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Editor's pick film

Mat Maitland brings surrealist style to Hunter campaign film

Hunter has collaborated with visual artist Mat Maitland for a surreal, technicolour film as part of its autumn/winter 2014/15 campaign.

The spot features models including Charlotte Wiggins and Neelam Johal hiking through a forest, set against a mountainous backdrop as driving rain, flashes of lightning and a collage of floating Hunter boots arrive. A cast of animals referred to as “icons of the British countryside” including lambs, foxes, fish and geese also appear.

Maitland, who is known for his surrealist imagery and distinctive style of multi-layered compositions, said of the piece: “My focus was on depicting a mysterious dreamlike world reminiscent of the Highlands. I tried to explore the relationships between animals, people, landscapes and fashion, an idea which emerges from the collaged and abstract images pulsating on the screen.”

The film showcases new footwear, outerwear, knitwear and accessories from the Hunter Original collection, including the Original High Heel, Original Chelsea and Original Poncho. A series of stills from the video are shown below.

Maitland also created a short film that was projected onto the central surround of the Hunter Original spring/summer 2015 show during London Fashion Week last month.

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Editor's pick social media

Selfridges hosts Jean Paul Gaultier ‘selfie station’

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A NASA control desk was the inspiration behind a new Jean Paul Gaultier installation currently in place at Selfridges in London.

Created by British set designer Gary Card, the space station setup features multiple screens above various sets of keyboards, showing Gaultier’s autumn/winter 2014/15 collection alongside a series of cosmic images.

Referred to as a ‘digital experience’, it provides shoppers with the opportunity to become a part of it by sitting on a moon buggy that projects images of themselves onto the screens too. From there they can have their ‘selfie’ pictures taken and then share via social media.

Hosted in the Designer Galleries on the second floor, it is part of Selfridges’ autumn/winter 2014/15 campaign called The Masters. This celebration of 12 of the most accomplished names in fashion, also sees the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Dries Van Noten and Yohji Yamamoto featured in the department store’s windows, and a number of exclusive items and capsule collections on sale.

There is also a film created by SHOWstudio comprised of 12 short vignettes dedicated to each designer. It was created in partnership with SHOWstudio and Marie Schuller. Check it out below as well as a series of original images shot in the store.

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Comment Editor's pick social media

Luxury brands are missing out by snubbing the hashtag offline

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs

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Browsing through the September issues on our desks this month and one thing that particularly sprang to mind – other than the models reclaiming the front covers – was the dearth of hashtags being used in any of the season’s big fashion campaigns.

Reporting on this space used to mean buying a stack of said publications twice yearly and physically scanning in the relevant pages, or calling up PRs and asking them to courier over a CD with their high res images saved on. WGSN covers in the region of 400 brands each season – the best of everything from designers through to retailers, denim brands, sportswear companies and more. It’s a mega feat, added to with a big chunk of analysis about the visual trends of the season, the new models to know about and more.

Of course the task started to simplify (at least a little) a few years ago as slowly but surely the brands used this creative work not just for advertising, but also as a method of PR, pushing out the imagery across their own social channels as a story in its own right to mark the beginning of the season when collections were hitting stores. Today, you only need to source a Facebook album, look to recent Instagram posts or search through Pinterest to quickly find the assets for numerous companies.

This huge focus on social releases has become the norm – and the sharing that ensues is equally unsurprisingly (particularly when you have the likes of social queen Cara Delevingne posting her campaigns for Burberry, Chanel, Topshop and Mulberry to name a few to help push them).

So why then, are so few taking advantage offline of the hashtag – the very thing that social now centres around to inspire and curate said sharing further? Fashion retains an enormous focus on placing its ads in print publications, yet next to no brands have employed a humble tag on any of their work featured in them.

Lots are talking about it back online. Topshop has #ilovetopshop, AG Jeans has #whatmovesme, but few have integrated that social concept into the real world in order to tie their campaigns wholeheartedly together. In fact, Calvin Klein’s #mycalvins campaign (as pictured) is one of the only ones.

Stepping away from fashion, the uptake of hashtags in TV ads is significantly on the rise. At the Super Bowl in March 2014, 57% of commercials featured them, up from 50% in 2013 and 25% in 2012. Resulting mentions across social during that time were, as expected, significantly higher.

So where’s the gap with fashion? Is it as simple as hashtags not fitting in with the aesthetic of the campaign in terms of the preferred direction of these brands? Quite likely.

But there’s also a little part of the scenario that makes me wonder whether this is a classic case of brands wanting consumers to share, but not wanting to suggest they’d like that to be the case. Admitting to digital in a print publication is too close to that whole democratisation of luxury debate that the industry still isn’t quite able to shake off.

If Delevingne sharing with her six million Instagram followers is anything to go by mind you, I’d say it’s finally time.

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Editor's pick film

Storytelling insights anchor Gap’s Dress Normal short film series

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Gap has enlisted Oscar-nominated director David Fincher for a series of ads tied to its Dress Normal campaign for autumn/winter 2014/15.

Four spots have been released that play on a sense of narrative – teasing the viewer that they’re catching a snippet of a story, featuring everything from a soaking wet woman getting undressed in the back of a car, to a man dashing up a huge set of winding stairs to meet a woman at the top.

The third sees a couple making out in an apartment block while the female peers at herself in the mirror, and the final one is based on a dancer and a golfer.

Gap’s global CMO Seth Farbman, said: “What I wanted, because this is Gap, was positive anxiety — that was the brief. We wanted to make it more challenging than what people think of as a Gap commercial. Rather than a beginning, a middle and end of the story, we wanted to tell part of the story and leave a sense of wonder.”

Created by agency Wieden & Kennedy, New York, the black and white ads see taglines including: “The uniform of rebellion and conformity.” And: “Simple clothes for you to complicate.”

The campaign will span outdoor, mobile, direct, social, in-store and digital. The print ads were shot by Glen Luchford and star celebs including Anjelica Huston, Elisabeth Moss and Zosia Mamet in a series of vignettes.

Fincher is director of tales including Panic Room, House of Cards, Fight Club and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Read more about the Gap campaign strategy over at Advertising Age.

Categories
Editor's pick film social media

New #ilovetopshop campaign launches with Cara Delevingne

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Model Cara Delevingne is the face of the new Topshop autumn/winter 2014/15 campaign, as launched online today.

The British social media superstar (who hit six million followers on Instagram last week) appears in a series of 12 images shot by Alasdair McLellan and styled by Kate Phelan, as well as a behind-the-scenes film produced by Leigh Johnson.

That video (as below), was released on YouTube this morning, and features Delevingne on set as her usual quirky self; doing ‘the worm’, playing the guitar, popping balloons, dancing around, pulling silly faces and more. It also seemingly reveals that her pet rabbit Cecil – who has become famous via his own Instagram account, @cecildelevingne – was a gift from the shoot. He features with Delevingne throughout.

“I love Topshop,” she mouths on his behalf at the end, reflecting the hashtag of the campaign, #ilovetopshop.

The launch of the campaign coincides with the announcement of global expansion plans for the Topshop and Topman brands. Five new wholly-owned stores are set to open in the US over the next nine months, including in New York, San Diego, Houston, Atlanta and Washington, as well as one in Amsterdam, two in Hong Kong and new market openings in Egypt, New Zealand and Panama.

The retailer is also planning to break into Mainland China this year through a pilot online business with Shangpin, the Beijing-based fashion and luxury website, reports WWD.

This is the first time Topshop has featured a single model as its campaign face. Delevingne has already walked for the brand for a number of seasons, and featured in its famed Harlem Shake video during its autumn/winter 2013/14 Unique show, which has had over 1.6 million views on YouTube. She was also a key part of its Google-cam initiative the same season.

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Categories
Editor's pick social media

Calvin Klein expands #mycalvins campaign to incorporate denim

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The #mycalvins social media campaign from Calvin Klein Underwear, which encouraged followers to upload photos of themselves wearing their branded smalls on Instagram, Twitter or Vine, has been going strong since February 2014.

According to the company, “thousands” of posts (we heard circa 7,000 to be precise) have engaged over six million fans and reached over 200 million of them from more than 23 countries.

Now, that same initiative has been expanded to denim. For autumn/winter 2014/15, the Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Jeans campaigns have been brought together, featuring the familiar faces of Lara Stone and Matt Terry. Shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, the duo are portrayed in black and white, with the #mycalvins hashtag also featured, highlighting how intrinsic it has become to the campaign.

Indeed the hashtag will be pushed prominently across print, digital, and outdoor advertising executions as well as in-store, on hang tags and at point of sale. Furthermore at retail, the campaign is set to expand with the call-to-action: “Put it on. take it off. show yours. #mycalvins”

As with the original launch for underwear, a series of celebrities and digital influencers are continuing to be engaged, posting their own shots with the hashtag too.

Also worth checking out: the recent #CKmeforme campaign via Snapchat and Tumblr.

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Categories
Blocks film

First look: seven of the best autumn/winter 2014/15 fashion films so far

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The new season’s ad campaigns are releasing thick and fast, with names like Rita Ora, Cara Delevingne, even Winona Ryder announced as stars. Among them all, a series of new fashion films too. Here’s a pick of some of the best so far…

  • 1. Kenzo’s journey into an “unfamiliar world”, starring Guinevere Van Seenus and Robert McKinnon by Toiletpaper magazine:

  • 2. Tamara Mellon’s way out west collection, as modelled by “Kowboy Karlie” (Kloss) shot by Tom Craig:

  • 3. Fendi showing off its new Color Block Eyewear Collection with a spot featuring guest singer Kiesza:

  • 4. Mulberry in the Scottish highlands, shot by Tim Walker and starring Cara Delevingne:

  • 5. Givenchy’s private party with models Kendall Jenner, Julia Noblis, Mariacara Boscono, Jamie Bochert and Peter Brant II, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott:

  • 6. Donna Karan’s Woman in Motion, starring Karlie Kloss by Steven Sebring:

  • 7. T by Alexander Wang’s humorous turn once again, this time featuring Chris Kattan as Mango, a character from Saturday Night Live, alongside rapper and choreographer Sharaya J and a handful of industry cameos:

And one for luck from Swide.com… male SS15 Dolce & Gabbana models. Hitting on you. On helium.

You’re welcome…

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Editor's pick social media

Marc by Marc Jacobs reveals faces of Instagram-based #CastMeMarc campaign

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A glimpse of the new marc by Marc Jacobs autumn/winter 2014/15 campaign was released via social media this week.

Shot by David Sims and set to debut in Teen Vogue in August, the brand (now under the direction of Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley) veered away from the usual model agencies or celebrities to find its faces, and instead used Instagram as the primary tool to enlist its stars.

The MarcJacobsIntl Instagram account started casting for the campaign back in April, calling its followers to action by asking them to post their ‘best modelling look’ using the hashtag #CastMeMarc. According to WWD, 70,000 entries rolled in; 30 finalists were then selected, flown to New York and cut down to nine lucky individuals who were chosen to be part of the campaign.


Instagram competitions are no longer a novelty in the fashion world, but this was nevertheless a smart branding step to take. #CastMeMarc created excitement and generated social media buzz months before the campaign even began. The fact that it motivated so many followers to post submissions indicates Instagram was an ideal channel to use.
The initiative also makes the brand more relatable. By choosing to feature their own audience for autumn/winter 2014, marc by Marc Jacobs becomes more approachable and signals it trusts its fans to be ‘cool-enough’ to qualify as model material.

The initiative also gives the brand control over how the public perceive a typical marc by Marc Jacobs customer, and should thereby serve to strengthen the brand image. The short campaign preview has already painted a clear image: individuals of various ethnic backgrounds sporting quirky hair colours are shown, driving home the point that the brand is international, young, unconventional and not afraid to stand out. Teen Vogue should be a great vessel both for the campaign launch and to bring more young customers on board.

Categories
film

Heroes and villains front new Y-3 film 

Y-3 has launched a short film for the autumn/winter 2014/15 season tying together a superhero theme with Japanese manga inspiration.

Shot by Cedric Buchet with creative direction by Lloyd & Co, the spot is designed to be a playful exploration of good versus evil. “This dichotomy of opposing forces is the underpinning of this season’s story, creating a powerful, visible energy that resonates in the movements of the characters through fight-inspired scenes,” reads the write-up.

Models Katya Riabinkina and Adam Butcher are featured against graphic colours and daring patterns that nod to the comic book theme. A line screen dot treatment heightens the creative further, as do text boxes that appear to narrate the journey amd their impending conflict.

The manga theme also ties straight to the inspiration behind the season’s collection created by Yohji Yamamoto. “The collection pays homage to the couturiers of the 60s. I wanted to infuse this spirit into it. I was also thinking of superheroes and the kind of clothes they wear. Cut for an active and fighting lifestyle. So I brought these two worlds together,” he said.

The campaign will also appear in print and in-store display. It will be launched globally in September 2014.

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technology

Fendi drones: tech for tech’s sake or smart #MFW move?

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The big story coming out of Milan Fashion Week today was of course about the Fendi drones.

Referred to as a sign of the luxury house’s commitment to “innovation and creativity”, the initiative saw four drones installed with cameras recording its autumn/winter 2014/15 show. As they flew above the runway, that footage was beamed back to those watching online at home.

“The main reason for doing this is to be able to offer impressive images and an experience that even surpasses being at the actual show,” Pietro Beccari, president and chief executive officer of Fendi, told WWD ahead of the event.

So a couple of key thoughts…

First off, Beccari also said the drones – which were powered by Parrot and in collaboration with the creative department of Google – wouldn’t be at all disruptive. “They are small, and we will increasingly get used to such technology,” he said. That might well be the case, but we’re not used to them yet, which meant most people actually in attendance in Milan focused predominantly on the bots over the collection.

Note several of the below Instagram posts, and this tweet from the FT’s Vanessa Friedman:

As far as publicity goes, that’s not a bad thing of course (more on that in a minute) – fashion shows as entertainment are by no means a new concept, after all.

What should have been spot on though, was the experience for those at home. Beccari said it would be completely “immersive and unprecedented”, thus far better than watching in person from the front row – so what was expected was a high-definition, up-close view.

A dashboard on the Fendi website hosted both a classic stream of the show and the “Drone Cam” to choose from. Like Topshop has done in the past, viewers could take snapshots of whichever they were watching and then share those collection images with their Facebook and Google+ friends and followers.

Unfortunately, the quality of the drone recording was, for all intents and purposes, awful. Up-close and personal? It was not. The shapes of the pieces the models were wearing could barely be made out, let alone the finer details of the line. The snapshot tool did work, as you can see in the screengrab below (which also documents the blurry runway), but the share function didn’t; merely clicking through to Facebook, before just getting stuck.

That was both the case with the live-stream version and the on-demand recording that has been on the Fendi site since. In fact, the recording that is up there now is actually a slightly better version in terms of the drone camera used – a switch was clearly made post live event.

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But back to the question in the title of this post, were the Fendi drones merely tech for tech’s sake or a smart Milan Fashion Week move? The answer, I’d argue, is both.

It goes without saying this was absolutely tech for tech’s sake. And by that I mean technology that is essentially pointless (the traditional live stream providing a far more detailed and therefore beautiful view), but is employed on the grounds of the fact it makes for a great, albeit gimmicky, story. This is how most big-budget retail technology launches currently operate.

And a great story it was. Given drones were already buzzworthy thanks to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ December 2012 announcement, this was a topic top of mind and tip of tongue for many people, not to mention key members of the press. Fendi captialised on that (smoothly avoiding anything along the lines of privacy or security concerns), and won key coverage in everything from The Guardian to Bloomberg as a result, with New York Magazine’s The Cut, The Times and Fashionista inbetween. The only angle otherwise hyped was the Karl Lagerfeld doll that model Cara Delevingne carried to both open and close the show – and even that also had a Big Brother camera in it.

Let’s not forget this is a big coup for Milan Fashion Week – hardly the epicentre of fashion and tech stories any prior season. Fendi, under the creative direction of Lagerfeld, is also not the first brand you’d think of to lead in this space. Burberry maybe. Diane von Furstenberg perhaps. Even Dolce & Gabbana at a push, but not likely Fendi.

Beccari referred to the company’s investment in the development of its digital content as a bid to speak to a younger customer base. One thing’s for sure, there’s a whole raft of tech (and journo) types who have at least now heard of that brand called Fendi. And on that basis, yep, it was a pretty clever move too.

Remember that time when…