Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013: my review

Yes, 2013 is over (or will be in just a few hours). And just like everywhere else around the globe and the "digiglobe", it is time for a retrospective. However, I find it much more interesting to look back in order to make a good estimate of what we can expect coming forward.

Chriselle Lim for Nordstrom
Source: Refinery29 Facebook

So I think it is fair to say it's been the year for YouTube. At least the year when people, and especially companies, have started to realise the potential YouTube (and YouTubers) can have, from a commercial point of view. We have seen few but clear examples of this, as is the case of Nordstrom and Chriselle Lim. Everyday more, users go from simple consumers to active content creators, and generate audiences and fan bases of their own; a completely distinct relationship that has nothing to do with the traditional celebrity-fan relationship we used to know. From YouTube Paid Subscription Models to YouTubers becoming enterpreneurs and brand ambassadors, there are plenty of signs that proof we can expect an absolute YouTube related boom in 2014.

We have not seen a particularly outstanding presence of Pantone colour of the year 2013, Emerald, while we sure have enjoyed innumerable hints of what became Pantone's COY for 2014: Radiant Orchid. Catwalks and street styles have introduced the lovely lilac colour, opening a path for it to take a stand on the upcoming year. A year in which we can also expect to see lots of blue, black and white, buoyant volumes, twin sets that shamelessly put our bellies on display and plenty of other lovely trends we admired on main Spring 14 Fashion Weeks.

Louis Vuitton S14 Show

One of the most remarkable changes (or let's say attacks) to the current business model was Beyoncé's album release directly via iTunes. An absolute vindication of talent ownership and a shot right on the ego of one of the biggest, sturdiest industries (along with Fashion); Music. You can tell there is change awaiting when the giants start to totter, and, well, it might be a little too soon to say the Music Industry as we know it is actually tottering, but Beyoncé's move was definitely a good start, especially coming from such a relevant diva with such an empire backing her up.

This brings me to one of the main topics that have wondered my mind on 2013, and that is the one of adaptation. Big industries need to see what is coming and quickly try to understand, act and evolve, or they will be left behind. It sounds a bit dramatic to say "the Music and Fashion industries will be obsolete soon". But what will definitely look well old in virtually no time is the business model they go by. Some fashion houses have realised they need to be social in order to be relevant in the future. The massive step taken by Rebecca Minkoff, releasing a preview of their collection via Snapchat, just a bit after it was spoken about in this blog, is a sign that not all hope is lost, and some people are listening to the current social demands and acting accordingly. However many industries seem to be heading towards the future in terms of social media presence and understanding, and (allow me to focus on) Fashion seems to struggle to catch on. Although it cannot be considered a struggle when you don't even try. So I find it is of great importance that regarding 2014, fashion takes a look at the uncountable possibilities the digital world offers for them (here the ones I suggested), and starts taking the lead of the revolution.

In my eyes, 2014 promises to be a year of changes, much more focused on the individual and how to satisfy their needs, customisation based on true understanding of each person's emotions and passions, and with a calmer, more positive scope of what is ahead.

Nothing left from my side but the warmest, best wishes for the New Year, and, of course, my usual and most honest recommendation: follow your gut!

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