BRAS, BIKINIS AND BEER – WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?

Valentine’s day may be done and dusted, but this week’s amazing wearable innovations make us
want to treat our partners (or rather – ourselves!) all year round.

What women really really want: No kidding, finding a bra that fits – never mind a sports bra that fits – has been my lifelong Sisyphean work. But here comes a new smart bra, from wearables company OmSignal – using sensors hidden in the bra band it records distance, heart and breathing rate. More to the point it’s insanely customisable, making it almost as good as a bespoke custom-made bra. Boom! It somewhat demonstrates that the lingerie industry has been utterly useless in creating really well-fitting sports bras (Nike, I am looking at you too). It took a modest Canadian geek crew to find what we really really want!

And the ultimate romantic is…Nike: Nike Apple Watch has been a surprising winner in @GoogleTrends Valentine’s Day gift searches in Oregon. In the search to uncover the romantic elements so desired by Oregonians we examined this object of considerable beauty in detail. The killer feature seems to be the instantaneous connection to GPS (so you never get lost, which can’t be said about other smartwatches). It is Siri-activated so it’s good for beginners as it wakes you up with a simple Let’s Run voice command, and also has space for your music so no need to carry your phone around. The perforated wristband is a bit of a statement but the integration of Nike Run Club with Apple is seamless – clearly the fruit of a beautiful friendship between two companies that by now has turned into a hot romance. Buy!

Saved by a text: In a hurry and having a post V-Day gift emergency? North America-based department store Nordstrom knows that guys don’t plan for these things, so introduced a service where you can simply text the store with your order, which they’ll then deliver, et voilà! The day is saved as the package with your selected gift arrives at home in 90 minutes, just in time to save your bacon. Text ordering is also handy for those Little Black Dress emergencies when you forgot about your work do but need to impress the boss with something slightly better than your après gym clothes. Text is a massively undervalued sales channel, and should be a must-option for any serious fashion retailer. Go Nordstrom.

Happiness is mappiness: Saint Patrick’s Day is coming so if you’re designing an Irish-style pub crawl pay attention to Google Maps group service. It helps you to create and share a list of places for your mates to follow and (drum roll please) it also allows you to update it, with the updates being sent as alerts in real time to the people who follow your map. When not overdosing on Guinness, the Google shared map service is also handy for a Saturday group shopping spree when a bunch of you wants to shop together but not necessarily visit each of the shops en route. Friends can also respond and edit locations if they disagree with your choices. Simply magic.

Bikini beach alert: Baby it’s cold outside, but we are busy planning our hot escapes. If your skin is of a sensitive northern type like ours, invest in this connected bikini or one-piece from Spinali Design. The French-made garment has a sensor for light exposure and will alert you via your phone if it’s time to get off that beach, or at least slap a triple layer of factor 50 sun protection on your overexposed skin. Pricey, but not much more than a piece from Melissa Odabash, and definitely healthier. Pack.

New section alert! By popular demand we are adding a small job section to share with you what our network is looking for in February.

Jobs: Go east young man (or woman)

 Know about fashion and start-ups? The Centre for Fashion Enterprise is funding a group of growth experts to support this new mecca of young fashion brands. For paid mentoring positions apply here, or get in touch with us at hello@theretailpractice.com.

More jobs

Our lovely friends at MyShowcase.com are looking for trainee beauty stylists for their new group of field sales people. Warning – there is a sign-up fee of £147 but you will get this back in products, and more. Loved and trusted, MyShowcase is the brainchild of our ex-colleague and ex-Vogue star Nancy Cruickshank, and it’s a good place to turn your passion for make-up into a paid career. Worth a try.

Exhibition: 500 years of robots evolution Worried about your job being taken over by robots? See this new show at the Science Museum and judge for yourself. Fashion and coding, our two loves, are still highly manual and both need a soul as well as a very skilled pair of hands, but we definitely keep our eyes peeled in case the bots come after us. Go.