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Balmain to host public music concerts around menswear show

Balmain is adding a musical element to its spring/summer 2020 menswear runway show in Paris, with a series of live concerts that will follow the close of the catwalk.

In the spirit of Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing’s ambition to “democratize and modernize fashion”, the events will also be accessible to the public. A total of 1,500 free tickets will be made available on the Balmain website.

The show’s musical elements tie into the annual Fête De La Musique, a celebration that takes place on the same day, June 21, throughout the French capital.

For the activation, Balmain is set to take over the Jardin des Plantes, erecting a temporary space for its audience. The runway show’s soundtrack will be provided by French DJ Gesaffelstein, whom Balmain dressed for his show at Coachella.

Olivier Rousteing has in the past already championed his ambition to democratize customer’s access to the brand’s universe. In January he launched a dedicated app that allowed fans to see the houses couture live on their phone, as well as play with augmented reality content. In 2015, the French luxury brand also collaborated with fast-fashion retailer H&M on a capsule collection at affordable prices.

This menswear show also encompasses a philanthropic element, supporting the fight against AIDS through the RED organization. All revenue made from food and drink served at the event, alongside merchandise of limited-edition products, will be donated to the fund.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more

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Events mobile Retail social media technology

Balmain launches app to connect customers to brand universe


Luxury label Balmain has released an app that aims to give consumers more access to the brand’s universe, in a mission championed by creative director Olivier Rousteing.

The app, which was released on iTunes yesterday, will allow users to engage with the brand in a multitude of different ways.

“The app is the final element of the strategy we are rolling out to launch the new monogram, the new logo, and to support overall the new communication strategy of Balmain,” the label’s CEO Massimo Piombini told WWD. “This is a way to connect with the next generation, with new customers, with a segment of customers that are close to the brand that are expecting from us these kinds of new features.”

For example ahead of the label’s upcoming couture show which takes place on January 23, users will be able to scan posters through the streets of Paris to trigger augmented reality content. Users will also be able to watch a livestream of the show, the house’s first couture collection in 16 years, as well as footage of the menswear show that is happening tomorrow.

To give brand fans a further glimpse into the brand, there will also interactive content around its new Saint Honoré flagship, which is due to open in February. The brand has announced that it will also be launching similar initiatives at key European cities in the future.

Under Rousteing’s helm, the 82-year-old label has been increasingly connecting with younger consumers through the lens of digital. In April 2018, it created a virtual reality experience at its Milan store based on the designer’s inspirations for the brand’s collections, while its latest campaign featured a cast of virtual models.

How are you thinking about digital innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so.TheCurrent Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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business Campaigns Podcast social media technology

TheCurrent Debate: Is there real value in CGI models?

Balmain CGI Models
Balmain CGI Models

CGI models are having a moment in luxury fashion right now, but it’s up for debate as to whether they hold true value for the brands embracing them, according to the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent.

Co-hosts Liz Bacelar and Rachel Arthur, who discuss various technologies pertinent to the industry every month on this show, bring opposing viewpoints to the table.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

CGI or virtual models have been used in fashion advertising campaigns to an increasing degree over the past few years, with big name brands including Louis VuittonPrada and Balmain all employing them. Some of those involved, including one called Lil Miquela, and another named Shudu, have generated enormous buzz and impressively large social media followings as a result, as though they were indeed influencers in their own right.

Lil Miquela for UGG
Lil Miquela for UGG

Most recently, Lil Miquela featured in UGG’s 40th anniversary campaign, blending in seamlessly alongside two real-life influencers as though she were a natural part of the cast. For the unsuspecting onlooker, it’s not immediately clear she’s not.

One of the questions raised during the episode is whether such a move is merely about gaining from some of the hype such models currently present, or if they can in fact drive ROI for the brands making use of them long term. Rachel presents some interesting statistics that show how engagement of for CGI remains significantly lower than any example of a ‘human’ influencer, but Liz counters that view with the argument that what we’re looking at here is a form of artistic expression.

The duo also dive into what such flawless representations of women mean for beauty ideals in the era of fake news we currently live in, as well as the notion that we may all have a CGI or avatar version of ourselves in the future, not least the real life influencers who could ultimately gain increased revenue opportunities for themselves, even posthumously.

Catch up with all of our episodes of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Retail technology

Balmain takes customers on a creative journey using virtual reality

Balmain's creative director Olivier Rousteing
Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing

Balmain has unveiled its new concept store in Milan, featuring a virtual reality experience based around the dream-like inspirations behind the designs of creative director Olivier Rousteing.

The experience, named “My City of Lights” aims to take visitors into the mind of Rousteing; to follow the creative influences behind his collections. Visitors putting on one of the custom Oculus VR headsets, designed by Rousteing himself, will find themselves inside the empty rooms of a Baroque castle, a high cathedral and even the rooftops of Paris.

The store showcases the first in a series of VR experiences as part of Balmain’s Wonderlabs marketing strategy focusing on entertainment and technology. Balmain’s strategy demonstrates its desire to transform the retail experience and forge the way in using technology in fashion retail.

Balmain

Speaking to Vogue, Rousteing revealed that democracy is a driving force for these kind of experiences in store. “Fashion is more inclusive than ever, and there’s no better way to include more people than through technology and digital,” he said.

Rousteing isn’t new to technology collaborations in store. The opening of Balmain’s Melrose Place site also marked the launch of a collaboration between Rousteing and Beats headphones.

The Milan store however, is the luxury brand’s first flagship in Italy and has been launched to coincide with Salone del Mobile, the international furniture and design show taking place in the city. The My City of Lights experience in it will next travel to other Balmain stores around the world.

 

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business digital snippets e-commerce product social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Fashion themes from Davos, Bitcoin bubble, social media’s black market

The seven female co-chairs of the 2018 World Economic Forum at Davos
The seven female co-chairs of the 2018 World Economic Forum

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • 4 Davos themes fashion needs to watch [BoF]
  • Beyond the Bitcoin bubble [NY Times]
  • The follower factory: Inside social media’s black market [NY Times]
  • How box logos and the blockchain reveal our anxieties about an uncertain future [Ssense]
TECHNOLOGY
  • I got chipped: a dispatch from the frontier of wearable tech [Fast Company]
  • Sewing a mechanical future [RobotRabbi]
  • Inside the race to create an AI-powered virtual Elton John [Wired]
  • L’Oréal launches 3D AR hair color simulation app [FashionNetwork]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • The world’s most sustainable companies 2018 [Forbes]
  • Napapijri launches new form of digital manufacturing [FashionUnited]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Prada debuts new pop-up retail project in Macau [WWD]
  • Fashion retailers in China go cashier free using facial recognition payment [Jing Daily]
  • How customers decide whether to buy from your website [HBR]
SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Inside Balmain’s digital revolution [BoF]
  • Neiman Marcus looks to associates for social media commerce [Pymnts]
PRODUCT
  • How Nike used algorithms to help design its latest running shoe [Wired]
  • Couture that combines Japanese craftsmanship with the science of space travel [CNN]
BUSINESS
  • Richemont offers €2.7 billion for full control of Yoox Net-a-Porter [BoF]
  • Asos sales soar driven by ‘exceptional’ UK performance [Retail Week]
  • Will Hedi Slimane be a blessing or a curse for Céline? [HighSnobiety]
  • Kering, Stella McCartney in talks to end partnership [BoF]
  • Abercrombie and Fitch might actually be pulling off its comeback [Glossy]
Categories
Editor's pick product technology

Wearable technology hits Met Gala red carpet, robot inspiration follows

Clairedanes_zacposen_fiberoptic

The theme of “technology” was taken quite literally on the red carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute gala in New York last night, with celebrities including Claire Danes and Karolina Kurkova both stepping out in light-up eveningwear looks.

Danes wore a pale blue Zac Posen dress made from a fiber optic woven organza (as pictured). Reminiscent of a modern-day Cinderella, the fairytale look came alive in the dark, glowing from head-to-toe. Posen teased the gown via his Instagram channel, where followers got to see the impressive lights working to full effect.

Supermodel Kurkova meanwhile was dressed in a look designed by Marchesa, in collaboration with IBM. More than just a garment covered in three-dimensional LED flowers, this was also an intelligent piece of work that reacted to online conversation about the event in real-time throughout the night.

Read more about this cognitive design, plus check out all the celebs that took the “Manus x Machina” theme to the robotic extreme, via Forbes. A positive view: the real future of our wardrobes was also highlighted by those turning to sustainable design.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Balmain’s see now / buy now plans, debating virtual reality, the #IoT got fashionable

balmain

As the designer churn continues apace, it’s no surprise to see lots of this week’s coverage surrounding what the future of the industry might look like on that basis, as well as whether this whole see now, buy now concept will work. Read on for an outline of Balmain’s plans, as well as other fashion and tech stories you need to know from the likes of LVMH, H&M, Gap and more. Dare we say ad blocking gets a mention too…


  • Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing announces ‘see now, buy now’ plans [Fashionista]

  • ‘VR isn’t scalable’: Bursting the in-store digital tech bubble [Digiday]

  • 10 billion items of connected clothing: the Internet of Things just became a lot more fashionable [Forbes]

  • Yoox Net-a-Porter sells stake to Middle East retail giant [NY Times]

  • LVMH puts might behind digital start-up showcase [WWD]

  • H&M ramps up Coachella presence with on-site interactive digital experience [Mobile Marketer]


  • Instagram’s Eva Chen: ‘It’s not a numbers game’ [BoF]

  • Pinterest reinvents itself to prove it’s really worth billions [Wired]


  • The future of fashion is 3D printing clothes at home [Bloomberg]

  • ShopStyle launches Liketoknow.it competitor to help influencers monetise Instagram [Fashionista]

  • One in four people forecast to use ad-blockers by 2017 [Brand Republic]

  • Meet Eros & Psyche: a start-up using smart textiles to create a waterproof and stain resistant skirt [ThirdWaveFashion]
Categories
Editor's pick social media

Milan and Paris love Snapchat too, here are the highlights

snapchat_milanparis

While anything new in social media normally hits New York and London fashion weeks first, taking several seasons to finally get to Milan and Paris, Snapchat seems to be bucking that trend.

Yes the platform launched back in 2011, and yes it has been used at fashion weeks before too, but if there’s one thing the past month has proved, it’s how many more brands have willingly taken the plunge.

New York saw new accounts launch from Tommy Hilfiger (in partnership with supermodel Gigi Hadid) and Marc Jacobs, as well as two dedicated stories from Snapchat shared throughout the week. London meanwhile, also saw some exciting work, with a dedicated story created by Burberry for the channel, and further new accounts from the likes of Mulberry and Mr Porter.

Once we hit Milan, much of the same continued, with some great insights behind-the-scenes from the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci particularly. Over to Paris, and H&M used the platform to get its viewers to help choose which shoes from its show should be sold in store in September (inviting them to take a screenshot to vote). Balmain was also on there documenting its bevy of supermodels and their new hair colours, Stella McCartney playfully added lots of emojis, and Valentino handed the reins of its account over to blogger Bryan Boy.

Dior was a bit of a surprise with its launch – providing another behind-the-scenes tour with further emojis splashed on top (who would have thought it!) And for all those wanting more, Snapchat provided yet another dedicated catwalk story throughout as well.

Here are some of the Milan and Paris brand highlights:

H&M:

HM_snap

HM_snap2

Gucci:

GucciGhost1

Guccighost5

Dolce & Gabbana:

dolcegabbana_snap

Balmain:

balmain_snap

Dior:

dior_snap1

dior_snap2

Stella McCartney:

stella_snap1

stella_snap2

Valentino:

valentino_snap

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Nike on 3D printing, HM x Balmain’s selfies, Diesel advertises on Tinder

Here’s a round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

nike

  • Nike’s COO thinks we could soon 3D print Nike sneakers at home [Quartz]
  • H&M x Balmain:  wants to see your selfies [Vogue]
  • Tinder ads tease Diesel fashion models as possible ‘matches’ [Mashable]
  • Louis Vuitton’s spring 2016 show dives into Oculus Rift and virtual gaming [Fashionista]
  • Most fashion houses are baffled by social media. Here’s why old-school Chanel does it best [Washington Post]
  • London-based online fashion startup, Lyst, abandoned a $25 million business — and became huge anyway [Business Insider]
  • Diane von Furstenberg is tapping into millennial tastes to secure her brand’s legacy [AdWeek]
  • Why Burberry’s Snapchat Testino campaign is the best piece of marketing in 2015 [Marketing Magazine]
  • Sears shows how it uses data to build relationships [MediaPost]
  • Can Everlane really become the next J.Crew? [Racked]
  • WME-IMG debuts all-fashion network for Apple TV [BoF]
  • How Diesel talks to its mobile customers through 400 programmatic ads [Digiday]
  • Target’s Kristi Argyilan on what ‘in-house programmatic’ really means [AdAge]
  • China’s Alibaba readies for Singles Day online shopping festival on 11/11/15 [BrandChannel]
  • How Flipkart hopes to shut out rivals by going app-only in India [Tech in Asia]
  • Facebook to test ‘shopping’ section [WWD]
  • ‘In China you have to use it’: How WeChat is powering a mobile commerce boom [Digiday]
  • Why is Silicon Valley pouring millions of dollars into old clothes? [Bloomberg]
  • How (and why) ‘Who What Wear’ bet on commerce [Digiday]
  • The rise of drones [Not Just a Label]
  • A retail geek’s take on modern high-street shopping [The Future of Commerce]
  • What role do fashion runways play in the internet age? [The Globe and Mail]
  • We have not yet reached peak wearable [Re/code]
  • Say it with an emoji: 10 text-free phrases to describe spring 2016 [Vogue]
  • Can content really drive commerce? [Forrester]
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: wearables, Net-a-Porter and Yoox, Facebook messenger, live-streaming apps

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

wristwatches

  • The wearables road ahead: a race to the bottom? [TechCrunch]
  • Net-a-Porter, Yoox merger creates online fashion powerhouse [WGSN.com/blogs]
  • You can now pay your friends through Facebook Messenger [Mashable]
  • Will new live-streaming apps change the way we see fashion week? [Style.com]
  • Marketers weigh in on Periscope vs Meerkat [AdWeek]
  • LVMH’s Tag Heuer surfs wave of smartwatch partnerships [Reuters]
  • Kenneth Cole reveals Connect smartwatch line [BrandChannel]
  • Harrods takes its green-clad doorman global with Instagram contest [Luxury Daily]
  • Inside Balmain’s digital revolution [BoF]
  • Why Sephora’s digital boss joined Stitch Fix, the personal stylist startup that’s growing like mad [re/code]
  • Banana Republic harnesses photographed ‘Hot Dudes Reading’ in Instagram campaign [PSFK]
  • The North Face hopes to rope you in with virtual-reality rock climbing [Chicago Tribune]
  • L’Oreal’s chief digital officer on programmatic plans, start-ups and org charts [AdAge]
  • Meet Betabrand, the company that’s using viral humour and uncensored crowdsourcing to create the future of fashion [Medium]
  • Will personalised pricing take e-commerce back to the bazaar? [BoF]
  • Social media’s elusive goal: return on investment [WWD]
  • How beauty and fashion brands can win on Instagram [Fashionista]
  • Online fashion retail in India may touch $35 billion by 2020 [The Economic Times]
  • Are ‘smart’ clothes the wearables of the future? [re/code]