SAVE THE DATE: HOW TO MAKE IT IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES PANEL

SAVE THE DATE: HOW TO MAKE IT IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES PANEL

The first quarter of the year might be behind us already but ‘unpredictability’ still feels like the word du jour in the fashion industry and beyond. And it’s not without reason. Once the most anticipated months in the fashion calendar, fashion weeks now make headlines with the number of designers who choose not to show in the official schedules, experiment with the presentation format (with varied success) or ditch their participation altogether. Outside the extravaganza of fashion week, companies are having to rethink their processes, sales and distribution channels and how to use data in a way that grows their business, at a time when consumer loyalty is something of a myth. No one is safe, not even overly hyped streetwear labels like Vetements. And yet, there’s never been a better time to enter the industry. According to The Business of Fashion and McKinsey’s 2018 report, The State of Fashion, “optimisim” was ranked as one of the top 3 words executives used to describe the state of the industry. Accenture’s Helen Mountney recently echoed this, saying that new companies are now “very well placed […] because they tend to be digital natives and understand the importance of technology”. So, while it might be one of the most competitive and challenging industries, there’s a place in fashion and the creative industries for bright young things who are ready to challenge the norms and create their own narrative. To help address the challenges and opportunities for up and coming brands and creative entrepreneurs, we have teamed up with Lovespace – UK’s largest by-the-box storage company – for an evening of discussion...
BRIA AND SABINNA TRANSFORMING FASHION COLLECTIONS INTO BIODEGRADABLE MATERIALS

BRIA AND SABINNA TRANSFORMING FASHION COLLECTIONS INTO BIODEGRADABLE MATERIALS

As we outlined in our trends to watch in 2018, sustainability continues to be on the top of the agenda for fashion companies. Now, one of the WEAR funded projects on creating a more ethical industry has come into fruition by none other than our favourite fashion-tech innovation agency ​BRIA and forward-looking fashion brand ​SABINNA. The teams at ​BRIA and SABINNA have collaborated to transform a fashion capsule collection of wardrobe “staples” into new 100% biodegradable materials for use in garment packaging and shop interiors. By developing innovative processes for transforming garments into new biodegradable materials, they have successfully demonstrated that without compromising on design, it is possible for brands to create commercial fashion that is circular and that never needs to go into landfill, with the potential to avoid millions of tonnes of garment landfill waste every year. “We started discussions to team up with Sabinna in August 2017, as we have known her for a while now and we share a common passion for sustainability and for changing the status-quo in the fashion industry in terms of current practices,” tells us BRIA Co-Director Moin Roberts-Islam. The teams set out to develop processes for transforming end-of-life garments made from cellulose-based materials into new 100% recyclable and biodegradable materials. The new materials which were created are similar to paper, card, plastics and even wood, and can be used for garment packaging, tags, building shop interiors and many other applications. In order to demonstrate their new developments to the fashion community, the teams at BRIA and SABINNA worked together to co-design and produce a capsule collection of garments made from...
ACCENTURE’S HELEN MOUNTNEY ON THE CHANGING RETAIL LANDSCAPE

ACCENTURE’S HELEN MOUNTNEY ON THE CHANGING RETAIL LANDSCAPE

It’s a busy first day at Retail Week Live – the largest gathering of retail leadership in the UK. The event might not have ‘tech’ in its title but that’s the single biggest overarching theme for the conference: the topic more than 150 speakers are here to discuss, and thousands of attendees – to hear about. It can be overwhelming. From bringing omni-channel experiences through emerging technologies, to thinking about how GDPR will impact your brand and making sure your workforce stays on top of technological innovations, there’s definitely a lot to take it. One person who knows how to separate the nice- from the need-to-know themes and movements, though, is Helen Mountney. As the UK managing director at retail management consultancy Kurt Salmon (part of Accenture Strategy), she works with retailers and consumer products companies to deliver operating efficiencies, turnaround support, strategic planning and organisational design. With more than 20 years of experience in the sector, she is a thought-leader in the industry, regularly cited in leading publications. We caught up with Helen to discuss some of the key themes and trends for retailers and emerging brands in 2018. What is the state of the industry at the moment? It’s not an easy time for many retailers, especially traditional ones. What’s interesting in the retail landscape is the amount of disruption that some of the new innovators are causing. I think technology has an important part to play in that and the successful retailers are those who embrace technology, those who have a really compelling digital offer and who are clear about their proposition to their customers. On...
LONDON FASHION WEEK: TASTEFUL TECH AND TRADITION

LONDON FASHION WEEK: TASTEFUL TECH AND TRADITION

Following a turbulent New York Fashion Week, where some questioned its value, others accused of lacking diversity and which dozens of American designers decided to ditch in favour of other cities (for yet another season), eyes turned to its European peer – London. Was the Big Smoke going to get that same treatment this season? Thankfully, the British capital delivered on every single front – from putting the spotlight on new designers, to championing the icons and creating lots of experiential activations, the five days during LFW didn’t disappoint. We’ve rounded the key highlights below. Bailey takes a bow Burberry’s February show was the last one under the creative direction of Christopher Bailey, who chose to dedicate his final collection for the brand to organisations supporting LGBTQ around the world. While the show was a magnificent spectacle, ‘the final soundtrack – Jimmy Somerville singing ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ – seemed more concerning about a future without Bailey at the helm than celebratory about the brand’s next steps,’ commented fashion historian Dr. Ben Wild. Now that we know Givenchy star Riccardo Tisci is replacing Bailey, it will be fascinating to watch the antidote-of-Bailey designer put his spin on the iconic British brand. The Queen makes an appearance No celeb or influencer entrance could even begin to compare with the excitement around The Queen’s appearance at London Fashion Week. Her Majesty was greeted upon arrival by Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC), after which she toured the Designer Showrooms, viewed the collections and meet some of the designers, including a group of NEWGEN budding talents....
COVERGIRL UNVEILS IN-BROWSER AR MAKEUP TRY-ON

COVERGIRL UNVEILS IN-BROWSER AR MAKEUP TRY-ON

Covergirl is making it easier than ever to virtually try on makeup that’s instantly shoppable thanks to augmented reality. The beauty giant has teamed up with innovation studio Holition and agency Beamly to create an AR tool which allows makeup lovers to try on digitally five looks from Covergirl’s Spring ‘18 collection. The best part? Advances of AR are removing barriers to entry, so the technology is now integrated in Covergirl’s website. This means that you don’t need to download an app or sign up to anything to take advantage of the functionality. Shoppers can see all products needed to create each of the five looks and have the option to purchase them (one or the whole look) through Walmart. The project comes from a study by Covergirl and Holition which asked more than 70,000 shoppers what mattered most to them in makeup discovery. With 91% of respondents agreeing that virtual try-on helps them try new things and understand what products are right for them, the survey proved that virtual try-on is a must-have for beauty brands. However, 76% of respondents also noted that virtual try-on can be misleading if not built to a high enough standard, and that almost all tools lack a smooth transition from trying to purchasing. The secret to the realistic look and seamless experience comes down to Holition’s, process. Before each look is created in AR, developers test each product (eyeshadow, eyeliner, eyelashes, brow tint, blush, lipstick, and lip liner) in real life, and manually match the shade, opacity, shimmer, and application technique in their machine learning software, FACE by Holition™, which has been...