News 20.12.2023

Need to Know

Balenciaga ski gear stars in the brand’s new online game, Bottega Veneta celebrates global craftsmen and gender disparities in the deep tech sector.

Balenciaga launches mini-game to promote ski collection

Balenciaga, Spain

Global – To celebrate the brand’s first skiwear collection, released in November 2023, luxury fashion house Balenciaga has launched a mini-game in which players can suit up and hit the animated slopes.

Players take control of one of two avatars wearing Balenciaga winter sports products and skis before navigating a virtual slalom course in extreme weather conditions. Players must try to stay on the infinite slope for as long as possible as the game speed increases, and the weather conditions worsen.

Rewards such as exclusive wallpapers and stickers are up for grabs for those who complete the game, while a worldwide scoreboard keeps track of global player rankings. The best-performing players in each region between 11 December and 31 January will win a physical Balenciaga Ski Lock from the new collection.

The Balenciaga Skiwear Mini Game is available online worldwide and exclusively on WeChat in China, a clever nod to the burgeoning Chinese Outdoor Fashion Market, driven by rising interest in camping, hiking, skiing and other outdoor activities.

Strategic opportunity

Brands should take inspiration from Balenciaga and explore creative gaming campaigns that allow consumers to interact with the products in a digital space in a way that fosters higher engagement and entertainment than typical virtual try-on technologies

Bottega Veneta sheds light on artisans powering luxury

Cheng Tsung Feng for Bottega for Bottegas 2023, Taiwan Cheng Tsung Feng for Bottega for Bottegas 2023, Taiwan
Cheng Tsung Feng for Bottega for Bottegas 2023, Taiwan Cheng Tsung Feng for Bottega for Bottegas 2023, Taiwan

Global – Bottega Veneta’s dedication to preserving craftsmanship extends beyond the brand’s own IP. For the third time, the Italian luxury house is honouring craftsmen from around the globe with the Bottega for Bottegas initiative.

In past years, the Neo-collectivist activation spotlighted Italian workshops and interpretations of Italian culture by global artisans. The 2023 edition sheds light on four bottegas that are ‘experts of unique craft, who use their creativity and their inimitable skillsets to empower imagination and inspire togetherness’. In this year’s line-up, you will find Taiwanese artist Cheng Tsung Feng, kite artisan Kitai Rhee, Chinese artist Liu Wenhui and Italian bottega Modiano.

The brand explains that ‘Bottega’ translates in essence to ‘workshop’. As one of the world’s most visible bottegas, Bottega Veneta is committed to supporting other workshops based around the world. Since the start of December, the brand’s website, newsletter and Milan flagship store have spotlighted the four selected bottegas. The renaissance of craft celebration by the luxury sector is a shift we have explored in depth in our Luxury Recrafted macrotrend.

Strategic opportunity

Take cues from how luxury brands like Bottega Veneta manage brand collaborations, from blockbuster household names getting together to Maisons calling in tech start-ups. Can you optimise the output by diversifying your network of callaborators?

IBM advances quantum computing with Condor and Heron chips

Quantum Lab, IBM, US Quantum Lab, IBM, US

Global – IBM is pushing the boundaries of quantum computing with the introduction of Condor, the world’s largest quantum chip, boasting 1,121 qubits, and Heron, its highest-performing quantum chip to date, with 133 qubits.

Qubits, the fundamental units of information in quantum computing, can exist in multiple states simultaneously. This property enables quantum computers to tackle complex calculations that classical computers struggle with, potentially revolutionising fields like astronomy and medicine, as revealed in our market report on Quantum Futures: How Ready Are You?

IBM’s ambitious goal is to develop a 100,000-qubit system by 2033. Condor represents a significant milestone in this endeavour. In addition, Heron outperforms its predecessor, Eagle, by three to five times. Heron will be accessible to IBM customers via the company’s cloud platform.

IBM already deploys three Heron chips in its quantum computing platform, IBM Quantum System Two, at its Yorktown Heights laboratory in New York, furthering the advancement of quantum computing technology.

Strategic opportunity

As quantum technology advances, its role in environmental technology is becoming increasingly significant. Its ability to lower energy use positions it as a key player in sustainable development. Consider how to integrate this technology into your business to formulate a greener eco-system

Stat: UK deep tech landscape reveals gender disparity in founder teams

Photography by RF._.studio, South Africa Photography by RF._.studio, South Africa

UK – A new report commissioned by the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub sheds light on the UK’s deep tech sector, which encompasses nearly 3,500 companies specialising in emerging technologies including AI, robotics and virtual reality. This comprehensive analysis, the first of its kind, reveals a stark gender disparity in the sector.

While deep tech thrives in the UK, with its roots in cutting-edge engineering and scientific innovations, the report highlights a significant gender gap. More than 77% of founding teams are all male, with mixed-gender teams comprising just 15%, and all-women teams a mere 7.5%. This disparity is more pronounced than in the broader high-growth technology sector.

The report suggests that factors contributing to this gender gap include historically low STEM enrolment rates among women and potential biases in investor attitudes. It also underlines the need for stronger support structures for women entrepreneurs and tomorrow’s leadership in the deep tech sector.

Strategic opportunity

As a business, consider how you can better invest in the professional success of your women employees. Can you offer programmes, short courses and other educational tools that are flexible for working mothers to upskill? Can you bridge the STEM gap in your organisation?

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