TRUTH SAYER: British advertising tycoon Sir John Hegarty held forth on truth, fashion, and originality at the first briefing hosted by Stylus Fashion, a new industry advisory service, based in London.
Keynote speaker Hegarty said consumers want the truth about products. “People are afraid of telling the truth,” he told an audience that included senior fashion executives from brands such as Topshop, Anya Hindmarch, River Island and ASOS.com.
Stylus Fashion was founded by Marc Worth and its membership is limited to 100 designers, retailers and brands. The first briefing, which focused on consumer and technology trends, took place last week.
“The truth is so powerful…it will change people’s points of view. That’s why we don’t like politicians, because they don’t tell the truth, they can’t bear to actually come out and say, ‘This is the reality,’” added Hegarty, worldwide creative director and founder of the ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH).
“I think my observation about fashion is that you’ve got to dare to be different, you can’t spend your life being a follower. Markets are not expanded, are not developed by people doing the same, they are developed by people doing something different and difference is about…sometimes taking a number of known assets and re-assembling them in a way I haven’t seen before. The power to be different stimulates a market.”
Other topics under discussion were unseasonable seasons, 3-D printing and evolving consumer patterns.
Worth said one of the key changes he’s seeing taking place in fashion is a move away from traditional seasons. “This seasonal approach to the fashion calendar is becoming increasingly irrelevant in a global marketplace. It’s always summer somewhere, so showing nothing but winter-wear alienates a large portion of consumers.
“Consumer lifestyles have also changed – people are used to immediate access, so to tell consumers that the product they saw on the catwalk isn’t available for another few months seems outdated. The approach we are taking at Stylus Fashion is a season-neutral one, something that will no doubt be an initial challenge for some brands but the rewards will be significant.”
Bradley Quinn, creative director at Stylus Fashion, talked about trends in 3-D printing. “3D-printing is being transformed by a new generation of soft materials – such as nylon. As a result, soft flexible accessories such as shoes can be produced. Brands are being encouraged to consider rapid-manufacture technologies as they enable them to produce locally – even in-store – and on demand.”
He said advances will include soft screens on the surfaces of garments that display data and images, garments that illuminate, connected garments with the capacity to communicate wirelessly, ones with moving motifs and changing color ways. “Advanced materials are creating new surface textures and new design software is ushering in a new silhouette based on hyperbolic curves,” he said.