Tag: fashion

Fossil fuels Intel fashion wares

cocoSemiconductor giant Intel has long been looking for a way to diversify its business, caught as it is in the rise of smartphones and tablets and the decline of PCs.

It demonstrated that fact a few  years back by devoting its entire CeBIT press gig to designer handbags and now it seems to want to go a different way again.

It has signed a deal with the Fossil Group, a company which specialises in fashion accessories.  The big idea is to work to identify emerging trends in wearable technology – a sector that has already met with some derision.

And, as if to underline how silly this is all becoming, both companies are using the “iconic” word.  “Fossil will work with Intel to enable fashion brands within the company’s portfolio to participate in wearable technology in a fashionable way.”

Fossil, said CEO Kosta Kartsotis, said combining his firm’s fashion lifestyle brands with Intel’s expertise will let his company be a leader in the segment.

But there’s a financial element involved, because Fossil will tie up with Intel Capital.  Intel Capital has already invested in companies including Thalmic Labs and Basis.

No one knows how big the wearable sector will be. Or how small.

Fashion bag maker Intel moves to jewellery

vogueChipmaker turned fashion bag designer, Intel is getting into the jewellery business turning out a smart bracelet for the very wealthy shoppers at Barneys.

The bracelet was designed by fashion house Opening Ceremony, and test sales were conducted at luxury retailer Barneys New York in January.

Daniella Vitale, COO of Barneys New York said at the time that wearable technology had to be a beautiful accessory that customers would desire.

Most wearable computers are fitness trackers which is largely pointless if you are not into exercise.  Intel’s bracelet will not do anything fitness related, but it is not clear what it will do.

The new wearable could be announced around Fashion Week in New York, which starts Sept. 4, or at the Intel Developer Forum from September 9 to 11, where Intel typically makes big company announcements.

Despite the competition, and the fact that no one has actually seen a real market for wearable computers yet, Intel wants to make up for the fact that it missed the mobile revolution by being right on time for the next big thing.

The wearables market is rapidly growing as the devices become functional and fashionable accessories. Over 19 million units are expected to be shipped by the end of this year, more than triple the total in 2013, researcher IDC said in April. That market should expand to nearly 112 million units in 2018.



Assange becomes a fashion model

Julian AssangeAussie fugitive Julian Assange is so desperate for media attention that he is prepared to take a shot at fashion modelling.

Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy trying to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex charges is expected to make his London Fashion Week debut this September.

Apparently the WikiLeaks founder will model for Vivienne Westwood’s son, Ben Westwood, at a fashion show staged at the Ecuadorean Embassy.

Westwood hopes that the event will draw the nation’s media and not allow Assange to be forgotten.
“I want to highlight Julian Assange’s plight. What happened to him is totally unfair,” he told the Independent.

Assange – who will be joined by six models during his catwalk outing – has also inspired some of the clothes.

Westwood said his collection was influenced by costumes worn by Clint Eastwood’s western films and also Assange’s combat-beret look.

The show’s soundtrack will come by way of music from The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, no prices for who Assange is coming as. Westward has also designed a garment with a Julian Assange print.
It is starting to look like Assange is managing to force the limelight back on himself.

Recently he met with Lady Gaga and opening rapper MIA’s New York concert with a 10-minute Skype chat, in which he addressed the audience. Last week, he hosted a Reddit ask-me-anything session, in which he offered life advice. We didn’t see it, but we should have expected that “ask someone first if they want to have sex with you and always use a condom” should have been given at some point.

Light fingered employees put strain on high street

highInside job thefts in highstreet stores are continuing to rise as light fingered staff see selling knock-off products as additional income.

However, one manager of a high street store has warned prices will continue to rise to cover the loss in sales as well as rise in security and insurance premiums.

High street clothing sales have faced a hard start to this year thanks to bad weather and the economic climate preventing people from splashing out on new clobber.

However, it seems luxury brands and the tech retail industry are facing more trouble from staff who believe they can earn an extra bob or two.

In its 2012 Retail Crime survey, the British Retail Consortium said the cost of crime had risen significantly by 15.6 percent, to an overall cost of £1.6 billion.

It said employee theft accounted for four percent of retail crime by cost, although just one percent of the number of incidents. However it pointed out there were 10.2 incidents of employee theft per 1,000 employees, almost double the rate of the previous year.

The average cost per incident also rose sharply at more than four times the previous year’s level. The average cost per incident of employee theft reached £1,577,  riven by a larger number of high value thefts compared with recent years. The BRC pointed out that this was the highest level of average theft recorded for at least eight years.

“There has been more items going missing from our store rooms,” a manager for a high-end retailer told ChannelEye.

“It seems no-one is happy to have a job anymore. I think the rise is probably more obvious in the luxury brands sector with people wishing to buy items from designer stores but without the cash.

“By buying knock-off gear they are saving themselves money but what they don’t realise is that we’re also having to push prices up to compensate for this. It’s a vicious circle.”

Another manager for a fashion retailer blamed the lack of wages for the rise in crime.

“We’ve seen more thefts but we’ve not caught anyone out. It’s just things missing in our inventory. We still carry out the usual bag check at the end of the day and before breaks but it’s inevitable things are going to be swiped,” she told ChannelEye.

“Products are getting more expensive and our staff are coming in on minimum wage. Some see the opportunity to sell things on and get more money as a good thing. There’s no loyalty anymore.”

And it seems the tech industry is also faring badly. “With the economy the way it is we’ve seen thefts, most of which could have only been performed from inside,” one assistant at a high street tech company told ChannelEye.

“Gadgets make good money and at times it doesn’t suit us to claim on insurance for it. We’re tightening up our CCTV in warehouses now as well as bag checking a lot more.”

Here’s the lowdown on the Oscars 2013

redIt was a night of fun, glitz and fashion as Hollywood’s A-listers stepped out to celebrate and show off their frocks at the 2013 Oscars.

And this year the red carpet was awash with pale colours, giving the event a vintage, old school glamour theme.

Jennifer Lawrence, who admitted she was “starving” – a feeling we imagine is quite common for many celebs – went for a white and pale pink strapless Dior gown with a full skirt and ruffled hemline.

Amy Adams opted for an Oscar de la Renta ballgown, which was a stark contrast to the her usual statement column dresses, while Anne Hathaway kept the colour tone light with  simple pale pink Prada column gown, which she claimed had been chosen just hours before the event.

Jessica Chastain, also gave a nod to vintage Hollywood with a shiny copper Armani Prive dress and gold was also the colour of choice for Catherine Zeta-Jones who rocked up in a Zuhair Murad number.

However, some celebs opted for bolder hues in a bid to stand out from the fash pack. Jennifer Garner chose a strapless magenta ruffled back  Gucci gown, while Reese Witherspoon also broke the pale mould turning up in a bold blue column dress.

Sequins, which we thought had been put away along with that Christmas tree also reared their sparkly heads, with a number of celebrities opting for this style. Adele wore a black, sequinned Jenny Packham frock, Naomi Watts went for a gunmetal sequin Armani gown and Nicole Kidman was a sequin queen in a gown by L’Wren Scott.

Over in the male clothing camp, one thing that stood out amongst the huge range of designer tux was the sheer number of celebs sporting facial hair.

This generation of the Brat Pack including Bradley Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, George Clooney, and Ben Affleck all went for beards, while it was mustaches for Jason Schwartzman and Chris Pine.

Co-op Group hit by job cuts, scrapped IT system

Co-operative_headquarters_manchesterIt’s been a bad week for the Co-operative Group, with stories of job cuts and full-year profits almost written down to nothing.

The sorry story starts with the Co-operative’s banking arm, which reportedly spent its money on an IT system that could be scrapped. Sources told the Times that the cost of doing this could set the bank back by  £200 million – almost the cost of its full year profits.

The company had taken on the Finacle IT platform upgrade project in 2009 as part of  a £700 million integration programme linked to its partnership with the Britannia Building Society.

However, it has since had second thoughts about the system following a potential purchase deal of 632 branches from Lloyds Banking Group.

If the buy goes ahead, according to the Times, the Co-op will scrap the system and instead adopt the infrastructure currently used by Lloyds. This could land it with a huge hole in annual profits, which are set to be announced in mid-March. Last year’s earnings by the bank stood at £201 million.

A section of its retail arm is also struggling.  According to the BBC, the company has announced that 338 jobs could be slashed in the Midlands after plans to close its Fashion and Home department stores.

The announcement comes after the group reported “substantial losses,” and “changing retail behaviour” at its department stores in Derby, Ilkeston and Chesterfield, in Derbyshire; Coalville and Wigston in Leicestershire; and Stafford.

However, the Group said it will try to turn some of these stores into different entities, which could help keep job losses to a minimum.