Need to Know
19 : 06 : 18

19.06.2018 Hospitality : Fashion : Retail

XYZ Lounge explores neutral identity, Corona designs an eco-conscious shirt with Parley for the Oceans, Snapchat streamlines digital payments.

1. XYZ Lounge is an identity-neutral bar and restaurant

XYZ Lounge by Didier Fiuza Faustino, Belgium
XYZ Lounge by Didier Fiuza Faustino, Belgium
XYZ Lounge by Didier Fiuza Faustino, Belgium
XYZ Lounge by Didier Fiuza Faustino, Belgium

Belgium – Architect Didier Fiúza Faustino, best known for his work on the relationship between body and space, has unveiled a lounge, bar and restaurant space that is free from traditional markers of personal and social identity.

The physical space has been designed as a neutral environment to inspire interaction and exchanges between visitors. ‘During a time where social, sexual and gender identities are upturned and questioned, how may one provide a space which is both neutral and sensual, a space free from social markers, without tailoring to a singular identity?’, asks Faustino. Spanning a 360-square-metre area, the location is divided into three spaces – the entrance, an adjoining bar and a smaller open space – which redefine the use and the volumes of such typical social spaces.

In an age of Neutral Culture, brands are challenging rigid classifications of identity markers, replacing them with visions of identity that are more personal and nuanced.

2. Corona weaves plastic threads into charitable shirts

Hawaiian shirt design by Corona and Parley for the Oceans Hawaiian shirt design by Corona and Parley for the Oceans
Hawaiian shirt design by Corona and Parley for the Oceans Hawaiian shirt design by Corona and Parley for the Oceans

Sydney – Drinks brand Corona has continued its collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, launching three Hawaiian shirts made from upcycled waste plastic.

Echoing projects from the likes of adidas and Net-A-Porter, Corona has teamed up with graphic designer Adolfo Correa on the print of the shirts, while the designs feature Parley Ocean Plastic, an eco-conscious thread created from plastic waste.

From a distance, each shirt design evokes a Hawaiian paradise, but closer inspection reveals the pattern to include plastic items such as six-pack rings and plastic bottles polluting the ocean and affecting marine life. All proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go towards Parley for the Ocean’s sea and beach clean-up programme.

Following the launch of Clean Waves, a limited-edition collection of sunglasses made from ocean waste by Net-A-Porter and Corona, the brand continues to develop fashion-led items to bring awareness to new audiences.

3. Snapchat enables in-app ticket purchasing

Global – Following in the footsteps of Instagram, social messaging platform Snapchat is now testing various e-commerce tools. In partnership with SeatGeek, the first feature to be launched enables users to buy event tickets within Snapchat Stories.

In a story posted by the Los Angeles Football Club, users were able to swipe to buy tickets to a game on 26 May 201 without leaving the app. The convenience of the purchasing method prompted the limited number of tickets available on the app to sell out. Now, the platform plans to run various ticket sales for events including the US International Boxing Federation’s upcoming bouts.

As brands continue to merge social media and commerce, new platforms such as MikMak demonstrate how retailers can sell directly to consumers through social video content.

Los Angeles Football Club tickets on Snapchat

4. An AI assistant that simplifies investing

Pia app Pia app
Pia app Pia app

Dublin – Presented at MoneyConf 2018, Pia – an acronym of Personal Investment Assistant – is an AI companion that guides consumers through the often-confusing process of investing.

The virtual assistant provides information and advice in a simple way to make first-time investing easier to understand. Backed by data trends, the platform will offer industry expertise on services ranging from share trading platforms to online wealth managers. While Pia previously made its debut without the assistance of AI, the company now plans to take its use of AI from being a supportive interface to a service interface, with a long-term ambition to achieve a predictive interface.

As younger, digitally driven consumers explore ways to invest, there is a need for new services and devices that help navigate a confusing and complex market. For more, read our interview with Toby Triebel, CEO of Wealthsimple Europe.

5. Brands struggle to measure influencer marketing impact

Measuring influencer return on investment (ROI) is still one of the biggest challenges faced by marketers. In a recent survey, 46% of beauty brands suggested it is the biggest pain point when it comes to influencer marketing. Despite this, most are happy to continue working with digital influencers as it proves effective for building wider brand awareness.

The findings also indicate that authentic collaborations are a concern for marketers, with a sizable majority (52%) admitting to this, thus raising the question of whether influencer marketing has reached saturation point.

6. Thought-starter: Can a smart bracelet combat sexual assault on campus?

Buzz is a new device that alerts the wearer the more alcohol they drink. Kathryn Bishop, deputy foresight editor, asks whether it will drive greater social awareness among young people, or become a buzzkill?

Picture this: an interactive bracelet that measures your blood alcohol concentration on a night out and notifies you, your friends and even your date about how much alcohol you’ve consumed. The more you drink, the more intensely it buzzes, glowing red as a warning sign, and even sending push notifications to your friends’ smartphones in case they need to intervene. But this bracelet isn’t a drinking deterrent – it’s actually a device to lessen the risk of young women falling victim to sexual assault.

Created to counteract the rate of sexual assault taking place on US university campuses – something an estimated 28% of women say they have experienced as undergraduates – Buzz will be aimed at women friendship groups, but also men as secondary, supportive wearers.

But for me, this raises some red flags. We are aware that binge drinking is manifest among Westernised youth, but it’s surely worrying when an entire bracelet and digital platform has to be created to prevent women from being sexually assaulted while they socialise.

Read the full opinion here.

Buzz wearable by NewDealDesign
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