16 November 2018
Author: The Future Laboratory
Image: Digital Seasoning by Laila Snevele Umami
UK – Heist, a brand known for its inclusive range of hosiery, is using a performance fabric to advance the shapewear sector.
The Outer Body is a shaping bodysuit that removes the struggle, sweat and squeeze that many women experience when wearing traditional shapewear. In a bid to enhance both comfort and shape, the product takes cues from the body’s natural support system of connective tissue, known as the fascia. The resulting product is made with a laser-perforated fabric never before used in underwear, which is breathable and lightweight, only applying pressure to the areas where the body needs it.
The product was developed by Heist’s vice president of innovation Fiona Fairhurst, a performance-wear innovator who is renowned for designing the Olympic-medal winning Speedo Fastskin swimsuits. ‘We wanted to give women freedom by giving them something better – bodywear that’s designed to move with the body, not against it,’ Fairhurst explains.
By creating underwear focused on efficacy and comfort over the male gaze, Heist is also championing the concept of Bare-it-all Branding.
New York – The permanent retail space is populated by ‘offline editors’ who encourage customers to use the store as a place to experiment with beauty.
Opening last week, the store represents a new physical destination for fans of the digital-first beauty brand. The two-storey space in New York’s SoHo district was originally a shoppable showroom attached to its office, but Glossier and design agency Gachot Studios have transformed it into a brand experience and community space. ‘It’s encouraging people not to shop the space but use the space,' says Christine Gachot, co-founder of Gachot Studios.
The flagship offers a sensory way to shop and socialise. Its interior taps into Glossier's Millennial pink branding, while its Wet Bar and Boy Brow Room allow visitors to test out products without restrictions. Building on the hype for Instagrammable retail spaces, it also features a selfie-ready 23ft-long red sofa that doubles as a communal relaxation space for shoppers.
For more, discover the four retailers swapping return on investment in favour of return on inspiration.
London – The company that supplies London’s leading chefs with fresh produce has opened its first direct-to-consumer grocery store.
Natoora breaks free from the traditional design codes of supermarkets, using grey cement to create a sleek environment inspired by geology. Instead of organising its fruit and vegetables into categories, the produce is arranged according to its seasonal window – meaning shoppers are first greeted by early season produce, culminating in the discovery of a fermentation room at the back of the shop.
A refrigeration system means that the shop is constantly chilled to preserve the produce. The space also eschews plastic packaging, tapping into the growing movement towards zero-waste retail. While Natoora has long supplied high-end restaurants with ingredients, it is now determined to educate the general public about the importance of seasonality and transparency in food.
Look out for our new Food and Drink macrotrend Uprooted Diets, in which we explore the rise of local-first grocers such as Natoora.
Nevada – Cryptocurrency millionaire Jeffrey Berns plans to create a ‘new kind of business and residential community’ powered by blockchain.
Known as Sandbox City, it will be built over 67,000 acres and will pioneer new uses for the technology in an urban environment, which will include houses, schools and a technology-driven park for Berns’ company Blockchains. Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Architects and Tom Wiscombe Architecture were enlisted to design renderings of the smart city, with communal living sites and civic centres.
‘Multiple innovative technologies will change the way its residents interact on a daily basis and blockchain technology will be at the centre of it all – keeping systems honest, fair and democratic,’ reads a statement on the Blockchains website.
For more on how the smart cities of the future will integrate technology to benefit citizens, explore our Far Futures vertical.
US – Men’s pharmaceutical brand Hims is applying its direct-to-consumer model to the women’s health market, addressing concerns around skin, hair and sex.
Rather than focusing on beautifying, Hers is a female wellbeing brand and e-commerce store for medical products that – as with Hims – support specific types of personal care. It will soon offer products such as acne cream, a treatment for melasma, a formula for women experiencing hair loss, and Addyi, the only FDA-approved medication for hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Hers customers can also order birth control following a consultation with doctors.
Similarly to Hims, which offers a fresh perspective on issues such as male baldness and erectile dysfunction, Hers focuses on affordable, medical-grade products that cater to a range of life-stages, from teens to women going through the menopause. Female consumers are increasingly looking to brands to guide them through the biological inconveniences that come with being a woman.
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