Need to Know
28 : 08 : 18

Footwear designed by data, a porn company sells hyper-personalisation, China’s trillion-dollar e-commerce market.

Kiehl’s takes a Netstalgic approach to beauty

Youth Dose Eye Treatment, Aggressive Studio for Kiehl's

New York – The skincare brand has released an ad that parodies the internet’s obsession with beauty regimes.

The brand hired production studio Aggressive to create a video campaign for its Youth Dose Eye Treatment. The spot borrows visual cues from the internet, referencing both modern formats – such as iPhone messages and Snapchat Stories – and Netstalgic web design – such as the PC windows and emails of the 1990s.

The narrative of the campaign plays on the humour of viral internet beauty crazes, such as jade rollers, milk and honey masks and tea bags, which all make claims to keeping skin looking youthful. At the end of the video, Kiehl’s positions its eye treatment as a more simple alternative to these beauty fads.

For more, read our macrotrend Algorithmic Beauty in which we explore how viral crazes created on social media have affected our beauty regimes.

Footwear that morphs with the wearer

Flat Weave, Frequency Project by Alex Hill Flat Weave, Frequency Project by Alex Hill
Cushion Weave, Frequency Project by Alex Hill Cushion Weave, Frequency Project by Alex Hill

Portland – Product designer Alex Hill has created a concept shoe that uses biomechanics to enhance performance running.

The new methodology, entitled Frequency, aims to implement foot physiology and algorithms into the creative design process. Using biomechanical data taken from 3D foot scans, Hill has developed a weave structure that can morph around the foot. This material then allows for enhanced flexibility and support for performance runners.

‘There is a big opportunity to create new material construction and geometrics to develop holistic and interconnected performance footwear,’ Hill said in a statement.

Although Frequency is currently a concept shoe, other footwear designers like Vibram are considering how they can use material innovation and personalisation to improve the running experience.

A porn site wants to sell personalised deepfakes

US – Adult entertainment company Naughty America is launching a service that allows customers to insert themselves into porn films.

The new offering makes use of deepfakes - a controversial software that uses face-swapping on pornographic actors, often to portray famous people. While most technology companies were quick to ban the clips, porn companies are now considering how they can use these tools in a controlled environment.

Customers will be able to pay to superimpose their faces onto the bodies of porn performers, or swap the background of the film, which could allow viewers to watch films set in their own home. According to Naughty America, the brand will ensure customers do not abuse the software, and that footage comes from consenting adults.

The new service brings a new level of customisation to the porn industry, also raising questions about whether this technology could allow people to play out their most taboo fantasies. Porn companies have also been experimenting with virtual reality to further immerse viewers.

Love film poster by Gaspar Noé Love film poster by Gaspar Noé

Alexa enters the dorm room

Amazon Alexa for Saint Louis University, US

Missouri – Saint Louis University (SLU) has become the first college to integrate Amazon Alexa devices into every student residence.

The university will offer more than 2,300 Echo Dots in student dorm rooms and apartments on campus. By installing a custom SLU skill on each device, students can ask question specific to the university, such as ‘What time does the library close tonight?’

The technology will allow all students to interact on a new level with the university, find out about events and assist their studying at no extra cost. ‘Every minute we can save our students from having to search for the information they need online is another minute that they can spend focused on what matters most: their education,’ says David Hakanson, vice president at SLU.

As well as catering to a new class of student who expect the highest standard of education, voice assistants are increasingly becoming an expected perk of the hospitality experience.

Stat: China is world’s first trillion-dollar e-commerce market

According to new statistics by Forrester, China’s online retail market will be more than double the size of the US market by the end of 2018, buoyed by the likes of Alibaba and The internet giants together account for more than 85% of the market, demonstrating their growing influence over the nation.

There is also room for growth, as just 38% of China’s population is shopping online. By 2022, it’s expected that the country’s online retail sales will increase at an 8.5% compound annual growth rate until 2022.

Read The State of Luxury: China to discover more about how brands can enter the nation’s booming domestic retail market.

Thought-starter: How can we create beauty products for transgender people?

As identity continues along a fluid trajectory, foresight writer Rhiannon McGregor looks at the brands collaborating with the LGBTQ+ community to create products and services that empower transgender and non-binary consumers.

While Neutral Beauty looked beyond binary notions of gender, brands are now beginning to recognise the more tangible needs of consumers that are transitioning and are helping to support them through the process. Earlier this year, cosmetics brand Lush brought transgender issues to the fore of its agenda with the launch of its #TransRightsAreHumanRights campaign.

One of the biggest difficulties faced by transgender women is disguising beard hair, both before and during hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Unisex make-up brand Jecca Makeup, part of L'Oréal’s beauty accelerator at Station F in Paris, has specifically formulated its Correct & Conceal palette with pink hues to counteract the blue tones caused by beard shadow.

‘Make-up plays a huge role through a male-to-female transition,’ says founder Jessica Blackler. ‘It can help you feminise your face and present yourself the way you feel inside.’

For more on how beauty brands are moving beyond gender, read the full microtrend here.

Kohl Kares by Kohl Kreatives, Global Kohl Kares by Kohl Kreatives, Global
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