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Little Island offers New Yorkers urban discovery, Amazon opens a tech-infused hair salon and why brand cynicism prevails among global consumers.

A cultural public playground comes to Manhattan

Little Island, New York Little Island, New York
Little Island, New York Little Island, New York
Little Island, Photography by Michael Grimm, New York Little Island, New York. Photography by Michael Grimm

New YorkLittle Island brings discovery, exploration and free cultural programming to city residents.

The park, which is built on the original grounds of Pier 54 on the Hudson River, includes various nature spaces as well as an amphitheatre, a central plaza serving food and beverages, and an intimate stage, allowing Little Island to host a variety of performances and events, from late-night DJs to cabaret-style performances.

In addition, the island will host four artists-in-residence who will take turns performing, directing events and curating festivals. ‘I hope Little Island will serve as a whimsical oasis for everyone who visits, a place to wander around and be happily surprised at every turn, to lounge and graze the landscape, and to be entertained, educated and stimulated by our programming,’ said Barry Diller, founder of Little Island.

With urban spaces preparing for a post-pandemic rebirth, many are introducing Blended Cultural Realms to entice people back to city centres. Discover more in our macrotrend, Equilibrium Cities.

Galaxy lets thrifty Gen Z live-stream their old clothes

Galaxy app, US Galaxy app, US
Galaxy app, US Galaxy app, US

US – The fashion resale app is tapping into the eco-conscious mindsets of Generation Z by combining resale with live-stream commerce.

Galaxy will initially host about 50 merchants, who will each have individual broadcast channels within the app. Each seller has been selected by the e-marketplace to cover a variety of fashion styles, such as high-end men’s t-shirts and summer dresses. Live-stream broadcasts will be fully interactive, encouraging a sense of community around the shopping experience.

Targeting Gen Z, the app combines several trends – including their interest in second-hand fashion, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for interactive live-stream entertainment. ‘Galaxy exists to enable the next generation of fashion entrepreneurs to find and build their community in a way that’s just not possible on today's platforms,’ Danny Quick, CEO and co-founder of Galaxy, tells LS:N Global.

Live-steaming is becoming a tool for Gen Z to connect with like-minded others as well as buy and sell fashion, ushering in a new era for Community Commerce.

Amazon augments the hair salon experience

London – E-commerce giant Amazon is venturing into the beauty space with a branded salon to trial digital haircare products and services.

Located in London’s Spitalfields Market, the Amazon Salon is a digitally enhanced space that will showcase new technology innovations in haircare. This ranges from augmented reality (AR) hair consultations to virtual try-on hair colours to Fire tablets that offer customers in-salon entertainment.

All haircare products on sale will also use point-and-learn technology, allowing customers to point at products to access brand videos and educational content on a display screen. Integrated product QR codes will direct customers straight to the Amazon website. ‘We want this unique venue to bring us one step closer to customers, and it will be a place where we can collaborate with the industry and test new technologies,’ explains John Boumphrey, UK country manager at Amazon.

By opening a physical beta space, Amazon is harnessing innovation in the beauty sector, allowing a mass audience to experience some of the concepts we explore in our Algorithmic Beauty report.

Amazon Salon, London Amazon Salon, London

Stat: Consumers and brands clash in the Age of Cynicism

Hey UK, The Real 5G Future is Here by Three and Wieden + Kennedy London Hey UK, The Real 5G Future is Here by Three and Wieden + Kennedy London

According to the annual global Meaningful Brands survey by Havas, consumer cynicism is an at all-time high, as people continue to lose trust in brands.

The study led the agency to conclude that we’re entering what it defines as the Age of Cynicism. The data backs up this claim, showing that 71% of consumers have little faith that brands will deliver on their promises. Although a sense of distrust prevails, consumers are prepared to invest in brands for the greater good – with 53% willing to pay more for a brand that takes a stand.

‘In this study, people haven’t held back from letting businesses know how they feel,’ says Mark Sinnock, creative global chief strategy officer at Havas. ‘The existential pressures brought on by Covid, economic insecurity, rising social inequalities and injustice, and the climate catastrophe have exposed a growing tension between businesses and their customers that brand owners and managers really need to digest and acknowledge.’

As consumers push back against purpose- and trust-washing, a wave of Post-purpose Brands are emerging to embrace imperfection and betterment.

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