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Gaultier’s goodbye to fashion, the fine line with ‘woke’ merch, BAFTA’s sustainable dress code

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

Top Stories
  • Stars turn out for designer Jean-Paul Gaultier’s final show (BBC)
  • Woke brands walk a thin line with ‘moral merch’ (Vogue Business)
  • Celebrities have been asked to ‘dress sustainably’ at this year’s BAFTA awards (Harper’s Bazaar)
Technology
  • Davos 2020: WEF unveils digital currency governance consortium (Finextra Research)
  • EE creates 5G-powered dress (Campaign)
  • Apple’s ‘finger device’: wearable computing’s next big thing? (CB Insights)
  • UPS is betting big on drone delivery and autonomous trucks (Business Insider)
  • How artificial intelligence is making health care more human (MIT Technology Review)
  • Digital supply-chain transformation with a human face (McKinsey & Company)
  • Realistic 3D apparel models can be shared anywhere online now (WWD)
Sustainability & Purpose
  • Ikea builds eco-store with hanging gardens in Vienna (Retail Detail)
  • Aerie expands ‘real’ role model push with social contest, eight new ambassadors (Marketing Dive)
  • Gucci Changemakers Impact fund names first round of grant recipients (WWD)
  • Starbucks commits to a resource-positive future (Starbuck Stories)
  • The future of sustainable materials: milkweed floss (Fashionista)
  • Worn again technologies opens subpilot making step to industrialization (Fashion United)
  • Step inside an apartment from the climate change-ravaged future (Fast Company)
  • Bally reveals new mountain preservation efforts (WWD)
Retail & Commerce
  • Inside Prada’s pop-up private club (NYT)
  • Tiffany & Co. to open a blue box cafe in London (The Telegraph)
  • Inside the Williamsburg penthouse made for Instagram influencers (Glossy)
  • Neutrogena offers skincare advice in salon pop-up (Campaign)
  • Is existential retail the next wave in fashion? (WWD)
  • E-commerce could kill 30k stores and half a million jobs by 2025 (Retail Dive)
Marketing & Social Media
  • Instagram deprecates IGTV button as mobile streaming bet fails to take off (Mobile Marketer)
  • Meet The Drum’s latest cover star: a virtual influencer named Floresta (The Drum)
  • Social Chain launches livestream shopping for Facebook videos (Campaign)
  • Foot Locker consolidates eight loyalty programs into one (Glossy)
  • Can fashion PR make cannabis a luxury good? (Vogue Business)
Product
  • Virgil Abloh channels brutalism for concrete efflorescence furniture series (Dezeen)
  • Nike to launch modest swimwear range Victory Swim (The Industry)
  • Thom Browne teases collaboration with Samsung (Fashion United)
  • Superfeet licenses New Balance brand for high-tech custom insoles (Sourcing Journal)
  • Redemption launches sustainable athleisure collection (WWD)
  • Happy99 creates futuristic clothing for a post-consumer world (i-D)
Business
  • Amazon becomes first to pass $200bn brand valuation (Campaign)
  • Gap’s Alegra O’Hare exits as brand ‘redefines CMO role’ (Campaign)
  • Fashion industry sets out post-brexit immigration priorities (The Industry)
  • Could Shopify be the new Amazon? (Fashion United)
  • Tailored brands to sell Joseph Abboud brand for $115m (Retail Dive)
  • Why DTC marketing is no longer about accessible price points (Modern Retail)
  • US to crack down on counterfeit goods (Fashion United)
  • Do US luxury designers have a future? (Vogue Business)
Culture
  • L’Oréal exec will lead initiative to end gender bias in ads (Adweek)
  • Louis Vuitton teams up with the NBA to influence luxury buyers (Quartz)
  • Banana Republic celebrates artistic visionaries in campaign for Black History month (Marketing Dive)

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 digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Sephora’s inclusion training, Farfetch teams with Gucci, fashion’s child labor risks

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

TOP STORIES
  • Sephora to close US stores for inclusion training June 5 [Retail Dive]
  • Farfetch teams with Gucci for ‘communities’ initiative [BoF]
  • The fashion supply chain is still high risk for child labor [BoF]
  • L’Oréal is launching a new skin-care brand with paper packaging [Allure]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Forget digital versus physical: The future is programmable [Vogue Business]
  • Robocrop: World’s first raspberry-picking robot set to work [The Guardian]
  • Sephora Spain is investing AI mirrors to mimic Amazon’s recommendation engine [Glossy]
  • I watched the NBA Playoffs in VR, and it’s going to change how you watch sports [Fast Company]
  • Facebook plans to launch crypto-currency [BBC]
  • What happened when I let algorithms run my life for a week [Wired]
  • The British companies pioneering AI that reads your emotions – and will revolutionise everything from shopping to sport [Telegraph]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Amazon employees are pressuring the company to become a leader on climate [The Star]
  • Vegan beauty: How conscious consumers are driving innovation in ethical cosmetics [Marketing Week]
  • Formula One champion Nico Rosberg launches new sustainable tech festival [Tech Radar]
  • This hedge fund superstar thinks climate change will impact all your investments—and soon [Forbes]
  • The cult of Eileen Fisher is recruiting millennials [Vogue]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • How Japan mastered the art of experiential retailing [Fashion United]
  • Lessons about the Chinese shopper from the country’s largest discount app [Vogue Business]
  • Retailers cash in on a ‘captive’ college campus market [Retail Dive]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Instagram Shopping used by 39% of UK Gen Zers, study finds [Mobile Marketer]
  • The North Face apologizes for Wikipedia marketing stunt [Highsnobiety]
PRODUCT
  • Nike’s new product drop has ‘Fortnite’ characters sporting signature kicks [Mobile Marketer]
  • The world’s most beautiful headphones are here, and they’re made of fungus [Fast Company]
BUSINESS
  • Revolve sets IPO range, sees $1.2B valuation [WWD]
  • Arcadia faces angry creditors in battle to stave off bankruptcy [The Guardian]
  • Canada Goose stock drops 30.9% [WWD]
  • 3 ways Millennials and Gen-Z consumers are radically transforming the luxury market [Forbes]
CULTURE
  • Nike and Virgil Abloh are opening a mentorship center in Chicago [Highsnobiety]
  • How music stars became fashion’s most bankable collaborators [Vogue]
  • Hunter celebrates Pride with special edition PLAY boot [Fashion United]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. 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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digital snippets Events sustainability technology

ICYMI: Met Gala, sustainability progress has slowed, fashion’s love affair with podcasts

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

TOP STORIES
  • Capitalising on the Met Gala moment is harder than it looks [BoF]
  • Progress in sustainable fashion has slowed by a third in the past year [Forbes]
  • What’s driving fashion’s love affair with podcasts [Vogue Business]
  • Fashion’s diversity problem has real costs [Vogue Business]
TECHNOLOGY
  • How augmented reality put five Madonnas on stage at once [Engadget]
  • Professor: Total surveillance is the only way to save humanity [Futurism]
  • Delivery robots will soon be allowed on Washington sidewalks [Engadget]
  • Your phone isn’t really spying on your conversations—the truth might be even creepier [Quartz]
  • Forget about artificial intelligence, extended intelligence is the future [Wired]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • After weeks of protests, UK becomes first country to declare ‘climate emergency’ [ABC]
  • It’s time we ended the ridiculous millennial trend of constantly buying new clothes [Independent]
  • ‘The consumer is pushing them’: How fast-fashion brands are responding to sustainability [Glossy]
  • Indonesia could be the first country to move its capital because of climate change [Global Citizen]
  • Why fashion doesn’t pay fair [BoF]
  • A.P.C. now allows you to exchange old A.P.C. pieces for credit [Highsnobiety]
  • Shunning bad luck, Hong Kong buys into ‘pre-loved’ fashion [Reuters]
  • Forever 21 ‘steals’ anti-fast-fashion art [BBC]
  • H&M stops the presses, shreds its print catalog after 39 years [Sourcing Journal]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Alibaba gets creative with three new Tmall genie speakers [Alizila.com]
  • Why the expansion of Nordstrom Local is important [Forbes]
  • Macys.com tops list of most trafficked retail apparel sites [WWD]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Instagram will now let creators and influencers sell items directly [TechCrunch]
  • How fashion brands are tapping into the exclusive Reddit community [Glossy]
  • Will the future of shopping be livestreamed? [Mobile Marketer]
  • How Instagram transformed the fashion industry [i-D Vice]
  • ‘This is for Men’ – L’Oreal Paris unveils clever ads calling for more women in leadership [The Drum]
  • Gucci and Snapchat offer taste of MET Gala [WWD]
PRODUCT
  • Puma is working on a shoe featuring living microbes [Puma]
  • Allbirds moves away from sneakers with new launch [Fashion United]
BUSINESS
  • The future of Chanel [BoF]
  • Gucci on track to hit €10 billion in 2020 [Vogue Business]
  • Sonia Rykiel enters receivership [WWD]
  • High-end slipper brand Mahabis goes into administration [Independent]
  • Zalando still loss-making but sales and site traffic surge [Fashion Network]
  • Adidas profits climb 17.1% in Q1 [WWD]
  • Jason Wu acquired by Chinese firm Green Harbor [Fashion Network]
  • Valentino is luxury fashion’s fastest-growing company [Vogue Business]
CULTURE
  • The age of political correctness will kill great fashion [Highsnobiety]
  • Maria Grazia Chiuri on her inclusive vision for Christian Dior [Fashion Network]
  • Virgil Abloh is in the midst of backlash for lack of diversity on his Off-White staff [Fashionista]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. 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. 

Categories
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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business digital snippets e-commerce Events mobile product Retail social media sustainability technology Uncategorized

ICYMI: Retail innovation is failing, Rihanna and LVMH’s deal, ASOS on the future of e-commerce

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

TOP STORIES
  • Why retail innovation is failing [BoF]
  • Rihanna and LVMH make a deal and, possibly, history [NYT]
  • Asos CEO on the next e-commerce frontier [BoF]
  • Bloomingdale’s updates the in-store beauty experience with technology, cross-selling experiences and events [Glossy]
  • 3 key takeaways from NRF’s Big Show 2019 [TheCurrent Daily]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Robot delivery dogs deployed by self-driving cars are coming [TechCrunch]
  • Procter & Gamble debut a handheld device that could replace makeup [The Next Web]
  • Google buys $40 million worth of smartwatch tech from Fossil Group [Ars Technica]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • CFDA launches sustainability resource hub [Fashion United]
  • J.Crew and Cotton Incorporated partner to turn used denim into housing insulation [Sourcing Journal]
  • Americans throw out 10 pieces of clothing a year for not knowing how to care for them [Fashion United]
  • Marks & Spencer to tap into vegan fashion trend [Fashion Network]
  • Sustainable fashion hubs rise in Hong Kong and Taipei [BoF]
  • Tommy Hilfiger to introduce sustainable denim jeans [WWD]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • American Eagle launches dressing room technology [Retail Dive]
  • Missguided enhances payment options [Fashion United]
  • Net-a-Porter launches ‘try before you buy’ [Drapers]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Burberry has the last laugh in Instagram egg battle [Vogue]
  • Walgreens testing in-store coolers with IoT ad displays [Retail Dive]
  • Victoria Beckham amps up direct-to-consumer strategy with focus on editorial content [WWD]
  • Virgil Abloh unveils first men’s campaign for Louis Vuitton [WWD]
PRODUCT
  • Savage x Fenty responds to criticism that they’re selling different styles to straight- and plus-size customers [Teen Vogue]
  • Valentino and Birkenstock collaboration hits Men’s Fashion Week in Paris [Sourcing Journal]
  • Off-White and Mr Porter to launch collaborative capsule collection [Fashion United]
  • SoulCycle is stepping up its retail game with new in-house line of performance activewear [Fashionista]
  • Amazon unveils own-brand makeup line [Fashion Network]
  • The Fenty effect comes to skincare [BoF]
BUSINESS
  • LVMH takes minority stake in Gabriela Hearst [Fashion United]
  • British Fashion Council plumps for The People’s Vote on Brexit [WWD]
CULTURE
  • Catering to Gen Z is a balancing act of activism and selfies [Sourcing Journal]
  • America Vogue apologises for misidentifying Muslim American journalist [BoF]

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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Innovation 2018: A year in review

Innovation in the fashion, beauty and luxury industries during 2018 focused on everything from more experiential retail to streetwear collection drops and a growing push around sustainability.

Here are the five big themes to know about based on insights from our strategy team combined with data from the most-read stories on TheCurrent Daily this year:

Streetwear’s influence
Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton
Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton

Streetwear continued to have a significant influence with the announcement of Virgil Abloh taking on the role of artistic director at Louis Vuitton menswear. Riccardo Tisci meanwhile arrived at Burberry, quickly launching collection drops to compete in the hype world of Supreme, Off-White, Palace and others. Palace also had one of the most successful collaborations of the season with Ralph Lauren.

Rounding out the year otherwise was Farfetch’s acquisition of sneaker and streetwear marketplace, Stadium Goods., which came off the back of its IPO at the end of the summer. And our mega personal highlight: experiencing the frenzy firsthand at ComplexCon.

Experiential retail
MatchesFashion.com at Carlos Place
MatchesFashion.com at Carlos Place

Retail meanwhile was unsurprisingly all about experience. MatchesFashion.com opened a new five-storey townhouse in London focused on shopping, live events and art exhibitions. It also features in-built recording facilities, a fully functioning kitchen and a courtyard garden. Meanwhile, pop-ups from brands including Cartier, Moncler, The Arrivals, Google and many more all honed in on this idea of experiential and immersive initiatives.

Alongside that is the fact we saw numerous direct-to-consumer brands opening brick-and-mortar stores this year, from Heist to Casper, Everlane, Away and beyond. And that at a time when elsewhere much of traditional retail continues to flail.

Connected retail
Amazon's 4-star store
Amazon’s 4-star store

Otherwise, the role of technology played a big role in physical retail too, from Zara’s new London store and augmented reality tie-in, to the announcement of Chanel’s “augmented retail” space and the opening of Nike’s new flagship, which unlocks a new level of convenience by allowing customers to navigate the shopping experience in-store entirely on their phones.

Amazon also continued to push forward – launching an interactive pop-up with Calvin Klein on the one hand, while introducing its own 4-star store, which only stocks products based on favorable customer reviews, on the other. It also continued with its automated Amazon Go stores, announcing it will open 3,000 of them by 2021. But it wasn’t the only one – numerous others from Jack & Jones with WeChat and Hema with Alibaba in China, to Albert Heijn in the Netherlands and Lotte in South Korea, all experimenting in this space.

Artificial intelligence
Uniqlo IQ
Uniqlo IQ

Voice technology’s role in retail also pushed full steam ahead, with numerous new launches built for Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant particularly, including from H&M Home, Uniqlo and ASOS within the fashion space, and from Coty, Kohler and others within beauty.

Artificial intelligence (AI) otherwise continued to make an impact on the design side of the industry. Yoox particularly made a splash when it announced the launch of 8 by Yoox, a new collection that is generated by data. According to Federico Marchetti, CEO of the Yoox Net-a-Porter Group, the line is informed by AI, but still designed by a creative team.

Sustainable progress  
Adidas x Parley for the Oceans SXSW 2018
Adidas x Parley for the Oceans

Last but not least, sustainability undoubtedly continued as the single biggest challenge facing the industry, with a multitude of big announcements and a continuation of experiments pushing things forward in 2018. From a negative perspective came news of the waste produced (and often burned) by brands such as H&M and Burberry, which resulted in big headlines calling for change. Sometimes it takes such insight to spur brands into further action of course.

Elsewhere, Adidas announced a moonshot to only use recycled plastics by 2024, Gucci launched an online platform to promote sustainable purpose, Levi’s focused on a more sustainable supply chain, and Kering introduced an organic cotton that is 100% scientifically traceable, thanks to a new supply chain transparency innovation. On top of that, just this month, Stella McCartney rallied the industry to come together to launch the United Nations’ new Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.

Here’s to much more in the way of innovation for 2019! Happy New Year everyone.

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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business Editor's pick sustainability

Evian taps Virgil Abloh for sustainable innovation role

Virgil Abloh

Multi-faceted designer, Virgil Abloh, has a new gig; this time as a creative advisor for sustainable innovation design at mineral water company, Evian.

The American designer, who is the founder of Off-White and creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear, will be helping the brand make its design process more sustainable.

“Evian is an iconic brand with a strong heritage in fashion and creativity,” said Abloh in a statement. “Its sustainability ambitions align with my own. Together we can push boundaries and explore new areas of revolution, paving a better future for generations globally.”

The appointment is part of a wider sustainability initiative that the French company is pledging to achieve over the next few years, focusing on three main areas: water resource, carbon and plastic. This includes becoming a carbon neutral brand by 2020, and becoming a 100% circular company by 2025 by making all of its plastic bottles from 100% recycled plastics.

“We want to use the power of our global brand to take a leadership position and drive collaboration across the industry,” said Patricia Oliva, VP of marketing at Evian. “We’re committed to move the mindset of today’s generation from ‘we can’ to ‘we do’.”

Abloh’s involvement not only entails helping Evian design future products, but “use his wide-scale platform to engage his audience and raise awareness around the importance of innovation in design and sustainability”.

Aligning with the new approach, the partnership was announced on Instagram, a platform highly popular amongst Abloh’s younger fanbase, with Evian posting a business card using the designer’s now-staple quotation marks. The choice of teaming up with a name in fashion also reflects how the industry is increasingly being seen for its efforts in sustainability, encouraging other lifestyle brands to follow suit.

“Virgil is a creative innovator who has a degree in civil engineering and a CV that includes everything from creative direction to award-winning fashion design,” said Oliva. “Virgil is the embodiment of the next generation’s possibilities.”

The designer’s first project for the water company will be unveiled during fashion month in February and March.

How are you thinking about sustainability? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners for your strategy. TheCurrent 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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ICYMI: Alibaba smashes Singles’ Day record, 2018 as the year of Virgil Abloh and Meghan Markle, holiday catalogs

Singles' Day 200 billion yuan sales figure
Singles’ Day 200 billion yuan sales figure

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

TOP STORIES
  • Alibaba sets Singles’ Day record with $31 billion in sales [Bloomberg]
  • Ebay declares 2018 the year of Virgil Abloh, logos and the Markle Effect [FashionNetwork]
  • Why catalogs still have a hold on holiday marketing [RetailDive]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Sephora and Google partner on hands-free experience [WWD]
  • China is now using gait recognition to identify people [FastCompany]
  • AI news anchor makes debut in China [NPR]
  • AI bots are awkwardly learning how to dress themselves [Dazed]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Is sustainability incompatible with fashion? [i-D]
  • The suddenly surging business of recycled plastic puffer jackets [Fashionista]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Glossier opens first NYC flagship [Fashion Network]
  • Zalando looks to Alibaba for connected retail inspiration [Fashion United]
  • Amazon to inaugurate first pop-up shop in Italy [WWD]
  • Dollar Shave Club plans vending machines in high-traffic areas [Retail Dive]
  • JD.com competes for luxury partners with high-tech and white gloves [Jing Daily]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • WeChat reaches 1m mini programs, half the size of Apple’s app store [TechCrunch]
  • Anya Hindmarch gets down to business, helping procrastinators and the scatterbrained [WWD]
BUSINESS
  • Black Friday 2018: Consumers are eager, more digital, and willing to spend [McKinsey]
  • Betting on Richemont’s future [BoF]
CULTURE
  • This size-inclusive lingerie show just put the Victoria’s Secret runway to shame [Teen Vogue]
  • Saint Laurent launches art project with Daido Moriyama exhibition [WWD]
  • Why fashion’s future will be shaped by male consumerism [Highsnobiety]
  • Hedi Slimane and the art of the ‘drop’ [BoF]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent 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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business Editor's pick

ComplexCon: Virgil Abloh on community and taste

Virgil Abloh
Virgil Abloh

“I believe that collectively we’re all the next generation of designers”, said Virgil Abloh at this year’s ComplexCon festival, which took place in Long Beach, California, this past weekend.

Abloh was leading a conversation with a group of young streetwear designers including Bstroy, Ev Bravado and Rhuigi from Rhude, handpicked by the Off White and Louis Vuitton creative director for their strides in making culture a part of the fashion discourse.

The conversation consisted of a mix of insights and industry advice for the many streetwear fanatics and bushy-eyed entrepreneurs in the audience. The biggest topics, however, revolved around how to foster a community and remain authentic to taste:

It takes a village

Early in the conversation Abloh brought to stage long-time collaborator Tremaine Emory, and emphasized the importance of acknowledging the teamwork that makes or breaks a brand. Every creative needs someone who likes an Excel spreadsheet, he said, referencing the relationship between Marc Jacobs and Robert Duffy. “We’re all in one community,” he added, urging for designers to put an end to individuality.

It is often easy for those on the outside looking in to idolize the figure who sits at the top, but streetwear in particular thrives on creatives collaborating and lifting each other up, summarized the panel. Prior to securing the top spot at Louis Vuitton menswear and spearheading his own brand, Abloh worked with Kanye West on many of his creative endeavours, from fashion to an award-winning album with Jay Z.

There also seems to be little emphasis on where the designer came from, Abloh said. “It has become ‘cool’ to pretend like you don’t have parents. It’s become part of the culture to pretend you’re brand new.”

A matter of taste

The designers on the panel hailed from Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta, and spoke about how they balance what fashion expects of them, and what truly inspires them.

“On one hand [taste level] is great, but something from our community growing up that we thought wasn’t the highest taste is equally important,” said Abloh. Emory compared it to Picasso being inspired by African art but the latter not receiving the same esteem. “As young people we have to discard the old ways and see the beauty in everything and push it forward,” he explained.

Elevating every day objects or brands is key to this new generation of brands and designers, who appropriate and remix aesthetics that were once considered mundane or uncool. It is the irony itself that makes it all so appealing, as seen by the overnight success of Vetements and its collaborations with the likes of DHL and Eastpack. For Abloh, his Off White label has become known for surfacing brands that were not previously linked to pop culture, such as Ikea and Rimowa.

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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business Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media Startups sustainability technology

ICYMI: H&M x Moschino’s AR launch, Walmart’s tech transformation, Massive Attack’s DNA album

H&M X Moschino
H&M X Moschino AR experience

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

TOP STORIES
  • H&M creates augmented reality experience for Moschino collab [WWD]
  • Walmart doubles down on its transformation into a technology company [Forbes]
  • Massive Attack are releasing an album in a new format: DNA [WIRED]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Smart speaker adoption has nearly doubled in a year [RetailDive]
  • DTC hair-color brand Madison Reed is launching virtual try-on features [Glossy]
  • Google Lens comes to Google Images for searching – and shopping [TechCrunch]
  • Facebook confirms it’s building augmented reality glasses [TechCrunch]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • How Ikea and HP want to help keep plastic out of the ocean: make stuff from it [FastCompany]
  • PrimaLoft unveils its first fully recycled, biodegradable fiber [WWD]
  • Coach becomes the latest luxury house to ditch real fur [The Industry]
  • Guess takes its wardrobe recycling program with I:CO nationwide [FashionUnited]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • ‘Retailers have to be ready for it’: visual search sits on the brink of a breakthrough [Digiday]
  • Retailers flummoxed about how to handle ‘serial returners’ [RetailDive]
  • Target clears 250K square feet of space for toy experiences [RetailDive]
  • The secrets to Selfridges’ success [BoF]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • You can now book travel by taking an Instagram screenshot [Quartzy]
PRODUCT
  • Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton is giving away club night T-shirts [Highsnobiety]
BUSINESS
  • Future-proofing the Ermenegildo Zegna Group [BoF]
  • Debenhams makes record annual loss and plans up to 50 store closures [BBC]
  • Richemont, Alibaba join forces on retail platform for China [BoF]
CULTURE
  • At Sephoria, everyone got to be an influencer [Fashionista]

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