5 Things You May Have Missed This Week
By Georgia Buchanan
1. Mario Testino’s ‘Mira Mira’
This week, world-renowned photographer, Mario Testino, received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the advertising industry’s annual Clio Awards for his ongoing phenomenal contribution to and innovation within the fashion industry. His latest creation to justify this honourable award? Miramira.tv, Testino’s new content play, “which collects together never-before-published photographs, travel diaries, behind-the-scenes takes from his popular Instagram “Towel Series”, his philanthropic work and a podcast that is launching with a conversation between Testino and his longtime collaborator Kate Moss” (Business of Fashion).
Testino is an active and popular face across social media, with 2.5 million followers on Instagram and more than 500,000 likes on Facebook. It is through these platforms that he has been able to make a special connection with his fans, one that few other peers of his generation can boast. Mira Mira is the next significant step for Testino in his journey of digital content creation. Suki Larson, chief executive of Mario Testino+ (the photographer’s business), explains: “Mario has many for projects, people he would like to collaborate with, aspects of his life he would like to share, people in his life he would like to celebrate, etc. We are launching Mira Mira as a means to create and activate new content, which we will disseminate through social channels, media partners and other partners. Once disseminated the content will ‘land’ on our own URL, which will curate the content into various features and series that end up serving as a sort of ‘World of Mario Testino.’”
To read more about the Business of Fashion’s article on Mira Mira, click here.
2. Adidas’s First Robot-Made Trainer
Adidas has launched its first shoe made almost entirely by robots. In Germany, the athletic footwear giant’s new ‘Speed Factories’ are up and running, working towards the company’s long-term aim of adding robot-staffed, custom shoemaking facilities to its current global supply chain. Adidas plans to utilise the Speed Factories to finish 500 prototypes of the trainer this year, as a starting point before no doubt growing the factories’ production outputs on a much larger scale.
Speed Factories will be more cost-effective and time-effective than current factories, and after the opening of a second robot-staffed facility in Atlanta in 2017, the number of quick-produce shoes is set to increase to a million pairs annually. And whilst the idea of an increase in robot-fuelled factories might spark unemployment worry for some, the Atlanta factory is expected to create 160 new human jobs when it opens its doors.
Projected to be able to make a pair of shoes in roughly five hours, instead of the current timespan of weeks, the new manufacturing process could spell huge improvements for Adidas’s production and sales rates.
3. Vogue.com vs. The Influencers & Bloggers
On Sunday night, vogue.com’s editors published a reflective recap of MFW in which a rather brutal attack was fired upon fashion bloggers and influencers, blasting them as “pathetic”, “heralding the death of style”, “sad”, “looking ridiculous”, “embarrassing”, and comparing them to strippers. Harsh, to say the least, even if you might agree with their overall sentiment.
Naturally, bloggers and influencers from around the globe were quick to speak out in response, fighting their corner and blasting Vogue for their bullying and hypocrisy. In a very well-considered reply to her critics, one influencer called Shea Marie (@peaceloveshea), seemed to nail the counter-argument, earning 18K likes and counting from her 1 million followers and undoubtedly others as well:
“Please read!! Dear a certain few Vogue.com editors- The only thing that is "pathetic" here is this jealous, catty and hypocritical article you've just published. You are exactly the type of people that have given the fashion world the cold, unwelcoming and ruthless reputation it has had in the past. Thankfully those times are changing. I'm sorry if you can't accept that what a "public figure" wears on the street is undoubtedly more influential than your post-fashion week column. That the fashion world isn't controlled by you alone anymore. You even criticize the brands, for what? For having figured out the obvious: (news flash!) what people choose to wear and purchase is greatly inspired by the people they admire- the public figures (influencers, actors/actresses, musicians, bloggers, models). I respect you all deeply and the hard work you put into the industry. I look up to you. Which is why I feel so taken aback now at how tasteless and classless the words are that you chose. I would think an institution such as Vogue would respect young entrepreneurs instead of belittling them. It's ironic how you make degrading comments about influencers, and then put them on your international covers to boost sales. And to echo the statements of others- how many of your covers are paid for "head to toe looks" by brands? What about the daily "street style" pictures and articles on your website homepage. Why? Because-guess what?-that's what gets the clicks. As for your "get a real career" comment- I'm not sure exactly who you're referring to; surely not me or someone like me. I built and design my own successful line, I style and creative consult for countless brands, and am invested in numerous other successful businesses behind the scenes. I grew up in a small town and came from nothing- I'd call that pretty impressive and admirable. I take pride in giving hope to young women around the world that they too can build something from nothing. I think I speak for "us" all when I say the bottom line here is that if you weren't threatened you wouldn't care at all.”
What are your thoughts on this Vogue vs Influencer debate? Is it a case of the traditional vs the new? Do you think Vogue’s comments are fair, or as ironic, archaic and hypocritical as Shea and the others targeted claim? Are you a fan of influencers and influencer marketing or would you rather see your tastemakers in the pages of a magazine like Vogue? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Email us, Tweet us, Instagram us, Facebook us!
4. Fashion Forums: Why They Still Matter
This week, blogger Susie Bubble wrote an article for the Business of Fashion on the importance of fashion forums. Whilst in today’s Snapchat/Instagram-obsessed world, we might see this ‘old fashioned’ platform of communication as somewhat antiquated, but Susie argues that fashion needs them now more than ever.
“There’s something about the anonymity (and notoriety) afforded by avatars, the moderators chiming in with reminders of posting rules, the threads of discussion that can go on for pages and pages with back-and-forth replies”, she writes. Without the hold of an IRL identity, contributors are free to be as frank, brutal and honest as they please about the industry.
Fashion forums create a community of like-minded people, where discussions and debates can really delve deep; something that is an impossibility on fast-paced social media platforms. “If you look at the ‘Fashion in Depth’ forum [on The Fashion Spot] you will see almost no photos and there are real discussions going on about various topics. You can’t really do that on Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter and many of our members prefer the forums to other platforms for that reason,” says a moderator from TFS. Forums are now becoming somewhat of an intellectually stimulating oasis amongst a sea of vapid, unchallenging content.
To read more about Susie Bubble’s article, click here.
5. Mr Porter x Apple TV
Mr Porter has announced this week that it will be launching a shoppable app on Apple TV. Created for tvOS, the operating system Apple TV runs on, the app will allow shoppers to browse through The Journal, the e-tailer’s weekly digital magazine, which will offer shoppable content such as clothing, accessories and lifestyle products.
Not only will you be able to shop on the app, but also watch exclusive video content in each issue, including tutorials and behind-the-scenes footage. “As we aim to create innovative new omnichannel retail experiences by combining TV and e-commerce,” said Yoox Net-A-Porter CEO Federico Marchetti, “the vision of shopping luxury via Apple TV is now a reality. We are pleased that Mr Porter is among the first to give luxury customers a great new way to shop.”
Jeremy Langmead, Mr Porter’s brand and content director, said: “We’re now pleased [users] will be able to connect their shopping experience with the viewing pleasure of video series and short films within Apple TV’s network of innovative channels and first-rate content.”