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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.”


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digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Asos launches podcast, Burberry’s success on Periscope, Jet hits $1m in first-day sales

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

asos

  • Asos launches weekly podcast in customer engagement push [Retail Week]
  • Burberry’s Snapchat and Periscope campaigns deliver a record 100m impressions [The Drum]
  • Jet, the new Amazon competitor, hits $1 million in sales on launch day [re/code]
  • Forever 21 launches Instagram-powered thread screen [DigitalBuzzBlog]
  • Nordstrom is making it simple to buy via text message [NRF]
  • Birchbox’s monthly deliveries will give virtual reality a fascinating test run [AdWeek]
  • Katy Perry, Coty launch perfume line with Twitter pop-up shop [AdAge]
  • Victoria’s Secret chatting app ensures instantaneous customer satisfaction [PSFK]
  • LVMH to launch Apple Watch rival [Reuters]
  • Amazon will be the number one US clothing retailer very soon [Bloomberg]
  • Old Navy follows viral hit with another back-to-school music video [AdAge]
  • Rakuten buys virtual fitting room start-up Fits.Me in a fashion commerce play [TechCrunch]
  • E-commerce start-up Tinker Tailor shuts down operations [Fashion Times]
  • Personal shopping app Scratch launches with $3.6 million in funding [Fashionista]
  • Battle of the buy buttons: What does the social commerce hybrid mean for retail brands? [The Drum]
  • The surprising way smartphones are changing the way we shop [The Washington Post]
  • Malte Huffmann of Dafiti on cracking fashion e-commerce in Latin America [BoF]
  • Fashion’s biological future is now [Huffington Post]
  • Programmable clothes are going commercial [Co.design]
  • Apple Watch sales: what we know (and don’t know) [WSJ]
  • Pebble boss: ‘one day, people will not be able to live without their smartwatch’ [The Guardian]
  • Does Ringly have a place in an Apple Watch world? [TechCrunch]
  • Vogue launches Alexa Chung fashion documentary series, crowdsources questions [Vogue]
  • 10 retailer blogs that are genuinely worth reading [Econsultancy]
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e-commerce Editor's pick

Jeremy Scott’s missed opportunity in ‘unshoppable’ Katy Perry Super Bowl XLIX collection

KatyPerry_sharks

One of the great add-ons to Katy Perry’s performance during last night’s Super Bowl was the fact limited edition merchandise was instantly made shoppable to those viewing via Twitter, YouTube, Shazam and connected TV devices from Samsung, LG and Roku.

According to Variety, the deal was established between Universal Music Group and halftime show sponsor Pepsi. It was powered by San Francisco-based interactive commerce provider Delivery Agent, with Visa as the exclusive payment service.

When the star hit the field kitted out head-to-toe in Jeremy Scott, you’d be forgiven for thinking this great shoppable integration was about to involve him too. I certainly did.

Head over to Forbes for insight into why Scott not being involved (especially given his experience producing Moschino collections immediately made available for purchase) was a huge missed opportunity.

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BoF – AW11, the season that was

Imran Amed of The Business of Fashion always provides a great overview from an industry point of view on the catwalk season that was.

Just a week post Paris, and his autumn/winter 2011/12 round-up is in.

With the Galliano story dominating headlines around the world, both within fashion circles and out, it’s unsuprising Amed’s intro starts with somewhat of a “bitter” note. “Looking back, several of the most salient themes from this round of fashion weeks involve unsavoury behaviour, gossip and highly unprofessional comments from some of the industry’s most important figures,” he says.

He does however go on to highlight  the clothes (focusing on outerwear and prints), the growth of consumer participation and high profile clients in shows, the role of immediacy versus exclusivity (one of my personal favourite debate points at present), and the growing intensity of street style “paparazzi”.

“Think before we tweet”, is a particularly relevant point for this blog. It reads:

It seemed like just another fashion month, and then, with the high-profile meltdown of John Galliano, everything changed in a matter of hours. Soon, the fashion gossip mill was in a frenzy, turbocharged by Twitter which made the whole situation more ugly as the days went by and speculation about Galliano’s successor intensified after he was first suspended, and ultimately dismissed by LVMH.

A tweet by Derek Blasberg from backstage at the Katy Perry concert in Paris, citing an anonymous source which ‘confirmed’ the widespread rumour that Riccardo Tisci would be named Galliano’s successor set off further speculation on websites and blogs, who sometimes took Mr. Blasberg’s comments as though they had come straight from an official Dior press release. I found at least one website that took the Tisci rumour and reported it as fact, without any mention of the source at all.

But Mr. Galliano wasn’t alone. Rumours about the futures of Stefano Pilati, Hannah McGibbon, and Christophe Decarnin dogged designers and lit up the internet throughout Paris Fashion Week, creating a virtual feeding frenzy of immense proportions. We were an industry feeding on ourselves.

So dear fellow members of the fashion Twitterati, let’s think before we tweet. Careers and businesses can be impacted by what may seem like an innocent bit of speculation on Twitter, but can quickly turn into boldfaced headlines on major fashion websites, a hugely destabilising force at the most critical moments during the fashion calendar. We are all still learning how to use this powerful tool responsibly.

Check out the rest of the BoF post, here: Autumn/winter 2011 – the season that was