Category Archives: Advertising

Eddie Bauer’s Mountain

Eddie Bauer is going back to its original roots by hiring mountaineer legend Jim Whittaker for insight on its expedition outerwear. The goal is to revive the brands sense of adventure and produce better performing products. Also to move away from its focus on indoor casual apparel in hopes of a big comeback.

When conservative companies hire athletes as design consultants they take a pronounced risk. In my opinion it is a great way to get the inside scoop on athletic apparel. Athletes know best what works and what does not. Brands that hire designers who live and breathe the brand are more successful.

Eddie Bauer’s new line of apparel will be put to the test when their new collection is launched in 2009. Their goal is to sell $450 per square foot, which is far from their $260 per square foot from last year. If sales increase for Eddie Bauer, these types of partnerships may become a more common occurrence. HANNA

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Digital Downtown

Digital Downtown

New York held its new annual Digital Downtown, a consumer technology showcase at the World Financial Center Winter Garden this past weekend.  It featured the latest innovative trends on consumer electronics, from high definition televisions, mobile devices, audio, to energy saving and gaming devices.

Flat screen HDTV’s dominated the majority of the atrium with the new ultra thin 1.5 inch Hitachi standing out. The images were so clear, consumers stood for minutes admiring the image quality.  But, Roland, the world’s leading manufacturer of electronic musical instruments had the most amazing demonstrations of what the future brings.  One demonstration that stood out is known as “the parent’s dream” the silent drum set made of rubber, is attached to headphones that allow each hit, tap, snare to be translated to the original instrumental sound.  Another demonstration that stood out was the double keyboard with a microphone attachment that allowed you to sing into the microphone out of tune as it translates your tone perfectly into pitch. The instrument allowed the demonstrator to sing orchestral back up to Mariah Carey’s a cappella. With this new product soon to be in consumer hands, can anyone be the next Mariah Carey?

Technology is redefining our future and the way we communicate. New York, now being apart of the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) can now spread the innovative developments through its global entertainment and media.  HANNA

Digital Downtown

A Cooler World

a cool world

Social networks such as Acoolworld.com and Asmallworld.net are private online communities. Actors, fashion designers, royals, and media makers are only a small percentage of what make up these networking sites. If Facebook is Democratic, they are Republican.

Asmallworld.net is an exclusive social network that only sends out invites to qualified individuals. It provides insight on global events, marketplace, forums on various topics, fashion, and city guides.

Acoolworld.com has brought design to exclusive social networking through the clandestine nature of its members only website. It is a social networking website for strategic connections to the most elite and private hideaways and adventures. Great power people gather here.

These networks provide people with the opportunity to view your profile and your company information in order to set out possible connections. It also acts as a guide to high-end travel, fashion, shops, sports, and nightlife.

So what is the difference between Asmallworld and Acoolworld? Both promote exclusive online interactivity for the privileged, but Acoolworld emphasizes the visual more, it was designed to be graphically chic and arresting, dare we say cool. Then there is the Diamond Lounge, a recent addition to the field. A new market for members only is forming. HANNA

Dior and Everybody

Dior and Everybody

Dior’s new line of luxury will be put to the test when they follow along with Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Prada, in fusing the ubiquitous cell phone with an exclusive luxury brand.

Does a newly diamond-studded alligator casing capture the idea of luxury? Cell phones are a mainstream item that everyone owns. Whether or not it is encased in diamonds or uses alligator skin, they all have the same functionality.

Dior will maintain exclusivity by selling the cell phones at a higher price than its competitors. The company expects the phones to sell best in brand hungry Russia and China. The starting price is $5,100, priced to rival Nokia’s Vertu phone.

Dior is expecting to sell between 30,000 to 60,000 units within the next year; however, competing designer luxury brands sold around 500,000 units. We found that many thought the Dior design resembles floor tiles.

There is a new market being created, one very similar to the high-end industry of sunglasses and handbags. Which ubiquitous item will be next in-line for a brand upgrade. HANNA

Design is King at The Gap

After years of trying to boost sales through celebrity endorsements and gimmicks, The Gap is returning to its roots; quality classic American design. Yes, Design will once again reign as king. Fashion Designer, Patrick Robinson, the former designer for Paco Rabanne and Giorgio Armani will join the company as executive vice president of design for Gap Adult and gapbody. Mr. Robinson, 40, will oversee all elements of design for Gap women’s and men’s apparel, accessories and intimates lines in North America. The Gap suffers from new competition. Specifically, the growing list of luxury brands selling at low price-points through diffusion fashion lines. The Gap has also been challenged by fast-fashion giants such as Zara and H&M. And after the launch of Old Navy, there was confusion among customers about The Gap brand. Most chose Old Navy for its lower prices. At Design Futurist, we believe the opportunity for great American classics is now. Affordable stylish basics are missing in today’s market. And retailers with large distribution, such as J Crew have capitalized on the opportunity. Most other mainstream retailers are competing in a fickle trend and celebrity driven space, where customers come and go flippantly. Statistics show, brand loyalty is low among customers that choose products based on endorsements. Customers that choose based on value, design and in-store experience stick around. Cheers to a bright future, may good design mean good business. NATALIA

Phones of the Future

design-futurist-android2-natalia-allen-032608.jpg

We were eagerly awaiting the G-Phone. Instead Google surprised us with Android, an operating system for mobile devices (http://code.google.com/android/).

More than 30 technology and mobile companies including T-Mobile and Motorola have come together with Google to create an innovative mobile platform that is more user-friendly. The new platform allows for seamless access and movement of data.

Android is an open-source software and runs on Linux version 2.6 and Java. It includes typical applications such as: contacts, maps and a web browser, but with more of the Internet’s efficiency and usefulness.

Android software stack
1, Optimizes multiple virtual machines to run at once with Dalvik
2, Accelerates graphics by combining both 2D and 3D graphics based on OpenGLS
3, Faster Internet with 3G networking and WiFi technology
4, Streets views, pan around, and zoom in with GPS
5, Open source WebKit, enables you to view a screen as it would appear on a desktop

Researchers are expected to improve and add to the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), leaving the possibility for endless innovation. Phones containing the Android platform will be available later this year.

Google does not want to sell us a phone, they want to revolutionize the way phones operate. They won’t sell us an operating system, they want to provide it to every phone for free. So how will Google make its investment back? Ad revenue of course. Now that’s clever. NATALIA ALLEN