Daily Archives: January 16, 2013

IBM monitors electronic conversations to pick up on and predict trends. Getty Images

IBM has gotten into the trend-spotting business. You know that thing designers refer to as “zeitgeist”. Well, it can identify it, track it, determine when it turns from vague mumblings into larger movements, and then sell the information to clients. It’s not an art anymore; it’s a science.

Actually, it’s the Social Sentiment Index, a tool for monitoring the global electronic conversations on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, as well as blogs. When people start talking a lot about a certain topic: bingo. Read more

Financo – a New York-based boutique investment bank that specializes in consumer retail – held a seminar yesterday with a CEO panel that showcased some of fashion’s most successful kingpins. Coach chief executive Lew Frankfort gave his two cents to the assembled suits, as did Juicy Couture and VF CEOs Paul Blum and Eric Wiseman, plus hospitality supremo Danny Meyer.

But the most vocal man in the room by far – J Crew’s chief executive Mickey Drexler – wasn’t sitting on the stage.

In a rather unexpected (and uninvited) twist at the tail end of an otherwise predictable dissection of retail strategy, lifestyle brands and the importance of the emerging markets, Mr Drexler sensationally hijacked the discussion from the floor, to the acute embarrassment of Financo’s head honcho Gilbert Harrison. Read more