Payless recently took over a former Armani store to prove that good shoes don’t need to be expensive.
The shoe retailer slapped on a new name for the storefront and gave its discounted shoes inflated designer prices.
About $3,000 worth of shoes sold within a few hours and after the shoppers paid, staffers told them that the shoes were from Payless.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” one customer said.
The buyers got their money back and free shoes.
The ad company, which assisted with the event, said Payless “wanted to push the social experiment genre to new extremes, while simultaneously using it to make a cultural statement.”
Lil Miquela has 1.5 million followers on Instagram. She’s 19-years-old, based in Los Angeles, a model and a musician.
The thing is, she’s also not real.
This computer-generated supermodel is the digital brainchild of an LA-based agency called Brud, which has recently received around $6 million in its latest funding round, led by Silicon Valley investors including Sequoia Capital.
That comes off the back of the fact that Lil Miquela, otherwise known as their resident “influencer”, make-believe though she is, is receiving real work.
Out front hiring her and various others that have been created, is the fashion industry, with brands from Balmain, Dior, Prada and Louis Vuitton having all jumped on the virtual avatar train.
Most recently, Lil Miquela featured in UGG’s 40th anniversary campaign, blending in seamlessly alongside two real-life influencers as though she were a natural part of the cast. For the unsuspecting onlooker, it’s not immediately clear she’s not.
The question is, do CGI models hold true value for such businesses, or is this just a fad? On the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent, I debate the topic with tech expert, Liz Bacelar
In times of strife and struggle, Russia has always placed its biggest trust in human resources. “We’re rich in minerals and minds,” goes an old saying. While the population of the world’s largest (by territory) nation has steadily declined since independence in 1991, recent years have marked a potential reversal of fortunes with 0.05% growth recorded in 2017. The government aims to prevent the dreaded brain drain, but it’s the creative industries that often are the most flexible to adapt to new challenges.
One of Russia’s leading fashion designers Igor Gulyaev closed MBFW Russia with a blockbuster show inclusive of his Insta-famous cat!Courtesy of MBFW Russia
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia just took place in Moscow in October 13-17. Its Fashion Futurum program is an example of successful strategic support for emergent talent within a specific economic sector. Last year, the organizing committee co-launched FashionNet as part of the National Technology Initiative to boost domestic apparel market coverage up to 70% by 2035. While all eyes were on the fashion capital’s brightest stars Yasya Minochkina, Pirosmani, Artem Shumov, Alena Akhmadullina and Igor Gulyaev, we decided to spend time with the participants of the Fashion Futurum Accelerator, a program that helps promising designers set up a business from scratch. These future stars spend the past couple months in an intense mentorship program in Moscow working alongside established brand managers, buyers, investors and consultants to perfect their vision and set up sustainable production and retail channels. In between the shows, I asked them what participation in the Accelerator meant for them as they prepared to develop and present their full debut collections next season as part of the platform.
Meghan and Harry visit Courtnay Creative for an event celebrating the city’s thriving arts scene in Wellington, New Zealand Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage
Pregnant and radiant, with her winning smile, intelligence and down-to-earth warmth, Meghan Markle has been unquestionably the star of the first official extended overseas royal trip she and Prince Harry are taking for 16 days to cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
Meghan visits Courtnay Creative for an event celebrating the city’s thriving arts scene in Wellington. Considered one of the best looks of the tour, this white tuxedo dress with adjustable buttons by New Zealand-based designer Maggie Marilyn was custom-made for Meghan. The blue shoes are Manolo Blahnik Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage
“Australian designers get a taste of the ‘Meghan Effect’ after the Duchess of Sussex championed a spate of local names during the royal tour,” WWD wrote in an article about “Meghan Mania” sweeping Australia, and the fact that she included a number of local labels in her tour wardrobe, “alongside international brands as Brandon Maxwell, Jason Wu, Roksanda Ilincic, Stuart Weitzman, Manolo Blahnik, Gucci and Birks.”
Pedestrians are reflected in a mirror as signage for Dolce & Gabbana Srl is displayed at the company’s store on Canton Road in the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Hong Kong, China. (Photocredit: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg).© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP
Trust matters. And, with Dolce & Gabbana (D&G), the Italian luxury fashion house, having its products withdrawn from Chinese e-commerce sites as a backlash grows against a controversial advertising campaign showing videos a Chinese model struggling to eat pasta and pizza with chopsticks, one wonders what Milan-based D&G was actually thinking.
China represents one of the biggest luxury markets globally. Indeed, according to a recent report by the consultancy Bain & Company, the luxury goods market in mainland China has been forecast to grow by 20%-22% this year, with the country accounting for the bulk of the global growth this year that has been put at 6%-8% and reach €276-€281 billion (c.$313-$319 billion).
And, by 2025 that number could swell to $390 billion (c.$442 billion), the Bain & Company study has posited. Hardly small fry.
Now this all rather resonated with me as this past week I was in Milan, the fashion capital of Italy, and one of the so-called “Big 4” along with New York, Paris and London, attending an event focussed on corporate communications and branding.
It is not the first time D&G has courted controversy. D&G sparked controversy in 2016 when it described an item of footwear in its spring/summer collection a “slave sandal.”
And, last April the brand posted a campaign on Weibo, which depicted impoverished people in run-down areas of Beijing pictured with D&G models ahead of a catwalk show in the city. The images were slammed for stereotyping Chinese history by showing old parts of the city, as opposed to more modern depictions of Beijing.
Local celebrities had called for the brand to be boycotted amid brand crisis deepening when messages allegedly written by D&G co-founder Stefano Gabbana, which included dubious and offensive comments about Chinese people, went viral.
How often are you satisfied with the size and fit of your online purchases? In the past few years, return rates for clothing purchased online have reached close to 40%. In a poll reported on by BBC, 56% of respondents who purchased clothing online six months prior to May 2016 said they had returned at least one item. Apparel Magazine reports that 70% of all online clothing returns are caused by problems with fit.
In the U.S., online apparel sales accounted for more than 25% of overall apparel sales in 2017. But why do people shop online even though they have to return clothing that does not fit? How many more people would shop online if they could be certain about fit and size?
As retailers play with free delivery and free returns even if it hurts their business, the cost of returns continues to grow along with the rate of returns. Currently, each order sent back costs retailers from $3 to $12.
The number of returned goods also has a negative impact on the environment. The destruction of unsold and returned garments, especially in the luxury sector, has caused people to ask questions. The fashion industry is known as one of the largest polluters in the world.
Based on my research into the struggles of today’s retailers and what I’ve learned founding a company that develops 3D body modeling technology, I believe that solving fit problems could result in growth in the number of online shoppers, reduced returns and less waste. Thankfully, I’ve been observing innovations coming out of the technology sector that could help make significant progress in solving this industrywide issue.