fashion

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When you go to Eva Chen’s Instagram, you receive the usual riot of colour-coordinated #shoesies, brunches and CTAs to buy carefully arranged products that you’d expect from your favourite fashion bloggers. Except Eva Chen’s actually an editor-in-chief – heading up Lucky magazine for two years this June, the stylish editor and prolific social media poster has taken the magazine into a new era. The key shift, for many, is the introduction of Lucky Shops – the e-commerce platform that now forms part of the Lucky Group alongside the magazine. When the announcement was made last Autumn to spin off from Conde Nast and join forces with BeachMint for a heavy focus on e-commerce, trendwatchers were worried. With other traditional media companies having tried and failed at e-commerce, where does the marriage of commerce and publishing stand in 2015?

 

While independent magazine publishing ostensibly booms, those traditionally at the top find it hard to compete in the global market. Just last week, Nylon Media Inc. announced that it was shutting down the U.S. print edition of its men’s magazine, Nylon Guys. According to statistics from MediaFinder, 190 new magazines launched in the US and Canada in 2014, but magazine closures were also on the up – 43 more magazines closed this year than last, bringing the total to 99.

 

One answer to the fashion magazine industry’s woes that’s been floated most often has been e-commerce. But not everyone has been as lucky as Eva Chen and her team’s social media-driven adventures in e-commerce – although, as it should be remembered, Lucky Shops is still in its early days. Condé Nast has been accused of reacting too slowly to the shifting landscape in their own industry, leaving them trailing behind. But their own e-commerce efforts will ramp up this year. Franck Zayan (formerly e-commerce director at Galeries Lafayette) is heading up a dedicated division at the media powerhouse, which is set to finally start selling products to its readers this year. Bridging commerce and content is something e-commerce companies have been doing for years – Net-a-Porter and ASOS, with their dedicated magazines, are of course primary examples – and it looks like the magazine industry’s biggest player is finally catching up.

 

Bolstered by the notion that consumers want their online commerce to be content-driven, the drive for e-commerce in publishing continues apace. Just this week, Condé Nast owned Glamour announced that it will begin some kind of e-commerce initiative this year – beginning first in the US and UK before branching out to all its international markets. It will be interesting to see whether consumers respond in the way that the editors at the top are hoping – which means, for Eva Chen and others, turning an Instagram like, or a turn of a magazine page, into an online purchase or two.

Written by: Claire Healy

sephora

French beauty retailer Sephora is gunning to become a forerunner in digital beauty retailing with the launch of an innovation lab and four new digital initiatives.

Billed as an incubation hub for the ideation, development and testing of new digital initiatives, the lab – based in a San Francisco warehouse – will also host a monthly internal Think Tank team, charged with grooming the next generation of Sephora digital leaders, and predicting the shopping landscape five years from now. Additionally, it will house ‘Idea Central’ – a programme that sources and delivers ideas from employees, regardless of rank or role.

To coincide with the launch, Sephora has also prepared a number of key digital initiatives:

  • Devised in collaboration with New York-based, cross-platform beauty app Map My Beauty, Pocket Contour is a virtual make-up artist application for contouring. The app identifies face shapes and provides a personalised, step-by-step guide on how to create a contoured look. The tool can be accessed via Sephora’s website (on mobiles) or the app.
  • In April 2015, it will launch its first augmented reality (AR) experience via its existing Sephora-to-Go mobile app for iPhones. Users will be able to unlock digital content – including interviews with beauty experts, product videos and product pages on Sephora.com – by hovering over the faces of nine beauty brand founders, including US-based Laura Mercier, which are featured in windows and in-store display cases.
  • Bluetooth beacons are to be rolled out in Sephora stores across the US, delivering personalised alerts to the mobile devices of customers who have opted in to the service (see Sales-Boosting Beacons for more on how this works). When shoppers are either in or close to a branch, they can be notified when new demonstrations or activities are happening in-store, and receive birthday alerts or loyalty programme updates.
  • Lastly, frequent shoppers can sign up for Flash, which grants two-day shipping on all online products ordered within the US. The service is free for Rouge Beauty Insider members (the top tier of Sephora’s three-tier loyalty rewards programme), or $10 per year for all non-members

Guest post Stylus.com by Alison Gough, EditorKatie Baron, Head of Retail

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Decoded Fashion hits SXSW Interactive on March 13-17 – in the run-up, we’ll be posting content that gives you a sneak peek of what to expect: including panel sessions, special events and the return of our Mentorship Hub.

Hitting SXSW Interactive over the long weekend? The Decoded Fashion Mentorship Hub should be your first stop: there, you’ll find top execs and creatives from the fashion, retail and beauty world ready to share their expert knowledge and coach startup founders on growing their business. SXstyle, taking place at the JW Marriott Hotel, has plenty more to pique your interest. Get the lowdown on SXSW’s most stylish arm with our essential guide – from screenings to talks, here’s the best of the rest.

The Emperor’s New…Wearables?

This panel will thrash out the notion of devices that will disappear altogether in years to come. Speakers including Brandon Little (CCO, Fossil) and Sandra Lopez (Intel) will discuss how big industry players will make wearable electronics feel increasingly invisible.

(Friday March 13, 12.30pm)

Is there still room for Fashion Blogging?

This panel is inspired by last year’s New York Magazine article by influential fashion critic Robin Givhan, which asked whether the influence of the noughties’ fashion guerrillas is waning in a post-digital age. Presented by Caroline Waxler, founder of Harkness Hall, this talk will explore what’s next for bloggers – how can they stay relevant in a crowded blogosphere?

(Tuesday March 17, 11.00am)

T H E U N S E E N

Taking place at the Austin Convention Centre, this interactive talk and demo session showcase the work of Material Alchemist Lauren Bowker and her team of anatomists, engineers and chemists. Their world aims to collide couture luxury products and science in unforeseen ways – including a recent, color-changing AIR collection. Perfect for those who want to check out the vanguard of material design.

(Monday March 16, 12.30pm)

Full details of Decoded Fashion’s SXSW activities can be found here.

Reported by Claire Healy

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Set to hit Kings Cross on May 20-21, our annual London Summit will feature speakers from both the technology-first and fashion-first sides of the industry: including Google, Matchesfashion.com, Farfetch and John Lewis. One of the companies that has been most eager for two worlds to collide is Amazon Fashion, whose European VP Sergio Bucher will be speaking at the Summit. Ahead of his appearance, we thought we’d give you an update on the fastest growing and most fashionable arm of the WWW’s most famous e-commerce site: then, now, and what’s coming next.

Then:

It was back in the 2000s that Amazon started making inroads into the fashion industry – jewellery and watches were available from 2007, with clothing following the year afterwards. Trying to emulate the booming success of sites like ASOS and NET-A-PORTER, Amazon Fashion worked as a subset of the site where customers could buy a range of mid-level brands – such as Kate Spade, and denim brands like 7 for All Mankind – in a format that resembled the rest of the site. 

Now:

In 2015, Amazon’s big push into high-end fashion is well on its way. In 2012, Jeff Bezos told critics that Amazon was ready to make a significant investment in attracting high-end couture brands, a statement backed up by president of Amazon Fashion, Cathy Beaudoin. Taking its cues from its own acquired and/or launched retail websites (MyHabit, endless, zappos and Shopbop are all Amazon-owned), the team are promising better presentation for luxury goods. Notably, the team’s patent-pending technology assures that items can be placed on site just hours after being shot. 2015’s figures are bound to impress: that’s a cool 40 million customers, 1000s of brands and 1000 employees for the fastest-growing category at Amazon. 

Next:

“When we think of what’s next, we think of ourselves”, Cathy Beaudoin told WWD in 2013. With a clearly engaged customer base, who more than responding to the site’s ease-of-use, are remaining loyal to the marketplace, Amazon Fashion looks like one to beat in the next few years. In fact, whether the high-end fashion brands ever take the bait seems less important – for Amazon, creating a better e-commerce experience for customers is always the number 1 consideration. But, more than using data to offer shoppers convenience and speed, will Amazon Fashion ever become a desirable destination for serious fashionistas? Sure to offer insight on the site’s future is Vice President of Amazon Fashion EU Sergio Bucher, who will be speaking at our May Summit.

Book your ticket for the London Summit here.

Reported by Claire Healy

Farfetch

How can retailers decode a world of customer data in today’s marketplace? This is just one of the questions that our 2015 London Summit will be asking when it hits Kings Cross on May 20-21. Targeting consumers’ needs across a multitude of channels has evidently become an urgent issue for fashion retailers in the last year, but knowing how to actively engage users through a personalized experience is easier said than done.

One attendee who will hope to clear the mist around using data for customer insights is Kelly Kowal, Global Growth Director at Farfetch.com. The high-end fashion website has increasingly stood out from the crowd for its advanced strategy in digital marketing. In a year that has seen Farfetch internationally expand into other markets, the company has continually invested in new campaigns and new data collection methods in order to fuel its growth. Just last week, Farfetch was pronounced a rare fashion ‘unicorn’, after raising $86 Million in a Series E round – valuing the company at a whopping $1 Billion.

With a marketplace model allowing users to browse globally and shop locally, the Farfetch customer can buy fashion through an aggregated basket from more than 1000 boutiques. And, with each of these boutiques using the Farfetch software module, sophisticated multi-channel merchandising is in the bag. Furthering the omnichannel experience, Farfetch bridges offline and online worlds by allowing customers who visit the bricks and mortar boutiques to get the VIP experience, receiving personal treatment and localized offers. You can even click-and-collect, as of the end of last year. It’s clear that for Farfetch, e-tailing facilitates multichannel success – but how does data play into all this? Find out from Kelly Kowal on May 20.

Want to hear more from Farfetch and other winners in ecommerce strategy? Book your spot at our London Summit now.

Reported by Claire Healy

Image: Farfetch

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“As far as celebrity stylists go, Rachel Zoe has done an unparalleled job of disseminating her taste to the masses. Between her reality show on Bravo, that stint at Halston, her editorial site and daily newsletter The Zoe Report, her books and her eponymous clothing line, Zoe is both accessible at every level and nearly impossible to ignore.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Rachel Zoe

weekly

SXSW Interactive is almost here! In the run-up for the festival on March 13-17, it’s time to take a moment to sign up for our special events, featuring new hot startups as well as established brands. And most involve a cocktail or two.

Decoded Fashion hits SXSW this year with the goal to bring the tech networking experience back to face-to-face interaction. Our Mentorship Hub, supported by Simon and Swarovski, will bring together industry gamechangers and those just starting out in 10-minute mentorship meetings.

And if you meet 10 rising stars in the Fashion + Tech space, register to attend the event on Friday presenting the winners of Simon’s startup competition, followed by Decoded Fashion’s Networking Party. Our global #DFMeetup series lands in Austin to help you mingle with the biggest names in fashion & Tech.

Saturday is content day – with five sessions to pick from at the JW Marriott Hotel. We’ll start the day talking about disruption in brands with HFarm, one the largest startup incubators in Europe, John Lewis, a retailer innovating through R&D, hacks and startup collaboration and our own Liz Bacelar, creator of the world’s first fashion hackathon. Also, don’t miss the ‘Meet the New Retail Disruptors’ showcase at 2pm, discussing the most innovative tech in retail – what matters and what doesn’t.

After all that mingling you might be ready for a digital detox. On Sunday, March 15, the suited and booted guys over at menswear start-up Combatant Gentlemen will be around to show you their innovative design-to-delivery model firsthand – along with a complementary massage.

On Monday, March 16 at 2pm, Cortexica, an industry leader in image recognition and Visual Search Technology, will be on hand to demonstrate their algorithmic findSimilar™ technology – and explain why it’s set to change the future of shopping. To end the day on the more style-focussed end of the spectrum is globally feted jewellery designer Kendra Scott, will be showcasing her new jewellery collection on a living garden wall at 5pm.

Full details of Decoded Fashion’s SXSW activities can be found here.

Reported by Claire Healy

Image: SXSW 2014

Kovert

Decoded Fashion hits SXSW Interactive on March 13-17 – in the run-up, we’ll be posting content that gives you a sneak peek of what to expect: including panel sessions, special events and the return of our Mentorship Hub.

Decoded Fashion’s Fashion Hacked Exhibit at SXSW Interactive will showcase the most exciting wearables and design concepts set to hack your world in 2015. As this year’s exhibitors demonstrate, the burgeoning trend for fashion-first wearables – with uncomplicated claims to functionality – shows no sign of slowing. After watches and fitness trackers, here’s the best of the rest at our exhibition: combining looking good and feeling good like never before.

Kovert

A Decoded Fashion favourite for a while now, Kovert Designs is the Kate Unsworth-founded design house that wants you to put down your technology and concentrate on other things. No, really – their new Altruis range aims to make social media less obtrusive by subtly filtering notifications into super stylish bracelets, rings and necklaces.

Stellé Audio

The perfect union of sound and style, Stellé Audio’s Mini-Clutch Speaker is boldly going where no wearable accessory has really gone before – handbags. It’s a Bluetooth-enabled speaker, speakerphone and clutch all-in-one: perfect for carrying your on-the-go essentials, making hands-free phone calls and having impromptu parties.

Thinx

We love a brand that uses technological innovation to do social good, and Thinx is the latest startup that aims to do just that. For every pair sold of this smart underwear – that endures over time through anti-microbial, moisture-wicking and stain resistant layers – a girl in the developing world will be provided with seven washable, reusable cloth pads that help her stay in school.

Kapture Audio

Perfect for musicians, mums, or just friends catching up over drinks, Kapture is the wristband that saves the audible moments around you with a single tap. It even captures audio snippets after the fact – so the moment isn’t interrupted.

Cuff

Cuff is the most desirable-looking smart accessories line on the market right now, tapping into an authentic, boho aesthetic without sacrificing on tech functionality. There’s a style for everyone and every need: whether you want to track your activity, never miss a call or text again, or even, in a unique offering, feel safe in the city with a built-in safety tracker in case of emergency.

Full details of Decoded Fashion’s SXSW activities can be found here.

Reported by Claire Healy

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“In July, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) — essentially the governing body of New York’s fashion industry — formally acquired the Fashion Calendar from Ruth Finley, who founded it over 65 years ago and continued to run it up until last season.”

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3circle

“The practical applications of 3D printing are still being worked out, but last week at CES in Las Vegas 3D Systems showed off how the technology can be used to create fashion pieces that are just as viable as anything you might buy off the rack.”

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