Around 300 VIP attendees participated in WGSN’s exclusive summit – and INTERLACED was one of them

Creative Directors, CMOs, Heads and Innovation of world-class brands like Burberry, Topshop, Selfridges, Net-a-porter and Apple got together in one place last week at WGSN’s forum, Creative Futures. More than 80 industry-expert speakers hosted a forward-looking agenda that aimed discuss ways to disrupt businesses with creativity and technology, connect with the consumers and provide a great brand experience. With talks, panels, hangouts and workshops, the attendees got fresh insights into some of the most innovative labels in the world and discovered winning strategies for the next two years.

We bring you some of the highlights of the two-day summit.


Among many others, the biggest highlight of the first day was an exclusive interview with the world-renowned fashion photographer, Nick Knight, who talked about challenging the conventions of creativity. ‘Why is fashion so narrow in what it considers beautiful?’ reflected Knight. The session, which saw a massive turnout, shed some light into the photographer’s work and his mission with SHOWstudio.

PANEL DISCUSSION: The end of the Trend?
Joannne Entiwstle (Senior Lecturer at King’s College London), Susan Millin (Fashion & Retail Advisor), Caren Downie (Brand Director of Finery) and Erin Mullaney (Global Head of Merchandising for Women’s RTW at Tom Ford) discussed the speed of the fashion industry and the issue with season-driven sales. ‘The sales have gone completely out of control, markdowns are happening within a month or two of the product hitting the floor. There just isn’t enough time to sell it and the product isn’t at the shop at the right time. It’s creating a lot of problems’, said Millin. ‘ People dress less seasonably anyways and the climate is changing, but department stores don’t want to reverse the autumn/winter, spring/summer concept because they always want to have the products out before everybody else’, agreed Mullaney. The fashion industry’s custom of going to newness has to be reconciled with what the people want to buy and wear the next day, and desire should be driven by new colours, print or textures, said Entwistle.

KEYNOTE INTERVIEW: When Creativity and Sustainability Collide
Closing the day was Adam Derry, Creative Director of the award-winning sustainable brand Ekocycle for will.i.am & The Coca Cola Company, who talked about producing premium materials out of post-consumer waste. ‘We should be making what we consume and consuming what we make,’ said the innovator about Ekocycle’s mission to use recycled materials. ‘By leading through design and aesthetics we are making sustainable products aspirational to effect change. Referring to sustainability as innovation should become non-existent when the next generation become designers’ declared Derry at the end of the talk.


The venue at Cavendish Square


PANEL DISCUSSION: The Social Listeners
The second day of Creative Futures looked into harnessing the power of social networks to strengthen a brand during a panel with Kerem Atasoy (Head of Digital Market at Harvey Nichols), Tim Lion (European Head of Social Media at Sony Europe) and Mario Muttenhaler (CMO at The Cambridge Satchel Company). The social media moguls talked about Instagram for VIP’s, loyalty rewards for younger customers and creating great quality video and image content for social networks. ‘Don’t’ overthink social, it’s the simple things that matter’ said Muttenthaler. Finding humor is important in the luxury industry, said Atasoy about Harvey Nichols’ #couldIbeanyclearer campaign. The panel agreed that the next big app for social branding is Periscope, a video-streaming app for iOS launched by Twittter in March that is already soaring in popularity.

Later that day there was an inspiring talk with the CMO of Calvin Klein, Melisa Goldie, who talked about creating viral campaigns. The longtime Calvin Klein executive addressed the delicate balance of the brand’s provocative, disruptive and relevant content and proposed ways to leverage creativity. ‘Dance with controversy’, she said, as she explained the label’s decision to cast Justin Bieber in it’s latest ad. Embracing the culture and connecting on an emotional level with the customers to create lasting engagement were also part of her masterclass.

THE CONTENT LEADERS SESSION: The future of content-led marketing
‘Magazines are becoming shops and shops are becoming magazines. Either way content is king but it’s also about the experience’ said Caroline Issa, Chief Executive of TANK magazine on the future of publishing. The streetstyle star talked about TANK’s Fashion Scan app, which allows the reader to get additional content and features by hovering over the page with a smartphone. The updated version includes now the ability to scan 3D objects to be able to shop them, said Issa. ‘Our search has been for a solution that can combine online and offline in a seamless way, so we use technology to tell “more stories”.’


Rachel Arthur, Global Senior Editor of WGSN | Johnannes Torpe, Creative Director of Bang&Olufsen | Kristen Naiman, Vice President of Kate Spade NY | Lou Ashton, Head of Digital of Topshop


If you want to find out more about the future of fashion join us at #INTERLACED2015 on 3rd September. Early bird tickets are on sale now.

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