Need to Know
13 : 11 : 20

Circular architecture that responds to rising sea levels, Gucci fuses fashion and cinema for a virtual exhibition and young people opt for a sober festive season.

This mobile eco-hub imagines civilisation at sea

Sea Stem by Mathieu Collos, France

France – Architect Mathieu Collos has conceptualised Sea Stem, an earth-friendly travelling sanctuary that forecasts a future world where humanity lives on water.

Created as a solution to rising sea levels, Sea Stem harnesses solar, wind and wave power, making the habitat energy self-sufficient. Food growing takes place on board using a dome and permaculture principles to feed residents and visitors. Educational workshops are also offered, allowing visitors insight into Sea Stem’s sustainable solutions and opportunities to participate in harvesting food.

Designed to sit 14km off the coast of Montpellier, France, the submerged part of Sea Stem will house an artificial reef with variable geometry, which offers a suitable habitat for different species of aquatic life, depending on their stage of development. Collos deliberately chose this location as it suffers from significantly high sea levels and coastal erosion.

While Sea Stem provides a utopian solution for the climate crisis, we explore other floating residences in Ephemeral Hotels, in particular those that alleviate consumers' current concerns about their travel footprint.

Tabu rebrands sexual wellness for menopause

Tabu, US Tabu, US
Tabu, US Tabu, US

US – Tabu wants to address the lack of sexual wellbeing information and products for menopausal women.

Positioning pleasure as central to women's health, no matter what their age, the brand is working closely with women experiencing the menopause, alongside clinicians and therapists. Together they have created The Kit, comprising a sleek, ergonomically designed vibrator and organic lubricant created with botanicals. Unlike traditional lubricants, Tabu integrates antioxidants to protect and regenerate mature skin, while fatty acids protect against dryness.

'From the lack of adequate solutions to the taboo notion that us women – like men – may want to preserve this part of our lives as we age, I quickly realised that something had to change,’ explains Natalie Waltz, founder and CEO of Tabu. ‘I started Tabu for our mums, aunts, friends and future selves. Our mission is to honour and celebrate sexual wellness as we age.'

Attitudes to menopausal wellbeing are changing as brands recognise it as a fundamental life stage – with an empowered audience to match. For more, explore Rebranding the Menopause.

Gucci tunes into Luxtainment for new launch

Italy – The luxury house is live-streaming the launch of its latest collection through GucciFest, a series of cinematic films.

GucciFest is a seven-part mini-series of films directed by famed director and screenwriter Gus Van Sant, and featuring brand ambassadors Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and Florence Welch.

Each episode of the series, entitled Ouveture of Something That Never Ended, will be streamed daily for one week via YouTube, Weibo and the brand’s website, with the films available for public view.

Also presenting the work of emerging talent, the festival will feature fashion films from up-and-coming designers selected by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele. By showcasing these young independent designers, Gucci hopes the event will provide the hand-picked group with a larger reach and global exposure.

With Covid-19 curtailing live events, luxury brands are tapping into new content marketing opportunities that combine entertainment with retail. Explore more in Luxtainment.

GucciFest, Italy

Stat: Young people set to shun a boozy Christmas

Casamara Club, US Casamara Club, US

With the lockdown period prompting many consumers to reflect on old routines and habits, for young people in particular it is driving a trend towards low- and no-alcohol drinking.

According to UK supermarket chain Tesco, this shift is set to carry on into the festive period – with many people swapping a traditionally over-indulgent period for one that's a little more health-conscious. In its latest Christmas Report, Tesco says some 46% of young hosts aged 18–34 say they plan to serve no- or low-alcohol drinks at Christmas, up by 16% since 2019.

Kevin Meehan, product developer for wine at Tesco, notes: ‘Last Christmas, sales of no- and low-alcohol wine were up 16% year on year, with almost 800,000 bottles sold. The range has continued to grow in both wine and spirits, with more premium options being offered this Christmas for those who want to try something different.'

With consumers displaying such behaviour, we can anticipate well-known drinks brands creating non-alcoholic Social Elixirs for the festive season.

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