Copenhagen’s creative cauldron is shaping a whole new generation of fashion designers

On a sunny evening last week, a 100-plus people could be spotted grooving in an out of town car park at the Bella Center in Copenhagen. Bottles of beer and craft vodka cocktails in-hand, they were wearing a diverse smattering of styles – from Supreme X Louis Vuitton dungarees to boiler suits and floral dresses by the Danish label Ganni that recently posted annual revenues of nearly $59m. A giant pink cardboard installation featuring totemic symbols by London-based set designer Gary Card housed the DJ/designer, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy.

It’s not what you might expect from a fashion trade show but then CIFF (the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair that runs in parallel to Copenhagen Fashion Week) is smoothly re-inventing itself as a destination for buyers, creatives and emerging talent alike. The Loverboy pop-up was conceived by Lulu Kennedy MBE, founder of London’s Fashion East not-for-profit platform, one element of a curated programme of shows and stands through which Kennedy introduces UK-based talent to a new audience.

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Louise Gray’s photographic blow-ups on view at the Bella Center

Inside the fair, Husam el Oden recreated the chaos of his jewellery workshop, making pierced Danish Krone pendants on the spot while designers including Catilin Price and queer glamour protagonists Art School presented their collections against the backdrop of Louise Gray’s photographic blow-ups. ‘Copenhagen is relaxed and CIFF is very supportive of emerging talent,’ says Kennedy. ‘There is time, space and attention.’

Time and space are rare commodities in fashion and Kristian W Andersen is making best use of them at CIFF where he has been working as director and creative director for the last three years. ‘Trade shows are a bit broken,’ says Andersen, who is well-versed in the circuit having run his own avant-garde brand. Andersen, who also oversees Code Art Fair at the same location, adds, ‘Yes CIFF is a commercial business – 2000 brands show here and it is owned by a private company but if you have the opportunity to support talent then I think that’s an obligation.’ One and a half million visitors pass through the fairs and conferences annually fuelling the revenue of hotels, stores and restaurants.

image: https://cdn.wallpaper.com/main/2017/08/ciff-2017-02.jpg?Y0yULEHAM6v9zLMVSyfyLli5LF3HN0Cb

Martin Asbjørn S/S 2018

Alongside Kennedy, Andersen also invites a cross-section of brands into an area called Raven. Off White and Hiroshi Fujiwara have previously taken up the offer and this edition saw New York brand and LVMH prize nominee Abasi Rosborough take the stage, showing military-influenced sportswear made from dead stock materials and featuring photographic prints of melting glaciers by artist Justin Brice Guariglia. ‘With the fashion industry being one of the biggest polluters, we thought it relevant and poignant to showcase glaciers on clothing – our consumption choices do matter,’ says Greg Rosborough who previously worked at Ralph Lauren.

Where creativity is seen to bubble, community and commerce often follow. The mothership project is the development of an extensive neighbourhood of houses and offices (over 320,000 sq m) that will become the Bella Quarter. Denmark practices Cobe and William Lauritzen Architects have been commissioned for the €2 billion development that will include green spaces, sports facilities, galleries and shops. ‘We need to set the tone this is an opportunity to create a neighbourhood and when do you get the chance to do that? There are so many developments that have to be completely rethought – think of Les Halles in Paris. It’s not an easy thing and we have to differentiate ourselves,’ says Andersen who is planning an artist/makers in residence programme.

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London designer Martine Rose’s utilitarian collection was presented against a backdrop of climbing rocks

The city, considered one of the most liveable and green in Europe with its track history of purist design has a lot to offer and live up to. Curiousity in hygge and the concentration of Michelin restaurants have also sparked a micro tourism boom while the population is growing at 1000 a month. Now, the fashion halo is beginning to glow with designers established and new including Martin Asbjorn (great Miami beach pastel linens), Ganni, Tres Bien (a spin-off line by the concept store), Cecilie Bahnsen and jewellery designer Sophie Bille Brahe offering thoughtful, spirited collections that encapsulate the city’s aspirational way of life.

There’s no better advert than watching healthy, smiling twenty-somethings bike through the streets in ruffled dresses and flak jackets, boys in shorts and pyjama shirts. It’s the polar opposite of the urban angst and punkish subversion that pervades the scene in New York, Paris and London.

 

[“Source-wallpaper”]

Cash Is Culture in India, but It’s Not Going to Be the Future

Cash Is Culture in India, but It’s Not Going to Be the Future

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cash is not just the norm but also embedded in culture
  • New systems like mPOS terminals are making digital more convenient
  • Apps like BHIM help bring payments from India to Bharat as a whole

In India, cash is culture. It’s everywhere, inspiring Hindi film songs, being doled out by loving grandparents, occupying a key role in religious rituals, and even fuelling a parallel economy. So resistance to any alternative method of payment is only to be expected.

This is amply evident from the way digital transactions, which had spiked from 672 million in November 2016 to 958 million in December 2016 because of demonetisation, plummeted to 763 million (February 2017) once the new currency came back in circulation, as per RBI data. The latest numbers show some growth, but it’s a far cry from the peak in December even now.

It’s a challenge that Digital India is up for. Driving the shift from cash to digital payments are a host of factors – a huge population of young, aspiring people embracing the digital lifestyle, the “India Stack” of four technology layers (presenceless, paperless, cashless, consent), and a robust real-time payments infrastructure in which the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is the crown jewel. But beyond doubt, policies such as banning the use of cash for transactions amounting to Rs. 200,000 or more are also making an impact. In his budget speech this year, the Minister of Finance announced a mission tasked with achieving 25 billion digital transactions in the year 2017-18 through various means including Aadhaar Pay, UPI, USSD, IMPS, and debit cards.

payment systems

That’s a tall order for an economy where 98 percent of consumer payments are still made in cash. Before this can happen though, several barriers lie in the way. The “cash habit” is at the top of the list, followed by the complexity of using digital payment methods.

Cash is easy
The second factor is telling. A huge reason why cash still rules as a medium of exchange is that it is simple and convenient. Digital payment mechanisms, which might be convenient in some ways – (they save a trip to the bank and are easy to carry around) – are actually less convenient at the point of use. To understand this, visualise the process of using a mobile wallet – log in, authenticate yourself, scan code, enter amount, authorise payment – and now compare it to the ease of handing out cash.

Currently, there is friction on both sides of the digital payment transaction. The abundance of payment options with their different POS hardware and procedures is confusing merchants, who don’t know where to draw the line. This isn’t making life simpler for consumers either.

Clearly, digital payments must become frictionless before they can find mass acceptance.

mpos machine eze

Technology and innovation can do much to facilitate that. For instance, Ezetap has introduced a mobile-based payments acceptance device that merchants can use for all types of digital payments. Another good example is Tonetag, one of our partner firms, which has found an alternative solution to NFC technology with a communication mechanism that uses sound waves. Merchants can even accept cards in much the same way as before; customers need to authorise the payment like they do with NFC, with a swipe, password or OTP.

Ezetap, Tonetag, and others like them reduce the friction in payments, but they don’t eliminate it altogether. Some other forces need to come together to make digital payments as convenient as cash.

Bharat, and not just India
One of these is the digitisation of low-income consumers, which received a shot in the arm when the BHIM app was launched a couple of months after demonetisation with the goal of enabling those with a bank account but no cards, to make digital payments. Another factor is the growth of e-commerce players, who, by accepting card or wallet payments on delivery, have eased even reluctant cash customers into digital payments. The next level of e-commerce, namely smart commerce, will drive digital payments even higher, using AI and analytics to spur consumption.

bhim full

To see what that looks like, you need only look to Amazon, which has mastered the use of consumer analytics to anticipate needs, personalise recommendations, or simply remind customers of something they had shown interest in.

These forces are still brewing at present. When they take firm hold, India will make more meaningful progress towards digital payments. While the timeline for that is uncertain, once the conditions fall into place, the shift from cash to digital will be swift and irreversible.

Venkatramana Gosavi is Senior Vice President and Regional Head, Infosys Finacle, and has been working with Finacle for over 15 years now.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

The Gear Sport is Samsung’s next wearable

Samsung’s smartwatches come but once a year and guess what folks? That time is rolling around once again.

It seems like only yesterday we were cooing over the Samsung Gear S3 and now it’s all grown up.

Reports on Friday revealed the Korean giant has another baby on the way and the early scans show it’s likely to be a fitness-focused offering.

Related: Best smartwatch

According to documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States (via Android Headlines), they’ve already decided on a name. It’ll be Christened the Samsung Gear Sport.

The image provided with the filing suggests it’ll be a full blooded smartwatch rather than a fitness tracker.

image: https://ksassets.timeincuk.net/wp/uploads/sites/54/2017/08/Gear_Sport_FCC.jpg

Gear Sport FCC

Naturally, it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but that’s about all we know. Given Samsung loves to use Tizen on these devices, we’d say that’s a given too.

Whether Samsung chooses to reveal this device alongside the Galaxy Note 8 on August 23 remains to be seen.

The company might want to save it for the IFA 2017 tech show, which starts the following week.

Last year the company debuted the Gear S3 — admittedly its best yet — during its IFA tech show address.

Fourth time lucky?

The company’s smartwatches have struggled to impress thus far. The Gear S3 earned a 6/10 rating from TrustedReviews.

Our reviewer Richard Easton concluded: “The Samsung Gear S3 flirts with greatness, but it ultimately falls short due its gargantuan size and weight, as well as its Tizen OS.”

It has been over a year since Samsung updated the Gear Fit 2 and Gear IconX, so we might see new versions of those trackers too.

[“Source-trustedreviews”]

Why great creative is more important than ever

Every year we all have the opportunity to dive into the creative pool of Cannes Lions, the international festival celebrating creativity in communications, entertainment, design and tech. Like me, most people do it via the festival’s excellent website.

No matter; it’s still an exhilarating splash, and this year’s annual plunge has me convinced that, in the “Engagement Economy,” great creative is more important than ever. Let me explain.

I believe that Apple invented high-tech marketing back in the ’80s. And with Steve Jobs at the helm, it was all about creativity — in messages, design and production. In the early ’90s, I cut my marketing teeth working with Jobs at Next, and then rejoined Apple, where I was manager of consumer advertising.

Over the ensuing years, my faith in great creative to produce something valuable and inspiring has never flagged.

But the marketing game has changed considerably since then, specifically with the advent of online channels and the almost unlimited data that we marketers can now leverage.

In some quarters, this has led to creativity being sidelined, or at least being knocked askew on its pedestal, as the scientific side of marketing has grown in importance.

Bad mistake, because while you need both art and science in marketing, creativity is the killer ingredient that drives marketing effectiveness.

‘Thumb-stopping creativity’

In today’s world of all things digital, the demands on people’s time are more intense than ever. As marketers, we can shout, loudly and often, and hope someone hears us over all the background noise.

Or we can capture people’s attention through truly creative work, and start engaging with them in a meaningful fashion by appealing to their hearts.

It’s a matter of value versus volume. Easy choice, don’t you think?

Cheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook, who spoke at Cannes Lions this year, would seem to think so. Here she is, quoted on the festival’s website:

For Sandberg, “Organizations often don’t move quickly enough.” People are spending most of their time on digital — but for creative teams, “usually it’s outdoor, then print, and mobile is often just added in the last 10 minutes.” This is particularly misguided, she explained, since “a natively mobile ad grabs your attention in a couple of seconds. We call it ‘thumb-stopping creativity.’ It communicates the brand very quickly and you measure results, not seconds. Taking advantage of that power is so important.”

What is great creative?

Great creative always starts with strategy. Here’s an area where all that scientific data comes into play as it’s mined for insights into what the customer wants, and what you can provide. Essentially, you need to be relevant to be engaging.

A great example of this is the recent joint campaign of Airbnb and the Art Institute of Chicago, constructed around a meticulous recreation of Van Gogh’s bedroom as portrayed in one of his most famous paintings.

Many Airbnb prospects, myself included, are looking for more than just convenient, cost-effective digs. We also want a unique and immersive experience of place. In a splendid display of relevance, the ad speaks beautifully to this desire, while also building interest in the Art Institute’s special Van Gogh exhibit.

In addition to being relevant, a campaign or ad must be bold and take risks to engage most fully. People like the jolt that comes from boldness, bravery and risk. It’s not a data thing; it’s a chemical thing.

You don’t have to look farther than the “Fearless Girl” campaign, produced by State Street Global Advisors to honor International Women’s Day, that captivated so many people earlier this year (and bugged a few, too) with its boldness.

Appearing one night in the middle of Wall Street, the sculpture of a courageous young girl, arms akimbo, staring down the famous Charging Bull statue, became an instant media and internet sensation.

The ad and story around the statue not only went viral faster than a bull market, but the campaign also has some serious legs as the statue continues to be a much-photographed tourist attraction.

And how well did the combo of relevance and boldness work for State Street Global Advisors? The firm’s SHE Fund, which invests in companies with women executives, experienced a 384 percent increase in average daily trading volume in the first three days following the campaign’s launch. Let’s hear it for Girl Power.

Celebrate great work and its impact

You can find many, if not all, 2017 Cannes Lions award winners on YouTube. Viewing these ads is instructive, inspiring and often just plain fun. But don’t let your commitment to creativity stop here. Act on it, consistently.

In the age of martech, do not abandon creativity. It means more than ever

[“Source-martechtoday”]