Need to Know
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Dove creates a non-binary stock photo library for Getty, The Conservatory is a store without stock and young Africans are moving to neighbouring regions.

Nendo brings minimalism to Kuwait coffee shop

% ARABICA. Photography by Takumi Ota, Kuwait % ARABICA. Photography by Takumi Ota, Kuwait
% ARABICA. Photography by Takumi Ota, Kuwait % ARABICA. Photography by Takumi Ota, Kuwait
% ARABICA. Photography by Takumi Ota, Kuwait % ARABICA. Photography by Takumi Ota, Kuwait

Kuwait – % Arabica is bringing a stripped-back coffee shop experience to the Middle East.

The Arabica Coffee brand is based in Kyoto, Japan, and has been expanding its shops throughout Asia and Europe. For its latest % Arabica opening, on the coast of Kuwait, the brand asked Japanese design studio Nendo to design a striking store with a contemporary, pared-back interior.

The luxurious interior, punctuated by gold-tone details, is designed to reinforce the quality of the brand’s coffee. Reflecting the design of an amphitheatre, the seating comprises stair-like tiers, encouraging interaction between customers and baristas.

In our Craft Coffee Market, we explore the opportunities in Asia for premium coffee as more brands enter this market of tea-drinkers.

FaceGym launches motion-activated skincare

Face Gym Training Sticks Face Gym Training Sticks
Face Gym Training Sticks Face Gym Training Sticks

London – The active beauty brand’s Training Sticks are designed to be applied before exercising.

FaceGym, one of our Global Futures Forum 2016 disrupters, offers a new category of skincare focused on non-invasive facial workouts. As its latest product launch, the Training Sticks are applied to the face before exercise, becoming activated by the moisture and heat produced by skin during movement.

Available in four varieties, the Training Sticks include a multi-vitamin option for hydration, an activated charcoal option for detox and renewal, Brazilian pink clay to brighten and glow, and spirulina to lift and sculpt the skin. According to FaceGym, ‘the harder you work, the harder the product performs.’

Inspired by growth in the athleisure market, beauty brands are making functional, high-performing products designed to be worn before, during and after a workout.

Dove champions a non-binary stock photo library

Global – The personal care brand is releasing over 5,000 images to shatter beauty stereotypes around women and non-binary individuals.

The project, entitled #ShowUs, is created in partnership with Getty images and GirlGaze, an online jobs marketplace that connects brands with female-identifying and non-binary creatives. The collaboration was inspired by a recent Dove study that found 70% of women globally do not feel represented by everyday images.

To encourage a more diverse representation of women and non-binary people around the world, the brands have used 116 GirlGaze photographers to create a collection of 5,000 images for media and advertisers, available to download via Getty images. For the first time on the website, every individual photographed had the opportunity to write their own search descriptions and tags, ensuring they feel fully represented.

To read more about how your brand can help champion a Female Future, read our vertical.

Girl Gaze by Dove and Getty Images Girl Gaze by Dove and Getty Images

The Conservatory is a transaction-free retail space

The Conservatory, New York The Conservatory, New York
The Conservatory, New York City The Conservatory, New York City

New York – Opening at Hudson Yards, the store will allow shoppers to try items on but not make any purchases.

People browsing The Conservatory can discover fashion, wellbeing and lifestyle products from over 50 brands in one, curated space. However, the store is transaction- and inventory-free, meaning customers can’t take products home with them – they can only purchase items online. By adhering to this format, The Conservatory becomes a form of retail influencer, as its purpose shifts away from transaction and towards inspiration.

‘Our job is to focus on what makes a bricks-and-mortar experience special – product curation, visual presentation, and human interaction, not inventory management,’ says Brian Bolke, the brand’s founder. ‘We want to guide the customer to purchase fewer, better things, and create a welcoming environment that celebrates what we’re calling ‘luxurious minimalism.’

As stores understand that their salvation relies on a combination of physical touchpoints and digital technology, retailers are reconsidering the purpose of bricks-and-mortar shops.

Stat: Young Africans want to emigrate within the continent

Young and educated Africans are most likely to consider moving abroad, according to a new study by Afro Barometer. Despite substantial economic growth in many African countries, the report says nearly half of young people on the continent are considering leaving their own country in search of a better future.

These young people aren’t necessarily leaving Africa, however. According to the study, more than one-third (29%) would like to move to another country in Africa, highlighting the wealth of opportunities they recognise within the region. Finding work and escaping economic hardship are the most frequently cited reasons for emigrating.

In countries like Nigeria, where the most affluent of families send their children to be educated overseas, many young people are finding routes to success before returning to share their knowledge and experience within their home nations. For more, read our Emerging Youth Market.

Thought-starter: Why has the gaming sector ignored disabilities?

While the mainstream gaming industry has long ignored disabled people, foresight writer Rhiannon McGregor explores the host of new technologies enabling brands to adapt to their every need.

While disabled gamers make up a significant proportion of the total gaming population, the mainstream industry has too often overlooked them. AbleGamers estimates that there are now about 33m gamers with disabilities in the US, yet until now it has often been left almost entirely to non-profit-making organisations to ensure that games are accessible to people with different needs.

For too long, brands have made assumptions about how gamers control game play; namely, with their hands and thumbs. Now, however, brands like Microsoft are recognising that the traditional controller design is not best suited to all gamers’ mobility needs.

‘The traditional Xbox controller makes a lot of assumptions. It assumes I have two hands to hold it, two thumbs to hit the analogue sticks and the fine motor control to get at all the buttons. That’s a barrier,’ says Bryce Johnson, senior inclusive designer at Microsoft.

Read the full Accessible Gaming microtrend here.

Xbox Adaptive Controller Xbox Adaptive Controller
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