Archive | September, 2011

Loewe uses social media for exclusive insights ahead of SS12 #PFW show

30 Sep

Loewe is offering its Facebook and Twitter fans exclusive behind-the-scenes access on its journey to its spring/summer 2012 show in Paris on Saturday.

The “Diary of a Collection” campaign reveals daily sneak peeks including inspirations, fittings, craftsmen at work, headshots of the design team and more. There will also follow backstage prep including hair and make-up.

The images have been beautifully shot using Instagram. See all of them, here.

Ted Baker ups multichannel offering with click and collect services

27 Sep

Ted Baker is launching a Click and Collect service in its 31 UK stores, allowing consumers to shop online and then collect their items free of charge from the store of their choice.

Craig Smith, brand communication director at Ted Baker, said:  “The Click and Collect service is all about giving our customers increased choice and convenience. Customers can order the products they want; choose where these are delivered and collect when it is convenient for them.

“This is the first step in a wider programme of multi-channel solutions which will increase loyalty, enhance the customer experience and ultimately further improve the high levels of service which we pride ourselves on delivering.”

Shoppers will also be able to return unsuitable items free of charge for a full refund in store or online.

The news follows department store House of Fraser’s announcement on Friday it will open two “buy and collect” stores in Liverpool and Aberdeen where it currently has no branches but receives a high volume of online orders.

The stores will serve as collection hubs for internet sales, also offering a customer-service area and changing rooms where customers can see if their items fit, receive an immediate refund, or order a different size, reports Marketing magazine.

Digital snippets: Oscar de la Renta, Giorgio Armani Boudoir, ASOS, Jimmy Choo

26 Sep

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

 

  • Why Oscar de la Renta is so “haute” on social media [Mashable]
  • Giorgio Armani’s “Boudoir” fashion film for autumn/winter 2011/12 by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott (as above) [KARLISMYUNKLE]
  • Jimmy Choo’s Tamara Mellon launches Tumblr blog [Racked]
  • Fashion bloggers to spur online luxury sales [Reuters]
  • Personal shopping site JustFabulous raises $33m funding [Forbes]

Gucci pushes retail engagement with immersive video displays

26 Sep

Gucci is encouraging consumer interaction in its retail stores with the launch of a new immersive experience using groundbreaking technologies developed by experience design company OOOii.

Unveiled at its newly-renovated Milan via Montenapoleone flagship last week, the initiative includes 50 LCD video wall displays from Planar Systems tiled throughout the store that from 2012 will enable natural human-computer interaction.

Patrizio di Marco, Gucci’s president and CEO, said: “This multi-year Immersive Retail Experience initiative underlines our belief in the growing importance of creating highly impactful and sharable brand experiences across all of Gucci’s platforms and touch points by taking advantage of rapid advances in digital technology. The all-round sensory experience that a customer will now feel when approaching and entering our Montenapoleone store will create an unprecedented level of engagement.”

Three zones have been created in the store: the Immersive Window Display, the Immersive Entrance Display and the Immersive Women’s and Men’s Fashion Show Displays. Each one will showcase curated digital content.

In a second phase planned for 2012, additional functionalities will be introduced which will enable shoppers to interact via motion with the digital content they are viewing.

Inspired by the film Minority Report (on which OOOii also worked), simple hand gestures will enable consumers to pause, rewind and search what’s in front of them. They will also be able to receive images on their mobiles and send notifications to sales assistants in order to reserve items.

Kent Demaine, founder and CEO of OOOii, said: “For years Hollywood has perfected the art of merging virtual content into the physical world where the two appear to coexist. For Gucci, we have moved these techniques onto a scalable architecture so that this process can happen in real time. The ultimate goal is to allow consumers to explore the world of Gucci in effortless and highly engaging ways, while simultaneously allowing the brand to learn from this participation thereby informing the creation and presentation of future content.”

The technology will be progressively introduced to Gucci’s other stores worldwide over the next two years.

French Connection trials Google Goggles in store windows

24 Sep

French Connection has become one of the first brands to experiment with Google’s visual search technology, Google Goggles, in a bid to provide shoppers with quick and easy access to video content from its UK store windows.

Users need only take a photograph of the high-street retailer’s posters with the app to access a host of videos created by the brand, including the autumn/winter 2011/12 campaign (as below), alongside additional exclusives.

The application is integrated with Google search on Android devices and the iPhone. It scans images and then matches them against a library of virtual images, pulling in all relevant search information.

“We are lucky as a brand as we make a lot of content, but sometimes we can’t afford to get it all out there. By snapping a window with your Android or iPhone you can be delivered content that is not only relevant and engaging but is actually quite cool as well,” said William Woodhams, director of marketing and PR at French Connection.

The scheme was launched on September 19, initially as a trial in the retailer’s Westfield Stratford City and Westfield London destinations.

Vogue.co.uk enables photo alerts for SS12 shows

23 Sep

With Milan Fashion Week well under way, I wanted to draw attention to Vogue.co.uk’s new Photo Alert sending service.

Users are now able to sign up by email to the spring/summer 2012 shows they’re most interested in seeing to receive notification the moment the images are up.

The launch surrounds the website’s new “season pages”, which feature all of the upcoming shows in one place.

Designed to fill with content whatever size screen you have, the page scrolls alongside a fixed right hand column for advertisers. Entire past seasons are also available.

According to Peter Miller, head of product development & technology at Condé Nast Digital, moving forward, these pages will also contain beautiful editorial descriptions of the show and trend highlights from each season, as well as what was big in fashion news at the time.

Here’s why fashion brands need to commit to digital through every level of the business

22 Sep

As London Fashion Week comes to a close, and fashionandmash marks its first full season, I can’t help but think about the phenomenal pace of change surrounding the way in which the industry has embraced all things digital throughout 2011 so far.

This blog started because of my personal obsession with the crossroads of fashion and technology and a desire to both track and push the increasing convergence of the two.

Within just seven months (from the eve of LFW past), I’ve gone from posting about the same old list of familiar ‘savvy’ brands – Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton – to almost being overwhelmed with how many potential stories I could run from across every level of the industry.

In the past week alone, French Connection has teamed with Google Goggles, Gucci is launching an interactive and immersive in-store experience in time for Milan Fashion Week, and Net-a-Porter is continuing its use of Aurasma technology for its new autumn/winter campaign.

As I wrote for Mashable, LFW upped its game more than ever this season too.

From high street retail to the upper echelons of luxury design, innovative digital initiatives are popping up all over the place.

Don’t get me wrong, as I mentioned when I set out with this, there’s still a long way to go. But the sense of experimentation being adopted by fashion now more than ever is what’s pleasing to see.

So what comes next? How do brands – and particularly those in the luxury sector – continue with this tech-enabled, access-all-areas love affair in order to seem modern, and yet not erode that sense of exclusivity so important to the very essence of their beings? Or in other words, how do they respond to that same question that put them off embarking on this journey in the first place.

The answer is simple: quality.

As renowned art director Fabien Baron was recently quoted in a (brilliant) AdWeek feature, as saying: “A lot of brands say, ‘We need a film [to put online]—something quick, [like] a behind-the-scenes.’ And they do it over-the-shoulder, poorly produced, and the quality of the job is not as high as the print ad. So what starts to happen is that they have a message that is diluted, even from the brands themselves.”

In his opinion, the solution is to make brands live the same luxe life digitally that they do in print or on billboards.

In reality therefore, the answer to the aforementioned question, is actually commitment.

Brands now need to realise that digital is not just a sideline experiment that can be satisfied with the odd tweet or behind-the-scenes posting when a push around something more innovative is not at play. Instead, today it’s a layer that both sits with and surrounds every other marketing activity of the brand and accordingly it needs a dedication to it from the highest level of the business.

Speaking at ad:tech London yesterday, Marc de Swaan Arons, chairman of Effective Brands said (about social media particularly) everyone in the team will be a brand ambassador in the future. “Assume you have to get everyone on board, and build a roadmap to get there,” he said.

In essence, only when everyone is on the same page can a brand truly achieve the quality needed to portray itself as well in the online space as it does in the offline one.

How London Fashion Week is going digital

19 Sep

London Fashion Week, which kicked off Friday, is showcasing an increased commitment to all things digital this season. Designers and retailers are giving consumers around the world better access to shows and events than ever before through live, online showcases and digitally enhanced retail experiences…

Read the rest of my Mashable piece, here: How London Fashion Week is going digital

Burberry preps for SS12 digital extravaganza featuring Tweetwalk, Instagram takeover and a 4-D Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

19 Sep

Burberry has partnered with Twitter for its spring/summer 2012 show due at 4pm today, providing fans with a backstage Twitpic of every look before it hits the runway.

The “Tweetwalk”, as it’s been named, will allow @Burberry Twitter followers to see the collection moments before anyone else and in so doing once again confirms the luxury label’s status as a digital innovator.

Twitter’s new media gallery photo functionality also allows all of the images to be viewed in full – click here to see.

“We are thrilled to create the first ever ‘’Tweetwalk show’’ in partnership with Twitter. Twitter is instantaneous and I love the idea that streaming a show can be in many different forms. This collection is all about the most detailed hand crafted pieces and fabric innovation, creating a beautiful physical experience that is communicated digitally in dynamic and diverse ways and I love balancing those two worlds,” said Burberry’s chief creative officer Christopher Bailey.

“Burberry was one of the first brands to truly understand Twitter’s ability to connect people all over the world with what’s most meaningful to them. Thanks to their creativity, fashion lovers everywhere will be able to see the new Burberry collection even before those in the front row,” added Tony Wang, general manager of Twitter UK.

The initiative comes as part of a move to offer fans the experience of the show from start to finish, providing them with greater access than ever before – in fact more so than those present – to enable them to feel a real part of the story.

Accordingly, the live-stream continues as per previous seasons with coverage of the red carpet in the build up to the event. It can be seen on various media partner sites as well as on Burberry.com and the brand’s YouTube and Facebook pages. For the first time, the brand’s 8m Facebook fans are also able to stream the show on their own page.

Meanwhile, the brand’s Instagram account is also joining in the action, this time with British photographer Mike Kus, the most followed user in the UK, at the helm.

And for those interested in buying spring/summer 2012 immediately, the brand’s runway to reality concept continues this season too – offering consumers the ability to purchase items from the collection exclusively online and at in-store events worldwide for one week for delivery within just eight weeks.

Meanwhile, those lucky enough to have a ticket to the show, will also be welcomed by “an immersive, multi-faceted experience” surrounding the brand’s new Burberry Body fragrance.

A 4-D hologram of face Rosie Huntington-Whiteley will be showcased in a scented room using innovative virtual imagery first pioneered by the brand for its Beijing store launch earlier this year.

Check out Bailey’s intro to today’s show, below:

Digital snippets: Norma Kamali, Net-a-Porter, StylistPick, Swarovski, M&S

18 Sep

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

  • Norma Kamali SS12

    Norma Kamali hosts 3D video fashion show, launches website [Forbes]

  • Net-a-Porter’s autumn ads tie-in Aurasma augmented reality [WWD]
  • Celebs meet tech – Cheryl Cole collaborates with Stylistpick [TechCrunch]
  • Tommy Hilfiger finds Facebook generates most views of interactive videos [NewMediaAge]
  • Swarovski to run SCVNGR hunt in London [Mashable]
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