Need to Know
06 : 09 : 18

SPKTRM promotes inclusivity by co-creating products, Nine Lives bar champions sustainability, New Balance celebrates individuality at NYFW.

SPKTRM co-creates a foundation with real-life consumers

SPKTRM, New York SPKTRM, New York
SPKTRM, New York SPKTRM, New York
SPKTRM, New York SPKTRM, New York

New York – SPKTRM is a new beauty brand making a commitment to greater inclusivity throughout the development of its products.

While many brands have this year launched campaigns celebrating people’s individual quirks, SPKTRM is going beyond conventional inclusivity by working with its real-life audience to create its first foundation. Through an Indiegogo campaign, the brand has asked backers to send in make-up free selfies and information about their skin's needs, which will be used to develop the colours and shades of the product. Those who contribute will also have the chance to have a foundation shade named after them.

SPKTRM's future product will be a light to medium foundation that allows for buildable coverage as required, with or without covering up characteristics such as freckles, wrinkles, moles and pimples. It is eventually expected to be available in over 50 different shades.

As part of its inclusivity commitment, SPKTRM has also pledged to ban retouching from all of its advertising as well as the phrase 'anti-aging', a move similarly made in 2017 by women’s beauty magazine Allure.

Cocktails with a low carbon footprint

Nine Lives, London Nine Lives, London
Nine Lives, London Nine Lives, London

London – London bar Nine Lives has created a low-carbon drinks menu featuring a collection of signature cocktails, sharers and remixed classics.

‘We found that a key element of sustainability not addressed enough is the carbon footprint of [drinks] distribution,' says Tom Soden, co-founder of Nine Lives. ‘The new menu at Nine Lives looks to address this issue by reducing our carbon footprint of the products we use, whether this is of Amer liqueur from The Bloomsbury distillery or sage grown in our back garden. We’ve looked at the product, the location and the packaging of each ingredient on the menu to ensure we’ve reduced the carbon footprint as much as possible.’

The list includes a low-carbon twist on the classic Daiquiri, which uses home-grown Bramley apples from Nine Lives' garden to provide the malic acid, instead of relying on citrus fruit.

Duck & Waffle is another hospitality brand that's re-considered its use of ingredients. Its recently-launched Origins menu features 10 cocktails each made with a single ingredient, designed to explore the levels of flavour that can be achieved from an individual component.

Christie's auction house to sell AI art

London – Christie’s auction house will be the first to offer artwork created by artificially intelligent algorithms.

The portrait of Edmond Belamy, created by Parisian art and AI collective Obvious, marks the first time AI-created art has appeared on the auction stage. To create its portraits, the team uses generative adversarial network (GAN) algorithms, composed of two parts – a generator and a discriminator – which work together to create a new portrait. Having submitted 15,000 portraits painted between the 14thand the 20th century into the system, the generator makes a new image based on the information, while the discriminator tries to determine the difference between a new image and the originals.

‘Portraiture is an extremely tough genre for AI to take on, since humans are highly attuned to the curves and complexities of a face in a way that a machine cannot be,' the Obvious team explain in a press statement. ‘We did some work with nudes and landscapes, and we also tried feeding the algorithm sets of works by famous painters. But we found that portraits provided the best way to illustrate our point, which is that algorithms are able to emulate creativity.'

Despite believing the ability to think creatively remains treasured as a uniquely human skill, AI is demonstrating the how quickly the creative landscape is evolving.

AI portrait of Edmond Belamy, Obvious, Paris AI portrait of Edmond Belamy, Obvious, Paris

New Balance uses tech to celebrate style

New Balance New Balance
New Balance New Balance

New York – As featured at this year’s New York Fashion Week, sports apparel brand New Balance has launched an installation that uses artificial intelligence to identify and celebrate fashionable individuals that stand out from the crowd.

The pop-up booth, situated in New York's SoHo neighbourhood, uses cameras to capture unusual outfits that are considered an ‘exception to the norm’. As opposed to regular street style photography, which may be considered biased due to the subjective approach of the photographer, the system records measurable factors such as garment patterns, colours, shapes and accessories to choose those it feels have individual style. The identified style icons are then presented with a free pair of New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz Nubuck sneakers, with their image featured on a live, outdoor digital display.

For more on how artificial intelligence is curating fashion trends and design, look out for our Fashion macrotrend launching this autumn.

Stat: Beauty and CPG spending to grow in Africa

According to a recent report by Euromonitor, by 2030 the continent’s consumer spending will be growing faster than the global average, at 9% CAGR.

‘Given the continent’s large population and strongly increasing GDP, Africa is set to be the most dynamic region for various industries, which include packaged food, consumer electronics, and beauty and personal care,’ the market research firm said in a statement.

As recently reported, e-commerce brand Klasha has recognised the potential for fast fashion in the region. Founder Jessica Anuna says, ‘I realised there was no fully developed fast fashion [brand] operating in the West African region as a whole, and Millennial women were having to go abroad to the US or UK to do their shopping. I started Klasha to connect young Millennial consumers in emerging markets to the global e-commerce economy and to give them access to high-quality fashion at affordable prices.'

For more on the opportunities that Africa holds for both local and international brands, see our dedicated market here.

Thought-starter: Could AI create the future of fashion?

Amber Jae Slooten, co-founder and creative director of The Fabricant, discusses how artificial intelligence can be used creatively within the design process to envisage otherwise unimagined forms.

'The Fabricant is a digital fashion house that creates collections and editorials that only exist in the digital space. Essentially, we make virtual fashion. We don’t use any fabric to create garments – instead, we’re constructing a new terrain where digital fashion can operate both now and in the future,' Slooten explains.

The Fabricant's DEEP collection, for example, is a collaboration between fashion design and machine learning. 'We asked a computer to learn a visual representation of a large dataset of catwalk images taken at Paris Fashion Week in September 2017. We used General Adversarial Network (GAN) that consists of two parts – one part with images and the other without – to recreate the Fashion Week images without seeing them. So, the GAN is constantly asking, ‘Is this what you’re looking for?’, randomly creating pixels until the computer says, ‘I can’t see any difference between my pictures and the thing that you’re creating.’ In this way we were able to generate entirely new fashion designs.'

Read the full interview here.

DEEP by The Fabricant and Amber Jae Slooten DEEP by The Fabricant and Amber Jae Slooten
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