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20 : 09 : 17

20.09.2017 Luxury : Fashion : Retail

In today’s daily digest: Nike uses data to design collection, Ikea embraces augmented reality, Americans seek drug-free pain relief and more.

1. Kenzo relinquishes art direction for new campaign

Cabiria, Charity, Chastity by Natasha Lyonne for Kenzo

Global – Written and directed by American actor Natasha Lyonne, the short film Cabiria, Charity, Chastity follows Chastity, played by Maya Rudolph, as she journeys through the School of Clowns on a voyage of self-discovery and acceptance.

The 13-minute long surreal film features a host of well-known names, including Saturday Night Live’s Fred Armisen, Macaulay Culkin and Matt Lucas, who help Chastity to face her future by playing out her Vaudevillian past.

‘We told [Natasha] we had a design philosophy of what the collection was about, but which she didn’t need to incorporate,’ says Humberto Leon, creative director at Kenzo. In our Beyond Product Placement microtrend, LS:N Global explores how fashion brands are offering complete creative control to people outsiders to offer a fresh perspective to their advertising campaigns.

2. Nike Advanced Apparel is designed from data

Advanced Apparel Exploration collection by Nike Advanced Apparel Exploration collection by Nike
Advanced Apparel Exploration collection by Nike Advanced Apparel Exploration collection by Nike
Advanced Apparel Exploration collection by Nike Advanced Apparel Exploration collection by Nike
Advanced Apparel Exploration collection by Nike Advanced Apparel Exploration collection by Nike

Global – Sportswear brand Nike has designed its nine-piece Advanced Apparel Exploration collection using data collected from athletes to inform the design of the garments, a method explored in our Data Designers microtrend. The novel manufacturing method combines motion-mapping with technology that considers the stresses exerted by different urban environments on the body, such as temperature and humidity fluctuations when moving between the street and the office or the nightclub, to create a series of body maps.

These body maps – including an airflow map, sweat map and heat map – are combined into a single data set, which can then be fed through Nike’s knitting machines to manufacture the garment seamlessly from a single piece. ‘Over time, our understanding of the body in motion and new manufacturing techniques have started to converge,’ says Kurt Parker, vice-president of apparel design at Nike. For more on the advances taking place in robotic manufacturing, see our Fast Fabrication microtrend.

3. Ikea app incorporates Apple’s ARKit technology

Ikea Place app by Ikea, UK

UK – The new augmented reality (AR) app, Ikea Place, enables users to visualise the brand’s furniture in their home before they buy. The app automatically scales items based on a room’s dimensions, allowing users to see how the piece fits into a room, and how light and shadows affect the surface of the fabric.

Building on Ikea’s use of AR in its 2014 catalogue, which similarly enabled customers to place furniture in their domestic space by scanning selected pages, the integration of Apple’s recently launched ARKit technology marks a significant shift beyond a gimmick and towards mainstream adoption.

With more than 2,000 Ikea products available in the app, the brand believes it could play a key role in the launch of future product lines. For more on how brands can use AR to drive consumer engagement, see our Insight Behaviour.

4. Brodie Neill repurposes ocean plastic as furniture

Drop in the Ocean by Brodie Neill for London Design Festival, London Drop in the Ocean by Brodie Neill for London Design Festival, London
Drop in the Ocean by Brodie Neill for London Design Festival, London Drop in the Ocean by Brodie Neill for London Design Festival, London
Drop in the Ocean by Brodie Neill for London Design Festival, London Drop in the Ocean by Brodie Neill for London Design Festival, London

London – Designer Brodie Neill’s new furniture pieces crafted from recycled ocean plastic will be displayed in ME Hotel London for London Design Festival. The installation, Drop in the Ocean, is designed from Neill’s ocean terrazzo, a material that he first introduced at last year’s London Design Festival. Made using the same technique as regular terrazzo – a composite material that combines marble or granite with a binder – the three pieces of furniture have been designed to convert waste plastic into something aesthetically pleasing.

‘I want to make people reflect on their use of single-use plastics, make them more aware of their footprint,’ Neill told Dezeen. ‘There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean, so this is a drop in the ocean compared to the scale of the problem, but every bit counts.’

Read our Opinion piece for more on how design can be used as a medium to encourage long-term thinking.

5. Majority of Americans prefer drug-free pain relief

New research by Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic has found that most American adults prefer to treat physical pain with a drug-free approach. Of the nearly 6,300 people surveyed, 44% viewed prescription drug misuse as a prevalent problem in their local area, on a par with heroin addiction. For more on why consumers are turning away from traditional medication towards digital therapies, see our Smartphone Therapies microtrend.

6. Thought-starter: Is the subscription model the future of fashion?

As another fashion season in London draws to a close, journalist Josh Walker explores whether a subscription model could provide a potential solution in slowing fashion down.

Collaborative consumption is on the rise, something we explored in our Post-ownership Products microtrend. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, 57% of Millennials agree that ease of access now replaces the prestige of ownership and Generation Z have grown up with services such as Uber, Spotify and Netflix.

As something with so much appeal, should fashion, an industry focused on intense turnaround and an outdated retail model, be taking more notice?

Start-up subscription brand Higher is one brand championing this cause, and proposes an alternative model for fashion consumption by enabling consumers to pay a monthly fee to hire archive pieces from designers such as Prada and Maison Martin Margiela. Another is Toronto-based Boro, which has created a community of fashion consumers who pay other fashion consumers to rent luxury pieces from their wardrobes.

As a sustainable stance on over-consumption, this circular approach to fashion doesn’t just allow for the newness that fashion is so hungry for, but could help eliminate idle capacity – the clothes hanging in our wardrobes.

Read the full opinion piece here.

Higher, London Higher, London