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NewsBytes
December 2019

Every month Embodee summarizes and analyzes key developments and trends in the apparel and footwear industries, including the latest news about online product customization and personalization technology. Our goal: help you stay informed, save time, and sell more! Sign up to stay in the know. Unsubscribe anytime. 

Report: Dark Mood Inside Fashion Industry

A report analyzing the fashion economy outlook for 2020 is sobering. McKinsey & Company based its findings on interviews and a survey of 290 global fashion executives. Only 9 percent of respondents believe conditions will improve next year, compared to 49 percent in the 2019 survey. “The prevailing mood of fashion leaders is one of anxiety and concern. On the one hand, evolving channels, shifting markets, and groundbreaking research offer revenue opportunities and the chance for radical innovation. On the other, global economic growth is slowing and competition is more intense than ever.” The report identifies 10 themes and offers insightful advice for navigating uncertainty. Among the advice for companies: “They need to get digital right and to address consumers increasingly concerned by the climate-change agenda.”

Good news for luxury brands offering customization

There’s more evidence that online product customization is gaining steam, this time among Chinese ages 18 to 30 buying from luxury fashion brands. It’s no accident, says consulting firm Gartner. These millennial and Gen Z consumers make up 46% of luxury sales in the world’s largest market, and brands such as Louis Vuitton and Coach have increased their customizable products and promotion of them. “Customization is starting to become a must for luxury brands,” says Gartner’s Amie Song. Her advice to brands offering customization includes building  user-friendly interfaces “where customers can easily visualize their designs.” Learn more.

Is wearable tech finally having its moment?

While wearable tech has garnered gee-whiz headlines in the trade press for years, as a category it’s never broken through. That looks to be changing, given the prominent companies investing in innovative  products, such as Nike, Google, and Montblanc, and some small firms. The optimism springs from what are described as “novel approaches to what technology can do for apparel” and products that “more seamlessly fit into one’s routine, enhancing an activity they’re already doing; they don’t read like tech for tech’s sake.” One small firm, DropLabs, recently released a Bluetooth-connected sneaker that vibrates to the beat of music or other audio. Glossy has the details. 

Prada-Adidas partnership: fusion of fashion and performance

A big reveal is coming later this month from a new partnership. Two limited-edition styles of shoes, no doubt sneakers, are rumored to be the first creations of what Prada and Adidas call the “fusion of fashion and performance.” Quartzy describes the collaboration as a blending of Adidas’s expertise in sports and Prada’s prowess in leather goods and luxury. Their offspring, so to speak, will represent a “blurring of sportswear and luxury.” It also helps Prada continue efforts to make up for a slow response to the consumer shift to sneakers and casual clothes. And the partnership is part of Adidas’s ongoing collaborations with top fashion designers.

Virtual products and their emotional power

How can one not click on a headline that reads: “How Much Would You Pay for a Non-Existent Dress?” We couldn’t resist. It turns out that people are buying — yes, with real money — virtual versions of clothes that are Photoshopped onto a photograph of themselves. Why? One reason is to show off our “extended selves” on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Companies like Carlings in Norway fulfill this consumer desire with its digital collection. An academic who has studied the trend said, “As the digital age evolves and we increasingly move our possessions online, our ‘extended self’ moves with them.” JSTOR goes in depth.

Daddy Yankee fans customizing hats using Embodee technology

Embodee has teamed up with Daddy Yankee, one of the world’s best-known music performers, to commemorate his career and passion for individual expression with an online store. The Embodee-powered store enables fans to customize and purchase limited edition Daddy Yankee hats. His legions of fans can customize two styles of hats in a wide variety of colors, logos, hashtags, their initials, and even the artist’s autograph. Embodee’s visualization technology provides thousands of design choices and custom combinations, which can be previewed in real time to ensure fans are creating a hat that expresses their sense of style. See our press release

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