Categories
Editor's pick Events technology

NYFW roundup: #MeToo conversations, immersive runways and supersized robots

Models close the Prabal Gurung AW18 show
Models close the Prabal Gurung AW18 show

It was a quieter New York Fashion Week season than usual, as big-name designers including Altuzarra and Tommy Hilfiger chose to decamp to other cities – Paris and Milan, respectively – to host their much buzzed-about runway shows. Even fashion week parties, which in the past provided magazine fodder for weeks to come, have also been scaled down, with the industry seemingly more subdued in general.

That didn’t stop various buzzworthy moments however, including subtle nods to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, various more immersive runway presentations, and a dash of the futuristic with Google TiltBrush and an oversized robot.

Here we highlight some of the most interesting conversations that took place, and where there was still room left for improvement…

Cultural statements

There was little direct acknowledgement of the powerful conversation around the #MeToo movement, but shows attempted to create a stage for female empowerment. For Tom Ford, the approach was literal and included models strutting down the runway donning shoulder pads and a “Pussy Power” handbag. For Prabal Gurung, which The Washington Post has previously described as the “most woke man in fashion”, it was a nod to the #TimesUp conversation as models closed the show as a group, carrying white roses.

Tom Ford AW18
Tom Ford AW18

Also alluding to the message of empowerment, designer Jonathan Simkhai presented a Suffragette-inspired collection, while Kesha’s song on speaking out on harassment, “Praying”, greeted guests.

Following the second yearly Woman’s March, which took place globally on January 20, Brother Vellies teamed up with a roster of labels, such as Clare V. and Rachel Comey, to design a capsule collection benefitting the march and Planned Parenthood.

Meanwhile designer Rebecca Minkoff, who was due to give birth to her third child during the week, forwent a formal presentation, instead opting to showcase her see-now-buy-now on 20 powerful women online. That cast includes members of the Women’s March committee, as well as actress Zosia Mamet and fashion presenter Zanna Roberts Rassi. The designer also teamed up with networking app Bumble Bizz to host a speaker night titled “Trailblazers: Women who have started their own company or have forged their own way within their industry”.

The topic of diversity was ever-present during NYFW too, though perhaps rather positively it was less buzzed about as more designers included a variation of ethnicities and sizes on their runway. Designers such as Christian Siriano and one of this season’s favourites, Eckhaus Latta, enlisted models at each end of the spectrum. Meanwhile model Kendall Jenner hosted an Adidas Originals presentation that featured a colourful cast and the showcase of the brand’s first hijab.

Alternative runways

In addition to the designers whose presence was missed in New York this season, many others moved away from formal runway shows to explore new ways to engage with a new, savvier audience.

Kirsten Dunst for Rodarte AW18
Kirsten Dunst for Rodarte AW18

Adidas teamed up with trendy New York label and lifestyle store VFiles to host a multimedia photoshoot at the Terminal 5 venue in Hell’s Kitchen, for instance. As music played for partygoers, models stood on stage posing against white backdrops, thus partaking in a live photoshoot. The immersive event aimed to respond to a community who wants to participate, rather than watch from the sidelines, said Julie Anne Quay, founder of VFiles.

Online, Zac Posen launched his collection via a photoshoot starring actress and friend Katie Holmes. Similarly the Rodarte sisters published the “Women that Inspire Us” lookbook, which features a pregnant Kirsten Dunst and young R&B duo Chloe x Halle, among others.

Perhaps cleverly steering clear from live presentations, which have in the past not received the best of reviews, Kanye West leveraged his online fandom by releasing his Yeezy Season Six collection online, in a lookbook starring women such as Paris Hilton and actress Sarah Snyder dressed up as Kim Kardashian look-a-likes, as well as the woman herself.

The future is here?

In a week primed for entertainment and participation to take place, designers were surprisingly timid when experimenting with technology this season.

Irina Shayk and robot companion at Philipp Plein AW18

As previously reported, Rebecca Taylor teamed up with Google’s Tilt Brush to create an immersive in-store environment for customers to enjoy her collection in, while Badgley Mischka harnessed technology to better receive their immediate audience’s feedback.

Meanwhile, Nicole Miller teamed up with AI and image recognition company RevelGlam to pilot their software on her runway show. The software analyses insights from fashion shows as well as celebrity sightings and influencer activities in order to predict trends.

Never one to shy away from the spotlight, it was German designer Philipp Plein who became a major topic of conversation however; giving the week a much-needed injection of futuristic tech. In a display of extravagance he has become known for, model Irina Shayk entered the runway from a spaceship and strutted alongside a giant bot with the designer’s logo plastered all over it.

In a week where most designers arguably played safe on many fronts – from not taking a truly clear stand on serious conversations to engaging with new technologies – Plein’s stunt may have trumped the collection being shown, but it simultaneously provided an irreverent and timely take on the future.

Categories
Editor's pick film social media technology

Vogue and Google launch virtual reality supermodel series

Kendall Jenner in Vogue's new virtual reality Supermodel Closets series with Google
Kendall Jenner in Vogue’s new virtual reality Supermodel Closets series with Google

US Vogue has teamed up with Google to launch a virtual reality video series called Supermodel Closets.

As per the name, it takes viewers inside the wardrobes of big name models, including Kendall Jenner and Cindy Crawford, who share stories about their favourite clothes.

In the first, Jenner provides a tour of both her closet and her fitting room, picking out boots she got from Kanye West, a new vintage Hermès bag she picked up and all manner of different outfits she’s worn to big industry events, from couture shows to the Met Gala.


The series will live on YouTube, meaning anyone can watch it (in 360 degrees), but each short film is all the more immersive using a Google Cardboard or Daydream View headset.

According to Google, this is one of the first productions to use YI HALO, which is the next generation of Jump cameras for high quality, professional VR capture. That means you can look all around as well as upwards, thanks to the up camera and 4k stereoscopic capture.

The first episode of Supermodel Closets launches today, with more to follow in the coming weeks.

Categories
Editor's pick social media

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

mycalvins1
#mycalvins SS16

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.

mycalvins2
#mycalvins SS16
mycalvins3
#mycalvins SS16
Categories
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.

Categories
business e-commerce Editor's pick social media

Generation Z: 10 stats from SXSW you need to know

kylie

At SXSW Interactive this past week, conversation wasn’t just about big flashy new technologies – from VR headsets at numerous event pop-ups, to all sorts of conversations around artificial intelligence or autonomous cars. It was also about consumers and how to better reach them.

As the festival has drawn in more marketers and not just tech folk over the years, this has increasingly become the case. For 2016, however, it was one segment very specifically that stood out: Generation Z.

Defined as those born after the year 1995, or thereabouts, this is the generation that follows Millennials. It’s also the generation that’s still being born right now. For those in their teen years however, there are many healthy insights already to gain. Head over to Forbes to gain access to the top 10 stats and facts shared during SXSW.

Categories
Comment Editor's pick social media

The risk of Generation Z: let’s talk about fashion’s obsession with teen-endorsed Snapchat campaigns

BrookylnBechham

There’s a shift happening with social media campaigns from luxury fashion brands of late – they’re increasingly skewing younger. In a bid to drive engagement with Generation Z (those born beginning in the late ‘90s to early-2000s), they’re turning to platforms like Snapchat and influencers ranging from Kendall Jenner to Brooklyn Beckham.

The aim is to seem “cool” (NB: not a Gen-Z word) and to resonate with those in their teenage years.

Head on over to Forbes where I talk about why such moves – including the new Burberry campaign shot by 16-year-old Brooklyn – are at risk of damaging the relationships mass luxury brands built up with “older” digital Millennials on social media initially.

Categories
Editor's pick social media

Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber drive top tier engagement for new #MyCalvins campaign

Kendall_mycalvins

Proving the power of today’s social media celebrities, Kendall Jenner managed to rack up over 3.5 million likes for a handful of Calvin Klein images on her Instagram feed this week in little over 24-hours.

Justin Bieber meanwhile gained 1.5 million for one of his posts for the brand. All of them were part of Calvin Klein’s new spring/summer 2016 #mycalvins campaign – a refresh of a user-generated content initiative that has driven social media sharing for the brand around the world.

On this occasion, investing in influencers has once again helped get the word out. The provocative poses are accompanied by a tagline of “I ___ in #mycalvins”, encouraging other people to indicate what they indeed do in theirs.

It’s also the first time that each of the Calvin Klein brands – Calvin Klein Collection, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein Underwear – have been presented together. The campaign also features other well-known names such as hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar, singer FKA Twigs, actress Klara Kristin, cult skateboarder Mark Gonzales, British artist Shantell Martin and The Wire actor Tristan Wilds.

Photographer and filmmaker Tyrone Lebon is the mastermind behind the images, with the answers to what all these familiar faces do in their Calvins rounded up into a 90-second video as well.

Categories
social media

Instagram likes: Kendall Jenner, Taylor Swift take 2015 prize

instagram-board

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?

1-kendall-jenner

2-taylor-swift

3-taylor-swift

4-kylie-jenner

5-beyonce

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

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Richemont invites LVMH as e-commerce partner, Google and Levi’s on Project Jacquard, JLab’s final 21 start-ups

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

Project-Jacquard

  • Richemont invites LVMH to join site to compete with Amazon [BoF]
  • Google is partnering with Levi’s for its Project Jacquard smart fabric (as pictured) [TNW]
  • The 21 tech start-ups getting John Lewis excited in 2015 [The Drum]
  • Marc Jacobs gets Periscope, follows in footsteps of fashion brands Burberry, DKNY & Rebecca Minkoff [WGSN.com/blogs]
  • Macy’s embraces a ‘digical’ world [AdAge]
  • Why Nordstrom is the Amazon of department stores [Fortune]
  • How an Instagram “like” from artist Alice Lancaster unspired Calvin Klein 2016 resort collection [Vogue]
  • Forever 21 drives sales through consumer-generated outfit gallery [Mobile Commerce Daily]
  • Why adidas created content that no one will ever see [Marketing Magazine]
  • Candie’s focuses campaign on Instagram [Media Post]
  • Wayfair gains three times more revenue from YouTube’s shoppable ads [AdAge]
  • MikMak is the smartphone-based reinvention of the infomercial [TechCrunch]
  • Hey retailers, Pinterest just got a whole lot more shoppable – ‘buy it’ button unveiled [AdWeek]
  • Instagram is introducing new shoppable ads [Yahoo! Style]
  • Buy buy buy: Why all of your favorite social networks want you to shop now [Mashable]
  • From startups to mass retailers, it’s a tough time for fashion [Fashionista]
  • Retailers have mishandled mobile payments for years. It’s time to surrender to tech [Quartz]
  • Can Silicon Valley fix women’s fashion? [Buzzfeed]
  • Fashion films: what works and what doesn’t [Fashionista]
  • At Silicon Valley’s very first fashion week, flying pants seem totally normal [The Verge]
  • Coming soon to your smart watch: ads targeting captive eyeballs [Bloomberg]
  • Bolt Threads raises $32 million to make gene-engineered fabric grown in fermentation vats [Forbes]
  • Why we still don’t have cheap, customisable 3D-printed shoes for all [Fast.Co Design]
  • How bloggers make money on Instagram [Harper’s Bazaar]
  • The Kendall Jenner effect: how social media is changing modelling [MTV]
Categories
Blocks film

First look: seven of the best autumn/winter 2014/15 fashion films so far

karlie_tamaramellon2

The new season’s ad campaigns are releasing thick and fast, with names like Rita Ora, Cara Delevingne, even Winona Ryder announced as stars. Among them all, a series of new fashion films too. Here’s a pick of some of the best so far…

  • 1. Kenzo’s journey into an “unfamiliar world”, starring Guinevere Van Seenus and Robert McKinnon by Toiletpaper magazine:

  • 2. Tamara Mellon’s way out west collection, as modelled by “Kowboy Karlie” (Kloss) shot by Tom Craig:

  • 3. Fendi showing off its new Color Block Eyewear Collection with a spot featuring guest singer Kiesza:

  • 4. Mulberry in the Scottish highlands, shot by Tim Walker and starring Cara Delevingne:

  • 5. Givenchy’s private party with models Kendall Jenner, Julia Noblis, Mariacara Boscono, Jamie Bochert and Peter Brant II, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott:

  • 6. Donna Karan’s Woman in Motion, starring Karlie Kloss by Steven Sebring:

  • 7. T by Alexander Wang’s humorous turn once again, this time featuring Chris Kattan as Mango, a character from Saturday Night Live, alongside rapper and choreographer Sharaya J and a handful of industry cameos:

And one for luck from Swide.com… male SS15 Dolce & Gabbana models. Hitting on you. On helium.

You’re welcome…