Archive | February, 2011

Oscars offer 360 digital experience

27 Feb

Given that I’m currently in Los Angeles and the build-up to the 83rd Academy Awards has already begun, I thought I’d post a quick update on all things digital surrounding this year’s Oscars.

It’s a big push from the Academy this year to involve as many people as possible, thus the tagline You’re Invited.

In a bid to attract a younger (and inevitably larger) viewership, young stars James Franco and Anne Hathaway have of course been recruited as the hosts, but so too are there a wealth of new online initiatives surrounding the event for the first time.

Between 20 to 30 cameras have been set up to offer online viewers a broader experience than ever before. Alongside the usual TV coverage, there is access to everything from a thank you cam to a press room cam. For just $4.99 fans can also purchase the premium All Access service which offers a 360 degree camera.

Those using an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch can also download the Backstage Pass app which similarly provides live streams from the various cameras around the Kodak Theatre venue in Hollywood.

Across platforms, the coverage spreads not only from the red carpet and ceremony itself, but backstage to see things like the winners getting their statues engraved, and a look inside the Governor’s Ball celebration thereafter.

The celebrities are more into digital this year too with live tweets from host @JamesFranco and other stars during the show.

A great start – there were already 1600 tweets per minute about the Oscars at the beginning of the red carpet coverage.

Happy watching!

Galliano arrested, does Twitter eliminate damage control?

25 Feb

John Galliano became a key trending topic on Twitter today following news of his arrest in Paris for alleged anti-semitic remarks.

Released by police early this morning, the Brit designer has since been suspended from his role at Christian Dior pending the police investigation.

“Dior affirms with the utmost conviction its policy of zero tolerance towards any anti-Semitic or racist words or behaviour,” Dior CEO Sidney Toledano said in a statement. “Pending the results of the inquiry, Christian Dior has suspended John Galliano from his responsibilities.”

It is unknown whether the Dior show planned for March 4 will go ahead.

It’s in scenarios like these I wonder whether the speed in which Twitter can power such stories around the world is a good thing. If it turns out Galliano is innocent, which for his own sake as well as Dior’s is hopefully the case, has his reputation suffered irreparable damage nonetheless?

Pre-social media, the story would undoubtedly have been kept far quieter. Yes, it will have likely still been headline-hitting in relevant countries (and rightly so), but perhaps not on quite the same scale. Either way, it seems Dior has made the right move in suspending him, but is damage control all the harder with the advent of 140 characters?

Zara launches People!, calls for creativity

25 Feb

Zara has launched a new project called People!, which encourages consumers to collaborate with the brand by sending in their own creative pictures for publication.

At people.zara.com, users are asked upload images with looks featuring at least two items from the retailer’s current collection. Each week a selection of the best will then be published online.

Those chosen will receive 300€ for their colaboration.

Yet another clever use of crowdsourcing – and cheap creative pics for Zara too.

Calvin Klein launches biggest digital initiative to date with ck one lifestyle campaign

23 Feb

Teasers for the all-new ck one lifestyle line from Calvin Klein were released today.

Conceived by consulting creative director Fabien Baron of Baron + Baron, the launch campaign marks the company’s largest digital initiative to date.

Based primarily on a series of interactive videos, the initiative begins with a new website at ckone.com where users will be able to not only engage with content from the brand, but also upload their own.

A facility to submit and tag videos will be integrated, with posts positioned alongside content from the campaign’s cast members in a bid to make consumers feel as involved as possible with the brand.

“This is an important global multi-product launch and represents the company’s largest digitally-focused campaign to date,” said Tom Murry, president and CEO of Calvin Klein, Inc. “The emphasis on social media and the interactivity of this campaign serve to redefine the ck one brand for a new generation. The creative is exciting and strong and the multi-prong platform is on target to reach a younger demographic, while remaining true to the legacy of the iconic ck one brand.”

The line itself incorporates underwear, denim and swimwear inspired by the iconic unisex fragrance of the same name.

The ads are fronted by model Lara Stone, who is the face of the company across its various brands. Joining her are a variety of other young models, musicians, actors and sports stars including Alice Dellal and Abbey Lee Kershaw, boxing champion Robert Evans, and dancer Jackson Blyton Megran.

It was shot by Steven Meisel, who can also be credited with creating those infamous ck one fragrance ads starring Kate Moss and Marky Mark in 1994.

Kevin Carrigan, global creative director of Calvin Klein Jeans and ck Calvin Klein, said: “Mark and Kate were just young kids then and we wanted the same feel. We wanted to show how diverse the collection is when worn by different people, so we took one jean, one shirt, a great grey T-shirt; classic American basics, and gave them to these cool kids.”

“We put them all in a room, just a big mirrored box surrounded by cameras, and let them try the collection,” Carrigan told Vogue.com. “The ck one collection is not about wearing clothes the way you’ve been told, it’s about making them your own. We put the pieces in there in all sizes, from XXXL to XS; it’s not about the perfect size – it’s a play on proportion and androgyny. Girls were wearing jeans that were baggy and far too big, or wearing oversized shirts as dresses, they made the collection their own. It’s the personalisation of fashion – and the campaign is really just a reportage of them trying the clothes.”

The full reveal of the campaign takes place from March 1, while in the meantime fans are encouraged to become fans of Calvin Klein on Facebook to be kept up-to-date with more information.

There’s also a mobile app, which will integrate video and social media as well as the use of augmented reality to enable further access to content such as from behind-the-scenes.

And if you’re in one of a dozen or so major cities around the world, it’s also likely you’ll spot the campaign on one of numerous LED billboards.

The print version of the campaign, created from stills of the videos, will debut in April magazines, and for the first time be globally enabled with AR technology.

Carine Roitfeld on the future of fashion

23 Feb

There’s a great interview with Carine Roitfeld, post her departure as editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue, by Dirk Standen as part of the Future of Fashion series over at Style.com,

“A lot of things have changed, and when you’re working you don’t see all these things changing. But when you stop, you can see it. You have to understand the new way of working with fashion,” she said.

Inevitably, she referred to the internet…

“Everything is going so quick now with the Internet, with the blogs. It’s very important. There are two possibilities; either you go very quick to the Internet or you go to magazines and you make it like a collector’s item. [I still think] it’s very normal to have all these fashion weeks and to go to all these shows. Can you show them through movies? I don’t think this is possible. It’s very exciting to be at the runway, to hear the music, to feel the atmosphere, to feel what people like or don’t like. Even if there are too many shows—I would love if there were less shows—I think we have to live with the shows. But after, maybe there is another way to make fashion stories.”

Having said that, she was fairly pro Tom Ford’s exclusivity strategy:

“I think it was very smart of him, just 100 journalists in his shop, and he was talking about each model and he had a sense of humor, so you see a lot of people laughing, which is fun… He did totally the contrary of everyone else and he made a big buzz, a big excitement. I think it was good not to see the [clothes] afterwards immediately on the blogs. For the editors, you feel more VIP, and it makes the buzz bigger and everyone knows about the Tom Ford collection. And really nothing came out. It was very controlled.”

Read the full interview, here.

Burberry steals #LFW with global digital strategy

22 Feb

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yesterday’s Burberry show, though perhaps not a favourite-ever collection from Christopher Bailey, nonetheless stole the London Fashion Week limelight hands down.

Once again proving itself as a digital leader within the luxury sect, the brand live-streamed around the globe through 40 in-store virtual trunk shows, as well as on the mega 32m digital billboard in London’s Piccadilly Circus.

A total of 11 cameras as well as a live text feed, provided viewers with both pre-show content – featuring A-list guests including Rachel Bilson and Kate Bosworth as they arrived at London’s Royal Park of Kensington Gardens – and full coverage of the collection as it came out.

While this is the seventh season the brand has live streamed its show, which was also available online, it’s the first time it has done so on an outdoor digital screen at Piccadilly Circus. In fact, it’s a first for any brand.

The aim was for an immersive, interactive and entertaining experience, said chief creative officer Christopher Bailey. “We have always used digital communication to deepen our connection with the customer and allow people all over the world to experience Burberry no matter where they are. Whether you are at home online, watching in Piccadilly Circus, using a mobile device or in our store in Beijing everyone will be able to feel the energy and attitude of the brand and the excitement of the show,” he added.

The brand also continued with its runway to reality initiative, allowing consumers in store – via iPads – as well as online, to order items of outerwear or bags for delivery in seven weeks.

Those with the cash to splash are still able to pre-order until February 28, while the full collection will otherwise be available from August.

An on-demand version of the coverage is also now available online, which includes footage of the collection being put together and red carpet interviews.

Not forgetting the importance of music to the brand, viewers can also download the tracks featured in the show, including You Don’t Own Me by Dusty Springfield and Someone Like You by Adele, through iTunes on the Burberry.com site.

 

Yesterday’s Burberry show, though perhaps not one of my favourite ever collections from Christopher Bailey, stole the London Fashion Week limelight hands down.

Once again proving itself as a digital leader within the luxury sect, it live-streamed around the globe through 40 in-store virtual trunk shows, as well as on the mega 32m digital billboard in London’s Piccadilly Circus.

A total of 11 cameras as well as a live text feed, provided viewers with both pre-show content – featuring A-list guests including Rachel Bilson and Kate Bosworth as they arrived at London’s Royal Park of Kensington Gardens – and full coverage of the collection as it came out.

While this is the seventh season the brand has live streamed its show, which was also available online, it’s the first time it has done so on an outdoor digital screen at Piccadilly Circus. In fact, it’s a first for any brand.

The aim was for an immersive, interactive and entertaining experience, said chief creative officer Christopher Bailey. “We have always used digital communication to deepen our connection with the customer and allow people all over the world to experience Burberry no matter where they are. Whether you are at home online, watching in Piccadilly Circus, using a mobile device or in our store in Beijing everyone will be able to feel the energy and attitude of the brand and the excitement of the show,” he added.

The brand also continued with its runway to reality initiative, allowing consumers in store – via iPads – as well as online, to order items of outerwear or bags for delivery in seven weeks.

Those with the cash to splash are still able to pre-order until February 28, while the full collection will otherwise be available from August.

An on-demand version of the coverage is also now available online, which includes footage of the collection being put together and red carpet interviews.

Not forgetting the importance of music to the brand, viewers can also download the tracks featured in the show, including You Don’t Own Me by Dusty Springfield and Someone Like You by Adele, through iTunes on the Burberry.com site.

Credit to Mulberry for digital follow-up

22 Feb

Mulberry autumn/winter 2011/12

Given how many brands bombard us with emails about the fact they’re live-streaming during fashion week, it’s surprising how few of them actually bother with a follow-up release about how it all went thereafter.

Save for Burberry – more on that later or it will look like I only write about them on here – the only other one that’s stuck out for me so far during London Fashion Week is Mulberry.

It was simple, but it did the trick: a pretty graphic and a series of links to video content from the show, the party and backstage. Nicely done.

Burberry autumn/winter 2011/12 finale

21 Feb

A selection of pics from the live-streamed finale of the Burberry autumn/winter 2011/12 show held in London today:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Watch Buberry live in 10 minutes time

21 Feb

The Burberry Prorsum womenswear autumn/winter 2011 show is streaming live from London in just 10 minutes time. Watch it here – http://bit.ly/hP4WJi

London Fashion Week: young designers must embrace technology or risk shutting the door

21 Feb

London Fashion Week’s young designers must use the power of technology to promote themselves, rather than taking a leaf out of Tom Ford’s book and shutting the door completely.

For a city known for emerging fashion creative talent, the news that American heavyweight designer Tom Ford was intending to show his womenswear line during London Fashion Week (LFW) this season, instead of New York where he first launched it last September, was quite a surprising one.

Before a flurry of brands returned to the UK’s capital around LFW’s 25th anniversary in 2009, there were few big designer names that chose to show their latest collections here. Even now, those that do – Pringle of Scotland, Burberry Prorsum, Matthew Williamson – are predominantly, and quite understandably, British.

Tom Ford’s presence therefore, makes a statement. Quite simply it says that London is truly back on the international scene, holding its own against its European counterparts as a go-to destination for fashion. This is in stark contrast to a mere few seasons ago, where LFW was skipped by many press and buyers entirely.

The former Gucci designer and Hollywood film director broke the mould in New York last season when he opted for an intimate fashion show event for just 100 guests.

In an age where the catwalk is live streamed online around the world, enabling consumers to feel like they themselves are on the front row, he also only invited one photographer (his own), turned away all the bloggers, and set a strict embargo on information about the collection so as to relate it more closely to the date the garments hit store.

“[Today] you see the clothes on the runway, and within an hour or so, they’re online,” Ford said at the time. “They’re overexposed… I wanted to pull everything back.”

It was a daring move, but it worked for him. Accordingly, he’s opted for the same strategy with his autumn/winter 2011/12 collection in London. Today, Ford will present his latest designs to a handful of monthly magazine editors only.

But I question whether his method is really suited to this city at all.

Given the current dire financial state of the country, this alternative to the lavish and extravagant productions fashion shows have become, is certainly no bad thing; it’s more Ford’s strict restrictions around any detail being released in real-time that doesn’t quite fit.

Turn to the strategy currently being employed by the British Fashion Council (BFC) for instance, and the complete opposite approach can be seen.

Aiming to reach a wider audience than ever before, the council’s dedicated digital policy will see a total of 37 shows live streamed by the end of the week as well as a series of fashion films.

And it’s not just online – an LED screen currently dominates the wall of the tent at the official home of LFW at Somerset House, which, when it’s not showing the live streams, displays daily video highlights as well as tweets from the @londonfashionwk feed.

The same is happening on various screens on the London underground – in Oxford Circus, Holborn and Charing Cross stations to name a few.

Meanwhile, later today Burberry will become the first ever brand to stream live on the Landmark 32m digital screen at Piccadilly Circus.

In doing all of this, both Burberry and the BFC are helping to pioneer a new fashion landscape where democratisation, or put more simply, fashion for the masses, is key.

“It’s about reaching out to broader audiences,” says the BFC’s CEO Caroline Rush. “Showcasing digitally is a fantastic opportunity for our designers to reach global audiences without obviously having to have those big advertising budgets.”

At a time when convincing consumers back into shops is crucial, she’s hoping the outdoor initiative will also help generate a sense of excitement about LFW with the public and eventually lead to sales too.

Ford’s argument however, as many of his counterparts would still agree, is that it goes against the notion of luxury to make yourself so accessible.

It’s for that very reason many designer brands have been slow on the uptake of digital in the first place – in some instances still not having their own websites, let alone pushing forward through social media.

But then Ford is now a big established brand, and the bulk of those on the LFW schedule are not.

“The luxury Tom has is that he’s had the opportunity to develop his name, reputation and audience through the likes of Gucci… most of the designers we have in London haven’t got that grounding and so [digital] gives them the means to reach much further,” says Rush.

Save for its hero returnees, the city remains largely a home for emerging talent. Putting a collection together, let alone producing a show, is expensive business, and having any cash left over for marketing is fairly unlikely for these small companies. In utilising technology, the very best of London Fashion Week can be catapulted around the world no matter what financial backing it has.

Only by taking advantage of the true power of technology will these new fashion designers build their future. By shutting the door to the digerati, these rising stars will jeopardise their careers before they have even taken off. Therefore I encourage them to follow more in the footsteps of digitally enlightened fashion houses like Burberry, and not, though it’s wonderful to have him here, Tom Ford.

This piece originally appeared on fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 435 other followers

%d bloggers like this: