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24 : 04 : 20 : Weekly Debrief

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24 April 2020

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Equilibrium by Uv-Zhu, China

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This week: Ritualistic haircare, London Fashion Week goes digital, the home redefined, a self-expression playground and 20-second hand soap.

Fable & Mane

1. Fable & Mane brings Indian rituals to haircare

UK and US – Fable & Mane is a new haircare brand bringing plant-based ingredients and ancient rituals to modern consumers.

Its HoliRoots product range – a portmanteau of ‘holistic’ and ‘roots’ – combines herbs, spices, Ayurvedic roots and aromatherapy-led fragrances. With a focus on the ritualistic aspect of haircare, the debut range includes hair oil, shampoo, conditioner and hair mask, informed by the ancient practice of hair oiling in India.

Launched at a time when consumers are particularly conscious of their daily health and wellbeing routines, Fable & Mane is focusing on native practices as part of a holistic approach to wellness. Akash Mehta, co-founder, says: ‘We are healthy when we are connected yet the beauty industry has come so far away from its roots, leaving us in a rat race to do everything to live longer but not live better.’

Globally, brands like Fable & Mane are increasingly taking ownership of heritage through the revival of ancestral beauty rituals and native ingredients.

London Fashion Week by the British Fashion Council

2. London Fashion Week’s gender-neutral, digital future

London – The British Fashion Council has announced that, for the next 12 months, London Fashion Week will adopt a new digital format, merging womenswear and menswear shows.

Beginning in June 2020, the digital event will be open to the global public and trade audiences – functioning as a meeting point offering interviews, podcasts, webinars and digital showrooms. The platform will enable designers to generate sales of existing collections to the public, as well as retail orders for next season’s products.

Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, says: ‘By creating a cultural Fashion Week platform, we are adapting digital innovation to best fit our needs today and something to build on as a global showcase for the future.’ While the current pandemic has propelled the fashion world into digital innovation, London Fashion Week’s gender-neutral and off-season event could set the blueprint for other cities.

Elsewhere, Covid-19 is driving demand for virtual showrooms and live-streams of shows, as recently seen in Paris and Shanghai.

#StayHome by Realtor in collaboration with Huge, US

3. Realtor.com spotlights the changing role of home

US – The property listings website has released a new ad to emphasise how Covid-19 has changed perceptions of home environments.

Created by agency Huge, the #StayHome ad explores how homes have become sanctuaries during the coronavirus pandemic. Spending extended periods of time at home has forced people to rethink their homes as spaces for working, relaxing and exercising, among other activities. Realtor’s film also positions the home as a place that has saved lives.

The campaign started with a mini-festo that sought to address some of the emotional challenges faced by US consumers who are sheltering in place due to the country’s national lockdown. Crucially, the ad was not created to advertise Realtor.com’s services. ‘This was never to be about our business, but about our shared interest in the meaning of home,’ writes Andrew Strickman, the company’s head of brand and chief creative officer.

In a similar vein, our Sacrificial Advertising microtrend considers how brands are forgoing typical marketing messages in favour of campaigns that promote isolation.

4. The Fabricant gives access to digital couture

Amsterdam – The Fabricant is trialling a new digital platform, Leela, that allows users to create a photo-real avatar to test out digital couture.

Leela, which means ‘play’ in Hindi, encourages users to experiment with bold digital garments for their avatars to wear, picking designs from Fluid – a specially created digital-only couture collection. Using 3D technology, the platform enables users to capture images of their digitally dressed avatar from multiple perspectives.

Conceptualised as a ‘self-expression playground’, Leela has been created at a time when brands are exploring digital fashionand virtual runways. With physical stores remaining closed owing to Covid-19, digital solutions such as Leela can fuel new business and marketing models for brands. ‘In Leela, people are not passive consumers but creative agents crafting their self-expression and curating their visual identity through digital clothing,’ explains Amber Jae Slooten, creative director at The Fabricant.

In our interview with The Fabricant, Slooten discusses the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) in fashion and how it can be used to creatively push the boundaries of design.

Fluid collection on Leela by The Fabricant, Amsterdam
Verve, Dublin

5. A soap for 20-second hand-washing

Dublin – Creative agency Verve has launched a miniature soap to develop positive habits around hand-washing.

The tiny soaps lasts for 20 seconds when used – the recommended time it takes for hands to be thoroughly cleaned. After receiving a large amount of online interest, Verve sent hundreds of tiny soaps to Irish homes as part of an awareness campaign around the importance of hygiene during the Covid-19 outbreak.

With fear about germs and contamination rife, hand wash, sanitiser and anti-bacterial products have been selling out. In response, Verve is encouraging consumers to take things into their own hands by creating their own miniature soaps, carving a regular bar into 15mm x 15mm squares. In this way, it is driving education and messaging that empowers consumers to have more control over preventative measures.

As a result of the pandemic, the wider health and wellness industry has been in the spotlight in recent months, with cleanliness front-of-mind. Explore this and more in our Covid-19 Contingency Planning report.

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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