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product social media

Moschino and The Sims team up for digitally-inspired collection

Moschino has teamed up with video game The Sims on an exclusive collection inspired by the iconic game’s avatar-based universe.

“I love the idea of being able to imagine, design and bring to life a world of individual personas with The Sims universe,” says Moschino’s creative director, Jeremy Scott. “That concept emulates what I get to do for each collection at Moschino as I create a fantasy universe of spectacular storylines and characters.”

The Moschino x The Sims collection, which will hit Moschino stores and Moschino.com tomorrow (April 13), features a limited run of eight ready-to-wear items and accessories such as sweatshirts and phone covers. The line will also be unveiled at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival taking place in California this weekend while one piece, a Freezer Bunny hoodie, will also be launched in digital form and exist within a number of The Sims games.

To promote the collaboration, Moschino has released a lookbook where real models are stylised to look like avatars, while standing in virtual environments reminiscent of the game.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent 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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Editor's pick Retail technology

BAFTA awards introduces CGI model as first ever 5G AI-powered red carpet stylist

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is introducing the world’s first 5G-powered AI stylist at this weekend’s 72nd British Academy Film Awards, in the shape of a hologram of a CGI model. The model will act as a bridge to allow consumers to shop for red carpet looks at home.

Powered by telecoms company EE technology, Shudu, the CGI model, will be brought to life on the red carpet in the shape of a hologram and allow guests at home to shop for evening looks similar to those of the celebrities attending through Instagram Stories.

The experience will work when red carpet guests stand next to the hologram and have their photographs taken by a Google Pixel 3 phone. This is then posted on EE’s Instagram Stories, where users will be able to ‘swipe up’ to begin a conversation with Shudu, the chatbot.

Users can then discuss their personal styles with Shudu, while AI be deployed to find similar, more affordable looks to recommend to users and enable them to “Shop the Look”.

On the red carpet, Shudu will be joined by host and TV presenter Laura Whitmore. “I love the fact that she will give everyone the opportunity to learn more about and even shop the looks of the stars on this year’s BAFTA red carpet right from the comfort of their sofas,” she says. “I know everyone is going to be blown away by her. I’m looking forward to seeing all the glamour and chatting to all the nominees.”

Last year, TheCurrent Global’s Liz Bacelar and Rachel Arthur debated the what the potential that CGI-generated models, such as Shudu, may have for luxury brands on an episode of the Innovators podcast.

How are you thinking about digital 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. 

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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.

Categories
Campaigns social media

CGI model Lil Miquela’s latest ad is for UGG

Lil Miquela for UGG

Digital model Lil Miquela is joining a roster of real-life influencers, such as model Adwoa Aboa and streetwear designer Heron Preston, for UGG’s 40th anniversary campaign.

According to the brand, the computer-generated model, whose full name is Miquela Souza, represents an “entire generation that is revisiting identity, reality and storytelling”. In the ads, she is seen against the same surrealist backdrops that other models in the campaign are photographed in, as if to blend seamlessly among the cast.

Created by Los Angeles-based startup Brud, the avatar straddles the line between digital and offline, and resurfaces the question of what the future of fashion influencers is. Similar to her real-life counterparts, however, Lil Miquela represents more than just a pretty face, as she has used her online platform to advocate for causes such as body positivity, immigration and most notably, the Black Lives Matter movement.

British model Aboa, on the other hand, is also the co-founder of Gurls Talk, an online platform for young women to discuss important issues pertaining to their lives, such as sexuality and self care.

For now, the use of CGI models seems more closely linked to the good publicity it brings rather than pushing a bigger conversation.

Back in 2016, Louis Vuitton was the first to deploy a digital model when “Final Fantasy” character Lightning posed for its S/S 2016 campaign; earlier this year, Prada enlisted Lil Miquela to promote a series of Instagram Stories stickers and GIFs alongside its Fall 2018 collection; and most recently, Balmain replaced its usual cast of supermodels with three virtual influencers.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent 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 digital snippets e-commerce product Retail sustainability technology

ICYMI: Fashion’s woman problem, the hologram reality, Zara’s digitally-integrated store

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

TOP STORIES
  • Fashion’s woman problem [NYTimes]
  • Holograms: are they still the preserve of science fiction? [Guardian]
  • Zara opens its pioneering digitally integrated store at Westfield Stratford [TheIndustry]
TECHNOLOGY
  • JD.com plans to make courier robots smarter by enabling them to ‘talk’ to lifts, ascend towers [SCMP]
  • Loving the alien: Why AI will be the key to unlocking consumer affection [Forbes]
  • How to succeed at being a crypto and blockchain influencer without really trying [NewCoShift]
  • China’s government casts uncertainty on blockchain evolution [JingDaily]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • Nike, H&M and Burberry join forces for sustainable fashion [Reuters]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Sephora is launching in-store beauty classes for trans people [Them]
  • Burberry is successfully steering sales into its own stores [Glossy]
  • Alibaba’s newest initiative aims to make Hong Kong a global AI hub [TechCrunch]
  • This new company is about to make fast fashion even faster [Racked]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • How we made our own CGI influencer in 48 hours [TheCut]
PRODUCT
  • Fabrics of the past, present and future and the best ways to wear them [ManRepeller]
  • Hue breakthrough: Scientists engineer first active, color-changing fabric [WWD]
BUSINESS
  • MatchesFashion gets a royal wedding boost to top off bumper year [CityAM]
  • Can Walmart crack fashion? [BoF]
  • Nordstrom wants brands to embrace the ‘size spectrum’ [Glossy]
  • New Look accused of ‘fat tax’ by charging more for outfits after size 16 [Telegraph]
Categories
Campaigns data digital snippets Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Plastic waste becomes Adidas tees, how Bitcoin went luxury, data to reduce returns

Adidas for Earth Day
Adidas for Earth Day

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

TOP STORIES
  • Adidas created Earth Day soccer jerseys made from ‘upcycled’ plastic ocean waste [AdWeek]
  • How Bitcoin went luxury [Vogue]
  • How retailers are crunching data to cut losses from returns [Glossy]
  • The fashion world after Anna Wintour [NY Times]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Alibaba is becoming a major investor in facial-recognition technology [Quartz]
  • Retail’s adapt-or-die moment: how artificial intelligence is reshaping commerce [CB Insights]
  • Leap Motion’s “virtual wearables” may be the future of computing [Co.Design]
  • Why beauty giants are snapping up technology startups [BoF]
  • Farfetch launches startup accelerator [BoF]
  • LVMH’s Ian Rogers on Station F [WWD]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • The beginner’s guide to how blockchain could change the ethical fashion game [Fashionista]
  • Why brands are under increasing pressure to be transparent about what they believe in [AdWeek]
  • Stella McCartney: ‘Only 1% of clothing is recycled. What are we doing?’ [TheGuardian]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Brandless, the ‘Procter & Gamble for millennials’ startup that sells everything for $3, is launching a pop-up, but you can’t buy anything [Business Insider]
  • Glossier opening permanent retail space in LA [WWD]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Two computer-generated influencers are at war right now, and nothing is real anymore [W Magazine]
  • With privacy updates, Instagram upsets influencer economy [BoF]
  • How Vans is shaking up its experiential marketing to get more personal [BrandChannel]
  • Snapchat has launched in-app AR shopping, with Adidas and Coty among the first sellers [TheDrum]
BUSINESS
  • Adidas partners with Lean In to promote equal pay for women [WWD]
  • Gap CEO Art Peck: Big data gives us major advantages over competitors [CNBC]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: embracing AR, Artefact accepts crypto payments, why AI for retail is all wrong

Ikea AR augmented reality
Ikea

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

TOP STORIES
  • Brands are finally embracing augmented reality, but not without speed bumps [AdWeek]
  • Artefact London becomes world’s first tailor to accept crypto payments [TheIndustry]
  • Why retail’s artificial intelligence bet is all wrong [QZ]
  • Who is most vulnerable to Amazon’s inexorable rise? [BoF]
  • Hubert de Givenchy dies at 91; Fashion pillar of romantic elegance [NY Times]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Macy’s advancing mobile checkout in innovation agenda [WWD]
  • Bose’s augmented reality glasses use sound instead of sight [TheVerge]
  • Nordstrom is investing in technology to support personalization and customer service [Glossy]
  • ‘People are never going to want to buy something via voice’: Alexa hasn’t caught on for fashion brands [Glossy]
  • Buying stuff with Bitcoin could get way easier courtesy of PayPal [TrustedReviews]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • H&M on why collective industry ambition is crucial for a sustainable fashion future [Forbes]
  • Sustainability is not about designing less, but designing better [Wallpaper]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • John Lewis CIO: forget incremental updates, retailers need a total tech reset to survive [Campaign]
  • Harvey Nichols joins Farfetch in a first for both companies [WWD]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Instagram could soon be launching voice and video calling [DigitalTrends]
  • The world’s first digital supermodel has arrived, here’s what you need to know [HighSnobiety]
PRODUCT
  • This designer bag is made from Burberry’s leftover leather scraps [Wired]
  • The soles of these shoes are made from recycled gum [Fast Company]
  • Allbirds wants your next sneaker to come from eucalyptus trees [BoF]
BUSINESS
  • Prada sees growth ahead despite profit drop [Reuters]
  • The running list of 2018 retail bankruptcies [RetailDive]
  • Is Dior ready for a revolution? [BoF]
  • Tommy Hilfiger’s bet on instant gratification is paying off [Bloomberg]
Categories
Editor's pick social media technology

Prada enlists computer-generated influencer to promote Fall 18 show

Lil Miquela for Prada Fall 18
Lil Miquela for Prada Fall 18

Prada has worked with Lil Miquela, a computer-generated virtual influencer, to promote its Fall 2018 collection via animated GIFs on Instagram Stories.

To announce the partnership alongside the label’s Milan Fashion Week runway show, Miquela posted a series of short Instagram videos featuring the GIFs, and invited her followers to head to Stories and play. The call to action read: “Go off!! #pradagifs are live in stories! Start posting and tag me.”

Over on Prada’s account, the CGI avatar gave followers a mini tour of the show space, a new Rem Koolhaas venue, while flying a drone around, which she controlled with her phone.

GIFs ranged from inspiration of Prada’s current collection, as well as nods to more archival pieces such as the SS10 flame shoe and the SS11 banana print.

Lil Miquela for Prada Fall 18
Lil Miquela for Prada Fall 18

Miquela Souza, or Lil Miquela, is a virtual version of a 19-year-old Los Angeles based influencer, who boasts over 600k followers on Instagram, and whose creators remain purposively elusive.

Speaking to the Business of Fashion in February, Miquela explains her success: “Initially, it probably stems from curiosity. I think people stick around because they end up learning more about themselves through the questions they’re asking. I love being able to communicate, learn and talk to everyone from all corners of the world. There is a sense of community to it as well, the people who follow me end up being friends with each other and the communications that it opens up is inspiring.”

Since “launching”, the influencer has been seen wearing the likes of Vetements and Proenza Schouler, while her music track “Not Mine” has been played over 100K times on Spotify.

Categories
Editor's pick film

John Lewis introduces #MontyThePenguin in 2014 Christmas campaign

johnlewis_montythepenguin

Last year it was a bear and a hare, the year before a snowman, but for 2014 it’s a penguin. John Lewis has introduced its new Christmas campaign – another creative feat costing £1m to make – and a loveable creature called Monty is at the heart of it.

Created to evoke the magic of make-believe at Christmas through a child’s eyes, the spot sees a young boy called Sam playing with his pet penguin during the year. The duo does everything together, but eventually Sam notices the fact Monty is pining for the love and romance of a female companion.

Come December 25, he therefore surprises his Antarctic friend with a fellow penguin called Mabel sitting under the tree. The strapline “Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of” accompanies.

Craig Inglis, marketing director at the department store, said: “At John Lewis, this time of year is all about helping our customers create their dream Christmas. We hope this uplifting tale of Sam’s love for his friend Monty will remind people of the magic of Christmas through a child’s eyes and inspire them to think how they can make the festive season extra special for their friends and loved ones.”

Monty and Mabel were created using CGI technology to look and behave exactly like real life Adélie penguins. They’ll also appear in an in-store space called Monty’s Den, where a series of virtual reality experiences in partnership with Samsung will be in operation.

A children’s book called ‘Monty’s Christmas’, as well as a series of related toys will be available to buy alongside.

The ad is set to John Lennon’s track ‘Real Love’, sung by Tom Odell. It was created by Adam & Eve/DDB and revealed via social media ahead of hitting TV tomorrow. John Lewis is investing £7m in total in its Christmas campaign.