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What you missed: Amazon’s big data ambitions and on-demand textiles, Facebook’s VR, a sustainability deep dive

Amazon's Echo Look
Amazon’s Echo Look

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


TOP STORIES
  • Amazon’s big data fuelled fashion ambitions [TechCrunch]
  • Amazon wins patent for on-demand textile manufacturing [Retail Dive]
  • Facebook launches VR project Facebook Spaces [The Drum]
  • Tech tackles the fitting room [Racked]

BUSINESS
  • LVMH takes control of Christian Dior in $13 billion deal [BoF]
  • Hermès joins trend of accelerating luxury sales growth [Business Insider]
  • Kit and Ace shutters all stores worldwide, except in native Canada [Retail Dive]
  • Retail workers fight to get a cut in the era of e-commerce [Racked]
  • Debenhams unveils its turnaround strategy [The Industry]

SUSTAINABILITY
  • How to cut carbon emissions as e-commerce soars [Bain & Co]
  • Are fashion’s recycling schemes as effective as they seem? [The Fashion Law]
  • Is deadstock the future of sustainable fashion? [Fashionista]
  • The myth of closed-loop manufacturing [Glossy]
  • How much has actually changed 4 years on from the Rana Plaza collapse? [Refinery29]
  • Why is fashion still sleeping on all-natural dyes? [Fashionista]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • How brands are finally cashing in on social with shoppable Instagram Stories and Snapchat ads [AdWeek]
  • Why does the term ‘influencer’ feel so gross? [Man Repeller]
  • Rue21, mode-ai launch virtual stylist with Facebook Messenger group feature [Retail Dive]

MARKETING
  • The state of data strategy in fashion and retail [Glossy]
  • Do podcasts make you wanna shop? [Racked]
  • John Lewis unveils experiential National Treasures summer campaign [The Industry]
  • Mytheresa.com teams with Miu Miu on capsule, fashion film [WWD]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Macy’s and the survival of retailing [Bloomberg]
  • Why retailers are trying on showrooms [Retail Dive]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Amazon builds team for autonomous vehicle technology [AutoNews]
  • Burt’s Nature showcases the Burt of Burt’s Bees in VR [The Drum]
  • Estée Lauder’s augmented reality efforts focus on Europe [L2]

START-UPS
  • Walmart’s tech incubator hires co-founder of Rent the Runway [Bloomberg]
Categories
Editor's pick technology

Dior enters virtual reality space with in-store headsets for immersive catwalk experiences

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We’ve seen a flurry of retail and fashion brands experiment with virtual reality of late. Next up: Dior.

The French luxury house captured a backstage view of its most recent catwalk show in 3D, and is now offering up that experience via a virtual reality headset for consumers who visit select stores in a bid to promote its Dior Show beauty line.

Better yet, the headset is its own. Dior Eyes, as it’s called, was created in-house in partnership with DigitasLBi Labs using a 3D printer. Content is delivered inside via a smartphone with a high-density screen and tailor-made VR app. Holophonic audio brings the experience to life by recreating a “spacious and enveloping sound sensation following the user’s movements” thanks to a binaural microphone.

Users are able to explore the full 360 degrees of the backstage space, seeing the models during their final prep for the show surrounded by make-up artists, photographers and designer Raf Simons, for a true immersive experience.

“This trendsetting experience is emblematic of the new relationship emerging between technology and couture,” reads the write-up from the company. “Exquisitely designed with refined details, the VR headset lets Dior lovers discover what happens behind the scenes and marvel at the superb craftsmanship that goes into one of the most impressive shows on the Paris fashion calendar.”

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Categories
film

Dior returns to Versailles with second Secret Garden film

 

Dior has released its second Secret Garden of Versailles film, once again shot by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin and already well on its way to viral success.

Less than 24-hours since release, and the 60-second spot from creative director Raf Simons has over 3.5 million views on YouTube. That follows hot on the heels of the first film’s 24 million views to-date for both its short and long formats combined.

The latest one sees model Daria Strokous moving from the marble hallways of the grounds’ Grand Trianon into its accompanying parkland where a bevy of other “flower women” are waiting to join her. The result is an altogether more sinister, yet equally ethereal piece of creative to last season – silhouettes among centuries-old trees, autumnal picnics surrounded by layers of heavy mist and a doubtless sense of surrealism in an enchanted forest befitting the Secret Garden title.

“Versailles hums with well-kept secrets,” reads the write-up, referencing the idea of “an extraordinary world of poetry and colour” and inspiration pooled from Marie Antoinette on the one hand and Edouard Manet’s 1863 painting “Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe” on the other.

The fashion house’s autumn 2013 collection is front and centre, as is its Diorissimo handbag in a variety of colours seen tightly embraced by Strokous. Best of all, however, Depeche Mode provides the soundtrack again, this time with Behind the Wheel from 1987.

Below are some of the shots from its print campaign:

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Categories
film Uncategorized

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence features in making-of Miss Dior handbag ad

In case you hadn’t heard enough about Jennifer Lawrence this week, here now is a video from the behind-the-scenes of her debut Miss Dior handbag ad.

Shot by Willy Vanderperre, it shows the new Oscar-winning actress posing for the spring/summer 2013 stills shots, all the while speaking over the top about her love of Dior and the timelessness of the bags in question.

“Dior represents beauty and strength in women and that’s how I feel when I’m wearing his clothes, they just make you feel so confident,” she says.

Kudos to Dior for adding her to their Academy Award-winning line-up: Marion Cotillard, Charlize Theron and Natalie Portman included.

On that note, Portman’s latest Miss Dior fragrance film, directed by Sofia Coppola, is also just out. “La vie en rose”, as it’s called, is a beautiful spot, and well worth the watch.

(Be sure to view this and this too by the way)

Categories
film Uncategorized

Dior focuses on savoir faire with documentary look at J’adore fragrance

Dior has released a 20-minute online film showcasing the creation of its J’adore perfume.

“Le Parfum – The Film”, as it’s called, documents everything from the sourcing of the scent’s raw materials to the blowing of its glass bottle. To do so it travels from Paris to Murano via Provence and India.

All the while, the Parfumeur Créateur of the Maison Dior, François Demachy, carries the story – albeit in French (a three-minute subtitled version lives on jadore.com).

The write-up reads: “This wayfaring film demonstrates that the birth of a perfume is due as much to the talent of its creator, as to the quality of its raw materials.”

It continues: “Timeless images show the expert techniques of those who cultivate and harvest. Astonishing moments reveal the know-how of those who obtain essences and absolutes from the rarest flowers. This beautiful escapade takes us into the splendour of regal, generous and respected nature.”

Claude Martinez, president and CEO of Parfums Christian Dior, told WWD: “For us, the wish was to [have people] really rediscover the art of perfume and creative passion that animates all the creators working around a fragrance. In a world where fragrances seem to be more and more marketed, more and more ephemeral, I think it’s important to have generations and future generations rediscover that perfume is a true savoir faire. It is a métier of art, a métier of artisans and it’s not recipes from a computer. But it’s voyages, it’s people who grow flowers, it’s people who mix them after, glassmakers.”

The documentary is complemented by a 60-second spot narrated by J’adore face, Charlize Theron. Released on TV in the US on Saturday, it has already received nearly five million views on YouTube.

According to WWD, it is slated to roll out on TV globally through December, as well as in cinemas in France and China. The Jadore.com microsite also hosts more information about the flowers, the creators and the bottle.

Watch both the 60-second and 20-minute version of the film, below:

 

Categories
e-commerce Uncategorized

Dior pulls together fashion and beauty with relaunched website

A great teaser video here for the all-new Dior.com, which just launched today:

 

According to WWD, the revamped site unites Dior’s fashion and beauty offerings at one address in a bid to engage young consumers and reinforce the brand’s luxury orientation and couture roots.

“It’s like putting everything in one store. Today, we are more and more doing big stores because we really want people to experience our universe,” said Sidney Toledano, Dior’s president and CEO. “The only thing missing now is the smell.”

In terms of design, a particular highlight lies in the video section of the site, where more than 80 pieces of content are hosted in a circular slideshow (as pictured below) said to echo the entry rotunda of the brand’s flagship store on the Avenue Montaigne.

Dior is also planning to add a digital magazine, viewable on the web, iPhone and iPad later this year.

Read the full story over at WWD: Christian Dior upgrades world on the web

Categories
Uncategorized

JWT turns brands into cute virtual animations

I love this concept from JWT – the New York-based communications agency  has transformed some 3,000 brands into animated characters as a way of comparing  characteristics.

Referred to as a ‘brand visualisation tool’, Brand Toys as it’s called, includes everyone from Apple to Nokia, with all sorts of teddy bears, cartoon characters and monsters resulting.

It’s not however merely a subjective project, each toy has been created based on quantitative research, with character and personality determined by Millward Brown’s famous BrandZ study (this year led by Apple), and real-time, online buzz data by Social Mention.

Varying body shapes, for instance, depend on scores for familiarity and potential. There’s even a weather backdrop representing online sentiment.

Brands can be compared with others (see my screen grab above of a few choice fashion brands including Bottega Veneta, Christian Dior, Roberto Cavalli, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith and Ralph Lauren – not sure they’d be wholeheartedly enamoured with the designs themselves mind), as well as across the 23 countries included.

According to Brand Republic, Guy Murphy, worldwide planning director at JWT, said: “To ensure a rosy future for brands, it is crucial to consider marketing as a creative discipline. Brand Toys represents brands as consumers feel them—with personality and character, not as a series of numbers or complex mechanisms.”

For those interested in having a play, it’s also possible to customise the toys. Users can then share their creations via social media.

Categories
social media Uncategorized

Galliano arrested, does Twitter eliminate damage control?

John Galliano became a key trending topic on Twitter today following news of his arrest in Paris for alleged anti-semitic remarks.

Released by police early this morning, the Brit designer has since been suspended from his role at Christian Dior pending the police investigation.

“Dior affirms with the utmost conviction its policy of zero tolerance towards any anti-Semitic or racist words or behaviour,” Dior CEO Sidney Toledano said in a statement. “Pending the results of the inquiry, Christian Dior has suspended John Galliano from his responsibilities.”

It is unknown whether the Dior show planned for March 4 will go ahead.

It’s in scenarios like these I wonder whether the speed in which Twitter can power such stories around the world is a good thing. If it turns out Galliano is innocent, which for his own sake as well as Dior’s is hopefully the case, has his reputation suffered irreparable damage nonetheless?

Pre-social media, the story would undoubtedly have been kept far quieter. Yes, it will have likely still been headline-hitting in relevant countries (and rightly so), but perhaps not on quite the same scale. Either way, it seems Dior has made the right move in suspending him, but is damage control all the harder with the advent of 140 characters?