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Editor's pick mobile social media

Are fashion brands prepped to forego quality in order to fulfill the wants of Snapchat?

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Image via Stolnik magazine

Something is happening with social media content. Where once highly pristine images made all the more perfect with an Instagram filter were a sure-fire strategic win, what’s beginning to take over with younger generations and the early adopter set is a much more candid approach to documenting a moment in time.

From Snapchat to Periscope (and all the other live streaming apps in between), there’s much more of a raw aesthetic filling our content feeds. It’s unedited, unscripted, totally of the moment, and more authentic as a result. As Lucie Greene, worldwide director at J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, explains, it’s part of a consumer shift in terms of what is deemed acceptable with visual language.

“We’re seeing intimate, real, and even amateur style photography becoming aspirational. And consumers, meanwhile, becoming active creators of content. They’re even starting to see themselves increasingly as their own brand. What’s interesting is that traditional entertainers and fashion brands are embracing this — they’re moving from slick, glossy, synthesised content to more ‘real’ looking imagery,” she says.

Inevitably it’s a big shift for the majority of brands however. In the fashion industry particularly, this more organic form of content is at odds with the increasingly strict controls in place around social media output. For many brands, content is created months in advance. For the giants in the space able to be more flexible, there are large teams and significant creative budgets in order to produce such flawless assets.

Those doing a really nice job of it however (on Snapchat check out Burberry, Valentino and Everlane), are still remaining ‘on brand’ with their output, just with a slightly more lighthearted view. If you’re a subscriber, check out the full report on WGSN to read all about what they’re doing to achieve it, and how true interaction will be the next leap forward in this space.

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs

Categories
Blocks Comment social media technology

Topshop and the BFC talk digital innovation with WGSN during #LFW

The latest in a longstanding series of Google Hangouts hosted by my team at WGSN, saw Topshop CMO Sheena Sauvaire, the British Fashion Council’s head of marketing Clara Mercer, and myself talking about the role of digital and fashion week.

Held on the final day of London’s spring/summer 2015 shows, this was an exploration of innovation versus sales, the importance of extending a campaign beyond the 10 minutes of the show and into the six months ahead, and the role that social commerce and shoppable runways are playing this season for designers.

We also explore some tips and tricks for emerging talent in approaching their digital strategy, and the need to carefully balance the role of innovation with what feels authentic to your brand.

Do watch it back below…

Categories
Editor's pick social media

WGSN’s social media news room to provide more access to fashion week season than ever before

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As fashion month kicks off in New York and continues around the globe, the team over at WGSN (that would be my day job) is set to provide more access to the collections, trends and data than ever before. We’ll be reporting live not only from the shows but from our first ever social media news room, giving everyone, not just subscribers, a front row seat to spring/summer 2015.

This #WGSNhub, a content command centre if you will, aims to engage, excite and educate followers with real-time commentary from our global editors, including in-depth critical analysis and commercial insights.

As well as our usual coverage across InstagramTumblrTwitterFacebookGoogle+ and our blog, we’ll be providing behind-the-scenes access to our team at work, as well as showcasing our focus on big data with trend analytics pulled from the shows as they emerge.

We’ll also be welcoming over 30 of our global editors – from offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Sao Paulo – to provide real-time commentary on all the collections. Look out for the #editortakeover hashtag on Twitter where their market expertise will be collated in live reviews of the shows in 140 characters of less. That logistical undertaking will span the whole of fashion week month, taking us from New York through London, Milan and Paris with more hands on deck than ever before.

We’re also planning a series of Twitter Q&As with some of our experts. On Thursday, September 4 (tomorrow) our senior womenswear editor, Jaclyn Jones, will be on hand to discuss some of the big trends we anticipate to see for spring/summer 2015. On Saturday, September 6, our VP of North American content, Sheila Aimette, will provide a behind-the-scenes look at fashion week through the eyes of a trend forecaster. Once we get to London, I’m set to take over with a conversation about what tech and digital innovations we’ve experienced from the shows and what more we hope to see. Expect that on Friday, September 12. You can follow all via #askwgsn.

Next up will be two Google Hangouts live from our #WGSNhub in New York and then in London. On Monday, September 8, our conversation will explore the role of a trend forecaster during fashion week, featuring WGSN editors as well as some very exciting external industry experts. Then on Tuesday, September 16, our discussion will move over to those digital innovations emerging during fashion week once again, both from a brand and a technology standpoint. Look out for the special guest panelists we’re due to announce soon, and follow all the activity via #wgsnhangout.

Categories
Blocks business e-commerce technology

Accelerating change at retail – a chat on innovation with WGSN, John Lewis and Zappos Labs

By day, I’m a global senior editor at WGSN, where we’ve been running an ongoing series of Google+ Hangouts (#wgsnhangout), chatting to experts from across the industry each month on subjects as varied as wearable technologycatwalk trends to know aboutthe future of fashion and more.

This month, the subject was retail innovation. I interviewed Will Young, director of Zappos Labs; John Vary, innovation manager at John Lewis; and Lorna Hall, WGSN’s head of market intelligence. Check out the video above for more on what’s currently shifting the landscape through the eyes of a heritage retail brand and a large US e-commerce player.

We chat about improving the consumer experience, introducing new technologies, partnering with start-ups, gaining internal buy-in, the ever-important role of omnichannel and more. There’s also a quick-fire round flagging up how soon (18 months, three-five years, or not at all) retailers need to care about innovations such as beacons, 3D printing, wearable tech, drones and virtual reality.

Categories
Blocks Startups

Recommended listening: Refashion podcast

refashion

A new fashion and tech podcast has launched that’s worth checking out. Refashion kickstarted in April 2014 and has already featured interviews with the likes of Will Young, director of Zappos Labs; Melissa Coker of womenswear brand Wren; and Daniela Cecilia, founder of visual search app ASAP54.

Created for fashion entrepreneurs and business owners, the podcast aims to “highlight the hottest fashion tech startups and seek business advice from founders and fashion executives”, says its own founder Cristina Quitania.

Part of her mission, she says, is to help tighten the learning curve. “By bringing together the most influential players from each community each week, the Refashion Podcast has one goal in mind: to support innovation, creativity and growth – growth that both propels the fashion industry and ourselves. I stand for collaboration and a continuous curiosity to learn, and believe that these two things will build a transformed fashion community.”

Young talks about customer service for instance, while Coker focuses on how the brand achieved such viral video success with its recent First Kiss campaign.

A recent episode sees Andy Goodman, managing director at service design agency Fjord, discussing smart materials, nano technology and synthetic biology. From wearables to embeddables, this is a fantastic exploration of where science is leading us in the future, and what really we can expect to see.

There are also sessions with companies including Lookbook.nu, Everpurse, Mallzee and more. And I’m on there in my role as senior editor at WGSN, talking about what’s happening in social media trends for the fashion world, as well as how brands are balancing the role of technology from a gimmick versus truly ROI perspective.

Check it out via iTunesStitcher Radio and Refashion.co.

Categories
social media

WGSN to host live Twitter Q&A on the future of shopping – send your questions to #askwgsn

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Trend forecaster WGSN might be best known for its design and product development work (seasonal colours, silhouettes, consumer insights and more), but it also analyses forward developments in retail strategy, digital marketing, merchandising and store design.

Sat under the umbrella of its market intelligence team, these are experts in their field on all things to do with the business side of the industry – note I’m shamelessly referring to myself in this category as WGSN is of course my employer. I’m a global senior editor on all things media and marketing related, by that I mean brand strategy, digital communications, in-store technology and more (of course in each instance always weighted towards how it pertains to the fashion and retail space).

But I also head up the social media content strategy for the company, overseeing our output across Twitter, Tumblr (award-winning!), Facebook, Instagram and Google+ (where you may have seen my mug hosting our business-focused monthly Hangouts).

To that end – I bring you the latest campaign, and urge you to get involved. On Tuesday, June 10 we will be hosting a live Twitter Q&A with Lorna Hall, head of the WGSN market intelligence team and resident retail expert. Hall brings with her a wealth of experience on exactly what is shifting the landscape and will be able to talk to absolutely anything to do with the future of shopping.

I’m talking legacy retailers and their moves to omnichannel; new focuses on innovation and integrating start-ups; big data, beacons and personalisation; search, shop and go, or the new paths to purchase re-engineering the ‘impulse buy’. Not to mention a bunch of other keywords and phrases like mobile, phy-gital, service, footfall drivers, experiential and more. You name it, Hall has the answer.

So please get stuck in, send us your thoughts using the hashtag #askwgsn – Hall will be online responding from 4pm GMT / 11am EST. The more you ask, the more we respond and the more content we regurgitate back out again. It’s a win win.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce social media technology

Digital snippets: H&M, Instagram, Uniqlo, Ferragamo, Urban Outfitters, Nike

Happy new year all and welcome to 2014!

It’s straight to Vegas for me and headfirst into CES for what’s looking set to be a week heavy on the wearables front. More of that to follow, but for now, here’s a highlight of some of the fashion and tech stories you may have missed over the past couple of weeks…

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  • H&M and Beckham return to The Super Bowl with ground-breaking shoppable TV ad campaign [WGSN]
  • Instagram reveals ‘promising’ results of Levi’s and Ben & Jerry’s ad trial [Marketing Magazine]
  • Ferragamo weaves founder’s history into fairy tale film [Luxury Daily]
  • Nike, MTV are top global brands on Instagram in 2013 [BrandChannel]
  • How in-store analytics is changing the way you shop [Fashionista]
  • Beacons: What they are, how they work, and why Apple’s iBeacon technology is ahead of the pack [Business Insider]
  • What fashion adds to the tech world: Vanessa Friedman on wearables [FT]
  • Smart eyelashes and fingernails: the next wave of wearable tech [Mashable]
  • Can Apple’s Angela Agrendts spark a retail revolution? [Fast Company]
Categories
e-commerce social media technology

WGSN’s Google Hangout: 15 years of fashion and retail

 

Online trend forecaster and b2b fashion publication, WGSN, is set to host a Google Hangout next Tuesday, December 10, which will see a panel of industry-leading experts talking about the modern history of the internet and sharing their viewpoints on the innovations set to shape the future.

For those of you who don’t already know, this is my employer, which also means I’ll be hosting the Hangout. Joining me at 4pm GMT will be Uri Minkoff, CEO of Rebecca Minkoff; Justin Cooke, founder and CEO of Innovate7 and former CMO of Topshop; Nicola Peters, director of innovation and experience at Innovate7; and Amy Levin, founder and creative director of College Fashionista. We will also have WGSN’s editor-in-chief, Sandra Halliday, and director of advisory services, Ruth Marshall-Johnson, on the air.

The event is a celebration of WGSN’s own 15-year anniversary. Now that doesn’t sound very old, but can you believe when we started out, Google was still in its Beta phase. Most retailers obviously hadn’t begun to consider the prospect of selling their wares online, let alone envisioning the global connectivity sites like Facebook and Twitter would bring.

Fast forward to 2013 and the world as we knew it has, of course, completely transformed. Classic marketplaces have been disrupted, new initiatives have both emerged and disappeared at the speed of light, and consumers now have more of a voice than ever. Keeping up is a 24/7 challenge; but never more of an exciting one.

So please join us live on Tuesday, while we debate it. You can of course also expect to hear a few thoughts on things like 3D-printing, wearable technology, and those Amazon drones. Sign up here: wgsn.co/1eH2467

Categories
technology

Eva Chen wearing Google Glass at #NYFW

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It turns out Nina Garcia isn’t the only one sporting Google Glass to #NYFW. Eva Chen, incumbent editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine, was spotted wearing a pair inbetween shows in the city today, teamed with a cropped Mickey Mouse tee.

“Ok Glass, take a video,” she said, following which she looked around the crowd in front of her, of which Samantha Aldenton from WGSN, was one. “These are the street photographers”, Chen explained, seemingly to her device.

A tweet on August 28 from Chen announced she would be wearing them:

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Photo credit: Samantha Aldenton

Categories
social media

Social media for fashion: top 10 trends

Keen to learn more on social media as it pertains to the fashion industry? I’m presenting a webinar tomorrow (Thursday, May 30) via WGSN that explores how leading brands in our industry are integrating multiple social media platforms into a cohesive marketing strategy.

Among the topics are:

• How are brands using storytelling to create engagement and connection?
• What role does film and video content play in a multiplatform marketing world?
• How are brands using data personalisation to deliver relevant content to the right audience in real time?
• How is crowdsourcing being used to co-create content?
• What’s the role of humour in marketing fashion brands?

Do tune in. It’s taking place at 5pm BST / 12pm EST. More details and sign-up here: http://bit.ly/17ZSLh9