Read Anita Tillman’s (Managing Partner, Premium Group) below…
“We have carried out market research and surveyed exhibitors, partners and buyers on the current circumstances. The objective was to obtain a data-based assessment of the current economic situation, a summary of the success of the exclusively digital events, and insights into the requirements of our network with regard to the physical trade shows. Following analysis of the data gathered we have established that there is a personal wish for an event to happen inclusive of the appropriate hygiene measures however, this is unfortunately not currently possible from a professional perspective. As long as there are delays to production and constantly changing travel and contact restrictions in place, we cannot put on any trade shows, conferences or events that would meet our demands or the demands of our exhibitors.
We have therefore decided not to hold PREMIUM, SEEK, FASHIONTECH next January. This was an incredibly difficult decision to make. Especially because we didn’t want to say goodbye to Berlin without a fitting farewell.
Now, though, it’s about looking forward and concentrating on what is certain: Frankfurt Fashion Week, which we will be staging in July 2021 together with Messe Frankfurt, the City of Frankfurt and the region of Hessen. We have big plans and are working on a new, fresh start not only for us, but also for all stakeholders in the fashion industry, nationally and internationally.
Another press conference is planned for the end of November, when we shall be introducing new concepts, partners and event formats. Preparations are already in full swing: we are having numerous discussions, sitting in workshops, activating partners, designers, publishers, politics and society so as to get a unique, fully formed event successfully up and running. Expectations are huge and we intend to satisfy them. We are putting all our energy into this future-focussed project.”
In the coming year, ISPO Munich will take place February 1-5, completely online. In close cooperation with the branch and with consideration for the current development of the coronavirus, Messe München has decided to conduct the event completely digitally. By doing so, the world’s leading sports business platform will be beneficial for all participants, regardless of international travel restrictions. The event format will build upon the positive results of the virtual ISPO Re.Start Days in June 2020. It will offer opportunities for brand and product presentation, for discussion and networking as well as maintenance of international business relationships.
At the center of the five-day digital event stands the key topics of creativity and digitization, health and sustainability. The ISPO Munich Online conference program will offer numerous opportunities for discussion and interaction. In particular, the importance of sports and outdoor activities, and their connection to health, has been on the rise since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. In turn, this has increased the need for a platform where the core brands, key players and top athletes can connect and garner inspiration.
The Hotel Splendid Royal in Lugano hosted, on October 20, the second edition of the Excellence Green Night, an event organized by the Swiss magazine Excellence and dedicated to the organizations that, in various sectors, have distinguished themselves for their commitment to social
responsibility and environmental protection.
Eileen Akbaraly, entrepreneur and CEO of the Made For A Woman brand, received the Green Award for sustainable fashion for her slow luxury fashion project, a social enterprise whose aim is to improve the lives of the most vulnerable women by giving them a voice through the traditional art of weaving.
“Made For A Woman is a luxury accessories brand founded in 2019 among the bright colors of Madagascar, my native country, a splendid garden of Eden whose population often lives in misery. I am convinced that women are the pillars of society and our mission is their empowerment. We want to give them a better future and help them achieve their goals through the creation of precious accessories in raphia”, comments Eileen Akbaraly, designer and founder of the project
On December 8, the first launch of Tommy’s Drop Shop, in limited edition, will be available on tommy.com. Tommy Hilfiger launches Tommy’s Drop Shop, a limited cooperation concept of the brand for creative people from all areas of the pop culture community. Tommy’s Drop Shop aims to demonstrate the importance of creative diversity by celebrating the rich diversity of people, voices and cultures that makes the world a vibrant and inspiring place. Each shared micro-capsule will focus on stories from a specific area of cultural creativity – all creative minds willing to express themselves through the canvas of t-shirts and hoodies can participate.
The first release of Tommy’s Drop Shop will be available in Europe in limited quantities exclusively on tommy.com on December 8, 2020.
“We want to celebrate creative people in every discipline, from every community. It’s about providing a platform for artists to tell their stories and sharing this spirit of constant innovation and creative expression with their fans” – Tommy Hifliger
After the obligatory stop in March caused by the COVID-19 emergency, Mipel Leathergoods Showroom took place and became Silent Mipel Showroom in Seoul.
The pandemic made it necessary to revise the well-established format created by Assopellettieri with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ITA-Italian Trade Agency which is taking place from 20th to 26th October 2020 in High Street, Seoul and will see the participation of 21 Italian brands.
Companies are protagonists with their SS2021 collections exhibited in Seoul and entrepreneurs, even if not physically present, are able to “meet” buyers and the Korean press through virtual sessions of “Meet the Brands”.
“The Silent Mipel Showroom in Seoul is an example of how it is possible to continue to support companies and do business in this moment of profound crisis, while not moving from the national territory – comments President Franco Gabbrielli -, we are proud to say that this format, conceived by us together with the precious partnership with ITA- Italian Trade Agency and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, is the first ever in the Italian fashion scene to be landed across the border and come to life with these characteristics. Korean buyers and press will be able to enjoy live, in physical presence, the collections of our companies set up for the occasion in the spaces of the HIGH STREET Italia building in Seoul; the representatives of the brands, on the other hand, will connect in streaming according to a specific calendar and will have the opportunity to tell about themselves to the Korean world. An innovative format of which we are the forerunners and which we will certainly replicate on other international initiatives”.
Below we review some of the best apps and software platforms used by retailers and brands to bridge digital with physical customer experiences. The latter is crucial during unprecedented times as this is where all effort must go into optimising the customer journey and putting great emphasis on digital innovations.
STORE OCCUPANCY SOLUTIONS
Solutions that calculate the number of customers in your store are vital in a post-quarantine world. SmartOccupancy by retail tech firm Checkpoint combines the overhead people counting sensor Visiplus 3D with a cloud-based software portal, HALO. Similarly, Prodco, a company that specialises in footfall tracking, utilizes an advanced PC-3DR Stereoscopic camera at each entrance or interior zone, pushing entrance and exit count data (excluding staff and/or security guards) to cloud servers in real time. Suitable for buildings of all sizes, a SafeCount solution delivers live occupancy data with visual warnings and alerts when limits are approached or exceeded. If you are not yet ready for complex solutions but need to keep track of customers entering and exiting your store, there are plenty of simpler counter apps that work on Android, such as Counter Plus (free!), AllCounter or Klickr (under 6 EUR).
Aiming to make omnichannel easy for retailers as well as end consumers, Hero is a timely solution in an era when a lot of communications with customers need to happen remotely, yet need to feel personal. It allows staff to send photos, product videos and make video calls directly from the shop floor, giving shoppers the confidence they need to buy, and making them less likely to return items. Moreover, it enables the retailer to see what shoppers are browsing in real time as they move around the website and allows them send recommendations for other items straight into the chat. Already used by the likes of Harvey Nichols, Chloe and Diane von Furstenberg, Hero is backed by an impressive team of investors and advisors, including the former EVP, Technology at Macy’s and the Director of Commerce Partnerships at Google.
The ShoeFitter app designed by German company Formigas aims to bring returns down and boost customer satisfaction. With the help of Apple’s FaceID sensor, a feature of recent iPhone models, customers can scan their feet and use the measurements to check whether the chosen shoe will fit. This technology can be integrated into existing shopping apps or be used as a link connecting users to the ShoeFitter app. The company offers multiple schemes to retailers: Rental for a software development kit option, where brands and online retailers pay royalties to use the ShoeFitter functionality in their own e-commerce channels; an Affiliate scheme where end consumers utilizing the app are forwarded to an online or offline retailer, who pays up to 12% commission on the generated sales; and a Data insights scheme for companies that need access to shoe fitting intelligence to optimize and develop better fits for their footwear.
The spectrum of Prada Re-Nylon expands for 2020, offering ready-to-wear, footwear and accessories for men and women. An expansion of ideas, a broadening of scope and a re-commitment to responsible retail and sustainable business practices.
The Prada Re-Nylon collection is a groundbreaking evolution of the brand’s most recognisable signifier, nylon – an emblem of Prada’s distinct viewpoint on modern luxury, an industrial beauty, and contemporary life for more than four decades.
Re-Nylon is the next step in fabric technology and sustainable luxury – a textile that can be endlessly regenerated without loss of quality, a true cyclical luxury.
Prada presents the Prada Re-Nylon collection through a series of installations in its stores and original pop up stores in collaboration with the most prestigious malls in the world.
Among the others, the installations at Beijing SKP-S, the Epicenters of New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo and the pop up stores at Seoul Shinsegae Gangnam, Selfridges Manchester, Xian SKP, Vancouver Holt Renfrew, Shenzhen Bay MIXC, Bangkok Siam Paragon, Seoul Hyundai Pangyo.
The British Fashion Council has announced a new digital format for The Fashion Awards 2020, due to the restrictions imposed because of Covid-19.
The Fashion Awards 2020 will honour and celebrate the designers, brands, creatives and individuals who have created positive change within the fashion industry this year; from those who bravely faced this challenging period with pro-active responses to the global pandemic, showed leadership and creative resilience, to the ones who stood up against prejudice within the fashion industry and fight for change. The BFC is looking to shine a spotlight on those who made humanitarian efforts, adapted their business models and responded to their community’s needs.
Twenty individuals and brands will be recognised and receive a ‘2020 Fashion Award’ in honour of their specific contribution. They will be announced as part of a short film that will document the fashion industry in this extraordinary year, while bringing together a list of next generation opinion leaders and creatives to share their personal vision on the most important moments of 2020.
The current consumer mood is anxious, and the messages that might appeal to a customer today are completely different from those that appeared just last quarter. Great sensitivity is necessary in all communications. In a recent article on health crisis brand strategy, e-commerce selling platform Shopify recommended that brands reconsider whether their message seems “appropriate and considerate of the context we’re in”. Sellers need to be responsive to the current situation without being negative, while also being reassuring and authentically empathetic.
Being authentic means going beyond mere product presentation to offer an online experience that communicates the spirit and ethos of your store or brand. Retailers and designers have been posting uncharacteristically personal stories: for example, the owners of London-based online retailer Scout & Co. have been documenting the lives of their kids in lockdown in Instagram Stories and sharing the struggles that come with balancing home schooling and running a business – a challenge that most of their customers can relate to.
It is telling that advertising spend on social media has declined since the start of the year, according to Facebook’s recently released revenue report. As they reduce their paid advertising budget, brands are relying on organic social media content shared with their followers on Facebook and Instagram. For example, Epoque Evolution, a US-based sustainable leisurewear brand, is using social media content on Instagram to educate customers about their product range. The brand shares yoga classes, product giveaways and recipes on Instagram Live, thus becoming part of household life in ways that extend beyond a simple sales transaction.
It is important to remember that online is not the be all and end all of marketing. With their lives mostly happening in the digital realm under quarantine, custom- ers are longing for physical objects. Now is the time to advertise in exciting print media. Also, put creative effort into designing the windows for your bricks-and- mortar stores to wow those customers hungry for real-life experiences once lockdowns ease.
When entering the world of e-commerce, retailers often have to make a choice: do they sell their range through a marketplace or set up their own online store? Boutiques can opt to sell through global fashion platforms, such as Zalando, ASOS, Farfetch and Lamoda. There are also national and regional marketplaces. All these platforms charge commission on each sale (usually 5-25% of the gross price) and may also demand a registration or monthly fee. In exchange, the seller can use the website’s infrastructure and client reach, and products can generally be listed quickly and easily. Before you know it, your ‘market stall’ is live and you can start selling.
Conversely, building your own online shop can take several months, depending on the desired level of customization. It’s relatively complex, expensive, and incurs marketing costs to attract customers. This approach entails a lot of preliminary research to decide on the right features for the store. Programmers or agencies then need to be briefed and you will have to oversee the development process. Once your shop is up and running, products need to be listed and updated – this also requires skills and time.
Good quality product images and descriptions are essential for both formats. Wheth- er your item is modelled or simply pictured on its own, be sure to create a style that customers will recognize. The more images in your store and the more detailed the descriptions, the better. A few garment measurements (e.g., total length, leg sizes) are useful and will reduce returns. It’s your shop, so the product range, response times, delivery terms and charges, as well as the returns policy, are up to you. On platforms it’s a different story: if you don’t fall in line with the marketplace rules, you’ll risk not only penalties but poor ratings. And your competitors are just a click away: if your range isn’t special enough, the competition can be fierce – as can the pressure to lower prices.
High traffic is a draw for well-known platforms. They are able to reach the kind of large customer bases independent online shops can only dream of, thanks to their generous marketing budgets. It’s challenging to attract new customers as a sole e-commerce store, but the individualized approach makes it easier to reach and retain loyal customers: after all, an online shop enables continuous access to customer journey data. Some platforms analyze this information so intensively that they are suspected of copying their retailers’ bestsellers, an accusation recently levelled at Amazon.
Examine the individual pros and cons for your business model, and the various options available in terms of time and budget for product sales through various channels. Perhaps the middle way is the best: you could start on one or two online marketplaces while you wait to launch your own online shop.