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New documentary The Next Black explores the future of fashion

17 Jun

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Home appliance manufacturer AEG has launched a 45-minute documentary called The Next Black focused on the future of clothing, with the goal to anticipate what washing needs are likely to look like down the road.

Featuring interviews with representatives from heavyweight brands such as adidas through to Patagonia, the film looks to understand what people will be wearing and washing totay and tomorrow, and how the industry can become more sustainable in doing so. It was produced together with production company House of Radon.

It also stars tech-clothing company, Studio XO; Biocouture, a consultancy exploring living organisms to grow clothing and accessories, and Yeh Group, which is pioneering a new way to dye clothes using zero water.

“We talked to designers, innovators and leaders from around the globe – people who are rethinking the way we use clothes. They have a fresh look for the future and are using their passions to fuel change. It’s not just about what we will be wearing but how we produce clothes, how we interact with them and how we care for them,” reads the write-up from AEG.

The content touches on such developments as Lady Gaga’s bubble dress; monitoring an athlete’s performance via their clothing in real-time; and materials grown in a bath tub out of bacteria.

Nancy Tilbury of Studio XO refers to her work during the interview as design engineering that just happens to be dressed up as fashion. “Philosophically as a project we’re really keen to tell people about this transformation in textiles,” she says, demonstrating how coding is being combined with clothing to bring about a fun, playful and curious result that is tranforming the way we dress.

Suzanne Lee of BioCouture meanwhile looks at how the most radical of future innovations could be organic, outlining her process for creating textiles as much closer to brewing beer or making food. The next step, she says, is taking such ideas and concepts from the lab to the market.

Imagining the future is exactly what this film sets out to do, check it out below…

Harmony Korine directs new wonDiorland film

12 Jun

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Dior has teamed up with director Harmony Korine for a new short film for its Dior Addict fragrance.

The Alice in Wonderland-inspired spot features model Sasha Luss stepping through a mirror and into a luscious world of flora and fauna offset only by the heavy beat of Die Antwoord’s track, Enter the Ninja.

The film ties to a wider campaign referred to as wonDiorland, which includes a dedicated Facebook page filled with additional content, and a mobile activation referred to as a “sensorial experience”. That experience invites the user to connect their smartphones and desktops by entering a four digit pin on the latter – from there they can explore the content by touch, swiping through a variety of additional footage, insight on the inspiration and behind-the-scenes information.

The experience is designed to reflect the mirror Luss is seen stepping through, the page reacting as though pulsating to the user’s touch and activating dream-like pieces of content on the larger screen.

Korine was last seen in the fashion world directing somewhat of a controversial spot for Proenza Schouler.

Digital snippets: Beats by Dre, Alexander Wang, Apple, in-store tech, China social media

8 Jun

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech:

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  • Did Beats by Dre just out-Nike Nike with this incredible World Cup ad? [AdWeek]
  • Alexander Wang and friends bring SNL’s Mango back in latest ad [GQ]
  • Apple’s newest ad says we’re ready for wearables, now [re/code]
  • In-store tech, sales driver or hype? [BoF]
  • Beyond Weibo and WeChat: four chinese social platforms with big luxury potential [Jing Daily]
  • Regent Street to deploy beacon technology in shops [The Telegraph]
  • Tanya Taylor partners with Instagram artist Kalen Hollomon on coolest lookbook ever [Fashionista]
  • Nike unveils world’s first-ever 3D-printed performance sports bag [WGSN Tumblr]

Goddesses of beauty, charm and joy inspire Dior’s third Secret Garden film

3 Jun

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Dior released its third Secret Garden film on Friday, garnering over two million views over the weekend alone.

Directed by Inez Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin and styled by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, it features Daria Strokous, Fei Fei Sun and Katlin Aas running through Versailles to Dépêche Mode’s track, Strange Love.

The trio of models are said to evoke The Three Graces – goddesses of antiquity embodying beauty, charm and joy, who inspired masterpieces by Raphael and Botticelli, says Dior. In line with this theme, the brand has proclaimed that this film showcases “the three faces of the Dior woman”.

Russian model Strokous enjoys the most exposure throughout the one-minute clip. She is shown walking down a corridor inside the palace, her clothes from the brand’s pre-fall 2014 collection changing as she walks. Later she is seen taking a hidden passageway and running through the gardens. At times she is pictured running away from her co-stars, while at others we see her running towards them.

As the camera cuts from close-ups of Strokous to Aas or Sun, as well as washed out flashes of them all together, the trio are pictured wearing a number of dresses in the same cut and print (see stills below). This leaves the viewer wondering whether Sun and Aas are figments of Strokous’ imagination or rather parts of her personality – or could all three women just be ghosts that are floating through the “elegant and dreamlike” Versailles grounds?

The film ends on a pose reminiscent of those ancient goddesses, and yes, it’s as enchanting and on-brand as the past two Secret Garden chapters before it.

See it below…

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By Anna Abrell

Heroes and villains front new Y-3 film 

27 May

Y-3 has launched a short film for the autumn/winter 2014/15 season tying together a superhero theme with Japanese manga inspiration.

Shot by Cedric Buchet with creative direction by Lloyd & Co, the spot is designed to be a playful exploration of good versus evil. “This dichotomy of opposing forces is the underpinning of this season’s story, creating a powerful, visible energy that resonates in the movements of the characters through fight-inspired scenes,” reads the write-up.

Models Katya Riabinkina and Adam Butcher are featured against graphic colours and daring patterns that nod to the comic book theme. A line screen dot treatment heightens the creative further, as do text boxes that appear to narrate the journey amd their impending conflict.

The manga theme also ties straight to the inspiration behind the season’s collection created by Yohji Yamamoto. “The collection pays homage to the couturiers of the 60s. I wanted to infuse this spirit into it. I was also thinking of superheroes and the kind of clothes they wear. Cut for an active and fighting lifestyle. So I brought these two worlds together,” he said.

The campaign will also appear in print and in-store display. It will be launched globally in September 2014.

Whistles partners with Garance Doré on #bellesandwhistles video

19 May

British contemporary brand, Whistles, has launched a short video directed by Garance Doré to celebrate its further expansion into the US and France.

Called #bellesandwhistles, the spot features a cast of “modern, sharp and stylish” women living in the US, UK and France. Among them are Yasmin Sewell, a London-based fashion consultant; Elle Strauss, fashion director of Shopbop and Brit living in New York; Vashtie Kola, an American artist and DJ; Jeanann Williams, an American stylist; French actress Rebecca Dayan; and French DJ and creative consultant Cecile Togni.

They are each seen clapping, dancing and whistling along to the tune, as overlaid copy reads: “The Whistles woman is independent, quietly brilliant,  relaxed, discerning, elegant, intelligent, sharp, stylish.”

Jane Shepherdson, chief executive of Whistles, referred to the campaign as a digital first for the brand. “We see a great synergy between the aesthetic of both Whistles and Garance, which has been brought to life in the #bellesandwhistles film. To have such inspiring women working on and in the film is representative of the brand’s DNA, it’s like working with friends who understand you.”

The video launched on the Garance Doré website today, May 19, while shorter versions are also being posted to Instagram with the #bellesandwhistles hashtag. Consumer are simultaneously being invited to submit their own ‘whistling’ clips on the platform for a chance to win a shopping spree in the store.

Whistles is opening its first brick-and-mortar presence in the US, with a concession at Bloomingdale’s in New York. It is also supplementing its already established concession at Le Printemps, with Le BHV Marais this month and will roll out a French language website this summer.

John Lewis calls for GIFs focused on “moving forward” in ongoing #JL150 anniversary campaign  

11 May

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John Lewis is continuing the celebrations for its 150-year anniversary with a crowdsourced GIF campaign.

Created to accompany its new TV ad dedicated to British history, the initiative invites fans to submit their own animated images or videos of up to 15-seconds in length, showing how they’re “always moving – dancing, running, learning new things”.

That concept ties to its tagline for the whole campaign: “For 150 years you’ve never stood still. Neither have we.”

Entries can be submitted via Tumblr, Google+, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the #JL150 hashtag up until May 30. A winner will be picked at random and awarded £1,500 of JL vouchers; a further £150 of vouchers will be given to their favourite entry each week.

The company has also launched its own #JL150 Tumblr page housing numerous versions of its own GIFs (examples below) – some of the pulled from the TV ad and others showcasing the commemorative products created for the anniversary in collaboration with some of Britain’s most loved brands and designers.

Check out the John Lewis Facebook page too for news on further celebrations in-store, as well as a content series dedicated to different decades.

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Burberry, Wren, Uniqlo and Marc Jacobs among digital winners at inaugural Clio Image Awards

7 May

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Sarah Jessica Parker might have taken home an honorary title for her creative work at the first ever Clio Image Awards this evening, but it was a night for digital campaigns from across the fashion and beauty industries to be recognised otherwise.

Grand prizes in categories including mobile, experiential, out of home and video each went to initiatives that could be deemed digital in some way or another, nicely nodding to the integrated efforts being seen in the market of late.

Burberry unsurprisingly won the prestige title in digital/mobile for its Burberry Kisses campaign with Google last summer, while Uniqlo took the mass award in the same category for its Uniqlo Storms Pinterest initiative. That latter one achieved a massive 55 million impressions in five days with a media spend of $0.

Meanwhile, the Marc Jacobs Daisy Tweetshop, which saw fans able to use social currency to win big prizes during New York Fashion Week, was the winner in the engagement and experiential division. (There’s a great campaign wrap video on this hosted on the Clio website well worth the watch).

Even the out of home award in the mass category, which went to Gap for its Holiday 2013 campaign called Make Love, saw a digital component this year. The ads were straightforward portrayals of different types of love; depicting diversity and focusing on a message of acceptance throughout. It was the retailer’s reaction to racist graffiti being drawn on one of the ads starring Indian Sikh-American actor and fashion designer Waris Ahluwahlia in a New York subway station however that truly hit the headlines – Gap not only made the effort to find out where said image was actually located, but made that same shot its Twitter background picture. The Clio Image Awards referred to this as a “rare moment where a campaign truly comes to life”.

Film meanwhile, was a particularly easy one, with the grand prize going to Wren for its uber viral First Kiss campaign. This three-and-a-half-minute video documenting 20 strangers making-out for the first time only launched in early March 2014, but has swiftly become the most-viewed fashion film of all-time with a huge 81 million views.

There were also honours for the likes of T by Alexander Wang’s guerrilla marketing move with its free-for-all sample sale, Diesel’s Reboot campaign, the Inside Chanel video series, and more. Further awards went to Inez & Vinoodh for their achievements in fashion photography, as well as in additional categories such as store design, packaging, partnerships and print ads.

Image via WWD

Digital snippets: Nike, Burberry, Selfridges, DKNY, John Lewis, Burt’s Bees

4 May

It was perhaps Nike that was the buzziest of brands over the past couple of weeks, if you take into consideration both the successful launch of its unofficial World Cup campaign, Winner Stays (as above), and the rumoured shift in strategy for its FuelBand wearable device. That latter news reported the brand is laying off 70-80% of the fitness tracker’s hardware team in a bid to focus on software and the NikeFuel metric instead. A further interview with Nike President Mark Parker added fuel to the fire on a big partnership with Apple.

Burberry meanwhile was another brand with various stories to follow. It opened its new Shanghai store to much theatrical, multimedia fanfare; pushed yet another social tie-in via WeChat; launched an online store on Alibaba’s Tmall; and was announced as one of the first brands to advertise using Instagram video. And if that wasn’t enough, Angela Ahrendts just made that move officially over to Apple. “Did you notice?” asked the FT.

Safe to say, some other companies were up to things too. Here are the best of the fashion and tech stories not to be missed…

  • Selfridges launches biggest ever beauty campaign with Google+ partnership [Campaign]
  • DKNY shoppers go product hunting with Awear Solutions chips [FierceRetailIT]
  • John Lewis looks back on British history in TV spot to mark 150 years [Campaign]
  • Burt’s Bees creates promotional messages via appointments in digital calendars [NY Times]
  • What can fashion-tech companies learn from Instagram’s success? Co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom shares his start-up secrets [BoF]
  • Instagram is brands’ best bet for consumer engagement… but not for long [Fashionista]
  • ‘Brand tagging’ mobile apps: China’s next selfie sensation [Jing Daily]
  • Fashion retailers eye up image-recognition apps for smartphones [The Guardian]
  • Microsoft to push into fashion space “like never before” as it boosts commitment to UK start-up community and unveils ASOS as partner [The Drum]
  • Why online retailers like Bonobos, Boden, Athleta mail so many catalogs [WSJ]
  • Crowdemand is like Kickstarter for fashion designers [Mashable]
  • Like a dating site for fashion, PopInShop plays matchmaker for brands and boutiques [Fashionista]
  • The golden era of ‘fashion blogging’ is over [The Cut]

Hermès’ quirky menswear film features French dancer in urban playground

28 Apr

Hermès wins on the video front once again this season, with the recent launch of a creative and quirky menswear campaign starring Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris dancer Jérémie Bélingard.

Directed by Romain Laurent, the 60-second spot – called Man on the Move – sees Bélingard walking around an “urban playground”, as he does so automatically transforming from one outfit to the next.

Like a fashionable shafeshifter, when he bumps into a lamppost, his jacket and granddad-collar shirt are replaced with a white printed shirt and green trousers; when he hits the wall with the chime of a pinball machine, the green jacket to match those trousers arrives. It’s not long however before that suit gets left behind like a shell of his form as he walks forward once again…

And so the ad continues, cleverly placing numerous products from the line aside one another, including scarves, bags, and yes, even underwear.

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