March 22, 2012

The Story In Demand

We all want something different these days that not only sets us apart but also tells some sort of story relevant to who we are and what we believe in. Outside of the traditional department store, world of fast fashion chains, ordinary restaurants and everyday products are some new and cool brands pioneering this changing demand.

From interior design to actual product development, these brands are challenging the norm with their fearless and innovative desire to stand out in an oversaturated market by experimenting with what they believe in. Today we’d like to inspire you as these brands have inspired us. We are headed in a new direction that focuses on the meaning behind things and caring about where and how things are made. To make it in any industry, something has to stand out and be “special.”

video via M A I Y E T

Inspired by truth and harmony of the Ancient Egyptians and partnering with the nonprofit organization, NestMaiyet works with artisans from around the world to strengthen and promote entrepreneurship in Colombia, India, Italy and Kenya. Not only is the collection described as “rare and unexpected,” but its dedication to timeless quality and soulful design gives it a sense of substance and depth. First launched in Paris for Spring 2012, the label is now exclusively sold at Barney's emulating ladylike simplicity, mindfulness and the idea of a new luxury.

photo via Good Society

For some, a good fitting pair of jeans is ideal love but for the denim line, Good Society, it's so much more than that. Organically grown cotton on environmentally aware farms, manufactured by ethical and safe factories in China, and shared profits that support children's homes in India is just the gist of it. For them, their vision all starts with a simple decision and that's all it takes to have an impact.

If eating is one thing, it's about the experience and the Danish chef Mads Refslund, is all about just that. This time, he's cooked up some of his famous New Nordic cuisine (as he puts it) and re-invented the restaurant Acme in SoHo. While the name has remained unchanged, the menu is entirely spiced up, broken into four sections titled soil, raw, cooked and sea/land. As a former Head Chef/Co-founder of the restaurant Noma with fellow colleague René Redzepi, Mads plans on further pursuing his philosophy of "foraging" and "bonding rawness" by incorporating natural herbs and plants from nature into his cuisine. The idea of raw, fresh flavored ingredients not only challenges his talent but brings the forest to the city in the most innovative concoctions.

video via youtube

IBM recently partnered with the University of Bari to implement a cloud computing system that helps control the demand of the local fishing industry in Italy. Using this new business model fishermen can keep track of how many fish they are catching "in real time" as well as sell the fish before they even reach land through a virtual fish market. By minimizing excess waste and maximizing on efficiency, costs are reduced and demand is better controlled. From bringing the forest to the city to bringing technology to the sea, it's all about learning how to better manage one's business by mixing things up a bit. We predict as cloud computing filters into more industries that it will generate more effective business strategies to the mainstream.

photo via

Last year we introduced the IOU Project which combines craft, business, social networking and complete traceability into an experimental strategy to produce an updated supply chain or as they call it, "a prosperity chain." Kavita Parmar, IOU's founder and creative director, is dedicated to the notion that the entire supply chain must change "to create a new one that allows goods to be produced and sold and serves everyone involved." Rather than following mainstream fashion trends, the project is a leader in the world of ethical fashion as everyone from the artisan to the designer and final customer are involved in the story to create authentic, responsible and beautiful products. Most recently, IOU has partnered with Source4Style to launch the "DIY with IOU" sustainable design competition as well as been deemed the innovation of the year award for 2012 at the 16th Annual Luxury Briefing Awards! From all of us here at MBF Trend Consulting, congratulations to the IOU Project on all your achievements!

photo via IOU Project

So what is driving this changing landscape that is affecting all these different industries? It's all about having a story behind a brand, awareness, transparency, innovation, design and technology. In addition, the awareness and demand of consumers' behavior is evolving as they look for newness and specialness in how they spend their money and time. Businesses are beginning to catch on as well as they look to restructure business models, marketing tactics and product assortments. Everyone is beginning to realize something needs to change. From the erratic weather changes to the unstable economy, slowly but surely, we are headed into a new mindset as our insight into the future continues to get more and more complicated. 

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