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Category: innovation

The Evolution of Adaptive Clothing: A Night with Solomon Page and Runway of Dreams

Filed under: Big Ideas & Innovation, creativity, innovation, Leadership, News, Persistence, Professional Women, Social Impact, Success

On June 25th Solomon Page hosted an event dedicated to the exploration of adaptive clothing. The evening included an intimate cocktail reception and featured guest speaker Mindy Scheier, founder of Runway of Dreams Foundation, an organization dedicated to a future of inclusion, acceptance and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities.

Lloyd Solomon, Managing Director for Solomon Page, interviewed Mindy following a brief video that introduced Runway of Dreams’ history and mission. He opened the discussion speaking to our philanthropic spirit as a company. Solomon Page felt a relationship with this organization was an organic fit—our main core values closely align with those of Runway of Dreams’.

As Mindy explained during the Q&A, the inspiration for the concept was her son, who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy: though he wanted to wear jeans like his classmates, it was a struggle to take them on and off by himself. Thanks to patience and perseverance, Mindy was able to construct a pair he was able to slip in and out of without her help. As an audience member who also has a son with physical disabilities joked: “When my son wanted to wear nice clothes, I just got them tailored; I didn’t try to revolutionize the entire fashion industry.”

Realizing the desperate void to better accommodate people with disabilities, Mindy took it upon herself to address it. She explained that even though people with physical disabilities are a huge and underserved population–one in 20 people in the U.S. has a disability that affects their ability to dress themselves—mainstream brands were not actively selling in this market. But after some determination and research, Mindy partnered with Tommy Hilfiger in 2016 to build an adaptive clothing line, Tommy Adaptive.

As Mindy discussed, there were three main design factors to consider, that her son, and most people with physical disabilities, battled with: adjustability, closures, and alternative ways to put clothes on. The clothing is adaptable in a sense that it’s adjustable by size and length, mimicking an “internal hemming system” – she lamented that, during her research, she discovered people with disabilities can spend hundreds on tailoring. She also found that zippers, buttons, and hooks posed problems, so she added closures that were more user-friendly, such as magnets. Lastly, many people with physical disabilities, especially people in wheelchairs, are usually unable to stand up and pull clothes over their head, so she designed clothes that presented alternative ways to take on and off.

Many of the audience members resonated with Mindy’s vision, and her son’s personal struggles: people cited elderly parents who struggled to dress themselves in anything fashionable, or other family members who had disabilities. Mindy revealed that businesses are beginning to recognize that people with disabilities are a vastly untapped market: creating the ability to serve over one billion people globally, while presenting a potentially lucrative business opportunity for astute companies.

Click here to learn more information about Runway of Dreams.

Some photos from the event:

Mindy Scheier shows a short introductory video about Runway of Dreams before opening the floor to questions.

A menu of the speciality cocktails served during the event.

The charcuterie board served at the event.

The entrance to the event.

Lloyd Solomon, Managing Director, chats with Rachel Tigges, VP of Marketing.

The bar during the event.

The crowd gathers in the main room for cocktails and appetizers.

 

SHIFT: The Future of Human Capital

Filed under: innovation, Thought Leadership

With all the technological advancements and shifts in work environments over recent years, it becomes hard not to wonder what the future of work will look like. Will you sit in an office surrounded by colleagues, and if you do what will inter-office communication look like and how will it be monitored?

The Human Resources division of Solomon Page sought to provide insight to some of these questions in a recent speaker series we hosted on March 23rd. The event, SHIFT: The Future of Human Capital, dove into the effect of People Analytics, Data, and Technology on the future of work itself.

For this intimate gathering, we assembled a panel of experts to reveal what these advancements mean for organizations and human resources professionals today and advise on best practices for how to prepare for the not-so-distant future. Moderated by Vivian Garcia-Tunon, Founder of VGT Consulting Group, the panel included Stela Lupushor, Founder of Reframe.Work, and Dave Winsborough, Vice President of Innovation at HoganX.

Companies are currently leaning on analytics and reporting to provide insight on their team members and employee interactions in ways that to many may seem too “futuristic” to be plausible. Through advanced algorithms and reporting mechanisms, organizations can interpret employee behavioral patterns to predict signals of distress before conflicts arise. Therein allowing leadership time to devise a plan of attack to either address or resolve conflicts before any potential damage ensues.

While it may not be realistic to think that within the next couple of years all organizations will operate with high-functioning data and analytics capabilities (such as, tracking employee behavioral reaction through sensors), Lupushor and Winsborough divulged practical implementations that those of us working on less “futuristic” levels can incorporate into our daily lives.

Their advice: “keep it simple.” By taking a step back and evaluating the tools you are currently working with, you may be surprised to learn just how innovative their algorithms and reporting capabilities are. Take LinkedIn for example, a resource we all have access to. Through their advanced search options, you can construct an extremely targeted search to uncover individuals you may never have found otherwise, and then follow the progression of their career to pinpoint the best time to approach them for a career move.

With a rise of many consulting firms offering the secret of how to catch employees before they decide to leave your company, the notion to outsource similar employee tracking can be tempting. However, history shows that trends come and go, and our experts suggest the same. Rather than being swayed by something that appears “bright and shiny,” you can often uncover the answers yourself, if you ask the right questions.

So, while the future may not be quite as far away as we all think, it does not need to have ultramodern bells and whistles on it to be effective. With the information gained and advice imparted from Shift, no matter your degree of access to high-tech equipment each of us can incorporate the ideas behind the use of people analytics, data, and technology to inform us of trends in our workspace that we may not have recognized otherwise.

For more information on how you can best equip yourself and your team for this not-so-distant future, get in touch with our Human Resources division at humanresources@solomonpage.com.

10 Top Trends Driving The Future Of Marketing

Filed under: creativity, innovation, Marketing, trends

Marketers are constantly looking into the future, trying to predict the next big trend, be it for their brands or their clients. Naturally, marketers are preoccupied with questions like: What is the next big campaign? How can we turn our client into the “next big thing”? What is the next hot trend going to be in retail? Etc.  Everyone wants to the answers. Knowing this, what do some of the top minds in marketing predict for their own futures? A recent article by Jeff Beer on Fast Company Create collected 25 future trends that will change the marketing landscape five years from now based on top innovators in marketing and advertising. After reading this, I started to ponder what I saw as the top trends driving marketing.

Here are the 10 trends that I think are going to have the biggest impact on the future of marketing.

1. Mobile is going to become the center of marketing. From cell phones to smartphones, tablets to wearable gadgets, the evolution of mobile devices is one of the prime factors influencing the marketing world. As the focus is shifting to smaller screens, brands will be able to strike up a more personalized relationship with their customers by leveraging the power of mobile.

Click here to read the rest on Forbes >>

Four Principles to Inspire Innovation

Filed under: Big Ideas & Innovation, innovation, inspiration, Your Career

When I think about the past, present and future of the aerospace industry, I keep coming back to innovation as the common thread. And while we all know about the great innovations of the past, the crucial question to answer for tomorrow is: How do we inspire continued innovation into the future?

I recently had the honor of delivering the 44th Wings Club “Sight” Lecture – an annual address that examines “hindsights, insights and foresights” of the aerospace industry – and I thought I’d share the takeaways from that speech with you, along with four principles that I believe are necessary to inspire innovation at any company.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>