Decoded Fashion - Powder Personalised Beauty
Image source: Powder

British publisher Time Inc. UK has launched a beauty website called Powder that offers personalised product suggestions based on users’ self-selected filters, shrewdly wrapped in corresponding editorial content. A box of personalised products (both samples and full-size) can also be ordered for £36 ($52) every quarter.

Consumers create a free profile based on a series of questions determining personal needs and preferences such as age, skin type and budget, plus specific product-related questions including ‘what would you like your mascara to do?’, or ‘how much coverage would you like?’

Users search by product type to receive personalised recommendations, each of which is accompanied by insider tips from beauty editors, mimicking the in-store experience but with the bonus of top-flight editorial acumen. The products can be clicked to buy (users are transferred to brands’ e-commerce sites) or stored in a virtual wish list dubbed the Beauty Drawer.

Consumers can also browse the Beauty Feed, a regularly updated section that resembles an online magazine. Health and beauty-themed editorial content is mixed with new product launches and additional tips from in-house beauty experts – all curated to match consumers’ previously stated preferences.

The extra level of relevance is music to the ears of advertising beauty brands like French giant L’Oreal (already on board), which are assured of more effective native advertising.

Guest post by Marta PodeszwaKatie Baron

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - JW Anderson Workshops
Image source: JW Anderson Workshops, Ace Hotel Londons

True to his reputation for going against the grain, Irish fashion designer J.W. Anderson has suspended plans for a flagship in favour of opening a gallery-inspired, revolving showcase of collaborative projects. He intends the projects – dubbed ‘workshops’ – to reflect his own passion for crafts, culture and overall experimentation.

An endeavour between himself and “kindred spirit” creators at east London’s trendy Ace Hotel, the Jonathan Anderson Workshops were inspired by the Omega Workshops (an early 20th-century literary/painting collective founded by members of the UK’s Bloomsbury set), and experimental Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake.

From January 28, the 250 sq ft space will showcase projects including ceramics, music, photography and more to the public, featuring a different visual ‘editor’ each month. Anderson has only committed to “selling items occasionally”. A fashion photography book by Spanish magazine publisher Luis Venegas, featuring J.W. Anderson archive pieces, kicks off the proceedings.

The new concept underscores Anderson’s staunch views on the role of brand flagships. He believes luxury labels need to consider cultural context and more personal modes of behaviour. “[We live] not in a luxury world, but a cultural world — where we have to create more experience,” he told The Business of Fashion. “The luxury environment just isn’t personalised anymore.”

Guest post by Katie BaronStefanie Dorfer

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Mona
Image source: TechCrunch

Seattle-based tech firm Mona – founded by former employees of Amazon – has released an eponymous app which aims to create the ultimate personalised mobile e-tail experience through data intelligence and personal assistance.

Mona tracks every interaction with the app as shoppers browse the available product selection (currently composed of 100 of the top 300 fashion retailers in the US) to create a personalised product offering that evolves with each tap. To improve suggestions from the get-go, Mona mines consumers’ emails once they connect with the service – looking through inboxes for marketing newsletters, order confirmations and receipts.

Doubling up the personalised experience with an assistance aspect that pulls it beyond the limitations of pure algorithms, Mona also offers “missions” – a service designed to challenge the traditional browse-and-search shopping model. For example, Mona can be tasked with a mission to notify a user when a particular pair of boots in their size and preferred colour becomes available, or goes on sale.

Outlining the value in capturing consumer missions, founder Orkun Atik remarks: “We have strong intent for purchase in the form of missions from consumers. We can connect that purchase intent from the buyers with the sellers in a more efficient way than other marketplaces.”

An undoubted concern for some may be the intrusion of privacy required in order to craft such a personalised experience – all emails are scoured to create the best matches. However, many younger consumers are already willing to trade privacy for more relevant, speedier shopping journeys or discounts.

Guest post by Saeed Al-RubeyiKatie Baron


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