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04 : 10 : 17

04.10.2017 Retail : Wellness : Fashion

In today’s daily digest: a new law in France to combat Photoshopped imagery, Swarovski’s VR experience and other stories.

1. SOMA takes a school-system approach to fitness

The School of Mindbody Athletics (SOMA) by Jennifer Hersch and Dr Theo Koutroukides, London The School of Mindbody Athletics (SOMA) by Jennifer Hersch and Dr Theo Koutroukides, London
The School of Mindbody Athletics (SOMA) by Jennifer Hersch and Dr Theo Koutroukides, London The School of Mindbody Athletics (SOMA) by Jennifer Hersch and Dr Theo Koutroukides, London
The School of Mindbody Athletics (SOMA) by Jennifer Hersch and Dr Theo Koutroukides, London The School of Mindbody Athletics (SOMA) by Jennifer Hersch and Dr Theo Koutroukides, London
The School of Mindbody Athletics (SOMA) by Jennifer Hersch and Dr Theo Koutroukides, London The School of Mindbody Athletics (SOMA) by Jennifer Hersch and Dr Theo Koutroukides, London

London – The School of Mindbody Athletics (SOMA) structures its training as a school would, with termly workout programmes that revolve around specific focuses, rather than random classes. It was set up by Jennifer Hersch and Dr Theo Koutroukides, founders of yoga studio ETHOS.

‘We only want to work with serious, passionate students so our space is dedicated to them,’ Hersch tells LS:N Global. Hersch also explains how she wants to ‘change the culture from casual to caring about improving, and making [SOMA] a clubhouse for like-minded people to come together and train’.

By approaching fitness with a long-term strategy similar to that of a school, and by bypassing the quick-fix mentality often adopted by fitness brands, SOMA is tapping into the idea that brands should be trusted teaching partners, something we outlined in our macrotrend The Learning Economy.

2. Swarovski and MasterCard launch VR shopping experience

VR shopping experience by Swarovski and Mastercard VR shopping experience by Swarovski and Mastercard

New York ­– The experience, which is designed to promote the Atelier Swarovski home decoration range, enables users to navigate through different rooms and interact with pieces from the collection.

To access the immersive shopping experience, users load the app on their phone and place it inside a compatible virtual reality (VR) headset. Users can read stories on the inspiration behind each product and buy them by looking at a button that is connected to MasterCard’s digital payment service Masterpass.

‘This partnership gives consumers a fully immersive shopping opportunity in which they can interact with products and purchase them seamlessly within the experience,’ says Nadja Swarovski, member of the executive board at Swarovski. ‘The cutting-edge VR technology allows consumers to fully realise scale and engage more deeply with design details before making a purchase.’

For more on the future of VR, read our Virtual Reality Market report.

3. New French law tackles Photoshopped imagery in fashion

France ­– Under the new law, which was enacted in 2015 and came into force this month, images of models that have been digitally retouched must be labelled ‘retouched photo’. Those who abuse the law will face a fine of at least £33,270 ($44,100, €37,500), or 30% of the cost of the ad. Models must also receive a note from a doctor to prove that they are not dangerously thin.

The news follows an announcement last month by LVMH and Kering of their decision to stop hiring excessively thin models for their catwalk shows and adverts.

As LS:N Global explored in the Post-body Mindset section of our Gen Viz macrotrend, consumers are placing less value on body image and more value on personality, and celebrating a wider definition of beauty.

The Lonely Girls campaign, New York The Lonely Girls campaign, New York

4. Dutch cheese shop trials world’s first live-stream store

Kaan's Live Stream by ABN AMRO, Alkmaar

Alkmaar, the Netherlands – The store, Kaan, last month enabled customers to order artisanal cheeses online via a live-stream. Trialled for five days via the brand’s website, the stream also integrated a live chat box and on-screen information about the cheeses on the counter.

‘We started this experiment to boost the customer experience by linking the authentic character of a bricks-and-mortar artisanal cheese shop with the ease and speed of online shopping,’ says Henk Hofstede, retail sector banker at ABN AMRO, which sponsored the trial.

The initiative comes at a time when live-streaming is on the rise, with brands such as Tmall recognising its potential. According to Livestream, 80% of consumers would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 81% of internet and mobile users watched more live video in 2016 than in 2015.

For more on how brands are using live-streaming to prove their transparency to consumers, buy a copy of our Retail Futures report.

5. Sleep deprivation is now an issue for one in two people

With insufficient sleep now declared a public health epidemic by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, both consumer interest and research into sleep science is growing. See our Sleep Market report for more on how sleep is becoming an integral part of the expanding wellness market.

6. Thought-starter: Have we reached peak wellness?

Every week seemingly heralds another celebration of wellness, typically consisting of a series of events and activities aimed at promoting a general sense of physical and emotional wellbeing. But, asks junior journalist Rhiannon McGregor, is it all a bit fluffy?

A lack of regulation in the wellness sector has enabled any brand to tap into this lucrative market – worth a considerable £2.80 trillion ($3.72 trillion, €3.16 trillion) in 2015, according to the Global Wellness Institute – without ever having to prove that the product or service will have any physical or psychological benefits.

This has spawned a host of ludicrous practices, such as full-body chocolate wraps and goat yoga, which at best seem lacking in any real substance and at worst can be damaging to someone’s general wellbeing.

‘The problem with all of this constantly changing information on what to eat or which exercise class to take is that people begin to form distorted mindsets about the idea of a healthy lifestyle,’ says Dr Bijal Chheda-Varma, clinical psychologist at London’s Nightingale Hospital. It seems that this lack of clarity is helping to instigate a more general wellness fatigue, as consumers search for devices that don’t just promote an elusive idea of wellness, but can be used as scientifically verified medical tools.

Read the full Opinion piece here.

Snapbac, US Snapbac, US