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It’s been a whirlwind of a summer before settling here in NYC for the month! I’m writing this article from Montauk. Good times. Before here, it was a much-needed, restorative offline vacation in Tanzania. And in true blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fashion, I was in Paris for men’s market en route to Africa.
As always, Paris was filled with stories.
Paris Men’s Market
I went to MAN Paris at Place Vendôme for men’s market. Even though it’s a menswear show, there were some unisex designs on display. Even women’s collections. It was interesting to see this shift among offerings. And when it came to seasons, brands seized every opportunity they could. I saw Resort, Holiday, Spring, High Summer…. The new cyclical seasonality of collections translated to the possibility of more frequent product deliveries.
On another note – a fragrance note, that is… I met the sales rep for Bon Parfumeur, a line of scents sold at Madewell and Garmentory. A lot of brands may talk layering fragrances, but Bon Parfumeur makes it happen. They sell their products at affordable prices, focusing on the mix and match layering of scents. Accessible pricing for fragrances meant to be layered is a smart move.
What wasn’t so exciting about MAN Paris was the actual apparel. Almost every one of the advanced contemporary brands catered to the same customer.
Streetwear brand Anwar Carrots as seen at concept store Nous
The “Moschino Loves Printemps” Pop-Up
The Wwake WHITE bIRD Pop-Up
Unexpected Sources of Inspiration
Have you heard of “Unexpected Sources of Inspiration”? I attended this incredible conference and left overflowing with- you guessed it. Inspiration! I also went on a private tour and dined with a view overlooking the iconic Louvre Pyramid. My fellow dinner guests were brilliant minds from the conference – including Joëlle Pineau, Sir Ken Robinson, Dermot Turing and Jeremy Rifkin.
These are some of my highlights…
- Professor Joëlle Pineau discussed behavioral psychology and behavioral economics in relation to the power of social momentum and Facebook post likes.
- Dermot Turing- nephew of AI pioneer Alan Turing, presented “Alan Turing and the Birth of Artificial Intelligence”.
- Sir Ken Robinson calculated how much time we have left on this planet before we go extinct. “Transforming the Future of Education” explained how to get our acts together on time.
- Jeremy Rifkin’s talk, “The Third Industrial Revolution”, was all about optimizing for environmental innovation, approaching it from an economic standpoint. I’ll be at REMODE this November for a similar cause. REMODE brings together leaders in sourcing and manufacturing to solve the industry’s labor and logistics challenges.
- I had cocktails at the Louvre with Sandra Matz. Her USI talk honed in on psychological targeting. She broke down how we can use data, copy and targeting with the power of social momentum.
USI featured a lot of presentations on artificial intelligence. When it comes to AI in retail, there’s a huge disconnect. So much is already being driven by AI, and yet most consumers have no idea it already exists. A popular and misguided opinion tends to be that artificial intelligence is a big and scary technology. However, the truth is that it’s already completely embedded in so many of the processes and tools we already know and love.
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