startups

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Fairplay
Image source: Fairplay

MILAN, ITALY – With the Decoded Fashion Milan presented by e-Pitti.com rapidly approaching, Fairplay sat down with Alessandro Pacetti, responsible of Hogan’s Digital PR department, about the casual lifestyle brand’s role as a partner and judge of this year’s The Fashion Pitch competition that will award the best fashion-tech startup of the year.

Pacetti, a key force behind the luxury lifestyle brand’s savvy ad and social media campaigns like “#HoganClub” and “#HoganBusyBeautiful” discusses how Hogan has achieved worldwide recognition as THE luxury sneaker and apparel brand for Generation Y and Z and a launching pad for burgeoning celebrities.

What does it mean to Hogan to participate in Decoded Fashion Milan, an event that will unite some of the biggest players in fashion tech?

It is a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on Hogan’s brand identity – its history as a luxury sneaker brands and our heritage as a lifestyle company. We are also excited about discovering new talents in the tech and fashion world.

What startups are exciting to you these days?

Those who present themselves with a deep understanding of consumer behaviour and those who know how to leverage data and influencer content, as well as what items people want to buy.

Hogan’s social media strategy is pretty exciting – take the #HoganBusyBeautiful campaign for example – that dives into the lives of female DJs, editors and opinion leaders who are constantly on the move, rather than run-of-the-mill A-list celebrities. What is the thought process behind this?

We are focused on story-telling and bringing to the fore the lifestyles of the images that we have worked with, who are all in line with what Hogan represents. Hogan’s history if full of personalities, whose careers took off, after they were featured in our ad campaigns.

We worked a lot with emerging names like Patricia Manfield and Giotto Calendoli and now they are really gaining steam. We also worked with Chiara Ferragni and Riccardo Pozzoli in early 2013 and now Chiara with The Blonde Salad team has just been awarded as Blogger of the Year during Bloglovin’ Awards 2015 in New York.

Hogan is intent on working with people who are really interesting and not necessarily famous –people who have a really strong identity — and this in turn gives us a strong identity. Not to mention, these people talk about us on social media. It becomes a virtuous circle of communication.

How do you stay abreast of all ongoing changes in social media?

First of all, you need to create quality content. And you need to adapt this story-telling to what’s happening today. When we are talking about a new platform, you really need to incorporate a distinct point of view that is tailored for that specific social media.

Socia media is a channel of awareness and impressions. We are pioneers in social media advertising – we were one of the first luxury brands that had a presence on Instagram advertising. We were right there on September 2015 as soon as it launched in Italy.

I really enjoyed “The Rebel Journey” about the dance off between Laurent and Larry Bourgeois. In telling the story of the luxury sneaker, how important is film as a mode of advertisement in the fashion world?

With films there are really so many possibilities. Films allow the viewer to see the attitude and style of a collection through movement. It is a way for us to present how you can wear your sneaker and at the same time, films convey a great sense of style and a great deal of emotion at the same time.

So how has Hogan embraced convergence on a social media level?

There has to be a great mix between still and moving images. We are at the precipice of an exciting time in social media – it is the moment of animated gifs on Facebook and mini-videos on Instagram. We are seeing lots of short films with lots of frames per second and slow movement. It is really cool.

Every channel has to have its own language and content. We have to adapt very quickly to the changes underway in the media and advertising industries.

What prepared you for a career in social media?

I have a creative-technical background. I worked as a designer and from interface design I switched to working in the mobile applications field and so on. And then, all of a sudden there was a huge emphasis on social media and the digital world and it was necessary for me to become more competent in those fields. So I adapted. I think I have knack for handling diverse types of content and an eye for what interacts well together.

These things together with a constant eye on what is new… you always need to keep an eye on burgeoning trends. You also need to look at young people and those who are more skilled than you – it is a more humble approach, but this is a very important in improving yourself professionally and personally.

Think you’ve got what it takes to win this year’s Fashion Pitch in Milan? Apply here.

Guest post e-PITTI.com by Sofia Celeste

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“What do fashion shows and tech expos have in common? Both are looking seasons – if not years – into the future. Despite this common ground, however, the two sectors rarely intermingle. The tech and startup world prides itself on being casual, even nerdy – a far cry from the luxury fashion space, where every fold and frill is deliberate.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Decoded Fashion Summit

applewatch

As most schoolchildren are told from a young age, A stands for Apple; April, on the other hand, surely stands for the Apple Watch. The industry’s most hotly-anticipated wearable has been preceded by months of speculation – could it sell as well as the iPad on its launch? Will it provide a natural fit for fashion editorials? Now, on the eve of its launch, keen industry-watchers are looking to Baselworld (the watch industry’s international trade fair) for possible rivals. There, a crop of new announcements are proving themselves worthy contenders to the smart watch throne – one which, as we should remind ourselves, Apple hasn’t ascended to quite yet.

 

Coming from the other side of the bridge where technology meets luxury fashion, TAG Heuer have announced their plans this week to release a smart watch by this Christmas. In a significant move against Apple’s projected domination, the first smart watch from the world-famous Swiss watch brand will run on Google’s Android operating system – on a processor, moreover, created by keen wearables power player Intel. You’ll have to wait to find out more, though. At the Baselworld conference, chief executive Jean-Claude Biver told the crowd, “We don’t want the competition to know what we are going to do.”

 

Never easily dismissed, the irrepressible musician-turned-technologist will.i.am also announced a new partnership at Baselworld. KERING-owned Gucci, which recently changed hands from the Gianninis to Alessandro Michele, will also bring its timepieces into a new era through a collaboration with willi.i.am’s range of wearables.

 

For those of you still convinced that Apple’s the only brand that will get you telling the time more smartly, there’s not long to wait: the official release date is slated for UK stores on 24 April, but you’ll be able to order from the 10th. But if Baselworld is anything to go by, the smartwatch marketplace is about to get very interesting.

Writer: Claire Healy

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“Machine learning is all the rage these days, but it’s more than just a buzzword: Companies that smartly harness algorithmic intelligence in just the right way stand to make some serious money. That’s exactly what Pinterest is going for with its latest acquisition.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Pinterest

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Cosign
Image source: cosign.co

While 2014 saw every social network going integrate advertising into their design – notably, even Instagram and Snapchat users saw promoted content introduced into their daily browse – it seemed that the worlds of e-commerce and social networks still hadn’t fully hit it off. The year to come might just change all that, in 2015 the key for retailers will be striking the right balance between all channels- whilst engaging their audience, and hitting the right KPIs. Brands take heed, in this brave new world of social commerce, #hashtags just aren’t going to cut it.

One recent development that may prove a challenge to brands is Facebook’s policy change with regards brand visibility. The days when having a large following on your brand’s page was enough are long gone – instead, Facebook is encouraging brands to use its paid social ads, meaning that organic posts won’t be able to reach fans in the same way. In a tentative e-commerce push, Facebook and Twitter even began testing “buy” buttons this year (Decoded Fashion reported); Burberry was one of the first big-name brands to sign up to Twitter’s service, allowing users to buy products without leaving the Twitter platform at all.

The ones to watch may be image-based social media platforms such as Pinterest – combining scale and niche at the same time, the highly engaged, predominantly female audience should be where fashion brands look to bring their social spending. On Jan 1st, Pinterest announced that it would open its Promoted Pins advertising to all marketers. Brands such as Gap, and Target have already been experimenting with promoted pins. Through the ‘do-it-yourself’ advertising service, brands can bid to appear alongside search results and – key to the ‘pin-board’ aesthetic – within feeds dedicated to specific niche categories.

As Twitter and Pinterest’s advertising potential shows, harnessing user’s online beyond a mere ‘Like’ will be key to ROI in 2015. Indeed, some brands are creating their own micro platforms that, incorporating aspects of platforms such as Instagram, are spearheading social commerce on their own terms. The ASOS As Seen On Me gallery, for example, allows users to share photos on their usual social sites wearing ASOS products and tag them #asseenonme. ASOS’s stand-alone site then displays the user-generated images in a Pinterest-styled gallery, linking out to the relevant products for an ultra-quick sales conversion. You can also directly ‘shop the look’ on Topshop’s #topshopstyle platform- whether such a model works as well for luxury fashion brands is harder to tell.

Another way to incentivize social sharing that might gain a foothold in the luxury fashion world is to financially reward consumers for featuring and tagging products in social media posts. Companies such as CoSign (currently in Beta) and Stylebored allow users to accrue points for views and likes, which they can then cash in for gift cards, prizes or even a percentage of commission for sending a consumer directly to a retailer through their social network. Monetizing users’ social influence in this way might sound slightly terrifying – we’ve all got that ‘personally branded’ friend who has 3000+ Facebook friends, right? – But it could work well for mid-range designer fashion. Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Swarovski have signed up to CoSign, while Donna Karan and Belstaff are betting on StyleBored. In what is looking more and more like a ‘pay-to-play’ social world, neat innovations such as these- are getting closer to the user’s organic posting practices than ever –suggest that this could play a huge part in social commerce success in 2015.

For more on social ROI, join us at Twitter’s London HQ for our first #DFMeetup of 2015.

Reported by Claire Healy

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“Between them, they’ve raised hundreds of millions of dollars in venture funding. They’ve launched high-tech e-commerce platforms and Main Street brick-and-mortar stores. They’re turning media sites into customer bases, creating affordable bespoke and luxury products and making the historically murky retail supply chain more transparent.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Emily Weiss
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“From June, there will be 10 startups in the program, all of which will get access to investments up to $118,000 – $18,000 in seed funding, and an optional additional $100,000 in the form of a convertible debt note. In exchange, it takes 6 – 10 percent equity in the companies, on average. Apply here.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Techstars Berlin
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“Christian Louboutin is turning to its fiercely active social following — 3.5 million fans on Instagram alone — to help populate its Web site. With the help of Olapic, the three-year-old tech startup that helps brands use images and videos from social media to boost sales, Louboutin will unveil its first user-generated gallery online, #LouboutinWorld.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Christian Louboutin #Louboutinworld
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“1. Early-stage valuations in India will continue to build towards a breaking point

2. Startup valuations in Singapore will continue rising unabated

3. Facebook will make its first big Asian acquisition

4. Google will continue to NOT make acquisitions in Asia

5. Sovereign investors will follow GIC’s and Temasek’s lead into funding late-stage tech firms

6. Large Chinese tech firms will invest outside their home market

7. Southeast Asia will see its first US$500 million tech startup exit

8. Japanese firms’ investment activity in Emerging Asia will remain steady”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily
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“Xiaomi has said it has closed a massive $1.1 billion round of funding that values the fast-growing Chinese phone maker at a jaw-dropping $45 billion, pre-money. The huge amount makes it the most highly valued tech startup in the world, besting a recent whopping valuation of Uber at over $40 billion.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Xiaomi

 

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