playboy’s extreme makeover (Digiday)
  • In London, is Extinction Rebellion out-marketing fashion? (BoF)
PRODUCT
  • Kim Kardashian’s Skims solutionwear launches online (Fashion United)
  • Duchess of Sussex’s new charity workwear collection (Vogue Business)
CULTURE
  • James Scully calls out ‘distressing’ treatment of models at NYFW (Dazed)
  • Macy’s announces 5-point plan to promote diversity and inclusion (Fashion United)
  • How to prevent your company from cultural appropriation (Forbes)
  • How cancel culture is affecting brands (Digiday)
  • PrettyLittleThing champions diversity at NYFW (Fashion United)
  • CurvyCon proves the future of fashion is fat (Fashionista)
  • M&S presents sunflower lanyards to support customer with disabilities (Retail Gazette)

How are you thinking about innovation? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
data e-commerce technology

The simple ways Topman is thinking about a personalised customer experience

Topman's student prices toggle on its homepage
Topman’s student prices toggle on its homepage

Topman’s global digital director, Gareth Rees-John, took to the stage at Shoptalk Europe this week with a welcome reminder of the things it’s possible to do without huge budgets.

He noted how many retailers are still operating on legacy systems with “jumbled data” making it hard to move forward fast, and said his focus is on “making little changes that have robust business cases”.

The key, he said, is about doing things the retail board will understand – referring to Sir Phillip Green as an owner that is becoming increasingly tech savvy but still at his roots a traditional shopkeeper – and said it’s about nudging people along.

He highlighted three simple ways his team is personalising the e-commerce experience for shoppers in order to help drive conversions.

The first is dedicated to students. A simple switch at the top of the website, facilitated by SaaS company Qubit, enables users to toggle all products to student prices – a 10% discount. “Normally we see 38% of spend on the website is with students, when we do this then we see 50%, so it’s huge – just by taking the friction out,” Rees-John explained.

The second he said is about personalising the website based on geography. “We see trends in the data as to what people are buying and where. Sterotypically, for instance, we don’t sell as many coats in [the northern city of] Newcastle – it’s all lads in short sleeve shirts – compared to in the south-east.” So the website is set up to over-show on categories where they do sell.

The last pulls in artificial intelligence: Canadian company Granify helps optimise Topman’s conversion rates by serving different messages to shoppers when they are at flight risk. The notifications use machine learning to address issues that will help retain the individual in question, such as letting them know an item is low in stock, as one example. It’s seeing an uplift of 3-5% in doing so.

Long-term Rees-John is looking to streamline the creative process for personalised content. “One of the biggest barriers to personalisation is the creative output – dynamic ads have their limits and if you have multiple segments then you need multiples of artwork. Our view is by the end of the year to have six different modules on the homepage and every person will see them in different orders but only see three at one time.”

The result will equal 720 different permutations of the website. “It isn’t a big data exchange it’s just a different experience of the brand going forward,” he said.

Categories
data e-commerce Editor's pick Startups technology

Artificial intelligence dominates the retail conversation at Shoptalk Europe

Target is using Pinterest's Lens visual search technology
Target is using Pinterest’s Lens visual search technology

If there was one overarching term at Shoptalk Europe this week, it was artificial intelligence. From machine learning to visual search, natural language processing and more, the role of systems that facilitate smarter and more personalised customer experiences was key.

Keynote talks from Google, Alibaba, Westfield and more all referenced such a focus, with repeats of numerous big stats bandied about in terms of where this space is moving. By 2020, 85% of customer interaction in retail will be managed by AI, according to Gartner, multiple speakers said. And 30% of all companies will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes by the same time period, they further added.

“We’re putting AI front and centre as a driving force to make [smart commerce] happen,” noted eBay’s chief product officer, RJ Pittman. “The curve is steep but the opportunity is extraordinary. So we’re going to start climbing; we’re right at the precipice of a transformational inflection point.”

He referenced the company’s Shopbot on Facebook Messenger, as well as its Google Home pricing tool for sellers. AI is what will make commerce more personal, he explained, and importantly also scaleable.

Other such initiatives were referenced throughout the conference too. Levi’s noted its virtual stylist chatbot, created with Mode.ai, which aims to replicate the experience customers have in store by helping them with the fit and style of jeans to suit them.

Topman’s global digital director, Gareth Rees-John, highlighted his work with a Canadian company called Granify to help optimize the menswear store’s e-commerce conversion rates by serving different messages to shoppers when they are at flight risk. The notifications use machine learning to address issues that will help retain the individual in question, such as letting them know an item is low in stock, as one example. It’s seeing an uplift of 3-5% in doing so.

Flash sales site BrandAlley meanwhile, outlined how it works with marketing automation company Emarsys for persona based targeting in its email campaigns, which has led to a 16% conversion lift. And AI firm Sentient Technologies showed how providing 256 real-time website design variations for consumers for Swedish flower delivery chain Euroflorist, has resulted in a 17% increase in conversions.

An underlying thread throughout however, was how much more work there is to be done to move towards true personalisation. Rees-John reminded the audience how many retailers are still operating on legacy systems with “jumbled data” making it hard to move forward fast, for instance. His focus, he said, is on “making little changes that have robust business cases”.

Meanwhile, Bruce Macinnes, chairman of BrandAlley, noted that he hopes to move towards personalising the entire customer journey from homepage to checkout. “We have plenty of personalised content along that journey but it’s not fully personalised yet and we believe there is a way to go to using all the data that we have,” he explained.

Charmaine Huet, chief marketing officer of Woolworths South Africa, wants to work towards having millions of different communications plans every day. “78% of our revenue comes from credit cards, so we already know a lot about our customers. Now what we’re really thinking about is how do you really personalise the experience for them and how do you create content that is really personalised and resonates with [each of them] – and this is really difficult, it takes humans and data and AI.”

Vladimir Stankovic, global digital and e-commerce director at Camper, said AI can be seen as the enabler for all this. “It will allow us to get closer to our consumer, to give them what they want.” His big hopes lie in how it can impact discovery: “Natural language processing and visual search are providing new ways to discover product. I believe there is huge value from this technology.”

Visual search companies particularly dominated the exhibit floor, including the likes of Slyce, which works with Tommy Hilfiger, and Fashwell, which works with Zalando. Ted Mann, CEO of the former, said being able to search through your camera lens will become common practice for shoppers down the road, noting new functionalities his team is adding including being able to use visual search to create wishlists and to fill shopping baskets.

In his keynote talk, Tim Kendall, president of Pinterest, likewise said “the future of discovery will be visual”. He pushed the idea that Pinterest is aiming to do to discovery what Google did to search, with visual search at the heart of achieving that.

The company’s Lens tool, which allows customers to find similar items from its database by searching through their cameras, is being heavily integrated in the shopping space. It recently launched a partnership with Target on that basis, similarly starting with a registry experience.

“This Pinterest partnership quite literally helps us shorten the distance from when our guests have an idea to when they’re ready to make a purchase,” said Rick Gomez, chief marketing officer at Target, at launch. “It’s another way we’re making it easy and fun for our guests to explore and find new products.”

Ultimately the goal, said Huet of Woolworths South Africa, is for automation in retail processes to do just this: allow more frictionless shopping, as well as a level of personalised experience so consumers can spend more time doing (and finding) what they really want.

AI in its various forms, is helping shopkeepers move this forward. “Just look at this conference; AI is already here,” said Pittman of eBay. “I say embrace it. And then go build something great.”

This post first appeared on Forbes

Categories
business e-commerce mobile social media technology

Digital snippets: CFDA’s study results, Rebecca Minkoff on women in STEM, Courrèges’ wearable tech

courreges

Your round-up of the latest stories to know about related to fashion and technology…

  • CFDA releases its (slightly) obvious study results on the New York Fashion Week format [Fashionista]
  • Rebecca Minkoff: The fashion-tech revolution needs more women [BoF]
  • Courrèges coat has a warming system like a heated car seat [Quartz]
  • Dolce & Gabbana under fire for name “slave sandal” [NY Times]
  • Topman sets up newsroom to make sure its daily videos are always on trend [The Drum]
  • Wayfair launches a catalogue with a tech twist [Fierce Retail]
  • Amazon selling its own clothes actually makes a lot of sense [Wired]
  • Adidas’s $600-a-year subscription for workout clothes is testing the limits of a big shopping trend [Washington Post]
  • Digging into Reddit: does it work for fashion brands and retailers? [Fashion & Mash]
  • All was quiet on Instagram and Twitter for New York Fashion Week – is Snapchat the reason why? [Digiday]
  • Why retailers should take note of fashion week’s popularity on Instagram [Washington Post]
  • Burberry, Coca-Cola and Gucci among first brands to test Facebook’s new ‘Canvas’ ad unit [Marketing]
  • 3 technologies that are shaping the future of fashion: instant messaging, 3D printing and virtual reality marketing [BoF]
  • Hear the newest looks: Why fashion podcasting is seeing a boom [Digiday]
  • Will 2016 be the year of Snapchat for advertisers? [The Drum]
  • Why newsletters are the teen magazines of 2016 [WGSN Insider]
  • The fashion industry is pouring money into VR, with no idea how to use it [Motherboard]
  • Brexit falls out of favour with luxury brands [Independent]
  • Brands are watching social media reactions to red carpet looks [WWD]
  • Designers: Robots are coming for your jobs [Co.Design]
  • Getting YouTube stars to sell your product [NY Times]
  • Why retailers are missing out on mobile with millennials [AdAge]
  • Why nobody’s wearing wearables [Bloomberg View]
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Editor's pick film social media

The best of this year’s Valentine’s campaigns

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs

Valentine’s Day: the perfect excuse for brands to throw out fluffy, romantic pieces of work tied to the theme of love. The best of this year’s efforts from retailers and fashion brands include everything from a humorous film about a first date to an intimate series of self-portraits. There is also a love app, animation work and a virtual concierge.

Topshop and Topman


We love this play on the idea of online dating from Topshop and Topman combined. Called Valentine’s Dilemmas, it’s a three-minute film that explores issues faced ahead of a first date, from awkward Tinder chatting to deciding what to wear and working out how to greet each other.

& Other Stories

otherstories

Same-sex couple Eden Clark and Lizzie Tovell appear in a dedicated Valentine’s campaign from retailer & Other Stories this year. The delicate and romantic self-portraits depict a series of tender moments between the duo: lying on the bed, hugging and kissing in front of the camera, and capturing each other in a mirror. The move follows other campaigns from Tiffany & Co for S/S 15 and Hallmark, also for Valentine’s, which feature same-sex relationships.

Ted Baker

tedbaker2

Ted Baker has launched a Facebook app themed around chemistry for Valentine’s in a bid to help fans find their ‘molecular matches’. Fancy That invites users to input their name and date of birth to reveal which chemical element they are and what it says about their personality. The app also reveals facts such as which of the other chemicals in the Periodic Table users are most closely matched with, what their best season is, and their lucky numbers.

Ferragamo


Animation is the focus for Ferragamo, which has released three short films celebrating the pursuit of love. The series, called A Florentine Romance, sees a man and a woman seeking each other out in and around Florence. Illustrations of the city act as the backdrop behind them, while a bracelet featuring the brand’s signature knot motif serves as the frame.

Tiffany & Co

tiffany2

Tiffany & Co has introduced a Concierge of Love for Valentine’s; a virtual cupid tasked with helping true romantics in their search for the perfect gifts. The campaign is anchored by five videos featuring advice for shoppers, as well as a Pinterest board that incorporates product suggestions as well as quick tips for the ideal gesture.

Categories
Blocks film

Topshop plays out Tinder date in Valentine’s Day campaign

Topshop and Topman are playing on the theme of modern-day online dating with a new short campaign dedicated to Valentine’s Day.

The British retailers have co-released a three-minute film called Valentine’s Dilemmas, which explores all of the issues that come ahead of a first date. There’s the awkard Tinder chatting, the multiple different outfits to choose from, the working out how to greet each other when you first meet, and more.

All in, it’s pretty cute; both characters sharing the thoughts inside their head more than what they’re saying out loud to each other.

It also comes with an editorial page showcasing certain looks for different kinds of dates, from the posh dinner to the cinema trip. Each are fully shoppable.

topshop_dating

Categories
social media

Topman pulls in consumer content with #topmansprayonjeans campaign

 topman_topmansprayonjeans

User-generated content might be somewhat of an old phrase in the digital space these days, but there’s a phenomenal amount happening around it of late.

From #thenetset at Net-a-Porter to #framesofyou from Armani, as well as multiple other examples via Warehouse, Estée Lauder, Kate Spade and more, everyone is getting in on the act.

The latest is Topman. The men’s arm of the Brit retailer has been pushing its new spray on jeans for the last few weeks using the hashtag #topmansprayonjeans.

Taking full advantage of the #selfie phenomenon, it’s been calling for consumers to send images of themselves wearing the super tight skinny jeans over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with the best looks winning Premium Spotify accounts daily.

A series of short videos were released as inspiration for fans on how to get the look. Meanwhile, another fun video was posted today (as below) demonstrating the speed with which it’s possible to put the jeans on.

Reads the write up: “We’ve listened to your feedback and some of you have struggled to get our Spray On Jeans on quickly. We got ours on in 7 secs, how quick can you get yours on?”

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social media technology Uncategorized

British Fashion Council announces series of digital initiatives for #LondonCollections: Men

LondonCollections_Men_AW13

The autumn/winter 2013/14 catwalk season kickstarts on Monday with London Collections: Men, the second season of a dedicated menswear event in the British capital. We’ve already heard about Topman’s planned interactive 360° live-stream experience, now, and as expected, comes news of a flurry of digital activity from the British Fashion Council once again

The aim, it says, is to “unite fashion and digital innovation, encouraging engagement with the menswear showcase through social media, live streaming and digital presentations”.

One particularly participatory initiative is its crowdsourcing of street style content again using the #ManAboutTown hashtag. Fans on Twitter and Pinterest can contribute to an ongoing online archive of menswear looks housed on a dedicated pinboard as well as in a Facebook album. The result is designed to present the best of British Men’s Style.

Also on the BFC Pinterest page will be diary-like contributions from menswear designer Lou Dalton and journalist Charlie Porter. Dalton is showcasing inspirations and preparations ahead of her show already, followed by backstage shots and catwalk looks as they hit the runway on Monday. Porter meanwhile, will be creating an online moodboard of his favourite collection looks, street style shots and inspiring moments.

For those in attendance at The Hospital Club in London, the home of LC:M, there are also digital windows to experience. Referred to as a life-sized catwalk installation, they will feature daily video highlights from all the shows when users scan the display with their mobile phones thanks to another partnership with augmented reality app, Aurasma.

In addition to all that, the BFC will also be showcasing behind-the-scenes images over Instagram, live-streaming all the shows from The Hospital Club via www.londoncollections.co.uk/live. and screening a variety of digital presentations and fashion films. Finally, it will also be continuing its Twitter conversations throughout the event – live Q&As will be held on the @BFC account with Tinie Tempah, Toby Wiseman, editor of Men’s Health, and model Oliver Cheshire, using the #AskLCM hashtag.

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social media technology Uncategorized

Topman live-stream to offer fans 360° augmented experience

Topman Design spring/summer 2013

Topman is set to launch an interactive 360° live-stream experience for its London Collections: Men autumn/winter 2012/13 show on January 7.

The UK menswear brand will enable fans to scroll left or right, up and down to view the catwalk from any angle in a bid to make it feel ever more like they’re actually present. They can also interact with select industry insiders and celebrities in the front row, whose tweets will appear above their real location in an augmented addition to the live-stream.

As with the company’s Topshop Unique show in September, fans will also be able to “shoot the show” to instantly share images with their friends across social channels. The hashtag being pushed is #Topman360.

“Having streamed the Topman Design show for several seasons now and commenting separately via our social channels we really wanted to try and achieve a multi-faceted live stream experience which amalgamated all in one and make the experience as personal and unique for each viewer,” said Jason Griffiths, marketing director at Topman.

The initiative launches with a Facebook App from today that invites consumers to win a pair of front row tickets to the show as well as other prizes. It will also showcase the live-stream on January 7 alongside Topman.com and the brand’s digital magazine, Topman Generation.