Need to Know
11 : 02 : 19

Samsung envisages breakthrough technologies, luxury retail doubles as a study space and why brands should be wary of disingenuous sustainability claims.

Mercedes showcases Dubai’s young female drivers

My Chosen Family by She's Mercedes, Dubai

Dubai – My Chosen Family is a short film that explores friendship, feminism and Middle Eastern youth culture.

With its latest campaign, Mercedes hopes to appeal to a new generation of drivers who view car ownership as freedom. It features Leena Al Ghouti, a 28-year-old visual artist who has become one of the most recognised faces of Dubai’s creative scene, who takes a road trip with her female friends.

The film acts as a guide to Dubai’s youth culture, featuring many of the city’s local artists and makers, such as Cheb Moha, who acted as creative director, as well as photographer Mashael Alsaie and musician DJ Karrouhat. Mercedes has also populated Instagram account She’s Mercedes, which is dedicated to female drivers.

As more women in the Middle East take the driving seat, automotive brands will need to consider how their messaging can be tailored to speak to this demographic. In our microtrend Supercar Clubs, we explore how hyper-masculine car culture is being redefined by feminist collectives like the Arabian Gazelles.

Casper’s nightlight is controlled by gestures

Casper Glow Light Casper Glow Light
Casper Glow Light Casper Glow Light

US – Direct-to-consumer brand Casper has expanded its product line-up with a smart nightlight designed to support better sleep.

Casper Glow is a wireless LED lamp that dims and brightens over the course of 45 minutes to ease users into sleep, or gently wake them up. Although settings and scheduling can be adjusted through a proprietary app, the light is primarily controlled by a series of simple gestures: flip to turn on, twist to adjust brightness and shake for low-level light. ‘It’s intentionally designed to be driven by intuitive gestures, so you can use it at your sleepiest,’ says Jeff Chapin, Casper co-founder and chief of product.

Providing natural cues to encourage sleep, the Glow also emits warm light to counter the stimulating effects of blue light produced by screens and smart devices, which can interrupt natural circadian rhythms. As such, the sleep-friendly device reflects the evolution of the Sleep Market, which we will explore in more depth in our forthcoming Sleep Market 2.0.

Alexander McQueen’s store has a study space for students

London – The Mayfair flagship store devotes an entire floor to the next generation of fashion designers.

Now open on Old Bond Street, the Alexander McQueen store includes a space that is open to both British and international fashion students to study in and create garments. The floor also includes archive pieces by McQueen and current designer Sarah Burton, which have been included as inspiration.

In addition, the space will host a series of talks, workshops and rotating exhibitions. ‘Traditionally, the top floor of a luxury store is very exclusive,’ says CEO Emmanuel Gintzburger. ‘Here, we wanted to make it inclusive, breaking the rules and turning the pyramid upside down. Our top floor will be a creative space, where we want design and fashion communities to learn, discover and share.’

As more international young people seek education abroad, the student demographic is changing, and luxury brands are finding inventive ways to support their learning.

Alexander McQueen Alexander McQueen

Samsung’s new campaign imagines a tech utopia

The Future, Samsung

Global – The technology company highlights potential breakthrough technologies in a new global campaign.

The advert builds on Samsung’s Do What You Can’t tagline by imagining the future of seamless, multi-device experiences, artificial intelligence, new displays and 5G. The campaign, simply called The Future, was created with advertising agency Leo Burnett Chicago.

Set to a remixed recording of Que Será Será, the concept plays on the 1950s song’s message of ‘whatever will be, will be’ in order to position itself as an innovator whose groundbreaking products are reshaping the future for consumers. The brand also hints at its 5G products and foldable display technology, which will be launched later this year.

For more on how technology can enrich everyday experiences, read our interview with Hirotaka Tako, Sony’s chief art director. We will also be exploring how brands are pushing the possibilities of physical and digital realities in one of our forthcoming macrotrends.

Stat: Magazines are paying lip service to sustainable fashion

Magazines are not only name-checking sustainable fashion brands, but customers are buying sustainable products, according to a new report by Rank & Style. The report found a 267% increase in editorial mentions of the term ‘sustainable fashion brands’ among publications such as Elle, Vogue and Refinery29, between 2016 and 2018.

Furthermore, sales figures are rising too – the report found a 450% increase in sales at eco-friendly companies such as Everlane, Allbirds and Reformation in the same period. Brands must be wary of allowing the term sustainability to become tokenistic in the same vein as inclusivity, however, and ensure they are incorporating eco-consciousness in all aspects of their business. Our Opinion piece explores the dangers of marketing claims that merely pay lip service to inclusivity.

Thought-starter: Are retail staff the new influencers?

To help build consumer trust and product authenticity, brands are starting to focus more on insider advocates than external influencers, says deputy foresight editor Kathryn Bishop.

Among fashion retailers, store staff have long been on hand to deliver styling advice to shoppers, yet head office staff, with their eye on social conversations and future product drops, are stepping into the limelight as a new generation of brand influencers.

Introduced in 2018, US department store Macy's Style Crew is a group of its corporate employees that host styling videos on the Macy’s site or otherwise through their own social feeds – a marked departure from the hiring of influencers to tout goods in paid posts.

In a similar vein to Macy’s, multi-brand e-commerce platform ASOS has curated a global team of ASOS Insiders: members of staff selected to promote new product drops and styling tips, and who share product numbers and links using the hashtag #ASOSInsiders.

Read the full listicle here.

Joel, ASOS Insiders Joel, ASOS Insiders
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