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Three brands in search of Olympic gold | The week ahead, BoF Professional

NEW BRANDS ON THE OLYMPIC STAGE

  • Summer Olympics open in Tokyo on July 23, after one year delay due to pandemic

  • No fans will be allowed at Olympic venues due to Covid restrictions

  • Telfar, Skims and Athleta are some of the brands looking to get the most out of games

The Olympics are a gargantuan fashion opportunity, although it’s usually brands with international marketing budgets able to match the scale of the games that benefit the most. Nike, Adidas and other top sportswear brands cover events with their logos and showcase their latest in-competition performance gear. Ralph Lauren has used the uniforms worn by American athletes during the opening and closing ceremonies to boost its all-American branding since 2008.

But there are a few newcomers to the Olympic scene this year, each with their own plans to make a splash. Telfar sponsors the Liberian team and designs their uniforms (designer Telfar Clemens emigrated from the West African country when he was five). The brand will take advantage of the event to create a buzz for an upcoming sport-inspired collection, including training equipment. Meanwhile, American athletes will wear Skims, the shapewear brand launched by Kim Kardashian in 2019, under their Ralph Lauren and Nike. With its body-positive and racially inclusive message, the brand claims the next generation’s position on Americana. And Athleta, the Gap-owned women’s sportswear brand, has signed two of America’s most prominent Olympic athletes, track star Allyson Felix and gymnast Simone Biles. Both are at the heart of Gap’s plans to double Athleta’s sales to $ 2 billion by 2023 amid a boom in women’s sport.

The bottom line: The pandemic is creating complications for fashion brands looking to capitalize on the Olympics. There will be no crowds in the pits, limiting on-site activations. And the audience at home may be smaller; most major sporting events have seen their television audiences shrink since the start of the pandemic.

APPLICATION OF THE RULES

  • UK set to lift most remaining pandemic restrictions on July 19

  • Parts of France and Italy are imposing new rules on gatherings and masks as the Delta variant spreads

  • Retailers often have to enforce masks and proof of vaccination themselves

The arrival of ‘Freedom Day’ in the UK, when the last lockdown restrictions are lifted, marks the return of nightclubs and maskless shopping, two welcome developments in some fashion circles. It also signals the start of a period of confusion for UK retailers, who will need to define and enforce their own mask rules. In the United States, where most mask mandates were lifted weeks ago, the transition has gone relatively smoothly. (At least if there was a repeat of last year’s wave of maskless shoppers lashing out at terrified store workers, it hasn’t made the rounds on YouTube.) British brands also have an easier time than their counterparts in France, which may soon require proof of vaccination to enter public spaces. Whether it’s checking masks or vaccination cards, it’s a big demand to require salespeople to play bouncer as well.

The bottom line: Even a gradual return to a pre-pandemic shopping experience has been a huge relief for retailers, with sales rebounding quickly. It’s worth putting up with a few more months of awkward encounters with clients who break the rules.

The Week Ahead wants to hear from you! Send tips, suggestions, complaints and compliments to [email protected].

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Wasted fashion: the need for eco-reinvention in the fashion industry

Sustainability is one of the most popular words in all industries right now. The fashion industry is among the most affected, with every designer taking it into account. Building a label while remaining environmentally conscious is not always an easy task, but it is a necessity.

Sustainability in the fashion industry is extremely important, being the second largest polluter in the world. Many big brands in the industry started out with little recognition for environmental sustainability, but the overwhelming discussion surrounding the devastating impacts of fast fashion has sparked backlashes from all sides. Brands have taken and are taking measures to combat the impact of their activities on the environment.

Quick mode

Fast fashion is arguably the biggest problem in the fashion industry. This trend fosters an increasing demand for new garments, which are produced quickly and inexpensively to maintain the cycle of increasing demand. This production trend responds to the preferences and choices of millennials. Analysis posted by Betway showed the serious impacts of fast fashion on our environment. The fight against the devastating effects of the fashion industry must begin with the elimination of fast fashion.

Scary future

If the impacts of the fashion industry are not combated, the future looks bleak for even the most optimistic person. Climate change, global warming and water scarcity are some of the biggest problems in stock. Therefore, eco-reinvention becomes necessary in the fashion industry.

Do more with less

Global resources are overly stretched, so finding ways to do more with less becomes critical. For example, a lot of water is consumed in the dyeing process, but a brand has found a way to remove the water from the process, saving the world from possible water shortage in the future.

Likewise, consumers have to wear longer with less clothing, hence the need to show a preference for high quality materials over cheap fast fashion products. This means a drop in demand for new clothes and a drop in waste going to landfill.

No longer works as usual

The fashion industry must move quickly towards sustainability as consumer attitudes change. Buying habits are changing – brands need to find ways to eliminate processes that are not environmentally friendly and be very transparent.

Transparency

Consumers are now asking questions about the materials used, sources and production processes. Fashion brands should clearly indicate these details on their websites.

Brands that impressed

Some big fashion brands have shown impressive commitments to going greener – using renewable energy sources, recycling water, etc.

Nike and Adidas

These two sports giants control a large chunk of the market, with combined sales of around $ 50 billion in 2019. Adidas is ditching plastic in all of its offices while recycled materials are used for 75% of footwear and Nike clothing.

Zara

This Spanish brand has also achieved impressive feats and announced that all sustainable fabrics will be used for all of its clothing from 2025.

H&M is the fourth brand on the Betway List.

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Danielle Nicole Brand and Care Bears Collaborate On Bags – WWD

These colorful and cheerful Care Bears, famous on television and in the cinema, were molded in a line of handbags created by the Danielle Nicole brand.

The collection’s official launch takes place Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Montauk Sundae Donuts store in Long Island, NY, with a dozen influencers pictured with the Care Bear bags.

Faithful to the spirit of multicolored Care Bears and the new collection, influencers will receive DIY donut kits. “With a rainbow of frosting and sprinkles, guests will be able to create their own Danielle Nicole donut, inspired by my new Care Bears collection. I can’t wait to be there, ”said Danielle DiFerdinando, Founder and President of Danielle Nicole. “The Care Bears collection is extremely colorful and the donut kits are filled with vibrant colors to bring joy to your day. After decorating the donuts, influencers will have lunch at the Surf Lodge in Montauk.

The collection, priced at $ 68 to $ 88, is sold in the United States and Europe on Danielle-Nicole.com. It will also be available for retail sale at specialty stores in the United States and on EB Games Australia.

Danielle Nicole’s “Funshine” Care Bears backpack.

Care Bears appeared in the early 1980s on greeting cards, and later in a series of animated TV shows and feature films. Most recently, the Care Bears could be seen in Care Bears & Cousins, an original CGI animated series from Netflix which launched in the fall of 2015 and Care Bears: Unlock the Magic, a 2D animated series which launched in 2019 on Tiny Pop in the UK. Uni and Boomerang and Cartoon Network in the United States

“There is a very happy and whimsical message with the collection, and it’s important as we come out of the pandemic,” said DiFerdinando. “Care Bears radiate positivity and empowerment in their storytelling. “

The Care Bears collection further expands the Danielle Nicole brand’s ties to pop culture and character depictions from Disney, Warner Bros., Marvel and Nintendo action and animated films on handbag designs . Cloudco Entertainment, formerly American Greetings Entertainment, is the owner of Care Bears and other entertainment properties such as Holly Hobbie and Madballs.

The Care Bears range of bags includes the “Love-a-Lot Bear” shoulder bag in shades of pink and red with faux sheepskin fur; the “Cheer Bear Backpack” with a rainbow strap; the ‘Cloud Crossbody’ designed with dreamy clouds, rainbow details and the bright yellow ‘Funshine Bear’ faux fur backpack.

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“He’s a star, Gap takes advantage”: Will Kanye West save the clothing giant? | Fashion

The Gap has released the second article of their collaboration with Kanye West’s label Yeezy. A black down jacket called “go round” jacket, which the rapper wore at the Balenciaga couture show, follows the electric blue down jacket which went on sale in June.

Insiders hope the collaboration will reverse the fortunes of the retail giant and the signs are positive. The lost persimmon house $ 62 million (£ 45million) in the third quarter of last year, according to Women’s Wear Daily, and confirmed plans to close all of its 81 physical stores in the UK and Ireland. But after the news of West’s collaboration with the company, announced in June 2020, the Gap share price jumped as much as 40%, according to CNBC, adding $ 700 million in brand value. Last week, financial services firm Wells Fargo told CNBC the collaboration could net the company $ 1 billion in its first year of sales.

The Yeezy X Gap will sell clothing for men, women, and kids, but it’s West’s hoodies that insiders say will be the gem of the collaboration.

“The good thing for Gap is that Kanye still has enough fans for the hoodies to generate sales,” says Ronda Racha Penrice, author and associate editor of Rap Pages. As part of the tie-up, Yeezy, a brand known for its raised hoodies, will reap the benefits of the boom in comfort clothing such as velor tracksuits and sweatpants brought on by the pandemic. Before the pandemic, West told the the Wall Street newspaper: “The hoodie is arguably the most important piece of clothing of the past decade.”

Rhapsody in pale blue? Yeezy X Gap round jacket. Photography: Gap Inc

The collaboration could also allow the entrepreneur to unleash his mainstream fashion dreams. In that same interview, he said he believed, “Yeezy is McDonald’s and the apple of clothing.”

“Kanye always wanted to work on a big mainstream platform,” says Jeff Carvalho, editor of streetwear website Highsnobiety. “Gap is about as common as it gets in shopping malls, and product accessibility has long been one of its mantras. Going mainstream is the new trend in lifestyle brands.

Arby Li, editor-in-chief of men’s fashion site Hypebeast, says this “shouldn’t diminish” Yeezy’s value. “When his line of shoes was first launched he said that anyone who wanted to buy a pair could possibly do so and that statement came true, which is very interesting in a culture that focuses on limited outings, ”he says.

Kanye West wearing the 'go round' jacket at the Balenciaga show in Paris last week.
Kanye West wearing the ‘go round’ jacket at the Balenciaga show in Paris last week. Photograph: JM Haedrich / Sipa / Rex / Shutterstock

It will also benefit Gap, which recently announced a home clothing line, which will be stocked by Walmart. “From a public relations perspective, Gap is already paying off,” says Racha Penrice. Despite her pro-Trump allegiances and controversial slavery comments, both of which have alienated fans, she believes it won’t affect Yeezy X Gap sales. “He’s still a star and now Gap is enjoying it,” she said. “We’re talking about Gap here and it’s been mentioned quite a bit on social media, not to mention influential posts, so it looks like a promising partnership.”

Indeed, West is determined to make the collaboration work, the products of which are expected to be released this year. “I spoke to Yeezy and he is very, very focused on this incredible opportunity,” said Sonia Syngal, Managing Director of Gap. Fashion business.

“[It will] provide a balance for both, ”says Racha Penrice. “With Yeezy becoming slightly more approachable while still giving Gap an edge that he had been lacking for some time now. “

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‘All clothes are handmade’: migrant workers behind Australian fashion | Australian fashion

Thanks to the pandemic, many of us now know both the benefits and the dangers of working from home.

It’s an old hat in the clothing business: For decades the Australian fashion industry relied on the work of outside workers who sewed in their living rooms, kitchens and sheds. This hidden workforce is mainly made up of new migrants who pick up orders by word of mouth.

For Emma Do, a fashion editor who has worked for Frankie and Broadsheet, it was an eye opener to discover Vietnamese names and faces behind many well-known brands.

“I was like, wow, are Asians all the rage in Australia? She remembers. “I was just used to seeing white designers being the face of everything.”

As she learned more about outdoor work, she began to piece together memories. She remembers how her best friend in college gave her a free Sass & Bide t-shirt, because in the mid-2000s while her friend was in high school, her great aunt sewed them as an outside worker for the brand. (Sass & Bide were subsequently acquired by Myer, and list their current online manufacturing and sourcing policies).

During the lockdown, Do teamed up with illustrator Kim Lam to create Work from home, or mai nhà, a non-fictional graphic narrative book exploring the stories of Vietnamese workers past and present. Supported by the Australian Council for the Arts, the book launched in April 2021 with a limited edition. It is already in its third edition.

Lam’s parents both worked in textile factories, and she was often looked after by outside workers as they grew up. She remembers the smell of machine oil, cold rooms with concrete or tiled floors (so it was easier to sweep away loose fibers), with SBS Vietnamese or Paris by Night in the background. Once she hit her head and an aunt pressed her cold sewing scissors to her forehead instead of an ice pack.

A timeline of the work of the Australian garment industry from the graphic novel by Emma Do and Kim Lam.

For many new migrants, especially women, working from home offers an opportunity to earn money while juggling parental and family responsibilities. Often, work becomes a family affair.

“My husband helped, and even my daughter helped trim,” recalls Nguyet Nguyen, who worked from home as a machinist for over 20 years, starting in the late 1980s when her daughter was little. She had learned to sew in Vietnam and she did not want to send her daughter to daycare.

Now an organizer of the textile, clothing and footwear industry within the manufacturing division of CFMEU, Nguyet has participated in historic changes in the industry that have improved conditions for homeworkers.

Instead of being paid piecework as contractors, Australian outside workers are entitled to hourly rates based on clothing estimate, as well as retirement pension, sick leave, annual leave and all other award conditions received by on-site employees.

This significant victory came in 2012 and could perhaps be a lesson for today’s odd-job economy: the food delivery industry has recently been in the spotlight, accused of exploiting migrant workers classified as subcontractors; on farms, reports indicate that piece rate payment has caused some workers to less than $ 2 an hour.

“Our industry was one of the first to experience fictitious contracts,” says Beth Macpherson, CFMEU’s national compliance manager for textiles, clothing and footwear. “I hope the structure we have developed is something that other industries can build on.”

Stories of Vietnamese garment workers in Australia
Stories of Vietnamese garment workers in Australia. Photography: Emma Do and Kim Lam

Despite these major changes to the price of the textile industry, Macpherson says illegal and exploitative practices sometimes make persist. “Companies know they’re doing the wrong thing, but they think no one will ever know because the worker is in hiding and doesn’t speak English.

Union organizers are encouraging local businesses to undergo audit and accreditation through Ethical Clothing Australia to show they are committed to paying and treating workers fairly. Internationally, labor rights advocates urge big brands to re-engage in binding agreements such as the Bangladesh Accord, which will expire at the end of August.

For Do and Lam, it is important to draw attention to labor rights, but also to stress that exploitation is not the only story. While many of their outside workers interviewed were modest about their accomplishments, they were also proud of their skills, stoicism, and contribution to fashion.

“There is dignity in being able to do something out of nothing,” says Lam.

If there’s one thing she would like fashion lovers to remember, it’s that every piece of clothing is the result of human labor.

“All the clothes are handmade. They are not produced by machines. They are all made by one person – even the ones from Kmart.

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New data shows impact of pandemic on fashion retail

For many retailers, the repercussions of Covid-19 in the early stages impacted their businesses, much like an earthquake; flattened and in some cases completely destroyed.

A year and a half later, global markets are reaching various stages of recovery, and data from Edited shows how buying has evolved during the pandemic and what retailers can do to boost sales using their market intelligence.

Key points to remember

Store closures have accelerated the urgency for e-commerce innovation, resulting in dramatic year-over-year improvement for key performance indicators such as dead inventory units and average days to ship.

Lifestyle changes in quarantine and working from home have led agile retailers and brands to quickly adjust their mix of categories, moving from formal wear to comfortable wear.

As some brands restructure to offer affordable prices, luxury brands continue to get more expensive as investments exceed 2020 and 2019 levels.

The early days of the pandemic saw a discounting frenzy, which was not conducive to profitability or sales efficiency. 2021 discount levels have returned to closely mirror 2019 and improve profitability.

Switch to online shopping

Accenture figures show a 160% increase in the frequency of digital purchases by those who rarely purchased online before the pandemic. Retailers needed to quickly figure out how to move inventory to deliverable locations, increase warehouse inventory, expedite shipping, and avoid costly split shipments.

Decrease in dead stock

As stores closed and consumer demand dwindled, clothing retailers found themselves with high inventory levels. Looking at comparable fashion retailers and comparing April 2021 to April 2020, the inventory value associated with dead inventory is down 38.7%. This is due, in part, to the increased demand for fashion as vaccinations roll out and consumers shed their loungewear.

Faster shipping times

Beyond the reduction in dead inventory, retailers and fashion brands saw their warehouse investments pay off with a 21.4% reduction in the average number of shipping days. These are all very healthy signals for an industry that has been forced to innovate its supply chain and downsize its assortment to bring better-selling items to market.

3 big category changes

In August 2020, McKinsey & Company reported that global consumers expected more careful shopping and lower spending in major retail categories such as clothing, footwear, home furnishings, skin care and makeup. Groceries, home entertainment and household items were to be the beneficiaries of this shift in demand.

With no festivals, weddings, parties, reunions or gatherings to attend, agile retailers and fashion brands have responded to new WFH trends and virtual engagements by contracting formal wear in favor of leisure wear. Not surprisingly, sleepwear, athletic wear, and loungewear have emerged as category saviors.

The test of time

As vaccine distribution increases and governments begin to allow freer circulation, data from Edited shows consumers are embracing pre-pandemic categories, seen by growing demand for high heels, swimwear and clothing. blazers. Already, the spring 2022 collections are radically different from those of a year ago, and early sales data is showing positive signs of recovery.

Facts and figures courtesy

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Reassuringly, the biggest fashion brands are trying to bring back the elite | Fashion

The best designers are moving even further upmarket and raising their prices in an attempt to make up for losses during the pandemic, he emerged. The strategy takes advantage of a growing demand for luxury from the super-rich, many of whom got even richer during the pandemic.

The fashion industry came out of their forties in chic heels last week after an almost 18-month absence from live shows. How much the industry has changed was revealed at Fashion Week in Paris and, in a premiere by an African-American designer, in New York City. Apparently, in both cases, new methods of operating in a world changed economically and by the demands of racial justice

For some, like Chanel, this has meant increasing the price of handbags, first in May of last year, citing the cost of raw materials, and again this month, customers being asked to pay around 15% more. This comes after the decline in the company’s income 18% in 2020.

A recent industry report of Bernstein’s “untapped price increase reservoir” identified Rolex, Dior, Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton as brands that raised prices. The analysis found that the price of luxury bags had risen to twice the level of the broader Consumer Price Index over four decades. The top brands had translated the growth into rapid price increases in what Bernstein called an “unrealized price hike.”

Bernstein analyst Luca Solca said: “Most luxury brands have raised their prices during the pandemic in an attempt to cushion the impact of declining sales. Chanel has been particularly aggressive in this move. Highly desirable brands have the flexibility to raise prices if they wish. “This, Solca added,” has the advantage of reducing the risk of overwhelming the market and jeopardizing perceived exclusivity. “

While this may be the uncompromising business logic of luxury, one of the realities of the creative end is acting against decades of mass-market luxury, with brands wanting to become more exclusive, rarefied, and expensive enough to bear the costs. additional craftsmanship and durability.

Orsola de Castro, founder of Fashion Revolution, a fashion activism movement, said: “The luxury industry has to go back to a semblance of luxury because it has hardly been immune to the virus of poor quality and large quantity. There is so much wrong with luxury these days, but the main problem is the lack of transparency.

She added: “To imagine a truly luxurious luxury industry, they have to reinvent their parameters, get back to the essence of what luxury is – craftsmanship, respect for labor and human skills, and beautiful materials. . None of this can harm people and nature, if we are to regard it as a luxury item. In other words, goodbye to the discounted handbag, hello to the full price or better.

Last week Demna Gvasalia, the radical Georgian designer behind Balenciaga, who presented his first couture show in 50 years, said her fashion would lean towards a dressier style, but “not at all carpet-style. red”. This, according to the Guardian, is in part a response to the industry’s urgent need to “regain control of the fashion narrative” which has lost ground to trends led by Nike and Netflix, adding that “the reopening of haute couture represents Balenciaga taking the upper hand on these suitors “.

Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond is the first African-American to be invited to the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the governing body of the sewing system. Photograph: Megan Cencula / WWD / REX / Shutterstock

At the same time, a fashion show in New York City also offered an indication of how things are going. Elaine Brown, former president from the Black Panther Party, gave an uplifting speech to an audience that included Tracee Ellis Ross, actress and activist daughter of Diana Ross, and Bethann Hardison, the highly influential fashion activist, before a fashion show in Kerby Jean-Raymond, head of design label Pyer Moss, and the first African-American to be invited to the official Haute Couture Chamber of Commerce, the governing body of the sewing system.

The show, which was rescheduled to Saturday after the Hurricane Elsa front flooded the walkway and audiences, represents symbolic redress for an industry that has been criticized for its lack of diversity.

Lauren Preston, a consultant, said there have been improvements but “it won’t be genuine and genuine until you see the change at the top. It seems temporary from now on, but we’ll see. Designer Tatiana Franklin said, “Black designers like Kerby and Heron Preston are on board. But it can also be cultural appropriation as they still rob black designers and then put them on a pedestal. It’s interesting to see that and where the designs come from.

Chi Ossé, a newly elected progressive member of New York City Council in attendance at the show, said fashion has the power to change perspectives. “I think all fashion is black because it comes from streetwear and it starts in African American communities. For black fashion to be recognized it has to be bold and authentic, but we also need the resources that white designers have.

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Will conversational commerce be the next big thing in online shopping?

MTRYING IS A intimate way to share private opinions and feelings. It’s a whisper of a cocktail in digital form, as one user of WhatsApp, a service owned by Facebook, puts it. Today, some of the world’s biggest brands are venturing into this personal realm. Recognizing the limitations of conventional communication channels like call centers and email, a few years ago, companies started using WhatsApp and its sister app, Facebook Messenger, as well as Apple’s iMessage and apps. independent companies such as Line.

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The pandemic has given all of these applications a boost. Messages on Instagram, Facebook’s photo-sharing app and Messenger increased by 40%. Four-fifths of the time spent on mobile devices is now spent on chat applications. Businesses can usually be relied on to get to where customers are. Messaging has therefore become vital for businesses, not just experimental, says Javier Mata, founder of Yalo, a startup whose technology connects businesses to messaging platforms. Companies used to use them primarily for customer service. Now they want to get people to buy stuff through chat, like hundreds of millions of Chinese do on WeChat, owned by Tencent, China’s most powerful tech giant.

Since many popular messaging platforms are encrypted, transaction data is hard to come by. But growth is definitely happening. Over a billion people now interact with businesses via chat, not counting China. Every day, 175 million people send a message to WhatsApp work accounts (WhatsApp channels designed for businesses). Yalo’s customers include consumer goods giants such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, PepsiCo and Unilever, as well as Walmart, the world’s largest retailer. Apple Business Chat, launched in 2017, is used by Home Depot DIY stores, Hilton hotels and Burberry, a fashion brand. Facebook’s list includes Sephora, a cosmetics retailer, and IKEA, a furniture giant. LVMH, a French luxury goods conglomerate, is testing messaging, according to Jeroen van Glabbeek, CEO of CM.com, a Dutch conversational commerce platform.

C-commerce is already well established in Asia and Latin America, where inconsistent access to high-speed, high-quality devices puts e-commerce and business-specific applications beyond the reach of many. Now, Western consumers are starting to appreciate the ease, speed, personalization, and convenience of messaging. For businesses, the return on investment seems higher for messaging than for call center exchanges or messaging channels, says Emile Litvak, head of corporate messaging at Facebook.

Promoters of commercial messaging say e-commerce will replace e-commerce within a decade or two. But messaging is best understood as a refinement of e-commerce and a sibling of “social commerce” (social media shopping). Most messaging conversations between large businesses and consumers start from corporate e-commerce websites that have a “click to send” button. Many start on social media.

In some ways, c-commerce is a throwback to the past. Besides mail order and its modern look, online shopping, commerce has been built on conversation for millennia. However, there are new elements in corporate messaging. It’s more personalized than SMS marketing, which itself has been successful in recent years in America and Europe. Automatic messaging goes beyond rudimentary chatbots, which have been around since the mid-2010s. Artificial intelligence (AI) improves in the unstructured interactions that buyers had with expert retail assistants.

For now, says Marc Lore, who led Walmart’s digital efforts, a lot of commercial messages have humans in the loop. In the future, he believes, AI will be able to meet hazy customer requests such as “give me a birthday toy for a five year old around science education for about $ 40” by suggesting choices and completing the transaction by a few seconds. And when AI improves in natural dialogue, such as after learning from human interactions, consumer-to-business messaging can look like JARVIS, Tony Stark’s digital butler in the then pretty close Marvel comics.

Until then, companies must move forward with delicacy. Filled with family and friends, chat apps are emotional spaces, says Robert Bennett, CEO from Rehab, an agency that helps brands reach consumers digitally. Try selling some yoga leggings to someone after a trade with their mom, he says, and your business could end up going down faster than an ex. But do it right – think of a sweet reminder of an herbal tea vendor’s evening meditation – and the rewards look tasty.

This article appeared in the Business section of the print edition under the title “Lines of Discussion”

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‘Stay Wired’ says new British Athleisure, Tech Brand Prevayl – WWD

LONDON – New UK label Prevayl seeks to take the sport to another level with technology built into clothing, allowing it to collect data and monitor the wearer’s training performance.

Ahead of its official launch later this year, Prevayl raised £ 7.5million from Stonebridge, which has also invested in Simba Sleep, Mahabis and Torque Brands. Funds will go towards innovation, infrastructure and team building as the company seeks to help consumers – not just elite athletes or sports professionals – train smarter and better.

Prevayl said he is looking to create state-of-the-art labs and fitness areas with data testing facilities and invest in clothing design, continuous innovation and the creation of intellectual property. .

The company, founded by Adam Crofts and David Newns, incorporates graphene into its design-driven smart clothing, which also includes sensors and streaming data to a dedicated app. The founders come from technology and sport, and the company’s base is in the historic textile and clothing center of Manchester, England.

Crofts, who is Managing Director, oversees a team of apparel designers, hardware developers, intellectual property experts and marketers, with past experience at GymShark, The Hut Group, VF Corporation, Lacoste and Burberry.

Newns, the president of the company, has filed over 800 patents during his career and is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He is one of the founders of Nerudia, based in Liverpool, England, which develops alternative nicotine products for smokers, and electronic cigarette developer CN Creative Group, which he ultimately sold.

The company noted that Prevayl is one of the top 10 UK patent applicants across all industries.

The brand’s offering will include clothing, equipment and app, and it promises “meticulous analysis and analysis of the body,” including comprehensive EKG data, cardio age and heart function.

Built-in technology also measures a person’s respiratory state and can recognize dysfunctional breathing and stress levels. In addition, it can measure core temperature, energy expenditure, hydration and monitor body positioning during a workout.

In an interview, Crofts, a former personal trainer, said the technology also lets people know if they are at risk of injury, as well as their stress levels. He argued that the average hobbyist has limited access to this kind of detailed data from conventional portable technological devices.

Prevayl said third-party accuracy testing is provided by Salford University and Manchester Metropolitan University, and the technology has also been tested on fighter pilots.

Tank tops, crop tops, and T-shirts will each cost around £ 90. The brand will also operate a subscription service, which includes the app and hardware for £ 200 per year. Next year, he plans to expand the clothing collection to include more daywear, loungewear and athletic pieces, all of which will have the technology built in.

Crofts said that even when people are at rest, the sensors will be able to track breathing, movement, heartbeat and stress levels. He said the brand is keen to integrate its technology into the wellness space as well.

The company also estimates that there are open opportunities in the sportswear market, indicating that Global Data’s forecast is expected to rise nearly 21% by 2023 to reach £ 6.7 billion.

The clothes are available in matte black with taped seams and a discreet branding. The sensors are connected by invisible stainless steel wires, surrounded by a wire that expands with heat to keep them close to the body.

The sensors are held in an internal panel that sits under the bra in the women’s crop top and around the chest in the men’s tank top. They sense the wearer’s heart rate and breathing rate, while a small LED light alerts the user to battery life, which lasts up to 24 hours.

James Cox, Managing Partner at Stonebridge, said: “What the company has created over the past 24 months is pretty amazing and falls in just the right place of what we think consumers want. The founders are world class and are well on their way to disrupting another great global market and were thrilled that we could be a part of this journey with them. “

Prevayl isn’t the only sports technology company attracting significant pre-launch funding. Wednesday, Arena Innovation Corp. secured $ 5.2 million in seed funding to launch a new resistance training product.

Courtside Ventures, Powerhouse Capital and Wellness Holding made major contributions. Angel investors included Lavinia Errico, co-founder of Equinox, Anthony and Joe Vennare of Fitt Insider and brothers, New York Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios and Ekso Bionics co-founder Russ Angold.

The company describes the Arena fitness platform as a “portable robotic device for dynamic resistance training.” The platform is capable of generating over 200 pounds of resistance, which users can control. Users can also take training classes through the Arena smartphone app and train with hundreds of exercise movements.

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Fashion Scholarship Fund Winners | U Daily

Emma Davis, from Ellicott City, Maryland, has chosen to highlight the importance of mental health and suicide prevention initiatives by creating a fictional collection of sportswear for sale through Kohl’s in partnership with Under Armor.

“I chose the sportswear industry because your overall health isn’t just your physical health, it’s also a combination of your mental health,” Davis said.

With purple and teal as the dominant color patterns in his proposed hobby line (a nod to the coloring of the suicide prevention tape), Davis’s plan also included in-store ties such as workshops, yoga sessions and interactive activities to raise awareness about mental health.

“Fashion can be used and applied in so many different ways, just like it can bring people together in so many ways,” said Davis.

Shaffer said participating in the competition requires extra time.

“Students really had to balance their classes, online learning, and that engagement at the same time,” Shaffer said. “For Meera, Sabrina and Emma, ​​the hard work and Zoom calls have certainly paid off.”

Each of the students cited Shaffer’s role as faculty mentor as a key piece of the puzzle when it came to their success. They also stressed the importance of the hands-on approach that the Department of Fashion and Clothing Studies advocates in the classroom.

“As a fashion merchandising specialization, a lot of our academic work is project-based, but it literally took what we had learned in the classroom and applied it from start to finish,” Davis said. “We had to ask ourselves: how am I going to make this product, market it and execute it? In the future, I know that this experience will make us excellent candidates for our entry into the job market.

Connections and contacts

“Not only do students get a scholarship, but becoming part of the FSF family really opens up a lot of doors for them,” said Shaffer, who advises UD students interested in entering the organization’s case study competition. .

Lee is one of many UD students who have benefited from the networking and mentoring opportunities available to competing students and winners. Through his relationship with the FSF, Lee secured an internship with Ross Stores in the summer of 2020 and a full-time position as a Site Planning Analyst after graduation.

“Each year, the organization hosts a gala to celebrate the scholarship winners,” Lee said. “What was really exciting was that last year I met Ross Stores CEO Barbara Rentler herself which is really cool. It’s something I never thought I could do just by participating in an extracurricular activity.

Lee also benefited from the organization’s mentoring program, which matched her with a professional fashion industry buyer.

“In addition to the networking aspect, programs like this help you bond with people that will last a lifetime,” Lee said of his experience.

Davis said, “It’s not winning the scholarship and that’s it. You really are in this community for the long haul.

Department of Fashion and Clothing Studies

the Department of Fashion and Clothing Studies at UD is recognized for its rigorous undergraduate programs in fashion design and product innovation, fashion merchandising and management, internationally renowned graduate program, award-winning professional and academic training programs. The department’s strengths in cutting-edge technology, global experiences, industrial relations and mentoring are complemented by its significant collaborations within the University of Delaware, with international institutions and in the fashion and clothing industries. the manufacture of textiles.

Fashion scholarship fund

As the oldest and largest non-profit education and workforce development organization in the country, the Fashion scholarship fund supports the careers of the country’s most promising fashion students from all walks of life. It awards more than $ 1.2 million in scholarships annually to help students succeed in all areas of the industry: design, merchandising, analysis, retail, technology and supply chain. UD students interested in participating in the 2021 Fashion Scholarship Fund case study are encouraged to contact Brenda Shaffer.

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