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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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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.

Categories
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 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
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.

Categories
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…

Categories
digital snippets social media

Digital snippets: Michael Kors, Rebecca Minkoff, Vivienne Tam, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen

From New York to London, and everything in between, here’s a mega round-up of all the latest stories surrounding fashion and tech…

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  • Rebecca Minkoff gives inside look at fashion week with Keek app [Mashable]
  • Vivienne Tam’s WeChat partnership delivers NYFW front-row access [Jing Daily]
  • Marc Jacobs opens fashion week pop-up that accepts Tweets as payment (as pictured) [Fashionista]
  • Zac Posen curated a Spotify playlist for his new lookbook [Styleite]
  • Alexander Wang showed colour-changing clothes during fashion week [Technical.ly]
  • Warby Parker tops list of top 10 retail innovators [Fast Company]
  • London Fashion Week: Nokia and Fyodor Golan create ‘world’s first’ smart skirt [Marketing]
  • Net-a-Porter puts its fashion sense on paper in new print magazine [BrandChannel]
  • Miu Miu unveils ‘Spark and Light’ short film [WWD]
  • Sass & Bide launches 360-degree shoppable ad [PSFK]
  • Bloomingdale’s hosts live-styling event on Instagram to drive interaction [Luxury Daily]
  • The new Moda Operandi app is like Tinder for designer clothes [NY Observer]
  • Instagram is shaping up to be the world’s most powerful selling tool [Forbes]
  • Seven ways retailers are embracing tech, from body scanning to digital wallets [AdAge]
  • What’s so alluring about a woman known as Man Repeller? [NY Mag]
Categories
social media

Hunter uses Instagram video as second screen to #LFW show

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Hunter might be the new kid on the block this London Fashion Week season, but its show and accompanying social media coverage was as slick as the best of them.

The famous wellington boot brand introduced its new Hunter Original line with models parading along a catwalk covered in water. Under the creative direction of Stella McCartney’s husband Alasdhair Willis, this was a stylish line of practical outerwear, not to mention numerous new footwear pieces, fit for the current UK weather.

But for those watching online, it was the Instagram video posts that particularly stood out. In a sea of thousands of #LFW tagged images, not to mention endless blurry runway Insta-videos, Hunter took to the platform with a series of high quality, pre-produced clips.

Created as part of the wider #beahunteroriginal social media campaign, each one was designed to “capture the inspiration behind the collection and allow a deeper insight into what is being seen on the runway”. What that actually meant was quite abstract, creative work.

Overlaid copy set the theme – “If you’re born a pioneer”, “Forged by the desire to discover” or  “Take the path that others dare not take”, from one to the next. Graphics spliced in then showed a section of a boot, a close-up on a fabric or an original sketch, as well as a series of autumnal outdoor scenes nodding to the heritage of the brand.

Willis said: “Born out of a passion to innovate, a pioneering spirit has always been at the heart of the brand. This spirit is key as the future vision for Hunter is developed and the reason for leveraging Instagram in this way. We are delivering a unique experience for the Instagram community, in real time, providing a deeper insight into the story of the collection and the world of Hunter Original.”

Hunter referred to the Instagram move as its LFW “second screen experience”. See each of the posts below…

Categories
social media

Tommy Hilfiger opens ‘social concierge’ service to 8 million+ followers for #NYFW

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Tommy Hilfiger is opening up its social concierge initiative to its online following this fashion week season. First launched at its spring/summer 2014 show in September, this service enables users to request bespoke assets – pictures through to collection information – in real-time.

The aim is to provide immediate customised access to the collection and the show, in order to enable social media storytelling.

This was only offered to media and influencers physically in attendance in September, but Monday’s show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, will invite any of Tommy Hilfiger’s eight million followers on Facebook, 473,000 on Twitter and 155,000 on Instagram, as well as global media, to participate.

A staff of roughly 100 photographers – up from 30 in September – will be on hand to fulfil the personalised requests. They will be both on- and off-site, receiving requests via email and Twitter, and working to respond as quickly as possible.

“Efficiency is a top priority,” a spokesperson at the company told me. “Blink and the moment is over – media and consumers don’t want to wait to see coverage, and the social concierge facilitates that process.”

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While there’s no automation involved, it is perhaps inevitable many of the requests will be similar or the same, like a backstage make-up shot, or a picture of Tommy himself, maybe one of the model opening the show (last season Jourdan Dunn), or a detailed view of one of the pieces – therefore easing the load.

An image bank will be created accordingly for the team to draw from throughout the event, but they are also willing to gather more specific assets both backstage and front of house. Fans are actively encouraged to be as creative and original with their requests as they like. Last season saw bespoke deliveries ranging from a personal handwritten message from certain models to an image of Tommy with his thumbs up.

Avery Baker, CMO of the Tommy Hilfiger group, said: “This ‘beat-the-clock’ mentality is an important component of amplifying our brand message in the new digital age of fashion where coverage and commentary are happening in-the- moment before it’s on to the next!”

Tommy Hilfiger is also hosting a runway “Instameet”, inviting 20 local Instagrammers to join onsite on show day and receive a guided tour of the set, including backstage. The initiative is in collaboration with Brian Difeo (@bridif) and Anthony Danielle (@takinyerphoto), both influential New York Instagram users. The hashtags to follow include #tommyfall14 and #nyfwinstameet.