London & Switzerland – Graduate fashion designer Diane Wallinger is using fashion as a tool to bolster people’s mental headspace amid the growing impact of the climate crisis. The multimedia Care of Self, Care of World project comprises a four-piece digital fashion collection, a meditation video series and a physical outfit.
Through aesthetic cues reminiscent of cushioning and colours inspired by superhero costumes, the designer wants to ‘communicate both energy, serenity and power to the individuals, inviting them to take care of themselves, to build the necessary physical and mental resilience to take care of the world.’ By approaching the theme of sustainability in this way, the collection echoes the ideas we explore in Synchronised Care – recognising that personal health is interdependent on the world around us.
As the fashion industry continues to count the cost of its planetary impact, we forecast that the coming decade will usher in an era for tracking and rationing fast-fashion garments. Meanwhile, ethical consultancy CogDis is placing spirituality at the heart of sustainable operations in the fashion sector.
New York – After a period dating centred on virtual meetings, relationship app Bumble is facilitating in-person connections through the opening of an all-day café and wine bar. Located in downtown New York, Bumble Brew marks the brand’s first permanent physical location after a series of successful pop-up concepts.
Working with Delicious Hospitality Group and design agency Float Studio on the space, Bumble caters for the growing appetite among daters to move from Socially Distant Dating towards digital interactions that catalyse in-person connections. ‘We’ve seen a resounding response to the Bumble Hive pop-ups we’ve hosted around the world and noticed a clear appetite for a permanent space where people could connect,’ says Julia Smith, head of brand partnerships at Bumble. Alongside its dining options, the company will also host a programme of live events to elevate the experience for daters.
The dating app’s hospitality venue also aligns with the social needs of Generation Z – a cohort that is especially hungry for in-person interactions after global lockdowns, seeking engaging hangout spaces to foster new connections.
Global – Expanding its efforts to connect with global eSports fans, Gucci has collaborated with gaming organisation 100 Thieves on a co-branded capsule collection. The first in a series of ongoing drops is a 200-piece, limited-edition range of backpacks, which feature both the Gucci monogram and the 100 Thieves logo. Practical elements like multiple straps and cargo pockets also allow wearers to carry controllers, mice and headphones.
Having worked directly with the team at 100 Thieves – and included gaming personalities in its supporting campaign – Gucci is targeting eSports fans in a way that reflects their needs and interests. The collaboration 'draws on the shared values of freedom and self-expression,’ says Gucci. This co-branded capsule collection therefore allows the luxury brand to create innovative gaming garments that go beyond superficial branding.
As the worlds of fashion and gaming continue to collide, brands are reaching consumers both in-game and offline. To respond to this growing demand, we can expect to see more branded product innovations that consider the practical and physiological needs of gamers.
New York – Tuning into heightened health concerns, antimicrobial accessories brand aimed Dare to Roam is targeting people with on-the-go lifestyles. It will offer a range of everyday essentials, beginning with a backpack, which protect against odour-causing bacteria and suppress the growth of mould, mildew and fungi. This in turn means the accessories will last longer, be less likely to discolour and require less washing.
While many recent textile innovations have centred on anti-viral innovation, this brand showcases how hygiene-first fabrics will be woven into people's lifestyle beyond the pandemic. By applying its antimicrobial material to everyday products, Dare to Roam recognises the safety fears people may be feeling as they return to schools, socialising and workspaces. ‘Dare to Roam is all about feeling protected as you start traveling, sending your kids off to school, and getting back into the motions of everyday life,' states singer-songwriter Ciara, the brand's founder.
Elsewhere, we’ve previously identified the ways that advancements in material science are elevating performance apparel. But as future-facing smart materials become more mainstream, there is burgeoning opportunity for everyday fashion items that incorporate protective elements.
France – With many people feeling starved of travel experiences, the luxury brand is capturing nostalgic summer scents in its latest experimental perfume launch. The fragrance, titled ERL Sunscreen, is a collaboration with fashion label ERL and incorporates notes inspired by holidays such as sunscreen, vanilla ice cream, the ocean and coconut water.
With this array of familiar scents, the product offers sensory escapism at a time when travel is largely restricted. ‘ERL Suncreen perfectly evokes the fleeting memory of a nostalgic summer,’ explains Comme des Garçons' press release. 'Feelings of the warm West Coast sun against salty skin transform into cool splashes of ocean water and chlorine suspended in the air.’ With this fragrance, Comme des Garçons echoes the concepts we explore in Wanderlust Beauty, with the beauty and travel sectors merging to enhance people's escapes.
With tumultuous travel likely to continue, there is growing potential for cross-sector collaborations that reference vacations. Here, brands have an opportunity to market the sensorial nature of travel as a way of reaching wider audiences.
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