Lucire


  latest news   fashion   beauty   living   volante   print and tablet   tv
  home   community   shopping   advertise   contact

Net-à-Porter offers limited-edition luxury items for Qixi Festival

Filed by Lucire staff/August 20, 2020/6.13

In time for the Qixi Festival, often branded in the occident as the Chinese Valentine’s Day, Net-à-Porter has unveiled its social media campaign featuring five short romantic videos, of people meeting their loved ones at different ages. In addition, celebrity couple model Emma Pei (裴蓓) and Rojamtic Wang (王朱筱寅), who had appeared together promoting Princess Cruises in 2016, have appeared in the new Net-à-Porter campaign.
   The retailer will also launch an art exhibition centred around the festival, in association with Leica, featuring the works of photographers Tan Sibo (覃斯波), Vincent Keyue Zhang (章轲越), and Laurent Bu. Bloggers and illustrators will also publish their works.
   Participating brands in the promotion include: Buccellati, which is offering an exclusive, limited-edition series of necklaces and bracelets; Ahkah, with a little red heart necklace and bracelet; and Baume & Mercier, with an exclusive Net-à-Porter Classima ladies’ mechanical watch.
   The promotion began on the 19th in the lead-up to the Qixi Festival on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, or August 25 on the Gregorian calendar this year. There are limited-edition greeting cards with love poems and special packaging. More information can be found via Tmall or Taobao, using the keyword NAP, or visit the Net-à-Porter Tmall store.


 


Asus launches ROG Phone 3, first gaming phone to pass TÜV Rheinland eye care certification

Filed by Lucire staff/August 4, 2020/12.50


We have long been critical of the tech industry for not creating more gadgets that reduce blue light, instead expecting people to adapt to technology by donning blue-light glasses. In this context, it’s a welcome sight to see Asus launch its ROG Phone 3 gaming phone, the first of its type to pass the TÜV Rheinland Group’s certification on eye care.
   The phone has a 144 Hz AMOLED display, measuring 6·59 inches. It has an industry-leading 270 Hz touch-sampling rate, decreasing the touch latency to a mere 25 ms.
   The ROG Phone 3 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 856 Plus 5G mobile platform, which Asus says is the world’s fastest. The CPU is clocked at 3·1 GHz. It can handle up to 16 Gbyte LPDDRS RAM, and 512 Gbyte UFS 3·1 ROM.
   Adherence to TÜV Rheinland’s standards can reduce the harmful blue light emitted by screens. The new phone’s blue-light reduction is handled by hardware, using the latest 2020 standard that avoids a yellowish distortion of the image. Asus has improved the LCD panel, further reducing blue-light emission. There is also low screen flicker, helping to reduce eye fatigue and suppress blue-light emissions.
   TÜV Rheinland’s Taiwanese office said it looked forward to working with Asus on future eye-friendly products.

 


A sense of belonging

Filed by Jack Yan/June 17, 2020/11.16


Jack Yan

Above: Wellington, New Zealand’s Lambton Quay, normally a main thoroughfare, during that country’s lockdown.

Over the last two issues of Lucire KSA, we ran a story each on COVID-19. The first examined how companies fared after previous economic crises, looking at the past for answers. Last month, we examined what companies were doing in response to the pandemic, a report from the present. This month, it may be prudent to take some punts about the future.
   Even before the COVID-19 crisis, China was selling cars with air filtration and purification systems, such as the Oshan X7 and the Geely Icon. These two SUVs were responding to the pollution that plagues Chinese cities, and when the Icon was launched in February, its system was turned into a positive selling point as fears about COVID-19 mounted. When the X7 was revised in March 2020, its system received an upgrade, to allay fears about the novel coronavirus. But these are minor product enhancements, for what is the point of these SUVs during a lockdown when driving is curtailed?
   We often refer to the automotive sector in Lucire because it’s one of the most evident places where brands and trends emerge, and with fewer players than in fashion, it’s often easier to see what those might be. Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice-president for global car design, pointed out to Forbes that after each major crisis—he uses World War II as an example—there is a creative surge, and that the US car industry of the 1950s picked up on it, with ‘a promise of the future.’ He says, ‘Many times, this whole “vision of tomorrow” comes from the difficulties of today. So I think we as people will express our emotions physically and you’ll see this in all the arts.’


GM

Oshan

Above, from top: Oldsmobile Golden Rocket, a 1956 show car from GM that pointed to an optimistic, jet-age future. The Oshan X7 SUV, with a standard air purifier.

   Other emotions that have emerged during this time include loneliness, in those countries or communities that are facing a lockdown, and the desire for human contact, alleviated somewhat by the knowledge that many are in the same boat, and by the ease of digital contact in developed countries, with VR, Skype and Zoom, the latter entering the vernacular and enjoying a massive rise in popularity, despite privacy concerns. But on the flip side are emotions of appreciation, in countries where governments have acted and people have been unified.
   Travel editor Stanley Moss, based in Italy, chatted last month to the general manager of the Baglioni Hotel Luna in Venezia, Gianmatteo Zampieri. Stanley reported in our web edition that the conversation was ‘lively’, rather than pessimistic, when at the time Italy had one of the most troubling COVID-19 numbers on record. He writes, ‘The Rialto Bridge is deserted, and uncrowded phantom vaporetti lazily float by. The St Mark’s Basin stands empty, with only stray small craft passing.’
   Mr Zampieri remarked, ‘The Lagoon is like a mirror. There’s not a boat to be seen, the water is crystal clear, and schools of little fish are swimming in the canals. We have a gondola landing at our entrance, and we are seeing little crabs crawling up the gondola poles. Ducks are nesting on the vaporetto docks, and laying eggs there.’
   Stanley continues, ‘Mr Zampieri has an optimistic perspective on all this. He says that following these difficult times we’ll be given a chance to return to a Venezia renewed, where the air and water are clean, landmarks uncrowded and Baglioni’s teams rested and ready to welcome back guests.’
   Many will have seen the photos of Venezia’s clean waterways, or how the Himalayas are now visible from the state of Punjab, India, where they had been hidden due to air pollution. At Lucire’s HQ in Wellington, New Zealand, native kererū pigeons can be seen flying in flocks and close to homes, whereas before they would be seen individually or in pairs, seldom venturing quite so closely into neighbourhoods.
   Lockdowns saw an appreciation of the quietness and the absence of noise pollution, a silver lining for those who were forced to stay home.
   In economies that are opening up, the hum of traffic has returned, along with rush hours, immediately rendering the rural-like quietness nostalgic.
   It may well accelerate certain emerging movements. It’s not difficult to link this love of nature to better air quality, less pollution, and the desire for improved public transport or alternative fuels. With fashion such a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions—Quantis estimates c. 8 per cent can be attributed to apparel and footwear, while 114,000 million items of clothing were sold in 2019—fast fashion has become more exposed during the crisis. A shocking 70 per cent of the product winds up in landfills or is incinerated, and inventory is currently growing in warehouses around the world. The Business of Fashion estimates that fashion is an industry that will need between US$20,000 million and US$30,000 million per annum to meet global climate and development goals in the coming decade.
   With several of my colleagues at Medinge Group, the Swedish think-tank dealing with brands with a conscience, we summarized in one session how we have become more acutely aware of how natural resources should be used sustainably, how many indigenous populations have been appropriate guardians of them and of global biodiversity, and how it has been possible to opt for self-sufficiency and sourcing a lot of our food locally, potentially boosting a localization movement.
   Somewhere in between these truths is an understanding that collaboration and co-creation are potential ways forward for the industry: to both consume more mindfully and produce more responsibly. Climate activists like Greta Thunberg rightly point out that earlier generations could have done better, and COVID-19 may have woken more up to the idea that change can happen, and we can create a better way.
   It would seem more important, then, to look at brands and responsibility, both of which are beginning to be the ways out for many sectors.
   In the 2020s, it is becoming more evident that brands should promote a sense of belonging, because people agree with its values and wish to be seen to be connected with them. Perhaps the analogy of a desirable club is not inaccurate. The top–down approach of the generation before, mass marketing products through mass media, is history: it does not build brands, and is better left to low-cost retailers keen to push short-lived product over quality. In 2020, in the midst of COVID-19, there is no stigma to having less tidy hair or older clothes, because neither signals a lack of standing; and a brand pursuing a profit strategy over one centred around purpose may find such an approach off-putting to its audiences.
   Improving the pay of workers, for instance—something our fashion feature interviewee in this issue, Johan Graffner of the Swedish label Dedicated, does with its suppliers—has been shown to make them more productive. Essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis have been praised as people have come to appreciate the value of their work in providing our necessities. Reworking and reframing the relationship workers have over their work could be a way forward: that those who invest their labour have the same voice as those who invest their capital, something pushed for by a group that counts Profs Nancy Fraser, Thomas Piketty and thousands of scholars from around the planet. They note that a strategy centred purely on profit has led us astray. Providing dignity, however, may be more in line with how people have come to feel over their work.
   Fair Trade impacts the workers living in places where work has been outsourced. Simon Anholt, in his book Brand New Justice, goes further with suggesting a shared equity model. Building environmental and social strategies into the brand is yet another step that could be taken, with measurable outcomes—many metrics for this already exist. Kering (the parent to Gucci, YSL and others), for instance, has an Environmental Profit & Loss Account, which assigns a financial value to environmental impact.
   The other reset must come with our use of resources. If collaboration with one’s own workers is possible, then it must equally be possible to work with those who understand biodiversity best. My colleague at Medinge Dr Nicholas Ind writes, ‘Indigenous people represent 5% of the world population, but manage 80% of the Earth’s biodiversity.’ Yet this traditional knowledge is often overlooked, though it would be fair to say that people appreciate its value far more in the midst of this crisis.
   These greater goals are more appealing to the consumers who will emerge in a post-COVID-19 landscape. However, shifting to it, and giving it more than lip service, will require governmental support, the third limb in making this model work. Many territories have shown that working together with government and governmental agencies can defeat the virus: Taiwan, Hong Kong and New Zealand are among those that have experienced a largely unified approach and brought new daily infections close to zero. We can work on the same side. Intervention may be justified when it comes to wages, to prevent the temptation to force them down in order to maximize profits. Without governmental input, that US$20,000 million to US$30,000 million per annum target cannot be easily achieved.
   In such a context, it has made the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 particularly prescient as it sought to insulate the country from precisely such shocks by diversifying the economy and the labour force. The brands that have emerged now need to visibly demonstrate that they have desire, as well as the means, to be part of a better world—and make us want to belong.—Jack Yan, Publisher

 


Hublot launches Big Bang E smartwatch, with enhanced features

Filed by Lucire staff/June 5, 2020/9.39

Hublot, an LVMH subsidiary that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, has showcased its new Big Bang E (officially styled as BIG BANG e) watch, following up from the original Big Bang of 2005 and its first connected version in 2018.
   The Swiss luxury brand’s latest offering has a black ceramic or titanium case in a “sandwich” construction, comprising 42 components, 27 for the K Module case. The hour numerals are metallized under the sapphire crystal, which is covered with an AMOLED high-definition touchscreen. Pushing down on the crown activates the controls. In addition to the analogue watch function, there is a perpetual calendar with a moon phase or a second time zone. The watch is water resistant to 30 m.
   Powered by Google Wear OS, users can download additional apps on Google Play. It also connects to Google Assistant and Google Pay.
   As part of its launch, and as part of the #HublotLovesArt movement, the first edition will show eight dials created by artist Marc Ferrero. Every three hours, the dial changes colour. On each full hour, a five-second animation plays. These are shown in the video below.
   ‘Electronic watches were created in Switzerland using quartz in the 1970s. Fifty years later, we are continuing in the same innovative vein by producing a second smartwatch which boasts an extremely high level of technological sophistication, whilst embodying all the æsthetic values, technical features and excellence that have ensured the reputation of our Big Bang collection. Ever more faithful to our “Art of Fusion” motto, we wanted the Big Bang E to unite Hublot’s highly advanced technical materials with the very latest innovations from today’s digital world,’ said Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot.
   Hublot will make the Big Bang E available on its website and on China’s Wechat network, before it becomes available in boutiques and the traditional retail network.

 


Milanese architectural firm creates interiors for SKP malls in Beijing and Xi’an

Filed by Lucire staff/June 2, 2020/12.32


Above: SKP in Xi’an.






Dirk Weiblen; Univochi; Alan Grilo

Above: Designs by Vudafieri Saverino Partners for SKC’s men’s, women’s, lifestyle, home and footwear spaces.

With China and Italy steadily reopening, it’s little surprise that a great deal of news is from those countries.
   Vudafieri Saverino Partners, the Milanese architectural firm with a base in Shanghai, has announced that it was behind the interiors of two SKP (Shin Kong Place) malls in Beijing and Xi’an. SKP retails exclusive European brands, such as Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Prada, Gucci, Bulgari, and Cartier.
   Vudafieri Saverino Partners worked on a total of 6,000 m² over five floors in Beijing and four in Xi’an.
   Each floor has its own distinct theme based on which products were sold and the target audience. The furniture and partitions have also been designed by the firm. All the spaces have a functional and flexible design.
   Men’s sections have an automotive-inspired design; women’s have more classic furnishings; while the lifestyle sections reflect innovation and technology. The home section references domestic settings, with furnishings also created by Vudafieri Saverino Partners. The footwear section uses soft lines, warm colours and few materials, to emphasize the product.


Alan Grilo

 


In brief: Lamborghini, ID Emerging Designers go virtual; Net-à-Porter, Godiva commemorate 520

Filed by Lucire staff/May 12, 2020/3.57




During a global pandemic, how do you launch a new model? Lamborghini believes augmented reality is the way, and employed the technique for Iphones and Ipads for its Huracán Evo rear-wheel-drive Spyder. By visiting lamborghini.com on an Iphone or Ipad, tap ‘See in AR’ and the car can be seen in the space of your choice, even at a 1:1 scale, to get a closer look at the exterior and interior.
   The new model, a roadster with a removable soft-top roof, boasts a V10 delivering 610 PS and 560 Nm of torque, reaching 100 km/h in 3·5 s. Top speed is 324 km/h. The top can be stowed at speeds of up to 50 km/h, while the 8·4-inch touchscreen links to an Apple Carplay-compatible system. Lamborghini says the car can even be personalized to ‘limitless colour and trim options’. UK price is £151,100 plus tax.
   Lamborghini promises that its entire range will soon be available in AR.

The ID Emerging Designer Awards, in association with Otago Polytechnic, will be shown online this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are 33 designers from 14 countries, with NHNZ producing the show.
   The event, which grew out of ID Dunedin Fashion Week, was long forecast by Lucire to become the “main event”—the fact the organizers have persevered indicates the esteem in which the awards are held.
   Entrants produced video shows to showcase their entries, which were selected by a judging panel.
   The list of finalists and their entries can be found on ID’s website.

In the Chinese market, Net-à-Porter is marking May 20—520, an alternative Chinese Valentine’s Day—by teaming up with Godiva. The Belgian chocolatier has created a 520 limited-edition gift box co-branded with Net-à-Porter, comprising six gold heart-shaped chocolates. In addition, the two companies have created a ‘520 × 100 I love you one hundred times’ gift box, priced (of course) at 52,000元, but with a value of 83,999元. The gift box features IWC Portofino watches, a Piaget chain, a Chloé shoulder bag, a By Far limited-edition bag and sandals, Jimmy Choo heels and clutch bag, and a Jacquemus shoulder bag.

 


Next Page »

 

Get more from Lucire

Our latest issue

Lucire 40
Check out our lavish print issue of Lucire in hard copy or for Ipad or Android.
Or download the latest issue of Lucire as a PDF from Scopalto

Lucire on Twitter

Lucire on Instagram