film mobile technology

W magazine brings Katy Perry issue to life with augmented reality experience

Katy Perry's W magazine feature opens up via augmented reality
Katy Perry’s W magazine feature opens up via augmented reality

W magazine has turned to augmented reality for its latest issue, introducing an interactive virtual experience accessible from its physical pages.

Produced with creative technology and VFX studio, The Mill, the special collector’s issue for September 2017, starts with a “talking” cover, starring Katy Perry, who was shot and directed by Steven Klein. The singer delivers a video and audio message to readers, before inviting them to interact with different parts of her face to unlock new pieces of content.

Those films were developed by creating 3D scans of Perry on set, then matching Klein’s aesthetic through the resulting computer-generated renderings. The aim, according to the press release, was to design a seamless experience between the screen and the printed page.

“We perceive magazines as flat planes of expression. Photographic and print materials as static, firmly held in place by the laws of time and space. But now, through new technology, we have broken those laws and can render a picture as a living entity,” said Klein. “Like Alice looking through the looking glass, you are invited, through the use of an app, to step into the wonderland we have created with the technical assistance of The Mill.”

Katy Perry's W magazine feature opens up via augmented reality
Katy Perry’s W magazine feature opens up via augmented reality

While this is by no means the first time AR has been used to bring a magazine to life (fellow Condé Nast title Tatler did it back in 2012, for instance), The Mill’s chief creative officer, Angus Kneale, believes this world is only just starting to get interesting.

Writing for W, he notes: “We are all currently riding the wave of immense mobile-computing ability and cloud connectivity. No one predicted the smartphone revolution; in 10 short years, the iPhone has transformed not just the way we communicate but how we live. Never before has such power—and information—been in the palm of your hand. That piece of glass in your pocket, crammed with the latest technology, has assumed a lofty place in our hierarchy of precious things.”

In the future, however, the level of interactivity we are able to have with digital storytelling is going to be better yet as we evolve into a mixed reality state – where virtual content is seen before us and in the room around us, rather than just through the confinements of our phone screens. “The blend of physical and digital realities promises to open up creative possibilities like never before: Imagine flipping through a fashion magazine and seeing the model come to life, stepping off the page and into your living room. You can see her clothes from all angles and the weight of the fabric as she moves. In the mixed-reality future, a magazine won’t be confined to the pages in your hand,” Kneale explains.

For now, downloading the magazine’s Beyond the Page app, available for iOS and Android, and also created by The Mill, will have to do. A further four features inside the magazine also have virtual content attached to them, including a collaboration with artist Alex Israel, accompanied by a futuristic piece of fiction, and a defiant take on fall fashion by photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

Adds W editor-in-chief, Stefano Tonchi: “This augmented reality experience embodies everything that W stands for – it’s bold, provocative, and offers a truly immersive escape, across print and digital platforms.”

business digital snippets e-commerce product social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Wang’s text-to-buy line, Stitch Fix to IPO, activism from outdoor brands

The Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang line launched via text message
The Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang line launched via text message

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

  • The second Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang line launches via text-to-buy event [Racked]
  • Stitch Fix has filed confidentially for an IPO [Recode]
  • A call to activism for outdoor apparel makers [NY Times]
  • How Reebok, Adidas and Y-3 will dress future space explorers [Fast Company]

  • Jimmy Choo bought by Michael Kors in £896m deal [BBC]
  • could enter stock market [Fashion United]
  • Bangladesh to digitally map all garment factories [JustStyle]
  • Fashion must fight the scourge of dumped clothing clogging landfills [Guardian]

  • Vogue takes ‘hub and spoke’ approach to Snapchat editions in Europe [Digiday]

  • Why Helmut Lang hired an editor-in-residence in place of a creative director [Glossy]
  • Amazon and Nicopanda launch LFW ‘see now, buy now’ range [Retail Gazette]

  • China’s store of the future has no checkout, no cash and no staff [BoF]
  • Saint Laurent to launch online sales in China [WSJ]
  • You will soon be able to search eBay using a photo or social media web link [CNBC]
  •’s Tom Chapman: Amazon’s missing the ‘magic’ of high-end fashion [Glossy]

  • Walmart is developing a robot that identifies unhappy shoppers [Business Insider]
  • For the first time ever, you can buy your own 3D-printed garment online [Fashionista]
  • MIT’s living jewellery is made up of small robot assistants [TechCrunch]
  • Intel axed its entire smartwatch and fitness-tracker group to focus on augmented reality, sources say [CNBC]

  • John Lewis unveils retail tech start-ups for JLAB 2017 [The Industry]
  • Spider silk start-up spins into retail by buying an apparel company [Fortune]
business e-commerce Editor's pick folds as Condé Nast takes e-commerce to Farfetch now automatically redirects to Farfetch after the announced partnership with Condé Nast now automatically redirects to Farfetch after the announced partnership with Condé Nast

The big news on the content and commerce front today comes from Condé Nast and Farfetch, who have announced a strategic partnership to create a seamless editorial shopping experience.

The result will see discontinue operations effective immediately and redirect instead to There is no news as to what will happen to the 75 employees working for the site currently, nor details revealed on the terms of the deal, though Farfetch has acquired’s trademark, intellectual property and customer database.

The partnership comes following challenges for the brand to make headway as a serious e-commerce contender. It launched in the UK last autumn after several delays, and never made it to the US market. Now, Condé Nast aims to commercialise its content in a different way, by linking directly to Farfetch’s brands and boutiques around the world.

“As an early investor in Farfetch, this partnership is the next step in our evolving business relationship. It further unites two leaders in their respective sectors, combining best-in-class content with the world’s leading online luxury shopping destination,” said Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International and newly appointed board member of Farfetch.

Natalie Massenet, co-chairman of Farfetch, added: “Since 1999 I have believed in the importance of combining content and commerce in order to elevate the digital shopping experience. Content educates, entertains, and inspires purchases, which is crucial in the customer journey of discovery. We have long admired the depth, breath and sophistication of Condé Nast’s international reach and are excited for Farfetch to partner closely with Condé Nast. For the consumer this will be a joy to move from inspiration to transaction at any time and any place. And for the brands and international boutiques that have always partnered with Condé Nast this will further enhance their presence in Conde Nast’s media.”

The content-to-commerce experience will see shopping guides created by Condé Nast publications as well as the distribution of shoppable content across Condé Nast digital and social platforms. It will start with Vogue and GQ in the US, with plans for further expansion throughout the Condé Nast portfolio thereafter.

social media

Snapchat Discover channel, Sweet, to host exclusive GucciGhost content at #NYFW

Sweet Snapchat GucciGhost
Exclusive GucciGhost for Gucci GIFs will feature on Sweet’s Snapchat Discover channel during fashion week (Image: art by Lucia Meseguer for Gucci)

Sweet, the Snapchat Discover channel owned by Hearst, is introducing a stream of exclusive editorial content for New York Fashion Week.

Included is the premiere of animated GIFs and wallpaper designed by GucciGhost for Gucci, as well as a takeover by make-up artist Bobbi Brown, which will see video tutorials shared from backstage at the Jenny Packham show.

Sweet will also be behind-the-scenes at Tibi to record additional beauty looks and trends, and be capturing a tour of the CND Nails Labs as they create their 3D nail designs for designers Libertine and Alice + Olvia.

Based on the idea of being “very fun and shareable”, according to Sweet’s VP and general manager Ross Clark, the content will reach the channel’s 15 million monthly readers. All of these partnerships are purely editorial ones, while haircare brand TRESemmé serves as Sweet’s advertising partner for the NYFW themed editions and a broader campaign throughout September, Clark explains.

He refers to Sweet as a “new lifestyle brand for the next generation of international tastemakers” and Snapchat as the perfect environment for that consumption. “Snapchat offers such a rich and diverse product experience — full sight, sound and motion plus social, mobile and immediate. This combination of product features enables brands, designers, models, publishers and more to connect with their audience in such a direct and immersive way,” he says.

As for the future? He’s excited to see if and when e-commerce becomes a part of the platform. “I think that could be a game changer for both users and fashion brands.”

Vogue has also introduced a new Snapchat Discover channel in time for New York Fashion Week, with content already featured from Miranda Kerr, Kim Kardashian West and Cindy Crawford.

e-commerce mobile Uncategorized

Asos introduces interactive mobile mag

Asos has launched an interactive weekly magazine designed especially for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Fashion Up, as it’s called, is a free app released every Monday featuring information on the latest fashion trends, inspiration from celebrity and street star styles, and how-to guides for nail art, make-up and hair. Created by the in-house team behind the e-tailer’s print magazine, it also incorporates click-to-shop technology.

“Available globally, Fashion Up is intuitive, easily digested and image based, meaning you can consume the weekly edition on the move,” said Duncan Edwards, editorial director of Asos Magazine.

The first issue, released yesterday, includes a beauty editorial from WAH Nails, and an exclusive acoustic performance from indie band Two Door Cinema Club.

An Android version will release later in the year. See more in the video below:

technology Uncategorized relaunches has unveiled a re-imagined website that ties a new navigation structure with a sleeker, more elegant visual approach for its 1.3m unique monthly users.

Informed by information architecture, it debuts a new left-hand browser bar as well as ‘Topic Timeline’ pages that see everything from news stories and catwalk shows to galleries and Vogue covers come together by brand, people or events. The search therefore becomes an important research tool for users, and the site even more of a “definitive, constantly developing archive of each of fashion’s most influential names”.

Editor, Dolly Jones, said: “Inspiring and informing millions of users worldwide, for nearly 17 years has been at the forefront of fashion online, and this re-imagining is the culmination of all we’ve learnt to date, simultaneously taking advantage of the most sophisticated and innovative technologies available. The visual appeal the site delivers as a result of its expansive and engaging images is immediate.  Retaining the unique Vogue spirit and position as the pre-eminent fashion media brand, while capitalising on the smartest innovation going, we could not be in better shape to continue to dominate the sector.”

The new site also allows the Vogue team to mix image sizes and post videos, music playlists and quotes for the first time.

Meanwhile, during catwalk season, a new immersive gallery will incorporate all aspects of a show at once, including backstage, front row and the collection itself. The top panel on the homepage, which normally features a single large image related to one main story, will also be broken up to showcase multiple designers over this period.

As for the commercial aspects of the redesign, it aims to provide a bigger creative canvas than ever before. Jamie Jouning, digital director of Condé Nast, said: “Full screen, responsive HTML5 ads are available for key sponsors, and our best-in-class gallery experience provides advertisers with the opportunity to run hugely impactful gallery interstitials.  In-depth site analysis also guided us towards the creation of bespoke “in-content” ad formats that sit elegantly within the main article experience.”

Built in HTML5 and CSS3, the site is also device responsive, meaning it adjusts to suit the screen being used. Ralph Lauren acts as launch sponsor with a series of ads taking advantage of the technology to showcase its autumn/winter 2012/13 collection.

January to June 2012 statistics show received an average of 29,945,632 page impressions and 1,292,805 unique users per month.


Calvin Klein unveils new Tumblr, launches partnership with blogger Hanneli

Calvin Klein revealed its first foray into the world of Tumblr this morning, with a new blog designed to give fans an editorial view of the brand. will host current and archival advertising campaigns as well as inspiring visuals from the brand’s intersection with the worlds of art, architecture, style and music.

The launch is being fronted by a partnership with blogger Hanneli Mustaparta who will contribute content in her own #Hanneli tagged category.

She will be given behind-the-scenes access to the brand’s new collections, which she’s expected to review, style and photograph. She will also post about her interactions with the company’s creative directors and models, and her attendance at events in New York and abroad as a guest of the house.

The move follows Mustaparta’s role tweeting for the brand during New York Fashion Week in February.

The blog was announced by Calvin Klein’s EVP and chief creative officer, Melisa Goldie, during a talk at the Decoded Fashion conference in New York yesterday.

“We think that Tumblr is a perfect platform for us to explore the personality of the brand and accentuate our iconic imagery, and all of us at Calvin Klein are grateful to [Tumblr’s founder] David Karp for helping us to make our vision on Tumblr a reality.”

She confessed to being somewhat late to the Tumblr party, but insisted it was down to ensuring they had the ability to connect fans with the classic Calvin experience. “When you visit us on Tumblr, I think you’ll find we’ve done exactly that,” she added.

She also outlined the company has increased its financial commitment to online marketing from 1% in 2009, to 23% in 2012. “This will allow us to take maximum advantage of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, using each platform in a way that makes the most sense for our brand.”


Sorry Dior, your new online magazine misses the mark

Dior has unveiled a new online magazine in a continuation of its quest for greater digital presence, but unfortunately the result just isn’t fit for purpose.

According to WWD, launches with eight articles to coincide with the fact the number is a good luck charm to the company. It will follow with  daily updates based on a variety of content designed to “both entertain and inform”. News from its 30 Avenue Montaigne headquarters will be included, as well as details on its other activities worldwide.

The aim is to tell the backstory of the brand and its products. As WWD’s piece explains, there is therefore also “house lore galore: The site’s introductory letter notes that Christian Dior was so superstitious, he would sew sprigs of lily of the valley into dress linings for luck on the day of his show.”

In theory, it sounds great. But in practice, it unfortunately comes across way too much as corporate spiel than it does anything that closely resembles that of “news” or a “magazine”.

Take this title: “Silver screen stars and fashion icons: femininity as seen by Christian Dior“. From that, I expect a real insight into the women of Dior, why they’ve been chosen, who they are, history of where they’ve come from. Maybe, even hopefully, then some insight into a fresh campaign, at the very least the latest update on one of its ambassadors like Charlize Theron (though the images of her that are provided are beautiful, if not fresh).

Alas, the text intros as follows: “Backstage Dior: the other side of the show coin. Behind the scenes, the action continues. But it’s another film that’s showing here, a more intimate one. Flanking the runway: director Jean-Jacques Annaud’s cast of four hundred. In the wings: Marilyn, Grace, Marlene, Charlize – Dior-ified, brought together through the magic of cinema.” A further three very similar paragraphs follow.

Unfortunately, the only phrase that comes to mind from that is: PR jargon. Or worse yet, utter mumbo jumbo. The team might have hired a “full-time editor in chief, whose identity has not been disclosed”, but the writing doesn’t come close to offering anything slightly resembling that of true magazine editorial quality. Beautiful if it’s on a page about the history of the brand, a piece of text designed to inspire or merely illustrate, but for a blog? (as that’s essentially what this is trying to be). Don’t expect digitally-savvy consumers to embrace it is all I’ll say.

This post on the house’s latest couture show, is much the same. It claims to offer a “look at it”, but the gallery doesn’t actually overly show the collection itself, and the copy, once again, reads exactly like a press release. Or maybe the show notes.

The post on Miss Dior, or Christian’s little sister Catherine, is better, but not by much.

The key thing that’s missing from Dior’s puzzle here, is creating content that’s shareable. Nothing in any of these pieces screams out “share me on Twitter” or “post me on Facebook” (where it has almost 7m fans), although that functionality is, quite surprisingly, built in.

There are some incredible branded content offerings out there from luxury fashion houses: Dolce & Gabbana’s Swide, Mr Porter, not to mention LVMH’s own Nowness, so plenty for Dior to have learnt from. Even Chanel’s very elusive attempts do a better job.

According to WWD, will cover Friday’s Paris Fashion Week show as its inaugural headline event, live-streaming it for the first time too. There’s also plans for blogger Susie Bubble to oversee a feed on Twitter at the same time. In both of those, therefore there may come something of much more value.

The entire concept has real potential, but from a content standpoint, I just hope they start to drive it properly. When you’re a brand as rich as Dior, you are naturally sitting on an enormous bed of information that people want to know, hear and see more of. By all means tell us about the past, but also show us behind-the-scenes, take us into 30 Avenue Montaigne, and give us a sneak peek at what’s coming next.

Either which way, just write it in a straightforward manner… for if you do, we’ll probably start talking about it. And better than that, we’ll also come back again.


ps. This piece from The New York Times fashion desk is worth reading: Editing as a brand investment

e-commerce Uncategorized

Dolce & Gabbana launches e-commerce site

Dolce & Gabbana is set to open its online store tomorrow in partnership with e-commerce website Yoox. will be available in seven languages across computer, mobile and social networks, offering both men’s and women’s apparel and accessories.

“We’re fascinated by the idea of opening a boutique that’s available to the entire world. We’ve believed in the power of the web right from day one. Now, even people not living in large cities will be able to experience the Dolce & Gabbana world,” said Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.

The aim of the e-store is to offer the product within the narrative of the brand, meaning a strong editorial focus will surround the merchandising.

“Shop by look” pages will provide the feel of a magazine, while photos will be viewable in 360° and videos will accompany each look.

Delivery on the site will be free for the first three months.

Meanwhile, there’s a great post on The Business of Fashion today featuring a video interview with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana talking about their digital strategy for the first time.

“[They] speak candidly, not only about the way they use digital technology in their business, but also how it has impacted their own lives, and how this has changed the way they work with each other, and with their teams,” reads the accompanying text.

Check it out below:


A quick look at Dolce & Gabbana’s digital history:

– 2004: Dolce & Gabbana opens its mobile channel, a step ahead of the smartphone wave
– 2005: The first fashion shows available in live streaming via the internet
– 2007: Dolce & Gabbana becomes a digital publisher, launching its magazine
– 2009: The D&G e-store opens in partnership with Yoox
– 2009: D&G is the first to invite fashion bloggers to sit in the front row at its fashion shows
– 2010: Pre-show press conference with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana via YouTube. Snack videos are posted, previewing the collection themes
– 2010: Stefano Gabbana opens a Twitter account, riding the personal branding trend
– 2011: Stefano Gabbana opens his own Tumblr account

digital snippets Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Eva Mendes, Mugler, Lady Gaga, MAC, Chanel, Select Models

There’s been a wealth of great stories surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past couple of weeks I’ve been away, so here’s somewhat of an edited list:


  • Eva Mendes sings for Angel by Mugler (as above), behind-the-scenes footage released [KARLISMYUNKLE]
  • Nicola Formichetti unveils racy new Mugler menswear video, Brothers of Arcadia [Stylecaster]
  • Lady Gaga and MAC Cosmetics team up on social project that will see dress created out of biggest fans’ faces [Mashable]
  • Chanel pushes new eyewear collection via Claudia Schiffer-fronted digital campaign [Luxury Daily]
  • Select Models launches model scouting app []
  • Signature9 launches list of most influential style and beauty blogs [Signature9]
  • Start-up uses crowdsourcing to help shoppers find the perfect outfit [Mashable]

Anything I’ve missed, please send my way!