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business Campaigns Editor's pick

ComplexCon: Tommy Hilfiger on aligning with the cultural conversation since the 1990s

Tommy Hlifiger and Gigi Hadid
Tommy Hilfiger and Gigi Hadid

Tommy Hilfiger has always had culture and music at the forefront of how it communicates with consumers, said its namesake designer at ComplexCon this weekend.

The designer was headlining a conversation at the consumer-facing event held in Long Beach, California, alongside Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton and 90s rapper Grand Puba. He used the opportunity to explain that incorporating artists and celebrities who are at the peak of the cultural conversation is core to the brand’s strategy, as seen by the highly popular collaboration with model Gigi Hadid, as well as racing driver Hamilton and Gen Z actress Zendaya (upcoming).

“Doing collabs is really part of the excitement I look forward to every day,” Hilfiger noted. But he believes that in order for them to remain authentic, the brand should only guide and execute their artist’s ideas. This is something he has always focused on.

Aaliyah for Tommy Hlfiger
Aaliyah for Tommy Hlfiger

Although the American brand is soon to be celebrating its 35th anniversary, it was the mid 90s and its popularity among hip hop artists that truly propelled it onto the world stage, Hilfiger explained. Pushing a contemporary aesthetic with an urban New York style of big logos and baggy clothes made the brand stand out among other American names that were expanding at the same time.

Grand Puba first referenced the then mid-sized brand in a 1992 single with Mary J Blige, titled “What’s the 411”. This soon caught Hilfiger’s attention, who started dressing more artists and eventually included singer Aaliyah in a 1995 campaign. From then, the brand featured hip hop and R&B performances on its runways, which Hilfiger cites as the beginning of its entertainment-based fashion shows.

The most recent iteration of this approach lies in the brand’s see-now-buy-now strategy, which has seen elaborate fashion shows taking place for the last several seasons in different locations – from Los Angeles to London, Milan and Shanghai, with the aforementioned current celebrities fronting each occasion.

“We believe consumers want immediate gratification and great experiences,” Hilfiger explained. “My idea is to disrupt and continue to break the rules.”

Earlier this year, Tommy Hilfiger’s chief brand officer, Avery Baker, joined us on the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent, to talk about how risk, authenticity and understanding your consumer are the keys to innovation.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick social media technology

Tommy Hilfiger continues digital content push with connected motorsport show experience

TommyNow Drive SS18 - gigi hadid Tommy Hilfiger
TOMMYNOW DRIVE SS18

Tommy Hilfiger launched a “behind the drive” experience as part of the digital content driving its spring 2018 TOMMYNOW DRIVE show; in doing so adding a layer of immersive storytelling to the motorsport-themed proceedings.

Guests at the Milan Fashion Week show could scan QR codes that allowed them access to exclusive video and photo content, such as the evolution of the capsule collection and the process of developing an actual Formula 1 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport racing car.

The motorsport theme was a tribute to Tommy’s long time love of racing, and a partnership with Formula 1 World Champions Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. It was also the theme of the brand’s latest TommyxGigi capsule collection with supermodel Gigi Hadid – a celebration of speed, from Tommy’s love of racing to Gigi’s fast-paced lifestyle.

The occasion marked the brand’s fourth in-season runway show, building upon its now signature see-now, buy-now format. All runway looks were available to buy immediately on shoppable channels across 70 countries.

There were also various other connected content experiences. As with previous seasons, the TOMMYNOW SNAP app was employed, using 2D and 3D image recognition technology so users could take a photo of any item (in store, online, on the runway or on the street) and shop it instantly at Tommy.com. For spring 2018, the TOMMYNOW SNAP app was also able to recognize any men’s or women’s style and present behind-the-scenes footage of the item’s deign process.

The TOMMYNOW DRIVE F1 race simulator
The TOMMYNOW DRIVE F1 race simulator

The 2,000 plus guests were otherwise immersed into TOMMYNOW DRIVE in real-life as well; entering through a futuristic tunnel and portrait station, while being surrounded by real racing sound effects and LED light installations. Guests could also experience an F1 race simulator and an F1 pit stop challenge.

The brand also continued to offer its AI-powered chatbots, TMY.BOY and TMY.GRL, on Facebook messenger, providing celebrity styling advice through video content of influencers sharing their favorite collection looks.

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e-commerce Editor's pick mobile social media technology

All the tech plans for Tommy Hilfiger’s LFW show

Tommy Hilfiger's London Fashion Week TommyNow show is called RockCircus
Tommy Hilfiger’s London Fashion Week TommyNow show is called RockCircus

Tommy Hilfiger calls its seasonal fashion week show an “innovation incubator” – a place to experiment with new experiences for the consumer by layering digital and technology on top of entertainment.

This week, that concept heads to London for a show inspired by rock-and-roll. Rockcircus, as the #TommyNow event is called, is the third showcase of the brand’s partnership with supermodel Gigi Hadid, as well as a continuing “see now, buy now” format, meaning every look presented on the runway is available immediately to buy.

Facilitating that shoppable aim and drive toward the future, is everything from augmented reality to image recognition technology, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot and more.

“[We’re] breaking all the rules and disrupting the fashion industry with new authentic experiences for consumers around the world,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “As we continue our leadership role in democratising the runway, we are driven by our passion to come up with new all-inclusive ways to involve and empower consumers, male and female, to take part in these unique experiences.”

Here are the details on all that will be happening:


Entirely shoppable

Focusing on the idea of “instant gratification” every look from the show will be shoppable. This isn’t just on the website however, where a live stream (and later on-demand) video will indeed facilitate that exact experience, but across a multitude of other channels too. A click-to-buy function will appear on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest. Also look out for custom emoji on Twitter and branded filters on Snapchat.

The Tommy Hilfiger chatbot
The Tommy Hilfiger chatbot
AI-powered

On Facebook Messenger that shoppable experience is enabled via a chatbot. TMY.GRL, which launched in September 2016, is now joined by TMY.BOY to offer virtual styling advice based on the user’s style preferences and event occasions. More than 100,000 messages have been exchanged using the TMY.GRL chatbot since launch, according to the team. Further stats revealed show that users return to Facebook Messenger to ask for styling advice three or more times on average, spending four minutes interacting with the chatbot.


AR for conversion

Tommy Hilfiger is also using augmented reality for the first time in order to bring the catwalk experience to life for consumers outside of the show. Using the TommyNow Snap app, an image recognition tool that debuted last season, viewers can use a new AR commerce function in order to see and then shop their own private version of the runway. All they have to do is point their phone at a flat surface to view the AR experience, then tap to shop thereafter.

The Tommy Hilfiger augmented reality tool
The Tommy Hilfiger augmented reality tool

The Snap app has also evolved into a 360-degree offering, meaning users can use image recognition to pull up any of the pieces from the TommyNow show, including men’s, women’s, kids and accessories. They can do so from photos of the models walking the runway, products physically in the store, ad placements, editorial shots and even user-generated content in the app’s own feed. The tool will recognise each style and link directly to Tommy.com for purchase.

This post first appeared on Forbes

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business Editor's pick social media technology

Tommy Hilfiger on why embracing risk is the key to innovation

Gigi Hadid in Tommy Hilfiger's Tommy Now show
Gigi Hadid in Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy Now show

Tommy Hilfiger underwent one of the biggest business model shifts in its history when it moved to a “see-now, buy-now” runway show called Tommy Now in 2016. That meant shortening a typically 18-month production process into just six months, as well as launching its product live in 70 countries around the world simultaneously as brand ambassador Gigi Hadid hit the catwalk.

Speaking at Lions Innovation, a division of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this week, chief brand officer Avery Baker referred to the change as leaping off from a traditional S-curve. “When success is achieved, companies have the hardest choice to make – do we stay on that current path and hope we’ll continue ever upwards or take the leap to new levels of relevance?”

She referenced the fact consumer gratification is arriving much sooner than ever before today, with expectations set and met by other industries, meaning fashion has no choice but to try and keep up or be increasingly deemed irrelevant. “The first sign of madness is repeating the same behaviour over and over again and expecting a different outcome. We had to change the way that we thought and most importantly the way that we behaved,” Baker explained.

The resulting Tommy Now show generated over 2.5 billion impressions worldwide. “Our biggest learning of all is that embracing risk is powerful; it’s liberating. We have to retain the guts to keep pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone again and again; keep pushing ourselves to keep up with the pace of consumer expectations. By doing so we can rewrite the rules around creativity and innovation,” Baker explained.

She highlighted a nine-step process that she said enabled the business to do this, grounded in an entrepreneurial spirit that allowed everyone in the organisation to make decisions, while still ensuring the brand would land safely. Head over to Forbes to read the steps.

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business digital snippets mobile social media Startups technology

What you missed: endangered fashion unicorns, Dior’s YouTube moves, Facebook marketplace

fashion unicorns
Fashion ‘unicorns’ have become an endangered species

This week’s round-up of relevant fashion business, digital comms and tech news neatly sums up a series of things to be tracking at present: the evolution of social media businesses into greater advertising and commercial retail opportunities, the role customer service and messaging apps play together, the explosion of all things virtual and augmented reality, and an ongoing bevy of start-ups to know about.

Meanwhile, also worth reading this week is detail on David Lauren’s promotion to the role of chief innovation officer over at Ralph Lauren, Dior’s catch up strategy on YouTube, and the growth of physical stores by online players including Warby Parker and Bonobos.


TOP STORIES
  • Fashion ‘unicorns’ have become an endangered species [BoF]
  • Dior’s borrowing Chanel’s strategies to catch up on YouTube [Glossy]
  • Mastercard launches ‘selfie pay’ [FT]

BUSINESS
  • LVMH to buy majority stake in Germany’s Rimowa for $716 million [BoF]
  • Swarovski, maker of all things bejewelled, refashions itself as a tech company [NY Times]
  • As their incomes rise, Chinese consumers are trading up and going beyond necessities [McKinsey]
  • Ralph Lauren promotes founder’s son to chief innovation officer [Bloomberg]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Facebook launches Marketplace for local buying and selling [Reuters]
  • For young brands, is the Instagram opportunity shrinking? [BoF]
  • Pinterest Promoted Video lands in the UK with Hunter on board as a partner [The Drum]
  • Snapchat users are spending 78 seconds on average playing Under Armour’s Cam Newton game [AdWeek]
  • An inside look at Snapchat’s new advertising API technology [AdAge]

ADVERTISING
  • Reebok adds Gigi Hadid to #PerfectNever campaign [MediaPost]
  • Farfetch inspires consumers to find the perfect product in new #TheOne campaign [Luxury Daily]
  • Google, Facebook become focus of holiday digital campaigns [MediaPost]

RETAIL
  • Warby Parker, Bonobos have big plans for physical stores [WSJ]
  • Shopify adds Facebook Messenger direct sales channel [Retail Dive]
  • Salesforce launches LiveMessage to provide customer service across messaging apps [VentureBeat]
  • Cocktails, cinemas and concierges: Malls weave a web of their own to entice customers [Financial Post]
  • Now you can sign up for a “.shopping” domain name [Apparel]
  • The Outnet launches first android app [Fashion United]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Japanese brand Anrealage hosts augmented reality fashion show [Glossy]
  • Mark Zuckerberg’s VR selfie is a bigger deal than you realise [Wired]
  • Will Google’s ‘soft and cozy’ approach to VR headsets make the space more mainstream? [AdWeek]
  • The mainstreaming of augmented reality: a brief history [HBR]

START-UPS
  • Venture capitalists invest $56 billion in start-ups so far in 2016 [Reuters]
  • New app co-created by Elon Musk’s estranged wife could be a game-changer for retail [BGR]
  • Online fashion retailer Grana raises $10M led by Alibaba’s entrepreneurship fund [TechCrunch]
Categories
Editor's pick mobile social media technology

Tommy Hilfiger launches chatbot on Facebook Messenger tied to Gigi Hadid collection

tommyxgigi TMY.GRL bot
Model Gigi Hadid and designer Tommy Hilfiger on the TommyXGigi runway at New York Fashion Week (Image: Trevor Collens/AFP/Getty Images, via Forbes)

Tommy Hilfiger has stepped into the conversational commerce game and launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to tie in with its New York Fashion Week extravaganza.

Named TMY.GRL (reminiscent of the popular Tommy Girl fragrance of the 1990s), the service enables personalised, scalable conversations with fans surrounding the brand’s new Fall 2016 line and its TommyXGigi [Hadid] collection.

Created in partnership with artificial intelligence platform, msg.ai, it aims to replicate a concierge style of experience through its automated messages. Reads the write-up: “Powered by artificial intelligence, TMY.GRL learns to understand consumer habits, context and intent to better predict and provide the content, information or engagement users are seeking.”

Indeed, the first conversation I had with it was surprisingly engaging. Head over to Forbes to read all about it as well as hear from Tommy himself on the plans behind the initiative.

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social media

Social media by the numbers: the big fashion week trends

Kim_NYFW

With the autumn/winter 2016 fashion week season now behind us, it’s time to run the numbers, crunch the stats and crown the social media winners and losers of the month.

Or try to…

Conflicting data and contradictory reports on brand statistics are published daily during New York, London, Milan and Paris, making it increasingly difficult to compose an accurate picture of exactly what’s what. But, equally they enable lots of thought around social media trends in general and which way the industry is moving with what it uses, favours and finds the most success on.

Given the hot debate currently underway around whether designers should move to in-season, consumer-facing shows or not, lots of this sort of information counts. So here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:


Instagram continued to dominate

During New York Fashion Week (NYFW), 427,000 images were shared on Instagram, generating more than 113 million social engagements (likes and comments), according to Traeger Communications. Year-on-year, this is a 47% increase in images and a 30% increase in engagements, proving that Instagram continues to be a powerful medium for brands that want to join in the fashion week conversation. Natalie Massenet, chairman of the British Fashion Council (BFC) added during London Fashion Week (LFW)’s launch that “97% of the BFC’s designers questioned in a survey were on Instagram”.


Designers embraced Snapchat to reach Generation Z

Snapchat exploded across fashion month, hitting all four fashion weeks in a big way. Social media uptake usually filters down through New York and London before reaching Milan and Paris a couple of seasons later, but the fashion industry couldn’t afford to ignore this trend. New designers joining included Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, Mulberry, Gucci, Dior and more. “11% of social media activity around Paris Fashion Week (PFW) was attributed to Generation Z,” reported influencer engagement platform Zoomph, pointing in the direction of Snapchat particularly. Keen to establish brand loyalty with the next generation of consumers (Gen Z is considered to be anyone born after the mid-late 90s), brands used Snapchat to reach this sought after demographic where they already live. Snapchat’s core users are 13-24 years old.


Twitter is still relevant but sees less engagement

Contradicting general consensus, Zoomph reported that 98% of social media activity relating to PFW was on Twitter and only 2% on Instagram. Business intelligence firm L2 reported a similar trend during the Tommy Hilfiger show at NYFW. The designer posted 51 images on Instagram compared to 197 tweets. Mind you, much of that may be to do with the nature of the platform – fast-paced comments versus more considered images. Backing that is the fact that Tommy’s posts converted into 920,528 likes and comments on Instagram, while the larger number of posts on Twitter only saw a total of 30,971 likes and retweets in return.


Facebook lost ground but innovative product appeals

The social media platform largely associated with Millennials continued to fall out of favour with the fashion crowd. Facebook activity surrounding NYFW has declined year-on-year since 2014 according to the L2 report. The pay-to-play nature of the platform is said to be the reason why, with brands instead opting to focus resources elsewhere. Facebook is however experimenting in new spaces in a bid to garner renewed attention. Its Facebook 360 product allows users to experience virtual content first-hand by controlling the rotation on it themselves. Refinery 29 shot eight shows at NYFW using the immersive technology.


Others opted for a digital detox

While that debate rages on around fashion weeks transforming into consumer-facing events, others have been rejecting social media altogether. This season, Massimo Giorgetti banned social media from his MSGM show at Milan Fashion Week MFW) for instance, suggesting guests simply enjoy the show instead of watching it through their smartphones. A number of others did the same including Jacquemus in Paris and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s brand The Row in New York. Belstaff also didn’t allow photographs to be taken of its capsule collection with Liv Tyler in London.


Luxury brands were outpaced by savvy collaborations

If they weren’t banning it, they were doing the total opposite and teaming up with celebs in order to hit the biggest numbers of social media instead. Rihanna modelling her own Fenty x Puma collection for instance caused an enormous stir with 140,000 tweets being posted about it, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence. That was nearly 100,000 more than Ralph Lauren achieved in the same time period (47,000) and almost double that of Michael Kors (71,000). By comparison, Kanye West opened NYFW at Madison Square Gardens with his Yeezy season 3 collection to an audience of 18,000. On social media that generated 800,000 tweets.


Supermodels and influencers ruled

Once again the choice of models taking to the catwalk also appeared to be just as important as the clothes on show. High-profile names including Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner shared backstage insights with their own millions of followers – the former also doing a stellar job launching Tommy Hilfiger’s Snapchat account. A shot of the duo swapping hair colours for Balmain also exploded, generating the brand 144,000 likes and 3,500 comments. At NYFW, of the top 10 Instagram images by total engagements, eight were taken by models and influencers, including models and social influencers Jay Alvarrez and Alexis Ren, as well as Russian YouTube influencer Kate Clapp, according to data from Traeger Communications.


Kim killed it… again

One step ahead of younger sis Kendall was publicity machine Kim Kardashian West – who once again topped the social media leader boards across multiple platforms. Her promotion of the NYFW official app garnered nearly 800,000 engagements and was the most-successful image on Instagram during NYFW for instance. Kim also won Paris by posting a number of throwback images from the AW15 season as well as a controversial-yet-censored naked shot of herself that commanded a hefty 1.6 million likes.

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Editor's pick social media

Snapchat ruled social media at #NYFW this season – here’s a look at the best of it

KateBosworth_CarolinaHerrera_Snapchat

Influencers, brands and models alike have taken to Snapchat during this season’s New York Fashion Week in droves. Providing real-time insights into what happens behind-the-scenes, it’s been the best version yet of immediate access to what happens around the runway shows.

Brands including Tommy Hilfiger and Marc Jacobs (still to show this evening) are just a few that have launched new accounts this season, while Snapchat itself has featured two relevant live stories throughout the week. “New York Fashion Week” and “This Is Fashion”, are a curation of snaps from others attending the shows – it pulls in the best of each event, with overlaid info about which collection it’s about to screen.

From Marchesa to Public School and Michael Kors, both stories have provided a well-rounded view of each day. They’ve also, inevitably, been a go-to place to spot the famous faces in attendance, including Kate Bosworth at the Rebecca Minkoff show, Kylie Jenner at Alexander Wang, Emily Ratajkowski sitting front row at Altuzarra, and Anna Wintour at DKNY. Particularly interesting on the “This Is Fashion” story otherwise, was the integrated advertising from ASOS too. (See below screenshots)

celebs_snapchatNYFW

ASOSadvertising_snapchat

As we know, many brands are adjusting to a see now/buy now consumer-driven strategy for fashion week. Where once Snapchat may have been used as an additional storytelling tool; the future has it as a relevant channel to drive immediate interest and ultimately conversions.

Tommy Hilfiger’s announcement for a direct-to-consumer shift for example, was accompanied by the launch of its Snapchat in collaboration with new global brand ambassador Gigi Hadid. These “takeovers”, where a celebrity or influencer is given full reign of a brand’s Snapchat, are becoming increasingly commonplace.

Gigi shared snippets of the rehearsal, an inside peek into the make-up for the show and mini interviews with some of the other models also walking for the brand. Her perspective, no doubt, was a smart move by the designer in terms of driving interest and follower acquisition; something it will be able to capitalise on in the long run once its capsule collection with the supermodel launches in real-time this September.

Tommy_snapchatNYFW

Following a wide variety of Snapchat accounts over NYFW provided a broad additional view on activities taking place. Tips, tricks and trends for make-up enthusiasts were shown by @Maybelline New York, as well as @SephoraSnaps.

Meanwhile, @Houseofherrera’s story was a star-studded one with the likes of Olivia Palermo and Karlie Kloss making an appearance. And @Louboutinlive gave a great behind-the-scenes preview of Naeem Khan’s show all the while showcasing some of its heels being worn by the models.

If that wasn’t enough, influencers such as Chriselle Lim and Man Repeller even had their own Snapchat filters created, with their name, company and a life-like cartoon of themselves featuring across their Snaps during the week.

Maybelline_SnapchatNYFW

Next up: London, where we know @MullberryEngland is one-to-watch, having already started snapping for the first time with new creative director Johnny Coca.

Check out some more (cheeky) screenshots of all the Snapchat action during NYFW below:

Snapchat_NYFW

NYFW_snapchat3

Snapchat_NYFW2

Categories
Blocks film social media

Michael Kors and Gigi Hadid battle it out in playful Pictionary contest

michaelkors_gigihadid_glamourgames

Anything fun deserves to be celebrated, so kudos to Michael Kors for this joyful little video featuring the designer himself playing a version of Pictionary with model Gigi Hadid.

Called Glamour Games, the contest sees the duo drawing sketches to answer questions like what would you consider your best body part, who’s your favourite fashion icon, what’s the most underrated fashion trend, and more. Pasta, Instagram, the Little Mermaid and Daniel Craig all feature.

It’s a playful, tongue-in-cheek and insightful exploration of the pair. Check it out below…