THE FASHION FUTURIST

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Play your part in reducing fashion waste
 

I've had a lot of chats recently about recycling and waste and not just within my industry. The other day I was chatting with my lovely hair colourist after spotting a sticker on the mirror in front of me that read "did you know your hair is used the clean up oil spills". She told me all about this incredible organisation called Sustainable Salons who pretty much recycle and/or repurpose all of the waste products that come out of a salon. they provide you with all the equipment you need to dispose of things like colour tubes and all the packaging that come with them and yes even the hair that is continually swept up off the floor. Not only do they take it all away for you they actually reward you for doing your bit with credits that can be used to purchase things like recycled toilet paper for the bathrooms, amazing really! 


It got me thinking of A. we need a service like that collects off-cuts from the cutting tables of fashion businesses and re-homes the fabric to start with but also B. most brands keep creating new packaging for each product they deliver to a customer which is pretty yes, but really down right crazy. Thankfully I've stumbled across a very smart solution to my second query, created by two clever women over in NZ, enter Better Packaging Co. Fellow Australian Fashion Council member Peter Naughton interviewed co-founder Kate Bezar recently for the Sustainability Portal to find out all about their fabulous returnable, recyclable and compostable packaging solutions for the new economy, hurrah!

Head over to the Sustainability Portal blog to read the full interview or jump straight over to Better Packaging Co and play your part in reducing waste today!

 
Key Takeaways from MBFWA AFC Industry Panel On The Future Of Resort Wear
 
 AFC Industry Panel, image captured by  Tim Da Rin for Flaunter

AFC Industry Panel, image captured by Tim Da Rin for Flaunter

I was honoured to take part in an important conversation last Thursday on the future of resort wear at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia. The discussion, hosted by Harpers Bazaar Australia Editor-in-Chief and Australian Fashion Council Board Director Kellie Hush focused on the impact of the resort wear market and the global appeal of Australian fashion.

Fellow AFC members, Robert Moore CEO of Alice McCall and Toby Jones, Co-Founder of Double Rainbouu  joined me on stage for the chat providing a variety of perspectives on resort and shared opinions on the future of the season and the perception of our industry in general. 

 AFC Industry Panel, image captured by Tim Da Rin for Flaunter

AFC Industry Panel, image captured by Tim Da Rin for Flaunter

In case you missed the conversation in person, read on for some of the key takeaways from the discussion.

  • On the positive impact resort wear has had on the local industry - Resort wear collections have provided a confidence and trust in Australian design, Australian designers have become highly recognised on the global fashion stage because of the spotlight that is shone on our industry at the beginning of the global resort wear buying calendar. 
     
  • On accessing new markets with resort wear - Understand the markets you want to sell into, sure there's an amazing opportunity for Australian brands to flourish in Asia, but you really need to understand that customer inside and out, get on the ground in these countries and do your research, work with local agents.
     
  • On the opportunities for Australian brands when it comes to resort wear - As the spotlight is shone on Australia for setting the tone for resort wear each year with MBFWA being the first main event of the fashion calendar for the season it's an opportunity for all brands to highlight their unique design aesthetic, celebrate your local makers and continue the conversation about your sustainable business practises.
     
  • Advice on how to think about resort wear collections within your own business - Remember to stay true to your design aesthetic, don't loose sight of your brand's philosophy, regardless of what season it is and remember it's always beach weather summer where in the world! 
     
  • General advice to emerging brands/designers

    Just give it a go and learn from your mistakes!

    Patience is a virtue, no one becomes an overnight success, take your time and get things as right as possible, if you don't have the skills surround yourself with other who do and focus on what you're good at.

    Emerging designers should not feel overwhelmed by the pressures to over design and produce large collections for resort, just get involved and keep it simple and leverage your data, freshening up your best selling styles in new colours or innovative fabrications.

 

 
Power, Woke, Statement and Floral were the top fashion words of 2017
 

Article originally appeared on the WGSN Blog

Fashion’s word of the year is Power. At least that’s what global fashion search engine Lyst says, having compiled a top 10 from analysis of text over 30,000 articles written this year.

The articles were broken down into their 8.6m component words, from which Lyst counted up the most frequently occurring combinations and used sentiment analysis modelling to build a scale of the most important words of the year (not including brand names).

Power’s top slot came about as we saw a revival of 80s power dressing, albeit through a more quirky 21st century lens as delivered by Céline, Louis Vuitton, and Virgil Abloh. And the slogan trend that took in Dior, Public School, Ashish, Christian Soriano and more also meant that power (whether it was female power or a focus on the power of diversity) also took fashion’s centre stage. 

Maria Grazia Chiuri’s “We Should All Be Feminists” slogan has already been hailed, the look it came with recently being named Dress of the Year by the Fashion Museum, and also won her the Swarovski award for positive change at the Fashion Awards last week.

So, that’s Power. But what else was on the list? Number two was Woke, reflecting a resurgence of feminism and activism, followed by Statement (possibly channelling the same themes) and Floral, the latter figuring strongly every year.

In number five slot was Millennial, which is perhaps only a surprise in that it wasn’t any higher, followed by Extra in the age when Alessandro Michele has driven fashion maximimalism to the extremes. Rounding out the top 10 were Masculine, Cult, Ugly and Vegan

The last four show just how varied fashion has been this year, but the number 10 spot is particularly significant as it comes in the year when a number of high-profile brands have gone fur-free, most prominent among them being Gucci. It also suggests that a more animal-friendly approach to materials is the way forward for fashion.

 
WHY IS KICK-ASS BRANDING SO IMPORTANT FOR STARTUPS?
 

The Queen of branding and all round nice human being, Tess Robinson of Smack Bang Designs tell us why branding is such an important first step in the start-up journey.

Below are Tess's 7 golden rules for achieving kick-ass branding, an excerpt from the article originally featured on Smack Bang Designs

  1. A kick-ass brand is an unforgettable experience
    Your brand is more than just a way for your audience to distinguish and recognise you in a sea of same-same. Your brand, especially when it is a kick-ass brand, is the experience and emotions your audience connects with your product. Let’s take Apple for example; its brand is one of innovation, cleanness and simplicity. Us Apple users feel connected and our lives enriched by the Jobs empire. These clever cats have created an experience that is more than just a piece of technology; it is a piece of identity that we are able to use to further expand our own identities.
  2. A kick-ass brand sticks out like a sore thumb
    Not only does branding allow your brand spankin’ new venture to stand firmly on its own two legs, but it will allow you to outshine the competition. Kick-ass branding should reveal your unique selling point and explain to your customers what it is that sets you apart from your competition. By effectively communicating this value proposition, your target market will begin to gravitate towards your pull naturally. #winning
  3. A kick-ass brand establishes trust early on
    Kick-ass brands will inspire loyalty amongst a customer base by establishing trust and connection. Every day, consumers are bombarded with thousands of different company names, brand images, and commercials. To catch the attention of the average Joe, a new company has to challenge itself to devise a unique marketing campaign—since without customers, of course, the business cannot succeed. For this reason, it is important that startups do not give short shrift to the processes of branding and marketing.
  4. A kick-ass brand is a promise of longevity
    Investing in your branding and a clearly marketed identity serves as an assurance to your customers that you plan to be in business for the long haul. By building strong foundations of a kick-ass brand that coincides with your values, vision and goals, you demonstrate to your customers that you are 100% invested in your own mission and product. Showing commitment to this through all of your touchpoints is a signal to your people that you intend to be a reliable and recognisable business for the long term.
  5. A kick-ass brand drives loyalty
    Aside from the obvious awareness and credibility that comes with investing in your branding, a kick-ass brand will drive loyalty and affinity. The most successful brands inspire their fans into action, thus turning them into fully fledged advocates. Whether it’s sharing your campaigns on social media, shouting your name from rooftops or repping your logo on the back of the rusty shaggin’-wagon, your loyal customers will become your extended marketing team out there on the ground. It’s one thing to get your customers to purchase your products, but getting them to love, cherish and worship your brand is another and comes with a whole added forcefield of benefits.
  6. A kick-ass brand creates a lasting reputation
    During the infancy stage of any business, no matter the size, your main channel of advertising is good old fashioned, word of mouth. Almost as soon as a business is christened, its reputation is established. Many business owners feel as though their reputation rests solely on your customer’s perception and that there is very little one can do to change it. This is where kick-ass branding comes in handy. Strong and successful branding will allow you to take charge of your own reputation and eradicate the confusion in your customer’s minds as to who your company is and isn’t. Kick-ass branding empowers your reputation to be established in the exact way you envision it from the get go.
  7. A kick-ass brand gains alignment, both externally and internally
    Branding is like a campfire at an awkward personal development camp. It brings everyone together to unify and get on the same page to better understand one another. By investing in your branding early on, you allow all of your people (both internally and externally) to fully understand the ins and outs of your business and rally the together to support your vision. By enabling everyone to ride the same wave from day dot, every person who connects with your company and its products has the same understanding of who you are and what your business stands for.