5 Things You May Have Missed This Week

By Georgia Buchanan

1. Alexander Wang x Adidas: The Secret Collaboration

American fashion label, Alexander Wang, revealed via NYFW that it has partnered with Adidas Originals on an 84-piece line of unisex apparel and footwear, set to launch in spring 2017.

The fashion show, following a spring break-theme, concluded with a finale walk in which the models were decked out in an array of black tracksuits, sweatshirts, polos and basketball shorts, branded with an upside down Adidas logo. To celebrate the launch of the collaboration, the brands put on a mini music festival, called #WangFest, which included performances from CL, Tyga, Skrillex, Travis Scott, Desiigner, Post Malone and Juicy J, and pop ups from McDonald’s, Slurpee and McGriddles. The final touch? Limited edition capsule collection merch sold out of the back of a truck and packaged up for partygoers in garbage bags, tied up with an Alexander Wang ribbon.

2. Ralph Lauren Takes The See-Now-Buy-Now Plunge

On Wednesday night, Ralph Lauren hosted a second Autumn/Winter 2016 collection catwalk, in the shape of a “jewel box” outside of the designer’s Madison Avenue flagship store. At this show, viewers were able to shop 150 items immediately at ralphlauren.com and in direct-retail stores across the globe.

This is the company’s first step forward in a new, consumer-facing direction, at the hands of Ralph Lauren’s replacement CEO, Stefan Larsson, and his “Way Forward” manifesto. “Showing clothes, then delivering them six months later… it’s over,” Lauren said in Vogue’s October issue. “With the Internet, social media… you have to change.”

“For a company with the means and reach, why not show a collection in-season and make it instantly shoppable?” (Business of Fashion). Are the clothes up to par though? Read BoF’s thoughts here.

3. Tommy Hilfiger Launches Facebook Messenger Fashion Bot

Following on from the hype surrounding Tommy Hilfiger’s “Tommy Pier” carnival-runway show last week, the major fashion brand has already moved on to its next innovative step towards world domination; in the form of Facebook Messenger’s first “fashion bot”, which uses artificial intelligence to provide a guided shopping experience through the new collection.

“TMY.GRL” can be accessed via the “message” button on Tommy Hilfiger’s Facebook page, and will then proceed to do anything you require, from tell you information about the collection (e.g. #gigifunfacts), ask you what you’re looking for, and show you behind the scenes content from the runway show.

The bot is a huge fashion step for the tool: “What Tommy Hilfiger did that was interesting was tie its bot to see-now-buy-now. Other bots were service-based, but linking one to a readily available fashion week collection, and making it specific to that, brings up a new avenue for communication. It’s going to drive a lot of awareness,” says Neda Whitney, group account director at agency R/GA.

“Bots are still such a new space that we still have to see how customers react and grow with it, but there’s a lot of room for brands to start that,” Whitney continued. “Fashion and luxury brands like Tommy Hilfiger adopting this type of technology is really interesting and exciting, though. Anything you can do to spend some time with your brand is always a smart move.”

4. The See-Now-Buy-Now Backlash

As I’m sure you will have seen, this season has been the season of see-now-buy-now. From Tommy Hilfiger to Hugo Boss and Tom Ford to Ralph Lauren, the biggest names in fashion are all beginning to adhere to the changing (social media-saturated) times, giving their consumers the immediate gratification they are so clearly craving.

It’s all been very exciting, helping to reinvent the fashion industry’s failing system. However, it also already seems to be showing its fall-down, adding to the ever-so-prevalent “designer burnout”. As if fashion designers didn’t already have enough work on their plate at this time of year (I have friends who are designers, and the amount of work they have to do in the lead up to fashion week has always astounded me; they literally do not sleep), this new trend is adding even more work.

“When high fashion is trying to follow the cadence of fast fashion, and when you ca buy and see everything online so quickly, that changes the entire system,” said Rony Zeidan, founder of luxury agency RO NY. “There’s no time for the designer.”

Some designers, including Alexander Wang, have previously been heard to say that the see-now-buy-now model just would not be a logistical option for them, before having to go back on their word in order to meet the consumer demand and compete with their fellow designers.

Is this new see-now-buy-now trend really working to fix the fashion system, or is it in fact stunting it even more? “Fashion has to evolve, it’s not a negative thing,” said Zeidan. “But to bend over backwards like this creates stress and reduces creativity. It’s all a bit of a mess.”

Read the full Glossy article here.

5. Michael Kors’s Fashionable Smartwatch

Michael Kors may be, in his own words, “a fashion freak, not a tech geek,” but that hasn’t stopped him from making his very own smartwatch; the new Michael Kors Access smartwatch, unveiled on Sunday night at his SoHo flagship store.

Competing with the likes of Apple and Samsung, the Access watch is intended to be a best-of-both-worlds option; more fashionable than the tech giant competitors, but far more techy than your usual fashion accessory. The aim was to create something that “people could personalise and put their own stamp on” but also “makes life easier,” said Mr Kors. And thus the Access was born; an aesthetically familiar fashion piece, with all the latest Silicon Valley technology (voice-activated Google search, fitness tracking, social media alerts) included.

Coming in two different styles, the sporty black Dylan and the all-metal Bradshaw, and with totally customisable faces, there should be a style to fit most needs and wants. But can they compete with Apple and Samsung? Time will tell.