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mobile social media

Anya Hindmarch introduces digital art app inspired by 8-bit graphics

PIX by Anya
PIX by Anya

British designer Anya Hindmarch has launched an app tied to her autumn/winter 2016 collection focusing on pixelated artwork.

The PIX by Anya mobile experience, invites fans to share in the collection’s inspiration of “8-bit graphics and the origins of digital art” by distorting their own images.

Users can upload and convert their shots into an artistic blur created of circles, squares, triangles or cubes. There are four different pixel styles to choose from, each “pinchable” to adjust the pixel size. Needless to say, selfies are proving popular.

PIX by Anya
PIX by Anya

The interactive app asks users to share the #PIXbyAnya hashtag with their resulting artwork. In addition to the app’s main function, other features include inviting the user to read about the collection, watch a stream of the AW16 runway show, peruse collection images and connect to the online store.

The collection itself (as below) features innovative leatherwork techniques such as heat-fusing and leather marquetry to showcase the “building blocks of digital design”. Moving beyond simple mosaics, designs include famed characters from first generation arcade games such as Space Invaders and Pacman, not to mention an overarching striking resemblance to Tetris.

In speaking on the collection as a whole, Hindmarch says it “explores the development of artificial consciousness and poses the question, do computers dream when they sleep?”

PIX by Anya
Anya Hindmarch AW16
PIX by Anya
Anya Hindmarch AW16
Categories
Editor's pick social media

All about the #belfie: Calvin Klein’s new SS16 campaign

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As a master of the rule “sex sells”, a certain level of innuendo comes as standard with Calvin Klein’s ad campaigns. In fact, anything outside of the suggestive, would almost be a bigger surprise.

But boy does its latest series for spring/summer 2016 remain firmly within that realm.

“Erotica” as the images are called, sees model Kendall Jenner posing with a grapefruit that “not-so-subtly resembles a part of female anatomy”, as Fashionista so eloquently puts it.

Another shot, as below, sees an anonymous model wearing a par of jeans backwards to show off her “belfie”.

For the record, Urban Dictionary describes this as: “A ‘bottom selfie’ – a photographic self-portrait featuring the buttocks, usually posted by female celebrities on social media networks.” It’s not a foreign move for the Kardashian/Jenner contingent already, of course.

Yet another shot sees model Abbey Lee Kershaw with her hands tucked into the front of her Calvins along with the phrase: “I pulse in #mycalvins.” The campaign was shot by Harley Weir.

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#mycalvins SS16
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#mycalvins SS16
Categories
Editor's pick social media

Milan and Paris love Snapchat too, here are the highlights

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While anything new in social media normally hits New York and London fashion weeks first, taking several seasons to finally get to Milan and Paris, Snapchat seems to be bucking that trend.

Yes the platform launched back in 2011, and yes it has been used at fashion weeks before too, but if there’s one thing the past month has proved, it’s how many more brands have willingly taken the plunge.

New York saw new accounts launch from Tommy Hilfiger (in partnership with supermodel Gigi Hadid) and Marc Jacobs, as well as two dedicated stories from Snapchat shared throughout the week. London meanwhile, also saw some exciting work, with a dedicated story created by Burberry for the channel, and further new accounts from the likes of Mulberry and Mr Porter.

Once we hit Milan, much of the same continued, with some great insights behind-the-scenes from the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci particularly. Over to Paris, and H&M used the platform to get its viewers to help choose which shoes from its show should be sold in store in September (inviting them to take a screenshot to vote). Balmain was also on there documenting its bevy of supermodels and their new hair colours, Stella McCartney playfully added lots of emojis, and Valentino handed the reins of its account over to blogger Bryan Boy.

Dior was a bit of a surprise with its launch – providing another behind-the-scenes tour with further emojis splashed on top (who would have thought it!) And for all those wanting more, Snapchat provided yet another dedicated catwalk story throughout as well.

Here are some of the Milan and Paris brand highlights:

H&M:

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Gucci:

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Dolce & Gabbana:

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Balmain:

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Dior:

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Stella McCartney:

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Valentino:

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Categories
social media

Instagram likes: Kendall Jenner, Taylor Swift take 2015 prize

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It’s a very shallow world and it’s also one that’s celebrity-obsessed. That’s pretty obvious from the list of Instagram posts that got the most likes this year.

Was it a triumph of inspirational imagery? Not exactly. The unstoppable Kendall Jenner and Taylor Swift were the influencers who rocked this most visual of social media channels.

Kendall’s sister Kylie also got in on the act and last year’s most liked Instagrammer, Beyoncé, was still there (but at number five this year). Taylor Swift had the most entries in the top 10, however – six of them in fact.

Come on own up, are you responsible for one of the combined 12.9m likes these five posts received?

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This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday

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business Comment data Editor's pick mobile Startups technology

Where image recognition technology is headed for retailers: Cortexica interview

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Visual search is one of those technologies we know is set to impact the future of shopping significantly, we’re just not quite there yet. The ability for consumers to snap a shot of something they like on the street, then find the same, if not similar item somewhere for sale immediately, is an appealing concept – who hasn’t fancied the look of someone’s coat on the subway, or shoes in a bar.

At this point in time, there are numerous apps out there promising to offer this sort of service, but the results are mixed – surfacing ideal product on occasion, and total misses on others. One of the companies backing it to get it right, is Cortexica.

Its findSimilar™ software leverages sophisticated algorithms to mimic the way the human visual cortex within the brain interprets images that we see everyday. It white-labels this technology for use by retailers including Macy’s, Zalando, Rent the Runway and more. The Macy’s launch, just announced last week, sees the image recognition and visual search offer embedded in its iOS app in time for the holiday season. Users are able to upload their pictures, find equivalent product on Macys.com and make purchases immediately.

I spoke with Steve Semenzato, co-founder and VP of business development at Cortexica about where visual search is headed, the role deep learning and data will play in its development, and the fact we’re five years out from this having true mainstream application.

Head over to Forbes.com for the full interview.

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social media

Former Topshop, Burberry exec launches Tunepics – an image-based music sharing app

Tunepics on the iPhone

Will.i.am, Kate Bosworth and Jamie Oliver are among some of the first celebrity names to be using a new music discovery app called Tunepics, while brands including Paul Smith, Chloé and asos are also on board.

Ever wanted to share a song with your photograph to help sum up the mood of the scene more than a filter alone can do? Now you can. Tunepics – launched in the app store for the iPhone and iPad today – enables users to pair images with relevant songs thanks to the iTunes API.

“Over 500 million pictures are uploaded to the internet every day, and over 100 million songs are downloaded each week. Together, that’s dynamite,” says the brains behind the new social network, Justin Cooke, former CMO of Topshop, now founder and CEO of innovate7. His aim is to help create the “soundtrack to your life”.

The experience is an intuitive one: you upload an image, place a filter over the top, then search the 35 million songs in the iTunes library by keyword to add them to your shot. The result appears in a feed alongside those from the friends you opt to follow; each one auto-playing a 30-second preview of the track as you scroll over it, as well as offering a ‘download’ button to buy the full version.

Posts can also be ‘re-tuned’ to your own followers, and shared via Facebook and Twitter where they will appear as a ‘tunecard’. For the likes of Will.i.am, that of course makes the app an appealing proposition for its potential to help drive record sales. It also provides a revenue stream for innovate7 through affiliate sales from iTunes (there’s no advertising model planned on the platform for now otherwise).

Cooke is particularly excited for the opportunity that lies in music discovery, both for consumers using the app and for young, emerging talent to start gaining recognition in a new way. On that basis, it launches with a specially commissioned soundtrack from British band, Ellerby, called Colour Me In.

But the premise of the app, which was built by agency AKQA, otherwise goes further than just being about music sharing and discovery. The aim is to provide multisensory experiences that evoke an emotional response.

“When you hear a picture, it changes everything; it awakens your senses. We want [Tunepics] to be like a cinematic celebration of your life,” said Cooke. “Music is the most powerful way to express the things we see and feel; nothing else comes close.”

To that end, the emotional response that posts receive from followers is also fully visible. Each is accompanied by an ‘emotion wheel’ (the design of which also makes up the app’s logo). This features a spectrum of 16 colours users can choose from, representing different feelings such as happy, moved, jealous and heartbroken.

Said Cooke: “A like doesn’t tell a story on its own anymore. When [Nelson] Mandela passed away, we didn’t want to say that we liked it, but that it moved us. This is all about enabling an emotional experience.”

Which is why this app also makes sense, from the off, for brands. Beyond the initial celebrity appeal, there are also the likes of Paul Smith, All Saints, asos, Dazed and Airbnb already on board.

The expectation is that embedding music into their social content will help heighten the moments they want to talk about. An example post from Paul Smith featured a collection of paint pots and the Rolling Stones track Paint it Black. “His response was that he couldn’t imagine life without music. That’s so powerful, and so true,” Cooke explained. In fact, a similar quote from philosopher Nietzsche features on the Tunepics introductory video from the innovate7 team: “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

Clare Waight Keller, creative director of Chloé, said the choice to join Tunepics from day one was an instant decision after a two minute pitch. “I just loved the added layers of emotion, simply adding music to an image really brings it to life. It’s like a way to capture what was going through your head in that moment.”

She also appreciates the emotion wheel. “[It] will be really interesting. ‘Likes’ have almost become empty gestures now, it takes no real thought to ‘like’ a picture. But to take the time to select the feeling the image inspired in you, shows real engagement. It’s a great way for Chloé to connect with our audience,” she explained.

Brands will also begin to benefit from the data said emotion wheel collates. Mood charts are displayed beneath each tunepic showcasing people’s responses, which suggests valuable consumer insights could be gleaned should the numbers creep high enough. Unlike Instagram, it is also possible to add hyperlinks to every post, which will prove quite the draw for the likes of Paul Smith again, and all those others with e-commerce capabilities.

It may come as no surprise to learn that prior to his role at Topshop, Cooke spent six years helping to lead the charge at Burberry – a brand not only with a longstanding music initiative in Burberry Acoustic, but with an unquestionable focus on emotive content tied to measurable business results.

Topping it all off is the fact those aforementioned filters are based on the weather – another theme familiar to Burberry fans. Every photograph uploaded can be enhanced with true-to-life overlays of the snow, raindrops, sunshine or even a rainbow.

“I’ve always had a fascination with music, colour, images and the weather, and how they influence our mood and emotions. I want people to be able to share the depth behind the moments they experience and to articulate all the ones that they dream of having,” Cooke explained.

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social media

Marc Jacobs releases archive content for 30-year celebrations

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Marc Jacobs is celebrating its 30-year anniversary with an online gallery of never-before seen imagery.

The content dates back to 1984 when the partnership between Marc Jacobs and Robert Duffy began, and so far features everyone from Sarah Jessica Parker and Winona Ryder, to Christy Turlington.

Reads one of the posts on the site: “Robert Duffy created 10 original company guidelines to help ensure the success of Marc Jacobs Intl. He reminds us that we must always foster an environment that encourages risk taking, maintain irreverance, and most of all, always have fun!”

The content can also be found collated across social sites under the hashtag #MJ30. The designer has released two exclusive items alongside the campaign – the Timeline Tee and 1984 Tee.

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Categories
social media

Aritzia launches spring collection via digital Instagram mosaic

aritzia_lookbook_instagramCanadian retailer Aritzia has made clever use of the grid view on Instagram to launch its spring/summer 2014 collection.

A total of 510 images have been unveiled as individual Instagram shots, together creating a mosaic of the new season look book. Some images are mere blank pink squares, others show the corner of a leg, the edge of a shoe or a torso.

The team refers to it as “a piece of (digital) art”. Reminiscent in part to what Uniqlo did on Pinterest, albeit without the animation, this is one of the strongest examples seen on Instagram, not to mention the first at such scale – an impressive scrollable collage at 42 iPhone lengths long.

Said Aritzia CEO, Oliver Walsh: “We have moved into the age of the image-based social network. It makes perfect sense to release our spring lookbook in a place where our customer loves to spend a good deal of time indulging in beautiful visuals.”

The campaign exists via @aritzialookbook (the mosaic effect only works on mobile). It was maintained originally as a private account and launched to the public all in one go. To promote it, a series of the blank pink squares were posted via the main @aritzia feed with the line: “510 images. 42 iPhone screens long. View our collections like you never have before: @aritzialookbook.”

In less than 24 hours its followers jumped from 0 to 2,485. aritzia1

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Categories
social media

Anna Wintour sparks #voguestagram meme

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This week saw what must be the most fashion-fuelled meme of all time. Enter #voguestagram, the Instagrammed shots of individuals copying Anna Wintour toting her September-issue (all 902 pages of it), as above.

There’s been some 1,700 posted reportedly, with everyone from Oscar de la Renta to Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein joining in. Check out 15 of the best, below – Nacho Figueras wins it for me.

Oscar@oscarprgirl: Oscar’s #voguestagram #theseptemberissue @voguemagazine xoxo 

CK@calvinklein: Costa’s Cover. #theseptemberissue @voguemagazine #voguestagram #franciscocosta

Choupette@choupettesdiary: Who says the #fashion set don’t work out? We lift the @VogueMagazine #SeptemberIssue #Voguestagram

Vogue.com@voguemagazine: Vogue.com caught the #voguestagram bug. #theseptemberissue

JCrew@jcrew: Just catching up on some light reading. #voguestagram #TheSeptemberIssue @voguemagazine

Minkoff@rebeccaminkoff: Essential reading @voguemagazine #theseptemberissue #voguestagram

Nachos@nachofigueras: @voguemagazine #theseptemberissue #voguestagram + @ralphlauren Romance @delfinablaquier and me on horses

CFDA@cfda: Look who we caught flipping through #theseptemberissue of @voguemagazine… @stevenkolb #voguestagram

Esteelauder@esteelauder: Reading the September issue with Estée. #voguestagram #theseptemberissue @voguemagazine

CocoRocha@cocorocha: I’m in 3 pages out of 902. Spot me if you can. #voguestagram @voguemagazine

ZacPosen@zac_posen: Showroom reading before a fitting. #voguestagram #theseptemberissue @voguemagazine

Herrera@houseofherrera: #carolinaherrera #spring2014 fitting distraction #voguestagram #TheSeptemberIssue

BryanBoy@bryanboycom: Just boarded my flight. Bon voyage with #theseptemberissue #voguestagram

LaForceStevens@laforcestevens: The things we do for @VogueMagazine! #theseptemberissue #voguestagram

CaroSieber@carosieber: back from honeymoon and reading all about a certain wedding . Thank you @voguemagazine it looks fantastic #voguestagram #TheSeptemberIssue

Categories
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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