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...
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....
DEUTSCHE TELEKOM AND LUFTHANSA UNVEIL THE FUTURE OF FLYING

DEUTSCHE TELEKOM AND LUFTHANSA UNVEIL THE FUTURE OF FLYING

For some, the CES starts as soon as they step into the Las Vegas Convention Centre. For others – while flying at 33,000 feet on the way to the conference. That’s exactly what Deutsche Telekom and Lufthansa did yesterday (08.01.2018) through their FlyingLab event on its Lufthansa Airbus A380 from Frankfurt to Houston. FlyingLab is this year’s challenge set out by Deutsche Telekom’s Fashion Fusion initiative, in partnership with Lufthansa. In 2017, the competition brief invited fashion, creative and engineering talent to submit their ideas about enhancing long-distance flight experience through the use of fashion and technology. This wasn’t just about innovation around the passengers’ experience but included the cabin crew too. Over the past few month, the finalists of the three finalist teams worked at Fab Lab Berlin on intelligent solutions for the flight experience of tomorrow. Three prototypes were presented and tested on board, including projects for new airline seats, on-board entertainment, and methods of communication between cabin crew and passengers. Team feel.flight focused on increasing passengers’ well-being on long-haul flights, presenting a chatbot system for communication between passengers and flight attendants. The chatbot can classify passenger needs, arrange them by priority and coordinate the appropriate service activities. For other matters, such as requests for food and drinks or tips against fear of flying, the request is transferred to a real flight attendant. The team also developed a smart blanket with integrated neck pillow which can be worn like a cape and adjusted to the passenger’s individual need for warmth. Vibrations in the blanket’s neck pillow can wake the passenger gently, without a flight attendant having to...
EVENT REPORT | THE DNA OF DISRUPTIVE BRANDS

EVENT REPORT | THE DNA OF DISRUPTIVE BRANDS

The breakfast session, hosted by brand experience agency Rufus Leonard, featured a panel of disruptive brands including The House of St Barnabas, Birchbox, and Kaido. It opened with a presentation from Charlotte Beckett, senior strategist at Rufus Leonard, on “The DNA of Disruption”, the four main components being “The Individual”, “The Team”, “The Organisation”, and “The Consumer”. First, though, some context. As a trusted adviser to some of the UK’s most established brands, Rufus Leonard is fascinated in disruption and understanding the ways in which learning from the disruptors can help these brands avoid being disrupted while disrupting categories themselves. A year ago, the agency set out in its attempt to measure brand experience with the first Brand Experience Index, which enables brands to calculate their total impact on customers across touchpoints compared to their competitors. Rufus Leonard is launching the second wave in the coming weeks, which will combine the agency’s interest in disruptors with that of brand experience. Rufus Leonard started with a hypothesis in mind – that the disruptors in each sector would score well on practical, active measures such as “Do” and “Purpose” but were surprised that, in fact, brands including Airbnb, Netflix, and Uber, posted higher Brand Experience Index scores in the three more emotional facets: “Feel”, “Sense”, and “Connect”. This highlights that for a brand or a business to truly disrupt a market it can’t just engage with people in rational terms, it has to engage on an emotional level as well – winning people’s hearts and minds. The DNA of a Disruptive Organisation  Charlotte Beckett, senior strategist, Rufus Leonard In terms of providing a definition,...
FASHION FIX: THE SMART INNOVATIONS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

FASHION FIX: THE SMART INNOVATIONS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

The global smart fabrics market is projected to reach $5.5bn by 2022, according to a recent report by Transparency Market Research, with the sector set to undergo a segmentation based on products, applications and functions. In terms of application, fashion is one of the key industries where smart fabrics could be incorporated and help lead the growth of the market. While players in the industry might feel like the conversation around getting the convergence of fashion and technology right has been going on for ages (and it really has!) without much change, we have actually come a long way since the dawn of fashion tech circa 2004. The smart creatives have realised that fashion tech pieces are not merely a light up dress (although there’s nothing wrong with a bit of sparkle). Similarly, engineers have understood the importance of how products look and feel, making design a fundamental part of the product creation process instead of an after thought. Lastly, and arguably the most exciting part, is that some fashion tech pieces have made their way to the consumer market, as opposed to staying confined to the real of performance art, reserved for celebrities and the runway only. With that in mind, we decided to round up some the most stylish and functional products on the market. Emel + Aris Smart Coat London-based brand Emel+Aris has created the world’s first luxury smart coat by using revolutionary heat technology. The coat, which is available for both men and women, lets the wearer control the temperature with three heat settings, which can be activated at the touch of a button. The...