Categories
film social media

How fashion brands are using Vine

This article first appeared on Mashable

Fashionbrands_Vine

The fashion industry immediately embraced Vine, Twitter’s 6-second video app, after it launched in February. It was no surprise it was suddenly so popular: The app was released just two weeks before New York Fashion Week kicked off, a time when behind-the-scenes runway shots were readily available to capture and share in 6-second loops.

But Vine is much more difficult to make look beautiful and polished than Instagram photos, and brands quickly discovered that to participate, they needed to relax their typically stringent production quality requirements. Perhaps that’s why, following the shows, most fashion houses dropped the platform altogether, only returning to it, in some cases, for the menswear shows in London and Milan earlier this month.

That’s not to say that Vine’s fashion future is dead — it’s merely getting a slow start. Early data indicates that Vine videos are shared four times as often as other kinds of Internet video, and the launch of video for Instagram, which many brands have already enthusiastically adopted, is creating further incentive for fashion firms to ramp up their capabilities and resources in this area.

Let’s take a look at a few fashion brands using Vine to exceptional effect…

Stop motion art

Stop-motion artists are among Vine’s most popular users. Eyeing this trend, French Connection collaborated with photographer Meagan Cignoli to create a series of highly shareable, summer-themed stop-motion videos. In one video, the brand’s latest collection packs itself into a suitcase for a holiday. In another, various outfits are laid out and rolled up on the beach.

Cignoli tells me that each video typically has between 100 and 120 separately recorded clips. The result is incredibly fluid and eye-catching, instantly negating any notion that Vine can’t be a platform for quality creative work. Online retailer Nasty Gal is another standout for stop-motion inspiration, weaving playful, wiggling pieces of candy in and around products like handbags, shoes and makeup. Burberry, too, has used stop-motion video to showcase product prints and patterns, as well as celebrities present at its last menswear show.

Showcasing product details

The beauty of the French Connection work by Cignoli is that it places products front and center, but it’s so creative it doesn’t feel like marketing. Marc Jacobs is another example of a designer who is doing this, releasing some nice stop-motion work that features handbags on what looks like a rotating conveyor belt.

For others, Vine presents an opportunity to demonstrate the work that goes into making products. Matthew Williamson did this during London Fashion Week in February with his #matthewmagnified campaign, and Oscar de la Renta, through the handle OscarPRGirl, used Vine to detail the craftsmanship that goes into its bridalwear pieces.

Gap is also using Vine to highlight key pieces in-store, but takes a more editorial approach, employing models for its videos. In one, a woman spins around in an assortment of dresses. In another, a young girl plays in the latest DVF GapKids collection in the park. These are much more developed than the clips that debuted during fashion week season: a haphazard amalgamation of garments on hangers and poorly lit models on runways.

Injecting personality

Some brands’ Vine videos manage to be both beautifully produced and full of personality.

Urban Outfitters released short videos that are playful yet stylish at the same time. In one clip, a bunch of balloons float into an office. In another, the contents of a purse are being prepared ahead of a festival trip. In another stop-motion video, makeup carries itself into a bag. It’s worth noting that with more than 40,000 followers, Urban Outfitters is one of the most popular brands on Vine, proving that volume and frequency of posts can be a more successful formula than fewer, higher quality videos — as showcased by French Connection, which has just a fraction of Urban Outfitters’ followers.

Behind the scenes

As mentioned, fashion brands released a great deal of behind-the-scenes content on Vine during fashion week season. This is a trend that’s continued since the shows, with brands and retailers providing windows into their corporate headquarters, design studios and individual stores.

Marc Jacobs has used Vine to take followers on many journeys at its headquarters and stores, from the creation of its latest Resort collection campaign to celebrity interviews during in-store book signings. Using the hashtag #staffstyles, Marc Jacobs frequently showcases the prints and patterns worn by its employees. In another example, Bergdorf Goodman features staffers as they try on different pairs of sunglasses. The video is tied to a message about sun protection.

Puma recently released a series of Vine videos featuring Olympic champion Usain Bolt on the set of his latest campaign for the brand. The quick all-access videos, shot again by Cignoli, frequently allow Bolt’s own personality to come through. Meanwhile, Nordstrom has shown what it’s like at its stores after hours, with shoes whimsically moving about on shelves when customers aren’t there. In another video, a flying shirt leads followers on a magical tour through merchandise.

Beyond the obvious

One thing fashion and retail brands haven’t taken advantage of is the how-to video, which is a popular hashtag on Vine. Bergdorfs has done a beauty tutorial and Nordstrom has used Vine to show how to tie a tie, but there are plenty more opportunities here.

As autumn’s busy event calendar gets rolling and the fall collections hit stores, expect to see more behind-the-scenes footage as well as more close-up product shots. Though some brands’ participation has been impeded by corporate approval processes, there’s no doubt — especially with the recent launch of video on Instagram — that short-form video will become a more central part of the fashion industry’s output.

As Cignoli advises: “Fashion brands just need to let go a little and enjoy Vine for what it is, the quickness and easiness of it. If they can find a way to do that, it’s going to be much more beneficial even if what’s going out isn’t always the most amazing piece of content.”

Do you have any favorite fashion brands you follow on Vine?

Categories
digital snippets film social media technology

Digital snippets: Peter Som, Bergdorfs, Prada, Jean Paul Gaultier, American Eagle

There’s been a lot happening in the fashion and technology space over the past couple of weeks, ranging from Proenza Schouler’s new site to Net-a-Porter moving into the beauty space. News of Pinterest’s new analytics platform and Facebook’s planned integration of the hashtag have also hit. Here are the rest of the highlights sourced from around the web…

Don’t forget to check out this wrap-up report from SXSW Interactive as it applies to the fashion industry too.

 

  • Behind Peter Som’s 3.3 million Pinterest followers [BoF]
  • Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola made a Prada film (as per above trailer) [Fashionista]
  • Jean Paul Gaultier launches responsive web design [Web&Luxe]
  • American Eagle spoof video pokes fun at skinny jeans trend [NY Daily News]
  • Neiman Marcus launches fashion contest on Pinterest [WWD]
  • Justin Bieber plays drums in adidas NEO interactive lookbook [MTV Style]
  • Puma seeks to celebrate individuality with Worn My Way lifestyle campaign [Marketing magazine]
  • 3D printing clothes at home could be reality by 2050 [PSFK]
  • Google Glass app identifies you by your fashion sense [NewScientist]
  • Zalando concept car spots fashions, transforms into changing room [Gizmag]
  • China entering e-commerce and mobile “golden age”. So why are fashion brands lagging? [Jing Daily]
  • What real-time branding means for luxury brands [Luxury Daily]
Categories
Comment social media technology

#SXSW Interactive in prep: a fashionable playing ground for 2013

FashionBrainBar_SXSW_main

If there was one thing I learnt from SXSW last year, it was that I absolutely had to go again in 2013. On top of the fact it’s the place to hear industry leaders  give expert insights, the place to learn about new innovations and source fresh inspirations, and the place where trends and directions for the tech world break… it’s also a breeding ground for incredible networking.

For anyone working within the fashion-meets-digital space, this seems especially the case this year, with more attendees headed to Austin from our industry than ever, as well as a host of relevant events to go with it.

Fashion’s Collective is hosting one of them, known as the Fashion Brain Bar on Monday, March 11 (as pictured above). It’s aim is to provide a bit of respite from the insanity of the festival, but also a space for everyone to meet the people they need to meet and have “the conversations that will play a key role in the advancements we’ll see over the next few years”.

Industry experts on hand will include Raman Kia, executive director of integrated strategy at Condé Nast through to Dave Gilboa, founder of Warby Parker. The full list can be seen here, as well as a space to submit questions to them in advance.

Another fringe event planned is called The Neighborhood. Created by AvecMode and 2nd Street District, it’s a move on from the Style X event of previous years, which brought a fashion focus (complete with runway shows) to Austin nearer the end of the festival. This time plans are in place from March 11 – 14 with a bit more of an industry edge. There are pop-up stores still, but also Q&A sessions with pros from the likes of Neiman Marcus, Michael Kors, Lyst, Refinery29 and more, as well as highlight interviews with menswear designers John Varvatos and Billy Reid.

The main SXSW schedule does of course feature a number of fashion-specific events too, including this one with Nina Garcia focused on the democratisation of high fashion. And this one featuring New York’s “digital it-crowd” in Aliza Licht, Cannon Hodge, Erika Bearman and John Jannuzzi (that’d be DKNY, Bergdorf Goodman, Oscar de la Renta and Lucky Magazine).

Fashion’s Collective has also published a survival guide to the whole five days, including must-attend events (lots of them non-fashion which I would highly recommend, there’s nothing like being inspired from outside your normal remit), as well as a handful of food and drink recommendations (indispensable).

I also love this guide from Andrew Hyde, called Ditch the Marketers, Find the Makers, it sums up the rest of the experience beautifully (be friendly to everyone, sit down when you can, put down your tech and look at people – yes really).

On that note mind you, if you’re going, drop me a line over Twitter. Assuming I can connect, I’d love to meet you.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce technology Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Burberry, Badgley Mischka, Rebecca Minkoff, Mr Porter

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

  • Burberry’s Angela Ahrendts: high tech’s fashion model [Fortune]
  • Badgley Mischka teams up with Bergdorfs to preview resort collection on Pinterest [NY Times]
  • Rebecca Minkoff credits Instagram with 100% spring shoe sale growth (as pictured) [Luxury Daily]
  • Mr Porter and TV show ‘Suits’ team up for digital fashion experience [Mashable]
  • Moda Operandi raises $36m, expands from pre-commerce to e-commerce [BoF]
  • How shopping and fashion apps are taking over Facebook [Venture Beat]
  • To pay or not to pay: a closer look at the business of blogging [WWD]
Categories
digital snippets film Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Selfridges, Karl Lagerfeld, Bergdorfs, Nike, Mr Porter, Gap

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

 

  • Selfridges launches The Film Project with Alexander McQueen (as above), Comme des Garçons, Dries Van Noten, Gareth Pugh, A.F. Vandervorst and Rick Owens [Karl is my Unkle]
  • Karl Lagerfeld launches new content-driven website [WWD]
  • Bergdorf Goodman partners with magazine app Zite to push brand-relevant lifestyle content [Marketwire]
  • Mr Porter launches global augmented reality fashion hunt [Mashable]
  • Nike showcasing ‘future of retail’ with pop-up Nike+ FuelStation in London [Creativity Online]
  • Gap launches new campaign integrating geo-fencing technology [PSFK]
Categories
technology Uncategorized

#SXSW Interactive: a new must on the fashion calendar

I have just returned from the most incredible week at SXSW Interactive, where speakers varied from Al Gore and Sean Parker, to Ray Kurweil, Biz Stone and Dennis Crowley.

I’m in the midst of finishing off a piece on the key thoughts and ideas from the week – to be published elsewhere [UPDATE: if you’re interested please email me for a copy].

In the meantime, I wanted to write one very short and simple blogpost that says, if you’re a fashion brand aiming to achieve anything along the lines of digital success, you need to go next year.

SXSW is the place to hear industry leaders (aforementioned and more) give expert insights; it’s the place to learn about new innovations and source fresh inspirations; and it’s the place where trends and directions for the tech world break.

But more importantly, it’s the hottest place to network with anyone and everyone also working in this space. Serendipity as Mashable calls it here. From meeting new start-ups and coordinating with established platforms, to swapping ideas with those from your own industry, it’s the perfect playing ground for getting your head both in the game and ahead of the curve.

And if that isn’t convincing enough, it speaks volumes to see which brands are already doing it. There this year were teams from Burberry, Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorfs, Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi… not to mention fashion-specific platforms including Lyst and publications from The Business of Fashion and WGSN, to Fashion’s Collective.

It was undoubtedly one of the most valuable experiences of my career to date.

I hope to see you there in 2013!