Stylus Future Thinking

40 Episodes

By: Stylus Future Thinking

Take a fascinating journey into the future as Stylus experts, alongside industry thought-leaders and commentators, unpack tomorrow’s trends and unearth bold new opportunities.

Gaps in the Market – Five Consumer Challenges that Brands Need to Solve
Last Tuesday at 4:08 PM

This episode features five brilliant thought-leaders – Michael Miraflor, Josh Constine, Jarrod Dicker, Cherie Hu, and Sam Freedman – answering the question: what’s a consumer problem or challenge that you don’t think has been solved yet? What their answers reveal are consumer pain points that need to be addressed – essentially, unlocking new markets and roadmaps for brand growth. With additional comment from Stylus analysts.

The Business of Post-Pandemic Wellness

In this episode, Christian Ward, head of Brand Engagement & Multimedia Strategy at Stylus, explores the business of wellbeing. What new opportunities for consumers and brands are emerging in the post-pandemic fitness and wellness space? With Rick Stollmeyer, co-founder of Mindbody, and Estella Shardlow, senior editor of Consumer Lifestyle – Stylus.

New Traveller Priorities

In this episode, Stylus US Editor Emilia Morano-Williams discusses the state of post-Covid travel – what kinds of experiences will consumers want as vacationing returns to the agenda? With Jimmy Carroll, co-founder of Pelorus, and Mandy Saven, Director of Consumer Lifestyle at Stylus.

Why Sex is a Self-Care Essential

In this episode, Stylus US Editor Emilia Morano-Williams discusses how sexual wellness is becoming a booming industry, and the opportunities it offers for beauty brands in particular. With Sam Freedman, co-founder and CEO of Curate Beauty, and Lisa Payne, Senior Editor of Beauty at Stylus.

The NFT Opportunity

In this episode, Christian Ward, head of Brand Engagement & Multimedia Strategy at Stylus is joined by Robby Yung, chief executive of Animoca and Stephen Graves, UK managing editor of Decrypt Media, to discuss NFTs, or non-fungible tokens: what are they, why are they taking off right now, and what can brands do with them?

Sex After Covid: New Pleasure Priorities

In this episode, Stylus US Editor Emilia Morano-Williams discusses how the pandemic has affected consumers’ sex lives. With Liz Klinger, co-founder and CEO of sex tech company Lioness, and Elspeth Taylor, Consumer Attitudes & Technology Assistant Editor at Stylus.

Gut Health: 2021's Key Wellness Imperative

In this episode, Stylus’ US editor Emilia Morano-Williams discusses gut health, and learns why consumers are clamouring for products and advice on supporting their microbiomes. With Lisa & Alana Macfarlane – founders of The Gut Stuff, and Laura Swain – Food & Beverage editor at Stylus.

The Psychology of Fun

In this episode, Emilia Morano-Williams, Stylus’ US editor, explores the psychology of fun: how can brands help consumers seek happiness in these troubled times? Joining her to discuss this are Dr Travis Oh, assistant professor of Marketing at Yeshiva University, and Elspeth Taylor, Consumer Attitudes & Technology assistant editor at Stylus.

Nurturing New Talent for a Fashion Industry in Flux

With the fashion industry in disarray, fashion education is undergoing a radical makeover. In this episode, Christian Ward discusses this transformation with Shanu Walpita, lecturer in Fashion Communication & Innovation at the London College of Fashion, Keanan Duffty, associate professor of Fashion at The New School in New York, and Emily Gordon-Smith, director of Consumer Product at Stylus.

The Past, Present & Future of Super Bowl Ads

In this episode, Christian Ward discusses the Super Bowl and the past, present and future of Super Bowl advertising. Joining him to discuss this is Tim Nudd, editor in chief of Muse by Clio, which is part of the Clio Awards (the annual advertising awards programme).

Understanding Fundamental Consumer Needs

In this episode, Christian Ward is joined by Fiona Atzler, Senior Director at global strategy and innovation consultancy Egg Strategy, to discuss how brands and businesses can navigate complexity in the year ahead by understanding – and acting on – fundamental consumer needs.

What’s Next for Media and Publishing?

In this episode, Christian Ward is joined by Jarrod Dicker, VP of commercial technology and development at the Washington Post, to discuss the current and future state of media, journalism and publishing.

Are Robots the Future of Mental Healthcare?

In this episode, Christian Ward is joined by Alison Darcy, founder and CEO of Woebot, to discuss how our mental health needs are increasingly being served by artificially intelligent bots.

Trinny Woodall on Stress-Busting Beauty

In this episode, Christian Ward is joined by Trinny Woodall – beauty entrepreneur and Insta-influencer, and previously one half of fashion makeover team Trinny & Susannah – to discuss how the beauty industry is taking on the challenge of de-stressing consumers.

Gen Z Fashion: New Rules of Engagement

In this episode, Christian Ward is joined by Hasna Kourda, founder of 'digital wardrobe' app Save Your Wardrobe, and Katie Baron, director of Consumer Engagement at Stylus, to discuss Gen Z fashion and retail trends – specifically the use of new tech tools that encourage more conscious consumerism.

Thomas Heatherwick on the Power of Biophilia

In this episode, Christian Ward is joined by designer Thomas Heatherwick and Stylus’s senior editor of Product Design Dewi Pinatih to discuss the power of biophilia – how nature can contribute to better workplaces, buildings and cities.

Can ‘Made to Order’ Save Fashion?

The fashion industry is in a state of flux, but new digitally driven innovations are pushing it forward. In this episode, Christian Ward talks to Ben Demiri, co-founder and CEO of PlatformE ( , and Saisangeeth Daswani, head of Advisory – Fashion, Beauty & APAC at Stylus, about how made-to-order technology is shaking things up.

The Rise of the Creator Economy

We’re in the middle of a revolution in consumer creativity, driven by platforms like TikTok ( , Twitch ( , Patreon ( , Substack ( and OnlyFans ( . In this episode, Christian Ward talks to Josh Constine, Principal Investor & Head of Content at early stage venture capital firm SignalFire ( , and Julia Errens, Pop Culture & Media Editor at Stylus, about what’s fuelling this creativity renaissance, and how brands can play a part.

How Brands are Powering-Up Voter Participation

At this year’s Stylus Trends Intelligence Summit (Oct 20-22), Christian Ward hosted a conversation on the responsibilities that brands have in taking a stand and impacting their communities. Four industry thought leaders offered penetrating insights on how to make a difference, with particular focus on the upcoming US election, but also looking at many of the other issues that have impacted society over the course of this challenging year.

What Happened to the Big Idea in Advertising?

Has advertising, in the age of programmatic placement, big data and hyper-personalisation,  lost sight of the “big creative idea”? Christian Ward talks to Michael Miraflor, a marketing consultant whose previous roles include Global Head of Futures & Innovation at Blue 449, a Publicis Media agency. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the International Radio and Television Society and is a contributor to MediaPost and Luxury Daily.

The Future of Music

In this time of global uncertainty what does the future hold for the music industry? Christian Ward talks to Cherie Hu, founder of Water + Music about how the industry is changing in response to the pandemic, what that means for artists and performers and how brands can play their part.

The New Rules of Online Community-Building

Consumers are turning away from big, open social media platforms towards more personal, private community spaces. In this episode  Christian Ward talks to Greg Isenberg, co-founder of Late Checkout ( about what this means for brands, consumers and start-ups alike.

Why Inclusivity is the Future for Food Brands

Today we take a look at the racism pervading the food industry and why it’s critical that brands foster an inclusive food culture for all consumers. Emilia Morano-Williams talks to academic, journalist and artist Anna Sulan Masing and chef, author and activist Zoe Adjonyoh about what it means to decolonise the food industry and the importance of multiple narratives.

Beauty Brands in the BLM Era: The Inclusivity Imperative

African and Caribbean women reportedly spend about 80% more on cosmetics and double the amount on skincare as their non-Afro Caribbean counterparts, and yet are still underserved in this market. Christian Ward talks to Founder of SevenSix Agency Charlotte Williams and Stylus’ Senior Beauty Editor Lisa Payne about the beauty brands getting it right and the how others can follow suit.

Disrupt the Status Quo: Transformative Storytelling for Brands and Business Leaders

How do you create a culture of inclusion and be a better leader in these challenging times? Christian Ward talks to founder of The New Quo Christina Blacken, and Stylus’ Pop Culture & Media Editor Julia Errens about how narrative intelligence drives behaviour, why inequality is stifling innovation and the potential of transformational leadership.

Get Your House in Order: Fostering Inclusive Culture in Business

How can brands and marketers take action to support Black Lives Matter in meaningful, long-term ways? Christian Ward talks to marketing consultant Sonia Thompson and strategic marketing consultant Lexie Perez about the work that needs to be done internally to support deeper structural change, and why your team needs to look like the people you’re serving.

Racial Bias in Technology

With some tech giants now stepping away from facial recognition because inherent bias, what is and can be done to address this critical issue? Emilia Morano Williams talks to founder and CEO of AI for the People Mutale Nkonde about how racial bias is contaminating AI and what a racially inclusive future for tech could look like.

Gen Z Revolutions: How to Reach the Activist Generation

How are Gen Z reacting to this extraordinary year? Christian Ward talks to founder of Gen Z insights agency Imagen, Jay Richards about the brands winning respect by investing in social causes, and how they can be the ones to maintain the momentum of now and demand long-term change.

Brands & Black Lives Matter: How to be More Than Just an Ally

How can brands put themselves on the line to become more than just an ally in the Black Lives Matter movement? Christian Ward speaks to journalist Ernest Owens and Director of Creative Strategy at Vox Media Amber Davis about how to move beyond lip-service to bring about the systemic changes needed.

Innovation in a Crisis: How Brands Can Emerge Stronger

Is it possible for businesses to emerge from the coronavirus crisis stronger and more resilient than before? Christian Ward talks to founder of Plan, Kevin McCullagh about the challenges all business must navigate to adapt to the current crisis.

How to Navigate China’s Post-Pandemic Retail Landscape

What are the concerns of Chinese consumers and how are they shifting as the country re-opens following Covid-19 lockdown? Emilia Morano-Williams talks to Nancy Zhang, head of partnerships for China-focused ecommerce company BorderX Lab, and Saisangeeth Daswani, Stylus’ Advisory Head of Fashion, Beauty and APAC, about what international brands should know before entering the  market, the history of revenge buying and what messaging will resonate with Chinese consumers post-pandemic.

Wellbeing in the Age of Coronavirus

How is coronavirus shifting our approach to wellbeing in lockdown and beyond? Christian Ward talks to founder if St Iris, Sanela Lazic and Stylus’ senior Beauty editor Lisa Payne about the integral role that beauty can play in our quest for balance, happiness and respite.

Tapping the Consumer Subconscious

How can brands get to grips with their customers’ subconscious behaviour – and why do they need to? Christian Ward talks to CEO of Neuro-Insight Shazia Ginai and Kate Johnson, Stylus’ senior editor of Technology and Consumer Attitudes about the gap between perceived and actual behaviour, the importance of storytelling in prompting action and the ethics of tapping into the consumer subconscious.

What Does 'Clean Beauty’ Actually Mean?

Having shed its hippie roots, what does ‘clean beauty’ mean today? Christian Ward talks to wellness guru and founder of Romilly Wilde, Susie Willis and Lisa Payne, Stylus’ senior Beauty editor about what makes a product truly natural, the surplus ingredients to avoid and clean beauty in a post-pandemic world.

Sustainable Fashion in a Post-Pandemic World

Hailed as the sustainable saviour of the fashion industry, what do rental and re-sales look like in a post-pandemic world? Christian Ward talks to industry guru and chairman of resales venture My Wardrobe HQ, Jane Shepherdson, and Emily Gordon-Smith, Stylus’ director of Consumer Product about the brands diversifying and using their resources for good, giving consumers space to reflect on their choices and the longer-term future of sustainable fashion.

The Rise of Anti-Social Social Media

From TikTok challenges to Discord communities, the social media landscape is becoming increasingly nuanced - how can brands keep up and add value? Christian Ward talks to digital content expert and founder of SW Projects ( Sara Wilson about the value of tapping into niche groups, why now is the time for experimentation and the lasting impact of Covid-19 on digital content.

How Brands Can Work with Gen Z

Gen Z are a unique force, distinctly different to any previous demographic. In this episode Christian Ward talks to Jay Richards, founder of Imagen, and Katie Baron, Stylus’ Director of Brand Engagement about how to access brutally honest insights from this cohort, what status means to them and how to win their loyalty.

Luxury Beauty’s Meaningful Future

How can brands create products that truly resonate with luxury consumers? Christian Ward talks to founder of Veronique Gabai Beauty, Veronique Gabai and Stylus’ senior Beauty editor Lisa Payne about wellness, sensoriality and the quest for meaning in luxury beauty.

The Rise of the Sober-Curious

With almost half of the drinking-age public no longer drinking, shrewd brands are elevating low and no alcohol drinks beyond the everyday. Emilia Morano-Williams talks to founder of booze-free craft cocktail makers Curious Elixirs John Wiseman, and Stylus’ US trends analyst and resident mocktail enthusiast Emily Seger about what’s driving people to scale back on their drinking and how brands can build relationships with these teetotal consumers.

Trippy Care: How Psychedelics Can Improve Your Wellbeing

What’s driving the renaissance in psychedelic drug use, and what can brands do to get involved? Christian Ward talks to co-founder of psychedelic retreat Synthesis Myles Katz, and Stylus’ senior editor of Consumer Attitudes and Technology Kate Johnson about unleashing creativity, tapping the subconscious and - above all - avoiding the bad trip.