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H&M x Moschino elevates fashion through MR, Lyft supports the mid-terms and Nike signs its first disabled athlete.

H&M augments the runway experience

H&Moschino, Global

US – The Swedish retailer has demonstrated the power of augmented reality (AR) through a creative activation with Magic Leap.

Utilised for the launch of its new collaborative collection, H&M x Moschino, guests at the collection's debut show were invited to enter a room designed to imitate the multi-coloured stripes of an old-fashioned television. Once inside, they donned a Magic Leap headset, virtually venturing into the the world of Moschino, where they were able to explore pieces from the collection in vibrant detail.

‘This was an immersive fashion experience where you could step into the world of Moschino,’ says Emma Ridderstad, co-founder of Warpin Media, which worked with Magic Leap on the project. ‘Inside you could explore the collection, but also [experience] fun and interactive digital content connected to the campaign.’ As explored in our Augmented Retail microtrend, brands are experimenting with new ways to incorporate augmented reality and mixed reality technology into the buying experience in way that feels authentic rather than gimmicky.

​ Lyft offers discounted trips for voters

Lyft Lyft
Lyft Lyft

US – The ride-share company is demonstrating its commitment to democracy by offering voters across America half-price trips to polling station for the November 6 mid-terms.

In response to figures showing that more than 15m people who were registered to vote in 2016 did not do so because of transportation issues, the company has partnered with non-profit organisations like Voto Latino and League of Women Voters to offer free rides to underserved communities.

Lyft has also provided its drivers with information leaflets to hand to customers, explaining how to register to vote. The company has also pledged to award select drivers who work on November 6 with a special thank you gift. This is not the first time a ride-share company has demonstrated its civic-minded approach to private enterprise; earlier in 2018, Uber launched its Uber Health initiative to transport elderly people to their hospital appointments.

Richemont and Alibaba partner for luxury apps

Richemont partners with Alibaba Richemont partners with Alibaba

China – Swiss luxury goods group Richemont is hoping to establish a foothold in China by tapping into the powerhouse that is Alibaba. In a bid to win over Chinese consumers’ trust, Richemont – which earlier this year bought luxury e-commerce site Yoox Net-a-Porter – will launch two new mobile apps within Alibaba’s online ecosystem. The apps will bring luxury fashion retailers Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter to a wider Chinese audience.

In addition, Alibaba's exclusive Tmall Luxury Pavilion, which aims to bring the same level of personalisation to online shopping as consumers receive in-store, will feature Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter platforms. While the Tmall platform has propelled Alibaba into the luxury space, the partnership with Richemont, one of the most globally-recognised luxury conglomerates, is set to boost its reputation among discerning luxury consumers. For more on the buying preferences of Chinese luxury consumers see our dedicated market.

Nike signs its first disabled athlete

Justin Gallegos First Athlete With Cerebral Palsy To Sign With Nike

US – The sportswear brand is demonstrating its commitment to diversity by signing Justin Gallegos as its first professional athlete with cerebral palsy.

The runner and University of Oregon student originally appeared in an ad campaign for the brand earlier in 2018, having completed the Eugene Half Marathon wearing a shoe created for him by Nike’s design team. The brand has now reportedly offered him a three-year contract as a Nike Athlete, releasing a video featuring Gallegos being presented with the contract at the end of a cross country race. ‘In our eyes, you’re just a Nike athlete,’ John Douglass, Nike UX Insights Lead, tells Gallegos.

While fashion, sports and beauty brands are becoming more inclusive, there has been a propensity to create tokenistic marketing campaigns without really considering issues of diversity within their own association or among brand ambassadors, as Nike is exploring with this contract.

Stat: Fintech set to boost Africa’s financial ecosystem

The amount that financial technology companies contribute to Sub-saharan Africa’s economy is set to increase by at least £31bn ($40bn, €35bn) over the next four years.

The continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) is currently around £1.2 trillion ($1.6 trillion, €1.4 trillion) according to the International Monetary Fund, with the majority of this currently derived from mobile phone providers, something that is explored in our Emerging Money Market: Sub-saharan Africa.

‘If you look at the value chain, most of that money is coming out of mobile-phone companies,’ says Evans Osano, financial markets director at FSD Africa. ‘So from the other support services the contribution is not much, but is expected to increase as fintech develops to address the financial needs of people or making services more accessible.’

Thought-starter: Can we change the negative narrative surrounding carbs?

Gail's Bakery Waste Bread, UK Gail's Bakery Waste Bread, UK

Restaurants and brands are reframing carbohydrates in a positive light, says deputy foresight editor Kathryn Bishop, as new science questions current thinking on bread and pasta.

Carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes have long been linked with bloating and weight gain, but both the food and medical industries are working to re-educate consumers while reframing carbohydrates as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

A recent large-scale study by The Lancet Public Health found that diets both low and high in carbohydrates are linked with an increase in mortality, while moderate consumption of carbohydrates – about 50% of daily calorie intake – result in lower mortality rates.

With the aim of positively positioning carbs among foodie audiences, chef Missy Robbins has opened Misi, a Brooklyn restaurant that celebrates fatto a mano, the traditional method of making pasta by hand.

Similarly, the much-maligned loaf is getting a rethink at the hands of health-conscious bakers. Andina Panaderia, a Peruvian bakery in London’s Notting Hill, focuses on the slow-ferment baking of bread and traditional sweet and savoury pastries.

Read the full microtrend here.