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e-commerce Editor's pick technology

Westfield explores the future of fashion with pop-up virtual reality experience

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Westfield UK is focusing on technologies like virtual reality (VR) for spring/summer 2015, with an immersive pop-up experience at the heart of a new campaign called Future Fashion.

During March and April, visitors to both Westfield London at Shepherd’s Bush and Westfield Stratford City, will be invited to wear VR headsets paired with gesture tracking technology. The interactive experience will enable them to see their own hands within the virtual world.

There will also be a large screen that tracks shoppers’ body shapes as they walk up to it. Westfield is referring to this as creating a “fashion avatar” – as the user moves, elements of three trends highlighted by Westfield for the season – denim, floral and future modern – are expressed with them, leaving trails behind as they go. Denim sees an avatar seemingly woven from thread, floral by different buds and colours representative of scent, and future modern by glowing lines.

Users will then be able to explore the three trends via Westfield’s ‘Edit Me’ trend microsite; digitally curating products to fit each of them from retailers within the shopping centre.

Myf Ryan, Westfield’s marketing director for the UK and Europe, said: “From research Westfield conducted, we know that shoppers are eager to explore new fashion technologies and are intrigued by new virtual ways to experience it – 52% would use augmented reality in a retail environment and 57% are tempted by virtual mirrors. This event will take our shoppers on an incredible virtual journey, which pushes the boundaries of fashion and technology.”

There is also a digital content hub surrounding the Future Fashion campaign. It will include a series of stop motion, hyperlapse and how-to tutorial films produced by Portas. The campaign will be further supported by social media, out-of-home and a press partnership with The Telegraph Group.

The immersive experience will be in place in Westfield London from March 27-29 and in Westfield Stratford City from April 2-4.

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social media

Matthew Williamson in Net-a-Porter Instagram takeover for #matthewmapped campaign

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Matthew Williamson is guest posting on Net-a-Porter’s Instagram this week in a campaign that teases his own arrival on the social platform.

The London-based designer is sharing images of his favourite places from around the world on Net-a-Porter’s account twice daily for seven days. Each is tagged with #matthewmapped and the relevant location, therefore curating a geographic story of his travels that will result in a ‘Matthew Map’; an image that showcases all the shots together in one place.

“All week we will be sharing photos of [Matthew’s] inspirational travel destinations on our Instagram. Get inspired!” reads the intro post from Net-a-Porter.

“Follow me around the world in 7 days! MW x,” quotes the copy in the first shot from Matthew – one of him in Mauritius. Others so far have also come from Goa, Lake Tahoe, Venice and the Nevada Desert.

The initiative is being pushed across Net-a-Porter’s social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and its blog, Fashion Fix. There are also posts showing relevant product from Matthew Williamson, such as an ombré sweater inspired by the sunset hues from the Nevada desert snap (as below).

It all leads to Matthew launching his own Instagram account from April 1. This will be run by the designer himself and include everything from shots of his creative inspiration to insight into his daily life (the profile picture for his account is shown at the bottom).

Rosanna Falconer, head of digital at Matthew Williamson, said: “We both felt it was crucial Matthew was posting his own visual story and personal photo diary. His aim is to encapsulate our core brand DNA, be it about colour or travel, art, nature, or interiors. He’ll share his sketching and his styling when he’s in the studio, as well as shots when he’s out and about with friends.”

The new feed will also see images shared from the brand’s #MatthewMagnified and #OhMW campaigns – the former stitching together different shots that zoom in to the details of collection pieces, and the latter featuring fans themselves wearing Matthew Williamson. “They have both proved so popular on Facebook and Twitter, and I always find fans taking the images from those platforms to Instagram on their own accounts, so it’s an obvious fit.” Falconer added.

Matthew can be followed via @matthewwilliamson on Instagram from April 1.

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