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JAN 18 - 04


“/Nyden” – H&M’s new brand for the Netocracy

In the early 1990s, the American cultural technology magazine WIRED coined the term ”Netocracy”. The latter represents a portmanteau word consisting of “Internet” and “aristocracy” and refers to a perceived global upper class that justifies its increasing power in society by a strong technological advantage and distinct networking skills. While the term had rather been disappeared over the last two decades, it is currently experiencing a renaissance thanks to H&M. The Swedish clothing giant has just announced the launch of a new sub-brand called /Nyden. The brand name combines the two Swedish words “ny” and “den”, translating into “new” and “it” respectively. The bold slash before Nyden, which also serves as the brand’s logo, symbolizes what Oscar Olsson, creative director of the brand, calls “co-creation” and represents /Nyden’s understanding of the Netocrat’s expectation towards a modern clothing line: “In this future society, as any brand or any kind of provider of anything, you need to embrace the fact that the power is not in your hands [anymore],” Olsson argues. “The power has shifted to what we call tribes.” As a direct consequence of this change of paradigm, Olsson and his team decided to outsource the conventional role of the head designer to ever-changing so-called tribe leaders. The latter might be known either to the mainstream or only within their discrete communities. To name but two examples, two confirmed /Nyden co-creators constitute the tattoo artist Doctor Woo, who has 1.3 million Instagram followers, and the Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who is not present on social media, but is famous for her signature rebellious style. Olsson is convinced that his approach to co-creation strongly resonates with the Netocrat who “is more sensitive than ever to credibility, authenticity, and personality […]. They’re also more sensitive than ever to exploitation of themselves or other people” and would clearly refuse to be told, pursuant to the traditional, yet obsolete top-down model of fashion brands, what they do and don’t want to wear. Accordingly, /Nyden won’t follow the idea of imposed trends or seasons. Rather, the new brand wishes to create, with the aid of their tribe leaders, timeless wardrobe staples, which convince with their superior materials and cuts as well as with their limited character, and is thus positioned as an “affordable luxury” offering. We at Cc are thrilled to observe new brand concepts emerge that try to explore unchartered paths to better serve and connect with the extremely demanding millennial customer.
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JAN 18 - 02


The World’s leading biomaterial summit explores the materials of the future

Forget what you think you know about the future. Instead of a tomorrow composed of shiny metal and glass, the most promising advances happening today are taking place in the fields of synthetic biology and biomaterials. From sneakers made from vegan spider silk (Adidas), to computer packaging out of mushrooms (Dell) or leather, created without animals (Modern Meadow) – there's a whole cadre of scientists, designers, biologists, artists, and consumer brands using the biological sciences to drive new thinking around sustainability. The science of growing raw materials in a lab is called “Biofabrication” – a new design paradigm centered on cultivating materials with living cells. Organisms such as yeast, bacteria, fungi, algae and mammalian cells are fermented, cultured and engineered to synthesize natures materials but with new functional and aesthetic properties. In the year 2014 this movement reached a wider audience thanks to Suzanne Lee, who organized the first “Biofabircate” summit in NYC, a place where international attendees discover disruptive research, and companies, literally grow the materials of the future. Last December the annual conference took place at “New Lab” in Brooklyn and brought together key speakers of the industry, such as Cyrill Gutsch (Founder of Parley for the Oceans), Andras Forgacs (CEO of Modern Meadow) and Christina Agapakis (Creative Director of Gingko Bioworks). The summit Biofabricate provides a perfect place to nurture collaborations, share knowledge, build community and accelerate innovation. Working closely with both biotechnology companies and consumer brands, we at Cc observe the transformation of material fabrication with a strong interest and are excited to discover which possibilities arise through the programming of DNA and consequently which fundamental problems of the earth can be solved with it (e.g. climate change, hunger crisis, overpopulation).
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DEC 17 - 02


The trend of collective Connectedness

During our latest inspirational tour along the American West coast for one of our biotech clients, we also had the chance to attend the festival LA17 in downtown Los Angeles. The latter represents the 11thflagship event of the Summit collective that aims at curating one-of-a-kind physical experiences that connect, educate and inspire the world’s brightest thought leaders. For three days, LA17 thus gathered the crème de la crème of today’s cultural elite such as Jeff Bezos, Malcolm Gladwell, Paul Hawken and Wim Hof while hosting a diverse range of talks, performances, wellness classes, art installations, gourmet food and unparalleled experiences designed to stimulate both new relationships and perspectives. The Summit community thereby follows the philosophy of connectedness on all levels that compose the human existence, that is mind, body and soul on the one hand and nature, community and knowledge on the other hand. Translated onto a meta level, this balanced and sound lifestyle reflects a mega trend that we at Cc have already been observing since quite some time now: Ever more people wish to really get to know themselves and to cultivate a real bond to themselves as an individual, to take their lives at a slower pace and to lead a more conscious and authentic life in order to reach maximum fulfilment. This trend has lately even found an institutional manifestation, if not downright a true physical Mecca of collective Connectedness: The Assemblage in New York City. Coined as the “Enlightened Soho House” by The New York Times, The Assemblage defines itself as a member club at the “intersection of technology, consciousness and capital” and wants to serve as a refined co-working space that enables its members to work, collaborate, exchange, meditate, recharge their batteries and get inspired by their peers in a both aesthetic and healthy environment.
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NOV 17 - 02


From glamour to politics: The story of a successful teen magazine

It seems as if there is a chronological parallelism between the election of Donald Trump and the engagement and activism of teenagers in political issues. This is not only observable in the manifold protests and critical social media posts, but also in the great success of the teenager magazine – many years “the problem child” of Condé Nast – called Teen Vogue. Since the presidential election, Teen Vogue has emerged as a critical voice for Gen-Z to rail against the Trump administration, as well as a platform to highlight diversity issues. The starting shot of this new era was the article ‘Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America’ written by 25-year-old Teen Vogue columnist Lauren Duca. The piece – arguing that the president-elect was destabilizing the truth in order to psychologically manipulate the population – went viral and racked up over 1.4 million unique views. Responsible for this new dynamic is a trio of young editors at the helm of Teen Vogue, especially Elaine Welteroth, 30, who is the youngest-ever editor in chief of a Condé Nast publication. Thanks to the shift from celebrity gossip and fashion must-haves to feminism and activism the KPI’s pushed upwards: While the monthly US unique visitors averaged 3.1 million in 2015, according to Condé Nast, they jumped up to 12.4 million in 2017. Working closely with German teens in qualitative interviews and workshops to gain first-hand insights into their mindset, we at Cc observe their strong interest in political issues too. Nevertheless, until now it seems as if school subjects or magazines have not addressed them appropriately. Cc is curious to discover which German teen magazine takes at first the risk to deliver topics of discussion for this nuanced and intelligent young target group.
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JAN 18 - 03


2018 brings a variety of new inspirational places to explore

Nothing kick-starts a city like a new museum. In 2017 numerous cities around the world celebrated the openings of major new museums, many of them with architecture as worthy of awe as the art itself. Some museums, like the Louvre Abu Dhabi designed by Jean Nouvel were long-awaited – others, such as the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Jakarta, signal the maturation of their country’s flourishing arts scenes. From Marrakech’s Yves Saint Laurent Museum – that houses thousands of garments, accessories, sketches, photographs and objects that represent the Saint Laurent life’s work – to Cape Town’s Zeitz Museum, the first major museum in Africa dedicated exclusively to contemporary art – the new year brings a variety of new inspirational places to explore. We already did our selection. Take a look at the photos and prepare your museum destinations for 2018!
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JAN 18 - 01


Daniel Arsham

On our latest inspirational field trip across the United States, Cc had the unique chance to personally meet and exchange with Daniel Arsham, multidisciplinary artist, prime creative and renowned expert for interactive 3D architectural installations, in his New York studio. Born 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, raised in Miami and currently based in New York City, Arsham is highly recognized within the international art world for his creative practice that naturally fuses art, architecture and performance into exciting, one-of-a-kind physical experiences. Besides his visual art studio, Arsham also serves as partner and co-founder of Snarkitecture, a collaborative design practice dedicated to explore the experiential boundaries between disciplines (e.g. set design, music videos, commercial store architecture), materials and objects. In his latter function, he has already entered into manifold collaborations with both legacy and emergent lifestyle brands such as, for instance, Adidas and Kith, a multifunctional apparel brand for men and women whose three US-based flagship stores have been conceived and designed together with Snarkitecture. In addition, Arsham has also joined forces with a large number of celebrities such as James Franco, Hedi Slimane, Merce Cunningham and Pharrell Williams. Interviewed by The New York Times on why celebrities have lately been so much into the artist Daniel Arsham who, “with his slight build, round eyeglasses and nerdy demeanor, […] seems an unlikely candidate for art star of the moment”, Williams said in an email exchange with the journal: “Daniel is the master of illusion and science. The metaphors in his work read true to humans. It’s not based upon languages. It’s based upon human reaction and response to his work”.
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DEC 17 - 01


Cc's inspirational way to find a company name

Since Cc consults Biotech companies such as Casebia and BlueRock we have now again the chance to help in the process of naming, brand and CI of a new Biotech Join Venture. In the context of this current project, we had the great pleasure to travel around the US in order to meet and talk to various experts from our key creative network. With the help of these profound conversations we approached the bioscience field and the latter's specific properties and finally found an aspirational new company name. Cc is thankful for this truly unique insight tour and our supportive interview partners, who are, amongst others, cultural icons such as book author Paul Hawkin, Neo.Life founder Jane Metcalfe, Nike Head Coach Running Blue Benadum and contemporary artist Daniel Arsham.
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NOV 17 - 01


The streaming service joins forces with the makeup industry

With today’s seemingly endless possibilities to promote your brand or product across a variety of channels, social media platforms, events, cultural artefacts (e.g. films and songs) or celebrity endorsements, what still matters the most for advertisers is the level of engagement and real interaction the targeted consumer shows on these outlets. Against this backdrop, Spotify appears as one of the very rare pearls from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective: The average Spotify user is not only listening to music for 2.5 hours a day, but he is also part of the highly coveted millennial audience that almost every brand is trying to attract. And most importantly: Its an audience that is genuinely open, because when we are listening to music, we commonly find ourselves in a state of emotional openness, we wish to feel better, to run free and to expand ourselves through music. For all of these reasons, Spotify is one of the primary applications young people open on both their stationary and mobile devices. Given this precious user base, collaborations with Spotify are highly sought after by marketers while Spotify, on the contrary, is known for taking a particularly close look at potential partners. Spotify’s latest alliance has thus caused a sensation since the music platform has joined forces with a product category that could not be more covetable amongst the millennial audience: They teamed up with famous makeup artist Pat McGrath, the latter’s namesake beauty brand and popular US-singer Maggie Lindemann to bring a joint makeup collection on the market. The so-called “So Obsessed” collection was exclusively available on Lindemann’s artist page on Spotify and sold out within minutes of release. As Spotify had, until then, only sold industry-related standard merchandise like band tees and posters via its “Merchbar” platform, the partnership with McGrath and Lindemann constitutes a one-of-a-kind pooling of key capabilities of all three parties involved (1. Spotify: highly wooed and engaged target group, 2. McGrath: makeup skills, 3. Lindemann: relatable projection screen for appearance-linked aspirations of the millennial audience in addition to a huge fan base on Instagram). Although Spotify is said to not have taken a commission on the makeup sales, thereby not gaining any additional revenues from the collaboration, the strategic manoeuvre is likely to further add to Spotify’s unique appeal amongst both musicians and marketers since Spotify opens up a new door for artists to generate profits in areas that are somehow connected to their distinctive brand universe, but are not necessarily directly linked to music. We at Cc are beyond excited to discover what other social media platforms will come up with in regard to product and/or service extensions to stay relevant within the culture of their target group!