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Coach to launch virtual reality show experience in select US stores

The Coach 1941 autumn/winter 2017/18 show will be available as a virtual reality experience in certain stores
The Coach 1941 autumn/winter 2017/18 show will be available as a VR experience in certain stores

Coach is inviting shoppers to experience its latest runway show using virtual reality in ten Simon malls across the US.

The initiative, running in collaboration with IMG, will see VR headsets in select Coach stores providing full access to the show in stereoscopic sound from February 17.

“Coach and IMG didn’t want to venture into this unless the technology was at a point where watching a runway show online would give you a better experience than being there in the flesh,” Mark Shapiro, co-president of WME | IMG told BoF. He said virtual and augmented reality have been a priority for the company over the last year. “We’re bringing online audiences closer to fashion. And that’s something that I think is paramount for the industry going forward.”

The aim is to use the campaign to turn buzz around the show into actual sales. Certain stores will offer a free “Rexy” dinosaur bag charm with any $300 purchase, for instance, and the Roosevelt Field location will reportedly give away 75 “Rexy” editor’s envelopes holding tickets to a future New York Fashion Week show.

The VR experience will also be extended to a wider consumer base than those visiting physical locations, thanks to Facebook 360, YouTube and VR networks.

Coach follows in the footsteps of brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff, Dior and Topshop, who have all used virtual reality in a bid to drive traffic into stores in the past. Usually that follows six months later as the line in question hit the shelves. This example is immediately following the runway, albeit still showing a future season (autumn/winter 2017).

The show itself (Coach 1941) took place in New York yesterday, streamed exclusively via Instagram Live, which has also been gaining traction this season.

The Coach 1941 autumn/winter 2017/18 show streamed via Instagram Live
The Coach 1941 autumn/winter 2017/18 show streamed via Instagram Live
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Here’s a round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

nike

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  • H&M x Balmain:  wants to see your selfies [Vogue]
  • Tinder ads tease Diesel fashion models as possible ‘matches’ [Mashable]
  • Louis Vuitton’s spring 2016 show dives into Oculus Rift and virtual gaming [Fashionista]
  • Most fashion houses are baffled by social media. Here’s why old-school Chanel does it best [Washington Post]
  • London-based online fashion startup, Lyst, abandoned a $25 million business — and became huge anyway [Business Insider]
  • Diane von Furstenberg is tapping into millennial tastes to secure her brand’s legacy [AdWeek]
  • Why Burberry’s Snapchat Testino campaign is the best piece of marketing in 2015 [Marketing Magazine]
  • Sears shows how it uses data to build relationships [MediaPost]
  • Can Everlane really become the next J.Crew? [Racked]
  • WME-IMG debuts all-fashion network for Apple TV [BoF]
  • How Diesel talks to its mobile customers through 400 programmatic ads [Digiday]
  • Target’s Kristi Argyilan on what ‘in-house programmatic’ really means [AdAge]
  • China’s Alibaba readies for Singles Day online shopping festival on 11/11/15 [BrandChannel]
  • How Flipkart hopes to shut out rivals by going app-only in India [Tech in Asia]
  • Facebook to test ‘shopping’ section [WWD]
  • ‘In China you have to use it’: How WeChat is powering a mobile commerce boom [Digiday]
  • Why is Silicon Valley pouring millions of dollars into old clothes? [Bloomberg]
  • How (and why) ‘Who What Wear’ bet on commerce [Digiday]
  • The rise of drones [Not Just a Label]
  • A retail geek’s take on modern high-street shopping [The Future of Commerce]
  • What role do fashion runways play in the internet age? [The Globe and Mail]
  • We have not yet reached peak wearable [Re/code]
  • Say it with an emoji: 10 text-free phrases to describe spring 2016 [Vogue]
  • Can content really drive commerce? [Forrester]