Analysis
Joshua Whine
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WeChat, the mobile text and voice messaging service from Tencent Holdings Ltd., Asia’s largest internet company, is a technology that is both exciting and also holds many future positive implications on the mobile and eCommerce fashion industries. This social media mobile app, which is now the most popular mobile app in the country, first launched in China, but now available internationally, with 300 million registered users, allows for almost live voice messaging and group chats, that is now rivalling traditional telecommunications in China. Along with services such as online gaming the app has recently added an online payment service to its long list of features. According to Bloomberg, WeChat made more than 50 percent of its revenue in 2012, 44 billion yuan (7 billion US dollars), through online gaming, and it will not be long until marketers and the advertising industry surge full steam ahead into WeChat, like they previously have with Sina Weibo, and until WeChat’s owners Tencent develop the app’s e-commerce capabilities and potential. Global Blue, who specialise in international tax free shopping, a key provision for China’s wealthy international travellers and the emerging middles classes, have already noted that Chinese consumers tend to pre-plan their shopping, arriving in stores already knowing what they want, and that advertising to China’s internet and mobile users is crucial for any fashion brand.

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Roberto Cavalli, an Italian designer, is selling his majority stake to Permira, a London based buyout firm, in the amount of €450 million. This sale would be the end of more than 40 years fashion history of Cavalli.

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Dolce & Gabbana, the official sponsor of the Italian Football Team since 2006, has once again created the official uniform for the Brazil World Cup. Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana would provide the team a complete wardrobe which includes a tailored formal look, a casual look and a travel set. With this collaboration, Dolce & Gabbana, the Italian premium apparel brand, continue their relationship with the world of sport.

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After a successful collaboration between Pharrell Williams and Adidas, now it is time for Mary Katrantzou, a London based fashion designer globally known for her hyper realist aesthetic, bold graphics and industrial jewellery. She is collaborating with Adidas Originals for a capsule collection of apparel and footwear.

"The collaboration between Adidas and Mary Katrantzou merges the exceptional talent of one of the most interesting designers of today and a company that embraces many different cultures from sports, pop, music and fashion…I admire Mary’s extraordinary sense of printing techniques, colors and silhouette that will bring another amazing new aesthetic to the Adidas Originals women's collection,” said Dirk Schoenberger, global creative director of Adidas, a mass market active wear brand based on Germany.

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Thanks to our new brand Digital Database, we can dicover very interesting facts about the behavior and impact that fashion brands have in social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

Nasty Gal, as a fashion lider in the fashion ecommerce and style, has a lot of influence in social media platforms and we were curious to know which influencers the brand has in consecuence.

The first major influencer that the american brand has is the recording artist, actress and designer Christina Milian, who reached and audience of more than 7M with just 6 brand's mentions in just one month (Mar 17, 2014 to Apr 16, 2014). Below the artist we find an interesting name: Danielle Peazer, a professional dancer for many celebrities like Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake, with 3M followers and just 2 NastyGal's mentions she hit an audience of 6M people.

And finally on third place we find Style On Screen, a twitter account where people can tweet something they see on tv and they tell you what it is and where you can buy it. This user with only 16K followers, and the stricking number of 225 brand's mentions, reached an audience of more than 4M.

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The American apparel brand, Gap, will collaborate with Kate Spade and Jack Spade to create a capsule collection this year in the childrenswear range.

The childrenswear collection, which will be launched in November, is the first time that the brands collaborate together in order to develop kids clothing.

"Wait no longer! We've been scheming with @gap and our collaboration with #gapkids is launching this November," tweeted Kate Spade.

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Yook Group, the global Internet retailing partner for leading fashion & design brands, has announced its Sustainability Report for 2013 where the retailer reached the maximum level A +, according to the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In 2013 the team Yoox company has expanded thanks to the 226 new hires.

Yoox Group also promotes the culture of responsability with the Yooxygen program, launched in 2009 through collaborations with international designers and celebrities, using an ECOBOX as packaging. The objective of this program is to sensitize users about enviromental issues and also to convert yoox.com in an eco-friendly company.

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The business of fashion has grown so complex and so quicj, that it overstepped and went beyond its boundaries, merging with other types of sectors such as Digital, Technological, Real Estate, and Social Studies.

On Fashionbi Magazine: "Fashion Conscious or Conscience of Fashion" our expert Ghina Maalouf explains and explores the new “marriage between Fashion & Technology”, which has lead to a whole new definition of what qualifies as “fashion” and what on other hand qualifies as “luxury”. There have been a lot of researches and definitions two specific terms, however in our digital world the cards have been reshuffled and the lines have gone blurred.

Inside this article, "All Men Are Equal Before... Fashion", Maalouf describes the power social media has gained in the fashion and luxury industry, creating and defining the new roles of who is who in this closed circle, and making luxury be accessible to anyone in any region in the world.

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Italian eyewear group Luxottica, announced on Tuesday that it had signed a ten-year licensing agreement with the American company Michael Kors Holdings Limited. The agreement will allow the American premium brand to expand its eyewear business on a global level.

The first Michael Kors collection to be produced with the Italian giant will be launched in January next year, Luxottica appointed.

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The bridge apparel brand, Stefanel has chosen one of the most exclusive tourist destinations in Germany for its 25th store in the country. The new store is located in the pedestrian area of Westerland, the small town of Sylt.

Director Carlo Stefanel Said: "I am particularly happy to celebrate the milestone of the 25th German store in what I consider one of the most beautiful places in the country. "

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Jimmy Choo, a British premium shoe brand, opened its new store in Beverly Hills. The company has collaborated with UK’s David Collins Studio to unveil the label’s largest store in United States. This store is the first retail outlet to house the luxury footwear brand’s new store concept. The store design features pale chevron floors, satin gold and rose marble fittings.

“We wanted a feeling of being at home in an exciting place,The richness of the concept is its contrasting materials…a shoe shop is also a place of service, a place of discovery, and that’s what we tried to create.” said Pierre Deniz, CEO of Jimmy Choo.

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Mulberry, the English premium bags brand, has decided to review its operations and pricing strategy after the company got its second profit warning in three months. Mulberry revealed that the “profit before tax is expected to be marginally below current expectations,”.

The company's profit was 26 million pounds last year, when was expected around 19 million pounds, for this year the result was different with 14 million pounds.

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Gap, a mass market apparel brand based in the United States, has 81 stores in China and plans to open about 30 more stores this year. The company announced that it plans to more than triple sales in China in three years as it seeks to grab a bigger piece of the overall $1.4 trillion global clothing market.

Gap has the ability to grow aggressively in China,” said Jeff Kirwan, president of Gap.

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Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited announced that the group celebrates its 85th Anniversary this year. Chow Tai Fook is the world’s largest jeweler by market capitalization, focus on products with distinctly Chinese designs that caters for more traditional buyers than foreign brands like Tiffany & Co., Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels and others. Chow Tai Fook plans to open 4,000 points of sale, particularly in second- and third-tier cities in China mainland, in the next 10 years.

Building on our 85 years of heritage, our business will move forward according to our established strategy. Most importantly, we intend to carry on in our efforts to nurture the talent of our craftsmen, ensure the quality of our products, improve our management system and streamline our company structure. By embracing new technologies, we also look forward to systematically enhancing our operations, so that our network may grow to over 4,000 points of sales in another 10 years’ time.” company chairman Henry Cheng said at a media luncheon.

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American popular fashion brand Abercrombie & Fitch is opening their flagship store in Shanghai on 19 April, 2014. The opening ceremony will be held at 10am local time at No. 1515 Nanjing West Road. The A&F models have arrived in Shanghai, and are ready for the opening ceremony.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is rapidly expanding their business internationally after the success in the US. Currently, there are only three A&F flagship stores in Asia-Pacific, which are located in Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong. Shanghai will be the fourth flagship store in Asia-Pacific as well as the first in mainland China.

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The British designer, Mary Katrantzou visited last week the colorful latin-american country Dominican Republic. The designer showed up in an event hosted by the Boutique "Il Prato", where pieces of her collection are sold to the most selected Dominican socialites. In company with the famous Dominican blogger, The Hippie Nerd, the designer was signing pieces of her collection in the exclusive event.

During her visit, Katrantzou attended the wedding of the socialité Carolina Gonzalez Bunster, who worn the very first weeding dress made by the British designer.

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In our latest edition of Fashionbi Magazine "Fashion Conscious or Consicience of Fashion" we explore the most controversial matters such as the vanity in the fashion industry.

According to Beatrice Abillama, expert in fashion management, the fashion industry has always been accused for the sort of vanity it represents. The standards that some brands now impose to maintain a luxurious picture-perfect image have surpassed the media to reach their own employees. It is true that the essence of fashion is to make people dream about a certain image that they aspire, however how far is too far? Where do we set the boundary between image and discrimination?

Inside of this article, the author exposed the most famous acts from fashion companies which have faced legal issues because of esthetics discrimination, not only inside the company with their workers, but even with their customers, like the case of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and its "No big sizes" and Prada's "No ugly people" policies.

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Max Factor often uses the Weibo platform to share the make-up knowledge and interact with brand followers. This time, since the serious air pollution has made people put mouth masks on, Max Factor launched a mini course of teaching and stressing the eye make-up for “Haze” on Weibo to create more interaction with users. It encourages brand fans to learn how to have a perfect eye make-up while having their mouth masks on, as well as share their “Haze” make-up experience. Also, this campaign publicises the message, “Beauty not only brings positive effects on ourselves, but also to the people around us.”

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The American company Gap Inc. has anounced that Banana Republic appointed Marissa Webb as Creative Director and Executive Vice President of Design, to be effective on April 28th. She will be responsible for guiding the brand’s overall creative direction, as well as leading global product design for Banana Republic Women’s, Men’s, and Accessories.

“I am so excited for Marissa to bring her own special touch to the brand,” said Jack Calhoun, Global President of the mass market apparel brand. “What she delivers today is so fresh and relevant, I know her design sensibility will move Banana Republic forward in our effort to deliver Modern American style. I can’t wait to have her on board.”

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Shu Uemura recently launched a mini film campaign on Weibo for enhancing the interaction with Chinese consumers.

April is the season for Sakura, Shu Uemura decided to promote one of their star products— Sakura Facial Cleansing Oil. The company firstly announced that they will invite a popular mysterious Korean star as the male leading role in the mini film. Then the company will encourage users on Weibo to upload their pictures and share their daily emotions to win the opportunities of becoming the female leading role in the mini film.

As the promotion moved forward, the company revealed the Korean pop star Jung Yong Hwa, who is well-know in China because of the popularity of Korean soap operas, he is the male leading role in mini film. In the mini film, Jung Yong Hwa is calling for his “Sakura Girl”.

Weibo users who would like to become the female leading role in the mini film can take part in this activity through Shu Uemura official website by uploading their names and photos. The chosen users will also be given the tickets for the meeting and greeting event with Jung Yong Hwa.

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Angela Ahrendts, Burberry CEO, has announced that she is leaving Burberry and she's preparing to assume her position in Apple.

She is leaving Burberry, the premium apparel fashion brand in good terms, reporting a sales up of 13% at constant exchange rates to $1.6 billion in the six months ended on March 31st. Also reported that Burberry’s shares rose 0.3% to 1,426 pence in London trading, valuing the British brand at 6.3 billion pounds.

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The Hall Brazil S/A, which took place parallel to the Milan's International Furniture Fair, featured the exhibition "10 Shirts: Fashion & Football", in which eleven Brazilian fashion designers have customized the iconic number 10 t-shirt from the Brazilian soccer team.

Patricia Bonaldi, Lucas Magalhaes, Camila Faria from Vivaz, Gina Guerra from Gig, Patricia Motta, Tete Rezende, Alessa, Helen Rödel, Julian Gallasch from Dudalina S.A., Renan Serrano of Trendt and Thomaz Azulay were the designers selected to bring life to the exposition.

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Bradley Snyder, who lost his sight working as military bomb disposer in Afghanistan, has been the inspiration for the company Eone, who created Dubbed Bradley Timepiece, a wristwatch that allows visually impaired people feel the hours.

Bradley is made of titanium, making it easy to clean. And the bracelet is available in stainless steel mesh and fabric, in the color mustard, olive, blue and silver.

The amazing watch is already available in the official e-commerce of brand.

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Nowadays, the luxury and premium fashion brands start to move to Australia. And now its time for Uniqlo, the Japanese mass market apparel brand. Uniqlo has opened its first Australian store at Melbourne’s Emprorium.

The store will be 2180 sqm and consist four floors. The full range of men’s, women’s and children’s apparel will be in the store.

“We are excited to be opening the doors to our first Australian store. It feels fitting for the store to be housed in Emporium, the CBD’s newest retail precinct, and at the heart of Melbourne,Australia’s fashion capital,” said Tadashi Yanai, Chairman and CEO of Uniqlo.

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The brand Roberto Cavalli has produced culinary sweets for this Easter. Cavalli's designer has developed chocolate eggs that recreate animal print patterns. These exquisite sweets will be available in versions such as milk chocolate, white and dark 140g which are produced with 60% cocoa.

These chocolates are on sale for 49 euros on the website Caffè Giacosa in Florence, managed by Roberto Cavalli Group.

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