product technology

Google brings AR to product search, opening up fashion possibilities

Google is introducing a new augmented reality technology for its mobile search engine that will allow customers to see 3D renderings of a number of visual product results.

Users will also be able to place these into the real world through their phone cameras, using AR.   

According to the tech conglomerate, partners from the world of fashion, tech, automobile and more, will be making their products available for the mobile search enhancements. These include names such as New Balance, Target Corp, Samsung and Volvo.

The new feature was announced at Google’s developer conference on Tuesday alongside a flurry of other developments such as extended privacy, new smart speaker features and more. The new AR technology feature will be released later this month.

It was demonstrated on stage with the example of shopping for a pair of sneakers. A customer searching for a pair of New Balance shoes, for instance, will come across a visual search result that has the option of a “view in 3D” button. When tapped this will transform the image into a three-dimensional rendering that can be moved by swiping on the phone screen.

Another tap on a “view in your space” button pulls up the user’s phone camera and drops the sneaker into their immediate environment using AR technology. The user can then move closer to the sneaker and see it from different angles by walking around it.

“Say…you’re shopping for a new pair of shoes. With New Balance, you can look at shoes up close, from different angles, again, directly from search,” explained Aparna Chennapragada, vice president of Google Lens & AR on stage. “That way, you get a much better sense for things like, what does the grip look like on the sole, or how they match with the rest of your clothes.”

With the new launch, Google makes it easier for retailers to tap into AR technology by offering the service directly through its search engine, with no additional development beyond the 3D rendering needed by the brand itself.

Recent examples of other brands using AR technology include Puma. The brand just launched a sneaker that activated AR content through a dedicated app.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current 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.

Campaigns Editor's pick sustainability

Reformation helps customers offset their carbon footprint with new sustainable initiatives

Reformation is helping fight climate change with a campaign that enables its customers to offset their individual carbon footprints by supporting clean energy projects. The California-based sustainable label is launching “Carbon is Canceled”, which features a series of programs over the next few months that hope to encourage sustainable behavior.

Firstly, it is partnering with sustainable energy providers Arcadia Power to encourage customers to switch 50% of their electric energy bill to wind energy for no additional cost – and as a reward, receive a $100 gift certificate from the label.

Secondly, it is introducing “Climate Credits” with carbon offsite partners Native Energy. The tool enables customers on the Reformation website to purchase “credits” and have that monetary value be put towards verified carbon offset projects, such as clean energy and forestry projects that actively reduce CO2 emissions.

For example, for the price of $60, a customer can offset their own individual carbon emissions for the span of six months, and have that money be donated to suitable projects. Alternatively, customers can buy credits towards an entire family’s consumption and even towards a wedding’s.

Reformation has been entirely carbon-neutral since 2015, and this program is only one of the many initiatives that hope to encourage its cult following to think and shop more sustainably.

In 2015, it introduced Refscale, an eco tool that allows customers to see exactly how sustainable each individual Reformation garment is compared to industry standards. For Earth Day in 2018, it pledged to keep 75,000 pieces of clothing out of landfills that year by announcing a series of initiatives that support the resale of ‘gently loved’ Reformation items, teaming up with platforms such as ThredUp and Depop.

Are you thinking innovatively enough about sustainability? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current 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. 

Campaigns product social media

Abercrombie & Fitch redefines fierce with inclusive fragrance campaign

Abercrombie & Fitch is relaunching its iconic Fierce men’s fragrance with an inclusive new campaign featuring a diverse cast of 20 millennials. Called “Face Your Fierce”, the campaign features men and women sharing their personal stories on how they overcame diversity and what it means to be fierce in their own unique ways.

The new campaign is part of the brand’s transformation as it seeks to reconnect with its target audience of young consumers. It aims to show that strength can be found in compassion, vulnerability and humility, which are all qualities the chosen cast represents.

“We are proud to introduce the redefined Fierce for our customers, and inspire them to see and share how they too embody Fierceness,” says Kristin Scott, president, global brands at Abercrombie & Fitch Co. “This iconic fragrance, which has been and will always be an integral part of the Abercrombie & Fitch brand, is ready to make a new and unforgettable impression.”

Featured in the campaign are Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, actress Brianna Hildebrand, LGBTQ+ activist and actor Keiynan Londsdale alongside a host of other inspirational characters. This also includes a group of surfers from Malibu who worked as volunteer firefighters during the recent California wildfires. To support their brave efforts, the brand is giving a charitable donation in support of California wildfire prevention, education and relief.

The campaign will be rolled out online and in-store today through print and video, while a social media element will allow brand fans to share their own fierce stories.

How are you thinking about marketing? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current 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.

Editor's pick social media

H&M X Coachella again, plans even bigger style and social media blitz


H&M had a major hit with its Coachella collaboration in 2015, and so the fashion retail giant is teaming up with the king of festivals again this year for a collaboration that takes in clothes, accessories and a social media blitz.

Its co-branded Coachella collection launches next month in US stores (March 24, with a sneak peek on March 23) under the hashtag #HMLovesCoachella.

As last year, H&M will have a pop-up shop on-site in the H&M tent where festival-goers can buy the collection, take a break from the heat, “and enjoy an interactive social experience,” we’re told. Although Coachella is sold out, for H&M’s social media followers, the retailer will be giving away festival passes and camping passes to the festival throughout March across its social channels.


And social media is key even for those not planning to go anywhere near a festival this year. The Coachella link is being heavily pushed in the digital locations H&M knows its youthful customer base will visit, as festival-type looks become as much of a general summer option as a festival one. That means a big push on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat via @HMUSA, and on Instagram via @HM.

So what does the collection actually contain? For girls, it’s about folksy blouses, beaded and fringed tops, allover print jumpsuits, denim cut-offs, and accessory essentials including floppy hats, sunglasses, and flat boots. Hemlines are short and embellishments are key. For the boys, there are printed T-shirts and mismatched shirts, bermudas, and denim shorts.

It looks like the offer is wider and deeper than the 2015 collection with H&M designer Ross Lydon saying: ”Last year, H&M was the first brand to team up with Coachella to develop a clothing collection. The success was so rapid and so widespread, we decided to partner again to create an even richer offering this season.”


This post first appeared on, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday

film Uncategorized

Spring films arrive from Lanvin, Calvin Klein and David Beckham Bodywear for H&M

It’s been a bit of a week for fashion film releases, with highlights coming in from Lanvin, Calvin Klein and H&M surrounding the spring/summer 2013 campaigns.


Lanvin, a firm favourite every season thanks to the genius of creative director Alber Elbaz, has unveiled a spot that seems as though it’s just focusing on the print shoot in action. The models are each seen posing in beautiful surrounds very calmly, before suddenly a Skype call comes in from Elbaz who was unable to get to New York due to Hurricane Sandy.

What follows is highly amusing commentary from him on the “sick perspective” and “beautiful lighting” of the campaign. “It’s very very poetic, very chic,” he says. “There’s something very Californian about [it]… You know I’m still at the office. I feel I’m in a dream, I feel I’m in a cloud.”


Calvin Klein meanwhile, followed its Super Bowl underwear spot with the rest of its spring/summer campaign. Actor Alexander Skarsgård and model Suvi Koponen both star in its film, Provocations, which sees the men’s and women’s Calvin Klein Collection, ck Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein Jeans brands all brought together for the first time. There are three variations of it available: 10 minutes, 60 seconds and 30 seconds (above).

Shot on location in California by Fabien Baron of Baron + Baron, it focuses on recurring elements of fire, air and water as the pair are seen in a variety of “sleek, architectural settings to dark and mysterious milieus”.


And H&M roped in film director Guy Ritchie to shoot David Beckham in his first video spot for the retailer. The ad sees Beckham chasing after his family car after his bathrobe gets stuck in the door. As he runs / jumps / swims through the Beverly Hills neighbourhood he continues to lose other items of clothing remaining in just the boxers from his Bodywear line.

“David makes the perfect leading man,” said Ritchie. “For me this felt more than a campaign; it was like directing a short film.”


Some thoughts on Web 3.0

I recently attended the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting in La Quinta, California, where the key focus of conversation was on the increasingly personal web – also referred to as “Web 3.0” or “Ecosystem 3.0”.

It’s a controversial subject given the privacy concerns that come attached, but the industry is trying to convert such connotations of data to reflect instead feelings of opportunity and ultimately value for both the consumer and the brand involved.

Here are some choice thoughts from the event:

  • Web 3.0 is being facilitated by consumers becoming increasingly used to sharing their information, according to Doc Searls, senior editor of Linux Journal, a fellow with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto.
  • Handling privacy worries comes down to showing consumers they can be in charge of their own data, he said, introducing his theory of vendor relationship management (VRM).
  • It’s about consumers getting to a point where they’re more willing to enter into something because they know and understand what’s happening to their data when they do.
  • Omar Tawakol, CEO of online data exchange company Bluekai said we need to simplify things so people can visually understand what happens to their data.
  • According to Rik van der Kooi, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Advertiser and Publisher Solutions (APS) group, it should no longer be about people versus data, but instead people and their data. “If we continue to see data as privacy rather than property, we will continue to postpone the opportunity that presents itself here,” he explained.
  • Tawakol said transparency is what will facilitate a move away from the conversation of privacy as one of fear, towards the notion of sharing as beneficial to the user. It’s in having a complete picture of consumers that we will be able to achieve more trust and stronger bonds, resulting in better value for everyone involved, he said.

It was interesting to also read The  Business of Fashion’s post on Web 3.0 this week.

This next phase of the internet, it says, will create an exciting opportunity for fashion retailers.

“In a world where people constantly share personal information, it’s becoming increasingly possible for retailers to analyse this information to better understand the specific context of the individual — her interests, personal style and other parameters — and deliver content and products that are personalised to her needs and desires. Simply put, “Web 3.0” will enable personalised experiences built on the data created by Web 2.0.”

An interview with Silicon Valley strategy consultant, author and entrepreneur Sramana Mitra follows. In it, she says the fashion industry could become more financially successful by utilising personal data: analysing it and designing and merchandising accordingly.

Read the rest, here: The Long View | Sramana Mitra on Web 3.0 and the Science of Personalised Shopping