Alive and Balanced, Together as One

Dear Friend,

HAPPY NEW BALANCED FASHION NEWSLETTER and the new year 2021 that we’ve all been waiting for so long.

It’s been almost a year since I pressed send on the last email for this epic audience of innovators and thought leaders in the creative tech field. It feels weird to admit that it’s been so long, considering that for the past 5+ years this newsletter has been the most consistent way of showing up for the conscious fashion tech world which I’m so deeply passionate about. My goal has always been to provide a stream of curated news & events that help us bring to life the new industry that all of us are imagining.

There are several reasons that made me take such a long break. Most importantly, this year I truly experienced slowing down and finding balance between work and personal life, or rather, see work an integral part of my life by shaping & redefining what work means to me. Another big reason is that I’ve been intuitively focusing on building the foundation of Balanced Humanity, the quantum communications agency where we engage with individuals and organizations from the perspective of 2030s and beyond. More about this in the next editions of this newsletter.

Due to the system-shaking Global events starting to color our lives in March-April 2020 a traditional concept of fashion industry stopped making sense to me at all, the whole idea of fashion industry felt expired and I had to take a healthy break from all things fashion (besides consciously experimenting with content on the Balanced Fashion Insta, Twitter & Newlife accounts) and instead I committed to stay focused on my own mental & physical health and consciously processing the deeply transformative times in our history, continued to deepening my spiritual growth by practicing variety of energy healing modalities, built stable connections with my global tribe, and publicly appeared live on social media (almost) daily as a way to show up for the community and share vulnerably & transparently what’s present for me now.

I attempted to write this newsletter several times over the course of 2020, but it ended up staying in a form of a half-completed draft and a collection of confusing, erratic industry news that I was only able to post on Twitter and Instagram and leave your inbox clean from Balanced Fashion industry rebalancing attempts during the times where the ground shook hard for all of us. I felt like we didn’t need another unbalanced, half-ass done email that was sent out without real passion & deep Truth behind it.

Today I feel very good & balanced, we have built a fantastic Balanced Fashion team, I live in a location where I feel safe, I have an investment to grow BF & its umbrella entity, Balanced Humanity in a stable, mature pace. I call it Balanced Fashion 2.0. — the revival of the fashion bible that is not Vogue. I’ve started this organization since before leaving my full-time job / a traditional career in fashion tech in 2017 and the past 3 years BF turned into an intelligence agency that is tracking & curating technologies, communities, innovations & thought leadership which, when combined, weave a completely new layer of the fashion industry. Our vision for the industry is fully circular, regenerative, MUCH slower, ethical, commercially makes sense while being wildly creative.

In weeks and months ahead we will be publishing reports and compiled lists of some of the most epic organizations that engage in amazing things for the bright future of our industry. We will feature leaders of this new layer of fashion who dedicate their lives to creating new systems that shape the new industry while the old one collapses. And as you may see, the collapse is already happening now — we must not deny that the current systems the industry is operating on are expired, unsustainable, and bring damage & suffering to the Earth and the Humanity. Moreover, two words that paint a huge issue we must not forget to address as an industry: Mental Health. More to come on that as well.

In the next editions of this newsletters & in form of Medium posts, we will be focusing on topics such as spirituality & conscious approach to fashion as a tool for cultural renaissance, phygitalization of creative industries, new business models that support regenerative systems and much more.

This newsletter is a 2020 year review and an outlook on what else is possible for 2021 and beyond. This edition is a collection of articles, lectures, interviews and reports that we lovingly curated for our community. Hopefully, this can become a living document for us to look back to and learn elements of each fashion industry’s field that we believe is important to look at while building something completely new together.

I would like extend a special thank you to Tatiana Oreshkova for helping me bring this newsletter to life and all the volunteers and community members who chipped in the process of creation of Balanced Fashion 2.0.

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Newlife.ai to stay updated more frequently and connect with us directly. And guess what! Balanced Fashion Podcast is coming up soon because it’s about time your voice is going to be heard by our global fashion tribe. Reply on this email if you’d like to be featured in our podcast/Instagram interview & if you know of good upcoming events for us to feature here.

And finally, presenting to you the round up of fashion tech & business news from the year 2020:

HIGH-LEVEL INDUSTRY LANDSCAPE

  • Moncler buys Stone Island in transformative move — Business of Fashion
  • Gabriela Hearst and Chloé: A New Purpose for Both — WWD
  • VF to acquire Supreme, valuing brand at $2.1 billion-plus — WWD
  • How the Farfetch-Alibaba-Richemont Alliance Could Change the Game in the World’s Largest Luxury Market — BOF
  • How Fashion Brands Are Preparing for Lockdown 2.0 — Business of Fashion
  • Will Fashion Ever Be Good for the World? Its Future May Depend on It — Business of Fashion
  • The rise in ESG ratings: What’s the score? — Vogue Business
  • Selling Fashion on Instagram: Expectation vs. Reality — Business of Fashion
  • The Pros and Cons of Virtual Showrooms — Business of Fashion
  • Rent the Runway CEO Discusses How the Business was Impacted in 2020 — WWD
  • John Lewis’ look at how lockdown changed shopping in 2020 — Retail Week
  • How Fashion Got marketing right in 2020 — Vogue Business
  • Are Online Marketplaces the New Department Stores? — Business of Fashion
  • Online Shopping As You Know It Is About to Change — Highsnobiety
  • Why Media Strategies Matter — WWD
  • The Power of YouTube in this era — Retail Dive
  • Allbirds, Everlane, Supreme Among Remake’s Sustainability ‘Offenders’ — WWD
  • Overcoming Excess Inventory Challenges — WWD
  • 6 Ways the Pandemic Has Changed How People Shop — Business of Fashion
  • What in the World Is Fashion Week Going to Be Like This Fall? — The Cut
  • ‘The new mall’: Beauty flocks to Instagram’s still-expanding shopping feature — Glossy
  • Fashion can’t afford to wait for customers to demand sustainability — Vogue Business
  • Where fashion’s transparency falls short — Vogue Business
  • The reality behind fashion’s sustainability certifications and coalitions — Vogue Business
  • Is transparency in fashion a dead end? — Vogue Business
  • Up To Half Of All Luxury Brands Won’t Make It — Here’s Why — Jing daily
  • Why clothes are so hard to recycle — BBC
  • Why used clothing can survive the global health crisis — Retail Dive
  • How expensive should fashion be? The true cost of our clothes isn’t decided at the till — Independent
  • Why eCommerce Excellence Is Essential — Interline
  • How 2020 canceled the concept store — Glossy
  • Sustainable fashion in 2021: What are retailers focusing on — Edited

NEW INDUSTRY LAYER

  • Computer vision: The new paradigm for search — Vogue Business
  • WTF is happening in the fashion industry right now? — Dazed Digital
  • How Can The Fashion Industry Build a More Sustainable Future? Experts weigh in — FashNerd
  • Farfetch Wants to Be the Netflix of Fashion — GQ
  • Lithuanian unicorn Vinted acquires Dutch startup United Wardrobe to make second-hand fashion the first choice in Europe — EU Startups
  • The 12 Trends and Predictions for 2021 From Fashion, Luxury and Beauty Experts — Launchmetrics
  • Major fashion houses will sell products made from mushroom leather by next year — Dezeen
  • Amsterdam innovation spotlight: Merging tech with sustainability — Vogue Business
  • Decentralized fashion brands are turning consumers into creators — Decrypt
  • 2020 Was a Big Year for Old Clothes: How Vintage, Secondhand, and Upcycling Took Off — Vogue
  • Fashion in 2021: What need to stay, change, and stop? — Highsnobiety
  • What Happens When the Runway, and Front Row, Vanish? — WWD
  • Why Luxury Brands Are Desperate For Digital Desire — Jing Daily
  • At CLO Virtual Fashion, Digitising the Design Process to Drive Transformation — Business of Fashion
  • Who influences the influencers? — Highsnobiety

FASHION AS ART

  • Scarlett Yang designs lab-grown dress from algae that can decompose in hours — Dezeen
  • The Ecuadorian label preserving generations of indigenous women’s craft — Paper Mag
  • Is It Street Wear or Is It Art? — New York Times
  • Exhibition Tour — About Time: Fashion and Duration with Andrew Bolton — Met Fashion
  • Designers turn luxury accessories and fakes into custom wear, proving sustainable fashion needn’t be boring — South China Morning Post
  • Kanye West Wants Shopping to Be Art — GQ

CIRCULATING THE INDUSTRY

  • Why Gucci Is Getting Into Resale — Business of Fashion
  • The pre-order model: Why it’s working — Vogue Business
  • Live streaming: Luxury’s new tech gamble — Vogue Business
  • Fashion Makes Mixed Progress on Circularity — Business of Fashion
  • H&M launches the first and only-in-store recycling machine — Fashion United
  • From same-day exchanges to style options: How retailers are bringing the in-store experience to homes — Glossy
  • TikTok partners with Shopify on social commerce — TechCrunch
  • This sweater was grown in a bioreactor — Fast Company
  • Digital Identity Meets Blockchain And Artificial Intelligence — Fashnerd
  • Powering a connected and circular future for fashion — Microsoft
  • Zalando launches circularity pilot — Zalando
  • Chasing the holy grail of circular fashion — Business of Fashion
  • Circular fashion’s timely opportunity — Vogue Business
  • SupplyCompass x Queen of Raw: Changing the Landscape for Deadstock Fabric — FashNerd

DIGITAL WORLD

  • Complex turned its fashion and music festival into a futuristic video game — The Verge
  • How 5G will change AR and digital fashion — Vogue Business
  • Digital-only beauty: From gaming skins to Zoom makeup — Vogue Business
  • Metagrail sells sneakers with virtual case — Playtoearn.online
  • Balenciaga made a video game to debut its next clothing collection — The Verge
  • The Factory is a new phygital venue in Fortnite — Creative Review
  • Epic’s new tech could theoretically put your facial expressions in Fortnite — The Verge
  • Yifan Pu: Designing a Digital Fashion Revolution — Factory Berlin
  • Staking Your Claim In The New Digital Economy — Interline
  • You’re Sleeping on Crypto Art — Collab+Currency, Medium
  • LUKSO (LYXE) — The Beginning of a New Digital Economy in Fashion & Luxury Retail — NSI
  • Digital Fashion: The Fabricant Launches Atari-Inspired Collection as Enjin NFTs — ENJIN
  • 3D at Scale: Achieving Consistency, Quality, and Agility in Digital Product Creation — Interline
  • From Zoom to VR, beauty brands get creative with virtual launch parties — Glossy
  • What ‘alone together’ meant for me in 2020 — Linkedin
  • Fashion shows are now 12-hour live streams. Or movies starring mermaids. Or mailed to you in a box — Washington Post
  • Smartphones are the new salesfloor — Vogue Business
  • Designers explore the future of digital clothing — Vogue Business
  • At This Designer’s Futuristic Fashion Show, Everyone Sits Front Row — Vogue
  • Snapchat bets on augmented reality to win at social commerce — Vogue Business
  • Rarible 2020: a Year in Review — Medium
  • Can Fashion Cash In on the Animal Crossing Craze? — Business of Fashion
  • Digital Fashion: A New Essential — Medium

REPORTS

VIDEOS

PODCASTS

That’s all for now. So much more digested & curated inspiring materials to come, including the podcast launch, epic interviews from the future of fashion POV and transparent communications from our team. Balanced Fashion is OUR responsibility, so if you have feedback & suggestions, we’re all ears.

Thank you, dear reader for holding it this past year and being the true warrior of beauty that you are!

Stay balanced, stay curious.

Love, Nataliya & the Balanced Fashion Team

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