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Vetements’ sub-brand challenges luxury tropes, Athleta’s digital community unites active women and UK staycationers embrace cultural sites.

Vetements’ sub-brand courts Gen Z luxurians

XXX collection VTMNTS by Vetements, France & Switzerland
XXX collection VTMNTS by Vetements, France & Switzerland
XXX collection VTMNTS by Vetements, France & Switzerland

France & Switzerland – Fashion house Vetements is bringing luxury to the inconspicuous Generation Z with the launch of a sub-brand called VTMNTS. Its debut collection, called XXX, comprises garments such as classic trucker-style jackets, puffer jackets and ringer t-shirts. Design details include prints featuring gender-inclusive pronouns, collegiate logos and barcodes.

Driven by the mindset that many traditional design houses ‘underestimate’ young generations, the launch of VTMNTS comes as part of a wider mission to improve the luxury fashion industry. ‘Our goal is to give the young, cool generation the same quality feeling that Hermès gives their sophisticated clientele,' explains the brand, whose aim is to ‘redefine traditional luxury for the next generation.’

As the luxury sector recognises the importance of Gen Z, retailers such as Yoox and Vetements are building sub-brands catered specifically to this discerning generation.

Strategic opportunity

While known for streetwear, luxury brands must recognise the opportunities for premium fashion among Gen Z and consider how sub-brands could offer new consumer touchpoints without detracting from the wider brand identity

CALM beers ease men’s mental health conversations

Black Storm in partnership with The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), designed by Wonderstuff Black Storm in partnership with The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), designed by Wonderstuff
Black Storm in partnership with The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), designed by Wonderstuff Black Storm in partnership with The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), designed by Wonderstuff

UK – With some men finding it difficult to talk openly about mental health, suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is partnering with brewery Black Storm to create an awareness-building collection of beers. The 12-piece collection, called In the Stars, has been designed by branding agency Wonderstuff and features a range of illustrations and graphics representing the 12 zodiac signs.

Featuring gradient colours and welcoming aesthetics, each can communicates calming emotions to promote more open conversations among its drinkers. In a press release, Wonderstuff describes it as ‘a collectable, collaborative range to raise awareness of CALM, provide support to the charity, and encourage men to talk.’ By using beer – a beverage strongly associated with masculinity and bravado – the collaboration is an example of how brands can reframe stereotypes around masculinity to encourage difficult discussions.

While the beer itself no emotion-boosting formulations, the packaging and communications reflect the ideas we identify within Total Tastes – with brands highlighting the link between emotions and food and drink.

Strategic opportunity

Food and drink brands should recognise the opportunities they have to tune into communal moments like sharing a beer. Consider adding questions or prompt cards into your packaging to stimulate meaningful conversations

AthletaWell is a digital safe space for women’s wellbeing

US – Responding to the need for safe and communal spaces for women, activewear brand Athleta is introducing an immersive digital platform centred around wellbeing. Dubbed AthletaWell, the membership platform offers women access to curated discussion groups, advice from wellness experts and both online and offline meet-ups.

As part of a long-term strategy, Athleta is also partnering with digital fitness platform Obé Fitness to co-create apparel, content, events and exclusive workouts for AthletaWell members. By creating a community-led space for both exercise and entertainment, Athleta taps into the rise of Exertainment.

By fostering conversations from body positivity to nutrition, AthletaWell provides a safe space for all types of wellness advice. Kim Waldmann, chief digital officer at Athleta, says: ‘We’ve heard from our customers that wellbeing is a complex journey, rich with questions and there isn't a place where women can talk about it holistically or discover the best solutions.’

While women have conventionally been left out of healthcare conversations, platforms like AthletaWell reflect a growing demand for community-centric digital wellness spaces that hand the power back to them.

AthletaWell by Athleta, US

Strategic opportunity

When it comes to the long misunderstood area of women's wellbeing, we can expect to a surge in digital membership communities bringing people together. Focusing on niche interests and the importance of IRL connections will allow these clubs to flourish

Stat: UK citizens rediscover cultural institutions

Black Lives Matter Showroom by NAMESldn, London Black Lives Matter Showroom by NAMESldn, London

Across the UK, people are beginning to re-embrace cultural sites like galleries and museums, amid the recent easing of pandemic restrictions. However, research by Art Fund shows that this interest is largely concentrated towards major attractions in London.

Indeed, the research finds that people in the UK have planned 66 million trips to galleries and museums this summer. A majority (65%) of people who are planning a visit are set to go to one of the top ten biggest museums in the UK, compared with just 39% who said they would visit one of the 2,000-plus smaller venues across the country.

Despite these figures, almost half (48%) of people across the UK said that it would be a ‘tragedy’ if smaller museums and galleries were to close. With this in mind, tourism brands should tap into the Staycation Market and engage people in regional activities.

Strategic opportunity

Major cultural sites can collaborate with smaller institutions to profile them and raise awareness of the variety of attractions available across the UK. Similarly, tourism brands can focus regional campaigns around cultural institutions

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