New York – Department store Barneys partnered with Highsnobiety to host a two-day retail event that featured guest appearances from designers, limited-edition offers and exclusive product drops. More than 80 brands were featured and 30 exclusive capsule collections were launched by brands including Alexander Wang, Gucci and Off-White, and key designers in attendance took part in Q&As and signings.
The project, which combines unique cultural programming and the product drop model, is part of the department store’s efforts to attract a younger demographic. ‘Today’s fashion culture revolves around newness, exclusivity and experience,’ explains Jeff Carvalho, executive editor of Highsnobiety. ‘[email protected] gives fashion aficionados a fresh way to interact with the brands and designers they follow.’
Read our Hype Market for more on how retail brands are capitalising on the hysteria generated by product drop culture.
2. Harrods offers concierge service to luxury homeowners
Hamilton Drive, London
London – Harrods is expanding its presence in the property market with a concierge offering, available to residents of 10 newly built gated mansions on Hamilton Drive in St John’s Wood in North London. The service enables the residents to access helicopter and private jet charters, as well as maids, butlers and cleaning services.
Prices for the properties, which are being sold by estate agents Knight Frank, Aston Chase and Savills, start at £10.75m ($14.25m, €12.26m), and each mansion includes a private gym and cinema.
Brands such as Harrods and Airbnb, which recently partnered with US property developer Newgard Development Group to offer branded apartments, are demonstrating the value of expanding their property offer.
3. Football Manager tackles homophobia in football
UK – Popular video game series Football Manager, which surpassed 1m sales for the fifth game in a row in 2017, according to Miles Jacobsen, head of Sports Interactive, the video game developer behind the game, is tackling homophobia in football by including openly gay players for the first time in the series’ history. Of the 4,000 professional football players in the UK, none are openly gay.
Players who come out as gay in Football Manager 2018 will be the procedurally generated players that appear when real-life players retire in-game.
Jacobsen believes that the move will encourage real footballers to come out. ‘Part of the reason we decided to do this is because there are gay footballers,’ he explained to BBC Sport. As explored in our Intelligent Gaming microtrend, brands are realising the potential of gaming to shape consumers’ behaviour.
4. Pret A Manger tackles plastic waste with new water offer
Filtered water station by Pret A Manger, London
Filtered water station by Pret A Manger, London
London – In a bid to tackle packaging waste, sandwich shop chain Pret A Manger has introduced reusable glass bottles and filtered water stations at its three Veggie Pret locations in London. The initiative aims to encourage customers to refill their bottles rather than buy new ones.
According to Pret A Manger CEO Clive Schlee, the brand is taking pragmatic rather than hardline approach by continuing to sell plastic bottles to gradually draw consumers’ attention towards the more sustainable option. More than 480bn plastic drinking bottles were sold globally in 2016, according to Euromonitor. As well as adding to waste at landfill sites, plastic bottles threaten the health of marine eco-systems around the world. Brands such as Pret A Manger and Reefill are encouraging a more sustainable approach to on-the-go hydration.
5. Netflix is the most-loved brand among Millennial consumers
A new study by YouGov shows that Netflix ranks higher than any other brand including Facebook, Apple and Airbnb among Millennials in terms of positive perception. The data was compiled using BrandIndex’s Word of Mouth metric, which tracks whether a person has discussed a brand in a positive light with somebody else online and offline over the course of two weeks. Other brands that ranked highly include Primark, Spotify and Ikea, all of which feature in the top ten. Read our Brand Culture 2020 behaviour for an insight into what consumers will be looking for from brands in the future.
6. Thought-starter: The appeal of mysticism in the 21st century
With mysticism on the rise among Millennials, senior writer Rebecca Coleman examines why consumers are increasingly seeking comfort in spells, shamanism and the stars.
We live in unsettling times. Anxiety and depression are widespread. Technology consumes our attention, leaving little time free to initiate more fulfilling projects. The environment is suffering under our stewardship. Inequality is proliferating. The political vista is increasingly divided. The list of concerns goes on.
These modern woes are perhaps part of the reason why ancient spiritual practices are growing in popularity. Shamanism, witchcraft and the occult are experiencing a revival, especially among Millennials, dubbed ‘Gen Witch’ by fashion magazine i-D. By fulfilling humanity’s desire for belonging, fulfilment and identity, these spiritual practices appear to offer people who don’t get along with organised religion some of the benefits that it provides.
As some of the forces that shape our everyday lives feel increasingly beyond our control, will future generations seek solace in ancient rituals and spirituality?