Evan Spiegel : Meet the man behind the “ghost” App.

Great Evan-gelist… invented the App of the future! Snapchat, with its white ghost-shaped logo, is the temporary photo and video messaging company, which is very popular among millennials. What is exciting in this story is not the App itself but how a simple college assignment was transformed into a USD 19billion worth company? This is the story of Evan Thomas Spiegel, co-founder and CEO of one of the largest and fastest-growing social networks on the Internet.

Enfant Terrible

Despite Snapchat‘s phenomenal global success, the first version of the app was a flop! Picaboo, which failed to get off the ground, was rebranded Snapchat with a few more features. Today, at 25, Spiegel runs a multibillion dollar corporation with hundreds of employees and which has more than 130 million daily active users, chiefly millennials. Son of successful lawyers, John W. Spiegel and Melissa Ann Thomas, Evan is nowadays known to be the world’s youngest billionaire who will be remembered for turning down a USD 3billion offer from Facebook! “There are very few people in the world who get to build a business like this,” he told Forbes at the time. “I think trading that for some short-term gain isn’t very interesting.” Another college dropout like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, Evan quitted Stanford University just a few credits short of earning his degree. He was more concerned about completely focusing on Snapchat and its growing success than graduating!

Working the system

Spiegel clearly believes that understanding the patterns behind things and making them work in one’s favour can be more rewarding when it comes to business. When speaking to young people wishing to become entrepreneurs, he stated that: “Life isn’t fair and it’s not about working harder; it’s about working the system.” He also advised them to dare create something that you don’t want to sell.

So far, Evan has been “working the system” quite well, in his professional and private life as well, by dating Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr (ex-wife of Hollywood superstar, Orlando Bloom)! So, how is the kid-turned-celebrity-CEO going to work the system and transform Snapchat into a sustainable and profitable business? Well, it doesn’t seem like Mission Impossible for this enigmatic and resourceful young man whose “Mission Impossible style detonation technology” promises to bring a lot more than “ephemeral” image sharing! Stay tuned!

Consequently, Evan Spiegel strongly believes in Snapchat’s business model. He often claims that : “There is real value in sharing moments that don’t live forever.”  It would be interesting to see if he succeeds in transforming an App into a sustainable business. Well, we now hope that he lives up to the challenge of building something that will ultimately “live forever”!

Snapchat: Sustainable business model or fad? Post your comments below!

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Wearable Technology: Blending function with fashion

When it comes to wearables, people instinctively think about smartwatches or Google glass as “techy” accessories designed for men! Contrary to popular belief, wearables are not just a man thing! A study by The NPD Group, the US market research company, revealed that women (58 percent) outnumber men among prospective buyers of wearable technology. However, wrist-bound wearables and smart glasses aren’t the only things we expect to see! Smart jewelry and fibre-optic fabrics are two categories among others that are making headway in this new industry being particularly eyed up by high-end fashion companies!

Data, data, everywhere: But “wear”, why and how to use it?

In our big data era, data is of no use if you can’t see it when you need it! Wearable technology is an electronic sensor worn by the user that captures information about motion, location, speed, visualization and more. The promise of wearable technology is bringing into your field of vision the requested data which becomes accessible anytime you decide to glance at it! In other words, it brings the power of the smartphone but this time out of your pocket! Today the biggest market in wearable technology is health and fitness. Yet, wearables can be used not only track your heart rate, blood pressure and food consumption details but in other industries including security (road safety or self-defense), mining (safer workplace), construction and energy sectors (easily seeing inside pipes and walls), retail (increased productivity by accessing information on-the-go) and of course fashion.

Chic FashionWare

Perhaps the biggest complaint about wearables was their lack of aesthetic qualities. In other words, both genders liked using them, but for consistent wearability, women wanted more options, particularly more stylish ones. Things have changed a lot and today more and more fashion designers and retailers are collaborating with the tech world and all of them having one common goal in mind: “women” ! Designer Tory Burch created a line of sleek, sexy skins for FitBit, Diane Von Furstenberg worked with Google last year to come up with designer frames for Google Glass, Rebecca Minkoff is developing a notification bracelet that lights up when you receive a phone call or text and more recently Michael Kors also expressed an interest in breaking into the wearable tech space but without getting into specifics!

Ergo, it seems that Technology has finally found its way into the fashion industry, thus raising some important questions: Will this new smart fabric technology market be led by tech giants or by fashion houses? Will we soon be wearing gadgets instead of carrying them around with us? Indubitably, women are the heaviest users of today’s most vital technologies, hence compelling companies to keep women in mind if they want to compete successfully in this flourishing industry! 

Wearable Technology: Is fashion going to revolutionise this industry? Post your comments.

Picture above: Courtesy of Brainsonic ©

Hugo Boss goes Fur-Free

For several decades now, fur has been a controversial issue in fashion. Thankfully, the topic is currently not just a rallying point for protest, but subject of thoughtful debate. While in recent seasons fur has still been featured on the runway of a few prominent designers, some socially conscious and highly fashion-forward designers have chosen to side with the animal welfare cause. Among them, Hugo Boss, the iconic German luxury fashion house, recently announced going completely fur-free by its Fall/Winter 2016 collection.

Fur Furor

When it comes to fur, everybody’s got an opinion… Although the fur debate has once more been hitting the headlines, fur trade in the fashion industry has been rapidly gaining ground over the past years and continues to be an extremely lucrative business. According to figures released by the International Fur Federation last year, the global fur trade has been estimated at around USD40 billion. That’s roughly the same as the global Wifi market industry! Despite pressure from anti-fur activists, “Haute Fourrure” is once again back on the catwalk. It is stoutly defended by legendary fashion designers, such as Karl Lagerfeld, whose short-term ambition is to be the single point of reference when it comes to “couture fourrure”. The iconic designer, who is also famous for his outspokenness, recently responded to PETAs criticisms with the stinging comment, “There are not too many people with an opinion I care for.” So it would seem that, at least for Lagerfeld, fur is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon.

Meet the new “Boss” in Fur-Free Luxury Fashion

While fashion without fur seems inconceivable for many luxury brands, other designers are paving the way by setting a new trend of compassion in the industry. Notably, Hugo Boss has been an avant-garde leader in the fashion world by not only taking a stand against animal cruelty but by also promising to go fur-free for all his future collections. After recently complying with the program of the Fur Free Alliance (FFA), the famed house of fashion will be embracing an absolute fur-free policy by Fall this year. The fashion label is thus sending a powerful message to its counterparts that fashion without fur can be both sexy and fashionable, and at the same time humane and ethical…

Hugo Boss thus joins a growing list of fur-free brands and retailers, including Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Zara, American Apparel, Esprit, H&M, Steve Madden, Marks & Spencer, Topshop and ASOS.

In a global social environment which is increasingly driven by ethical and environmentalal concerns, the fur industry has come to be seen by many as a threat to our environment, contributing to pollution and the slow extinction of our wildlife! Today’s instant access to information, thanks to internet and social media, help customers decide where to stand. Only time will tell which side will win —at this point, all bets may be off, but at least the battle is on!

Should fur be banned from the runways? Share your thoughts.

Picture above: Courtesy of Hugo BOSS