Need to Know
08 : 03 : 23

Jacquemus takeover at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, Lego’s new characters with disabilities, why gender equality is still 300 years away and more women in big companies’ boardrooms in the UK.

Jacquemus takes over Paris department store

Jacquemus at Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann, France
Jacquemus at Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann, France
Jacquemus at Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann, France

France – French fashion brand Jacquemus has been given free rein over the iconic Galeries Lafayette Haussmann department store in Paris to showcase its latest collection.

The takeover of the store features Jacquemus-themed window displays and a series of pop-up shops selling the brand’s clothing and accessories. As we’ve observed in Hyperphysical Stores, this is an example of a bricks-and-mortar shop working hard to engage consumers by becoming a space for extraordinary and sensorial moments.

Large-scale installations are featured throughout Jacquemus’ takeover, including a massive version of the fashion label’s infamously small Bambino bag and a giant toaster that ejects Jacquemus-branded slices of bread. The collaboration marks the first time Galeries Lafayette has handed over its flagship space to an individual brand.

In honour of this partnership, Jacquemus created a selection of handbags exclusive to the department store, including a mini-Bambino in denim and a Chiquito in smooth beige leather. Jacquemus’ takeover will be until 2 April.

Strategic opportunity

In this era of Neo-collectivism, legacy brands should seek out contemporary collaborators who can help give consumers unique, hyper-realistic and fun experiences

Lego introduces characters with disabilities and complex emotions

Lego Friends, Denmark Lego Friends, Denmark
Lego Friends, Denmark Lego Friends, Denmark

Denmark – After interviewing 18,000 children aged 6–12 worldwide, the Lego Group identified a gap in its offer regarding the representation of children’s friendships. That’s why the company has introduced a new set of characters as part of its Lego Friends universe with a wider variety of skin tones, cultural backgrounds, disabilities and neurodiversity.

Available in the toys section and an accompanying series hosted on its YouTube channel, these new characters aim to represent the importance of friendship, wellbeing and emotional diversity. According to the study, two in three kids (68%) want to see more toys and characters portray different emotions to reflect real life better.

Child psychologist Laverne Antrobus commented on the research saying: ‘It’s encouraging that children want to see diverse friendships represented in the content they watch and the toys they play with.’ In The Zalpha Reckoning, we previously highlighted how a hybrid generation of Zalphas wise beyond their years are entering brands’ consciousness and pushing for more social justice.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses targeting Generation Alpha should consider setting ambitious diversity and inclusion strategies to keep up with Lego. From video game characters to leading roles in films and tv shows, Zalphas will expect to see the same diversity they saw in their Lego brick sets

Gender equality still 300 years away, says UN secretary general

Global – The secretary general of the UN, António Guterres, has warned that global progress on women’s rights is ‘vanishing before our eyes’.

Speaking at the opening of the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), ahead of International Women’s Day, Guterres warned that at its current pace, equality between genders will take another 300 years to achieve. He cited the rolling back of women’s sexual and reproductive autonomy, maternal mortality rates and uneven access to education as examples of women’s rights being threatened around the world.

The CSW is meeting in person for the first time since 2019, and will spend two weeks examining how gender equality, empowerment and sustainable development can be achieved in the digital era.

The secretary general called for collective action worldwide by governments, civil society and the private sector to provide gender-responsive education, improve skills training and invest more in bridging the digital gender divide. ‘The United Nations stands with women and girls everywhere,’ declared Guterres.

Look at our Identities Series to see how we monitor trends related to diversity, inclusion and women’s futures. It provides valuable insights, to assist organisations to help them embrace change and innovate meaningfully.

Photography by Mart Production, Russia

Strategic opportunity

It is important to be aware that the pursuit of gender equality is an ongoing process that has recently taken regressive steps. Be part of the movement to supercharge equality forward and to tackle inequalities by creating safe spaces for and supporting ambitious inclusion strategies.

Stat: UK’s big companies reach milestone in boardroom gender balance

Photography by Fauxels Photography by Fauxels

UK – A pulse check on the proportion of women in boardroom roles in Britain’s largest listed companies reveals significant progress. As of 2023, only 10 of the FTSE 350 companies still have all-male executive teams, the lowest recorded number.

Ahead of International Women’s Day, the government-backed review assessed gender equality on the boards of FTSE 350 companies, revealing that the voluntary target of 40% women on boards by 2025 was met three years ahead of schedule. The review credits businesses with a push for diversity and a collective effort which effectively led to change despite no top-down quotas or legislation.

While these results are promising, the report notes that women account for 51% of the British population, leaving businesses room for improvement to reflect that proportion in their leadership. As it stands, only three FTSE 350 companies have more than 50% women boards – Burberry Group, with 54%, followed by clothing retailer Next (53%) and Sainsbury’s (51%).

The increasing number of women on boards despite the lack of top-down interventions or regulations is a hopeful development for workplace futures, given that leaders are committed to consistently showing up for underprivileged groups.

Strategic opportunity

This small but significant milestone should inspire leaders to commit to positive change – from offering flexible working policies to encouraging men to use their parental leave allowance, there are countless ways that companies can promote women’s access to leadership

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