The campaigns, brand initiatives and global pioneers that are driving future-facing directions in diversity, inclusion, and across spirituality, sexuality, neuro-diversity, ability and disability.

Need to Know
19 : 06 : 19

Harrods unveils its new beauty hall, Mastercard’s True Name card champions inclusivity and why luxury consumers are making fewer purchases.

Pantone’s latest hues are a call to action

Glowing Glowing Gone by Pantone, Adobe and The Ocean Agency
Glowing Glowing Gone by Pantone, Adobe and The Ocean Agency
Glowing Glowing Gone by Pantone, Adobe and The Ocean Agency

US – Pantone has partnered with The Ocean Agency and Adobe on a campaign designed to raise awareness of climate change's impact on coral.

Glowing Glowing Gone follows The Pantone Color Institute naming Living Coral as its Color of the Year for 2019. For this new initiative, Pantone and The Ocean Agency have captured three bold hues of coral fluorescence – a phenomenon that sees coral produce brightly-coloured chemicals in response to fatally high water temperatures.

‘Only a handful of people have ever witnessed the highly visual spectacle of corals ‘glowing’ in vibrant colours in a desperate bid to survive underwater heat waves,’ explains Richard Vevers, founder of The Ocean Agency. To highlight the issue, Pantone has launched a creative brief challenging artists and designers to use the colours to produce attention-grabbing work. Selected artwork will be showcased on digital billboards in Times Square, New York City, through WeTransfer’s global wallpapers, across social media and at key climate policy events during 2019 and 2020.

For more on how responsibility is being rebranded, explore our New Consciousness design direction.

Wild Flower launches a genderless sex toy

Enby by Wildflower Enby by Wildflower
Enby by Wildflower Enby by Wildflower

New York – The sex toy retailer has created a gender-neutral vibrator as its first original product.

Enby is an evolution of Wildflower’s ongoing commitment to de-gendering sex toys and responds to the lack of genderless options on the market. By being gender-neutral in both its aesthetic and use, the product is designed to serve the needs of all bodies and identities. Further highlighting Enby’s versatility, the name references the abbreviation of non-binary (N.B.).

‘Approaching sex toys through a gender-neutral lens makes sexual exploration more imaginative for all people while making space for the queer folks, who have long been overlooked by the sex toy industry,’ explains Amy Boyajian, CEO and co-founder of Wild Flower. ‘Enby is a culmination of all that Wild Flower stands for, and it’s been incredible to finally share it with our community,’ adds COO and co-founder Nick Boyajian.

In a similar vein, we ask whether brands need to move beyond gendered sex toys in our Op-Ed.

Harrods unveils its phygital beauty hall

London – The luxury department store has expanded its beauty hall to reflect the evolving nature of the beauty sector.

Demonstrating the retailer’s aim to become one of the world’s largest beauty destinations, its revamped hall represents the first phase of a three-part, year-long store refurbishment. Spearheaded by Annalise Fard, Harrods’ director of beauty, accessories, fine jewellery and watches, the work will more than double the floorspace devoted to make-up, fragrance, skincare and specialist beauty services.

In addition to products, the refreshed space includes a beauty concierge, live masterclasses with leading beauty brands and a virtual play area where customers can test products digitally using Magic Mirrors. ‘Our ambition is to offer Harrods’ clients instant access to professional insight, experienced know-how and an extraordinary array of curated products and services that can transform both how we look and, ultimately, how we feel,’ says Fard.

Explore our beauty vertical to discover more trends impacting the sector.

Harrods beauty hall, London

Mastercard introduces card for trans and non-binary customers

Mastercard True Name card

US – Mastercard is working with banking partners to introduce a card that will bear consumers’ chosen names without requiring a legal name change.

The True Name card will allow LGBTQ+ consumers to use names that reflect their true identity. Ensuring more inclusive financial products, the aim is to ease a major pain point for the transgender and non-binary community, many of whom forgo legal name changes and therefore often experience unwanted attention or discrimination when attempting to use their credit cards.

According to Mastercard, 32% of individuals who have shown IDs with a name or gender that did not match their presentation reported negative experiences, including harassment. ‘We are allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, which means if we see a need or if this community is not being served in the most inclusive way, we want to be a force for change to help address and alleviate unnecessary pain points,’ says Randall Tucker, Mastercard’s chief diversity and inclusion officer.

In our dedicated Far Futures vertical, we track the ideas, innovations and experts shaping the future of consumer identity.

Stat: A buy-less mindset is infiltrating luxury

According to YouGov’s Affluent Perspective, which measures the attitudes and behaviours of wealthy consumers globally, the majority of luxury consumers are spending less. ‘The luxury market is suffering from a malaise,’ Cara David, managing partner at YouGov, tells Forbes. ‘These consumers have been [buying] luxury for a long time and are seriously questioning how much more luxury they need in their lives. They are suffering from burnout.’

While 76% say that luxury is gratifying, 83% report they are 'conserving their resources' by putting more money into savings each month. Meanwhile, nearly 80% of those surveyed are making fewer, but more meaningful purchases.

In this changing landscape, a collective backlash against ostentatious is fuelling new anxiety among luxury consumers.

Thought-starter: Will rental services transform fast fashion?

Clothing rental is moving from high-end fashion to the high street, creating new paths to discovery and access for trend-conscious consumers.

The provision of designer fashion rental heralded by the likes of Rent the Runway and Front Row has attracted a strong following among Millennial and Generation X consumers, focusing on the tenets of access, affordability and – in some cases – the sustainable cachet of rental over ownership of goods.

Recognising an opportunity for fast fashion to tap into the rental opportunity, new digitally driven platforms are emerging that promise choice, convenience and on-trend garments, packaged up as monthly subscriptions or simple rent-and-exchange programmes. For mainstream and high street brands, the timing is crucial.

As one example, American Eagle recently introduced Style Drop, a clothing rental scheme designed for Generation Z. For a monthly subscription fee, the service allows three items to be rented at any one time, with customers able to exchange garments an unlimited number of times each month using a free shipping service.

Read the full Fast Fashion Rental microtrend here.

Rent the Runway drop-off service at WeWork, US

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