05 : 02 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week: hands-free sneakers from Nike, Scarce’s surplus stock solution, haircare that’s good for the skin, Lego’s phygital music bricks, and fast food cues for Plenty’s salad range

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5 February 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Furfit by H-O-TT, Amsterdam


Nike Go FlyEase, US

1. Nike’s hinged trainers let wearers go hands-free

US – Nike is launching its first hands-free shoe, the Nike Go FlyEase, in a bid to create a more accessible product for wearers.

While the brand has been experimenting with adaptive footwear in recent years as part of its FlyEase department, the Nike Go FlyEase is the first shoe that can be slipped on completely hands-free. The design features a ‘bi-stable hinge’ that enables the shoe to be secure in both open and closed states. Wearers remove the shoes by putting pressure on the kickstand heel on the opposite foot – a design cue that mimics the action many people subconsciously perform while removing their shoes.

When designing the shoes, Nike initially spoke to people with disabilities to discern their footwear needs, but later realised that the technology can support a variety of people – from pregnant women to anyone who wants a more seamless experience with their footwear.

In a similar vein, we previously identified Juniper Unlimited as tapping into the adaptive apparel sector through its disability-inclusive fashion marketplace.

Yams Day 2 curated mystery box by Scarce, US

2. Scarce mystery boxes offer surplus stock solution

New York – Scarce offers luxury mystery boxes that bring excess stock from boutiques and factories directly to consumers.

Featuring luxury streetwear brands such as Moncler, Balenciaga and Off-White, the boxes include items that originally retailed for two to three times as much as the overall price of the Scarce box. By working with factories, brands and retailers, Scarce is able to source authentic items from current and past seasons – and provide an outlet for unsold clothing. Consumers can choose their box preferences based on their gender, as well as being able to input sizing.

The willingness to purchase mystery items indicates just how influencial the streetwear market remains. And while the luxury sector has been hard hit by Covid-19, innovative solutions like Scarce benefit both consumers and retailers during this period.

With a decrease in consumer spending and a wave of store closures, the amount of surplus stock in the luxury sector is pushing retailers to experiment with Off-price Retail Strategies.


3. SEEN’s skintelligent shampoo won’t clog pores

US — SEEN is a new haircare brand designed to be non-irritating or pore clogging for skin on the face and back.

Developed by Harvard-trained dermatologist Dr. Iris Rubin, the brand considers the impact that residue from shampoo and conditioner can have on people's skin post-shower. While something most haircare brands overlook, SEEN recognises the importance of formulations that are created similar to skincare.

Launching with a shampoo, conditioner, a blow dry cream and a curl cream, the products are made without harmful ingredients like sulphates, silicones and parabens, while fragrance-free options are offered for people with sensitive skin or fragrance allergies.

In this way, SEEN is placing dermatology at the core of its offering. ‘Aspiring to be more than just a beauty company, SEEN’s mission is to build people’s confidence by promoting great skin and great hair – without compromises,’ explains the brand in a press release.

In our Skintellectual Haircare microtrend, we consider the ways that skincare rituals are informing people’s hair routines, while SEEN takes this a step further by focusing on the impact of haircare residue on overall skin health.

4. Phygital Lego bricks for Gen Alpha musicians

Global – Lego Group and Universal Music Group are joining forces to launch a phygital music video platform geared towards children aged 7 to 10 years.

Known as Lego Vidiyo, young creatives can record and star in their own short-form music videos that combine Lego builds with songs provided by Universal Music. Using augmented reality technology and Lego’s System in Play, children build characters using AR-enabled Lego blocks named BeatBits.

Using a supporting parent-approved app, they can bring the BeatBits to life to act as background characters in their content. The BeatBits can also unlock digital features ranging from sound effects like DJ scratches to video filters like X-ray vision. ‘We know children are always chasing new ways to experiment creatively, and Lego Vidiyo is here to help all kids with a passion for music unleash their creativity through Lego building and music video production,’ says Julia Goldin CMO at the Lego Group.

With this product, Lego and Universal Music are demonstrating how to create Programmable Realities for children, merging physical and digital realms to bring play and creativity to life.

LEGO VIDIYO by The LEGO Group and Universal Music Group, global
Plenty by &Walsh, US

5. A salad brand adopting fast food aesthetics

US – Design agency &Walsh has taken inspiration from fast food restaurants in a visual identity update for vertical farming company Plenty.

Helping the salad brand to stand out from traditional green clichés, the rebrand includes a bright colour palette reminiscent of McDonalds and a sans serif font that aims to make the produce it grows more appealing to a mass audience. This aesthetic extends to Plenty's website, social media platforms, packaging and new merchandise line to unite its messaging and create a friendly persona.

‘Fast food companies often use red and yellow colours in their branding, which have been shown to make people feel hungry, [so] why not use this technique for healthy foods?’ states Jessica Walsh, founder of &Walsh. Deviating from the 'typical green visual cues' of other healthy food brands, Walsh adds that ‘we wanted to create a friendly and happy brand that also stood out on the shelf from the competition.'

Plenty’s rebrand will capture consumers tired of overused design tropes that feel inauthentic or worthy. Discover more food brands taking visual cues from junk food in our macrotrend Total Tastes.


To future-proof your world, visit The Future Laboratory's forecasting platform LS:N Global for daily news, opinions, trends, sector specific insights, and strategic toolkits.


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