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business Campaigns Editor's pick sustainability

From G7 to fashion weeks – why the industry needs to cut the sustainable chat and take action

One minute we’re talking all about saving the planet, the next, it’s onto the indulgence and excess of fashion weeks. No wonder there’s so much questioning around what the industry is about right now. 

At the G7 Summit last month, François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of luxury group Kering, introduced the Fashion Pact, a deal that saw 32 brands from Adidas to Prada, coming together to commit to stopping global warming, restoring biodiversity and protecting the oceans. 

The initiative was mandated by French President Emmanuel Macron, who asked the industry to set practical objectives for reducing its environmental impact.

Practical is the keyword here. While collaboration between so many different players is in itself great progress, reflections on many of the goals are that they have been light on detail as to how they’re going to be achieved. 

Meanwhile, as has been pointed out by others this past fortnight, fashion week season has kicked off and we’re back into that completely contrasting feeling of celebration and excess once more. “Fashion month is a party,” Orsola de Castro, co-founder and creative director of non-profit Fashion Revolution, told the Business of Fashion. “It’s huge fun, but it’s the kind of fun that is no longer funny.” 

Within that is of course the volume of waste and climate impact generated from the shows themselves, but in addition, the culture of consumerism they continue to feed.  

In London we have Extinction Rebellion protesting against the very existence of fashion week itself, while in New York, the biggest stories have conversely been about the large-scale theatrics of shows from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger and Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty. Let’s not forget, fashion weeks are about marketing – appealing to buyers, press and consumers individually to encourage them to buy and buy-into the new collections in one or other of their relative ways. 

By their very nature, they therefore clash with a more sustainable approach to supply and demand. All of which makes one question how much hot air really surrounds the topic of sustainability – no matter how much it’s “trending” – when looking across the industry at large. 

Back to the G7 pact and the biggest question that sits there then, is how will any of these promises turn into reality? As in, literally what are the methodologies behind them? 

The fact is, what we really need is less talk more doing. To put it into the simplest terms, the contradiction of fashion week doesn’t sit well with the notion of ‘actions speaking louder than words’. But neither do promises that aren’t backed by some tangible outputs to follow. 

The same goes for the sheer volume of broader sustainable pledges being made by the industry. Everywhere you turn you see promises to use 100% renewable energy by 2020, to become carbon neutral by 2022, to reduce water consumption by 2025. The same can be said for chemicals, materials, recycling, waste… the list goes on. 

That’s all well and good, but only if progress towards those things actually happen. On our side, we’re tracking them all, and the list of promises is growing at a substantially faster rate than that of the actions being made in response. This is absolutely key. It means that currently the announcements are serving in the main as PR initiatives – a way of hiding behind something that is several years away, or about buying time while you figure out what to actually do. 

The result is that we either have too many pledges that risk not being met, or those offering too little too late – such as to be carbon neutral by 2050. In Greta Thunberg’s words, this is a climate emergency

Last year, Fast Company reviewed various environmental goals set for 2020 by large corporations as well as countries, questioning which of them were on target to actually be met in time. It reads like a mixed bag, though does demonstrate progress in parts. 

The same can be said for fashion. Kering itself has always been one of the most vocal about its goals, setting them out in 2012, then reporting back on what it had and hadn’t achieved in 2016. It reset its targets in 2017 with a broader 2025 sustainability strategy in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Included in that was cutting the group’s carbon emissions by 50% and reducing its overall environmental impact by at least 40%. Not small aims. An update is expected in 2020. 

H&M is another that’s always gone big. It’s reportedly on target to hit its goals of both using 100% organic or recycled cotton, and eliminating hazardous chemicals in its production, by 2020. Future aims include becoming climate positive by 2040. 

The difficulty with all this is the sliding scale of what attaining such goals mean, not to mention how they’re measured. 

One of the ones I have the biggest issue with in the industry broadly is the idea of moving to entirely “sustainable cotton” by 2025. This isn’t so much in the goal itself by any means, but in the naming of it. What is sustainable cotton? Strictly speaking, most of the time what we’re talking about is rather “better” cotton. As in, it is literally better for the environment than that which is otherwise farmed in the conventional manner. Usually this falls under those certified via the Better Cotton Initiative and others including Organic and Fair Trade. 

This sort of language use is critical because of how misleading it can be to the consumer. It instantly gives the impression that fast fashion, like Zara as well, for instance, will be absolutely fine by 2025 because the materials used will indeed be entirely sustainable. Not true. They’ll just be less bad at that early part of the supply chain. Arguably, that’s not enough. 

The same goes for what is the lesser of two evils when we hear certain companies have managed to achieve zero waste to landfill targets, yet are continuing to incinerate items. Does the ban on incineration in France mean landfill will then be on the up? 

When it comes to greenhouse gases, there was a feeling in a recent meeting I had with some members of UK parliament, that regulation for companies to declare their emissions makes the industry immediately more accountable.

What didn’t seem to be acknowledged is that the fashion industry doesn’t know the true numbers around its emissions. As I’ve written about before, it’s not completely possible right now because there is simply not enough accurate information out there for it to report this – and it doesn’t have direct control of its supply chain in the majority of cases to discover any of it itself further. 

We know this from our work with Google to build a tool that shines a light on the raw materials stage of the supply chain – Tier 4. What’s available right now is at best globalized averages, at worst, completely unknown. The result, therefore, is guesswork. How for instance can H&M become climate positive in a true sense, if it can’t trace back the impact it is actually having? It can’t. You can apply the same to Burberry, to Nike, to whoever else you like.

A few years back there were headlines about 2020 being the “magic year for fashion” based on the industry embracing sustainability. Arguably, even in the midst of fashion week season, that has already happened. But it doesn’t mean anything if it’s just being talked about.  

Change can only take place if these goals become tangible. That’s our entire mantra as a business – drive transformation by enabling action. Enough with the pledges therefore, what we’d rather see is the industry diving deep, staying quiet, building new solutions and starting to show us some results. 

How are you thinking about sustainability? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick Events technology

7 tech activations that stood out this fashion week season

Brands are constantly evolving their approach to tech during fashion week. This season we saw designers reinvent the show space yet again by using tools including artificial intelligence, LED sets and mixed reality powered by 5G to create memorable (and shareable) experiences for their guests.

Here are seven of the most interesting ways brands did so…

Rag & Bone’s AI guest
Rag & Bone’s “The Last Supper”

Rag & Bone decided to throw a fashion week dinner with one very special attendee: an artificial intelligence system designed by artist and creative technologist, Ross Goodwin. At “The Last Supper”, guests sat at a U-shaped table while their conversations and actions were filmed and analyzed by a series of cameras. Towards the end of the event, the guests were treated to a video that showed the AI’s view of their dinner party interspersed with models wearing Rag & Bone’s new collection.

Central Saint Martin’s mixed reality show powered by 5G
Central Saint Martins 5G mixed reality fashion show
Central Saint Martins 5G mixed reality fashion show

Mixed reality animations illuminated looks designed by MA students from Central Saint Martins university for their annual showcase during London Fashion Week. Imagine lightning bolts, skulls and even tiger heads beaming/ moving around the models. The university teamed up with mobile network, Three, and creative agency, Rewind, to bring the animations to life. 10 attendees, including Jourdan Dunn and Natalie Dormer, sported Magic Leap’s One mixed reality headsets, while others could see the animations on screens around the catwalk. “The future of design and fashion is intrinsically linked with the evolution of tech and we are seeing more and more disruptive and innovative technologies shaking up the way the design and fashion industries operate,” said Jeremy Till, head of Central Saint Martins.

Gucci and Saint Laurent’s LED runways
Gucci’s Fall Winter 2019 Fashion Show

LED bulbs decorated the runways of two major shows: Gucci and Saint Laurent, this season. As an experiment in futurism, both hosted mirrored LED runways that further illuminated their colorful garments. Gucci’s Alessandro Michele installed more than 120,000 LED bulbs to cover the walls around the 100-meter long circular runway for his Milan fashion show. The kaleidoscope of lights created a dramatic and theatrical experience for show-goers. Meanwhile, Anthony Vaccarello turned the Saint Laurent showspace into a runway rave in Paris. Wearing glow-in-the-dark shoes and garments, models strutted down the catwalk alongside hundreds of pulsing bulbs and infinity mirrors.

Real-time shopping at 11 Honoré
11 Honore fashion show
11 Honore NYFW show

There are always new ways to innovate even when using long since established technologies like QR codes.The luxury, size-inclusive ecommerce retailer, 11 Honoré, created the ultimate see-now-buy-now experience for its New York Fashion Week debut, enabling guests to shop the runway through a lookbook distributed to them containing QR codes. Using their phone to scan the codes, attendees could then purchase looks in real time. This was part of a partnership with Shopify, which wanted to showcase yet another functionality for mobile shopping.

Christian Siriano’s crowdsourced feedback
Christian Siriano RTW F19
Christian Siriano RTW Fall 19 show

To make fashion more accessible, designer Christian Siriano decided to take advantage of crowdsourcing and let the audience vote in real time on the looks on his New York runway. To do this, he partnered with SAP technologies to create an app that allowed both attendees and remote viewers to select if they “liked” or “loved” the looks. Powered by machine learning, the app was able to identify looks regardless of show order changes because the design team had uploaded stock images of each one into the app prior to the event. This created a more direct connection between the customers and the designer. According to WWD, the SAP runway app was previously piloted by Badgley Mischka, and there are potential plans for further rollout during September’s fashion week season.

Tommy Hilfiger’s Instagram Stories templates
Tommy Hilfigers Instagram Story templates
Tommy Hilfigers Instagram Story templates

Tommy Hilfiger partnered with mobile app Unfold on an Instagram Stories template collection that was released during the brand’s show for Paris Fashion Week. To spice up their Instagram Stories, users could choose from 15 limited-edition templates when uploading photos and videos. Designs included variations of the Tommy Hilfiger logo, as well as colorful prints exclusive to the Tommy Hilfiger’s spring 2019 TommyXZendaya collection, which features 22-year-old actress and singer Zendaya.

Rebecca Minkoff’s audience-driven social campaign
Rebecca Minkoff Runway SS19
Rebecca Minkoff Spring/Summer 19 show

With social sharing front of mind, Rebecca Minkoff’s New York show saw guests able to be part of a digital collage created by artist Rosanna Webster, who designed the brand’s female empowerment campaign “I Am Many”. As a way to incorporate them into the campaign, guests took selfies with a camera that worked as a portable photobooth. These photos were then worked into a collage that appeared in a mini-video inspired by Rebecca Minkoff’s brand campaign. The experience was meant to promote brand awareness and generate ROI. According to the designer, fashion shows aren’t just about posting pictures, but also a way for the consumer to embrace the experience. “Today, the [fashion] landscape isn’t about commerce; it’s about experience and standing for what you believe in; consumers want to be in a tribe,” Minkoff herself said.  

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. The Current Global 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. 


Categories
Editor's pick technology

Central Saint Martins hosts mixed reality fashion show powered by 5G

London-based creative arts university Central Saint Martins (CSM) is pushing the boundaries of technology with a mixed reality show powered by 5G for its annual MA students’ showcase during London Fashion Week.

The university is teaming up with mobile network Three and creative agency Rewind to bring to life the artistic vision of MA graduate Gerrit Jacob.

“The future of design and fashion is intrinsically linked with the evolution of tech and we are seeing more and more disruptive and innovative technologies shaking up the way the design and fashion industries operate,” said Jeremy Till, head of Central Saint Martins.

Ten lucky attendees at the Gerrit Jacob show were given Magic Leap’s One mixed reality headsets and could then watch as models strutted down the catwalk with animated illustrations, such as skulls and lightening bolts, overlaying through augmented reality. Other showgoers were also able to watch the experience via multiple screens located around the catwalk.

The fashion show is part of a larger partnership between the university and Three, as its London, campus will become the country’s first live and permanent 5G installation, with additional events coming up in the future.

As part of the collaboration, Three will also set up a design-focused 5G lab available exclusively to CSM students, featuring IoT hardware and other connected technologies. The aim is to encourage the next generation of creatives to experiment and develop new art and design projects using AR, MR, VR and cloud technology.

“We are turning up the volume on 5G and bringing it to life for the first time in the UK, right here in the heart of the fashion world,” said Three’s CMO Shadi Halliwell. “By giving students access to the next generation of mobile technology, they will be able to push the boundaries of learning, innovation and sustainability to create in a way that’s never been possible.”

“We are sure that the ongoing relationship with Three will put our students at the forefront of long-term trends in design and fashion,” added Till. “It is an enormously exciting collaboration for both parties, and one which will allow our students to speculate on yet unheard possibilities in the creative use of 5G.”

Next month, Three customers will also be able to experience the mixed reality catwalk through a mini-5G network that the company is setting up at its Oxford Circus flagship.

How are you thinking about digital innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global  is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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Editor's pick technology

Teen hacker CyFi fronts Nicholas Kirkwood’s LFW debut

CyFi for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19
CyFi for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

Teenage hacker CyFi walked the runway at shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood’s first ever London Fashion Week show on September 16.

The 17-year-old US hacker, who was booked by Current Global to appear, was accompanied by actress and #MeToo activist, Rose McGowan. Their appearance was tied to an underlying political message from Kirkwood against conformity, with the topic of hacking seen throughout the show as both inspiration for the immersive experience and the shoe design itself.

The event began with McGowan as the leader of a resistance, surrounded by a stage environment crowded with screens and computers, so as to imply a dystopian future.

Rose McGowan for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

Models (or the NK19 resistance rebels) strutted down the runway, mingling among the set while ‘hacking’ computers and playing with VR headsets. To add to the immersive undertone, the show culminated with the undercover police force (known as the Anti-Creative PoliZe Force) then directing showgoers to the Evidence Room where they could explore the collection from up close.

CyFi, who is one of the leading female hackers in the world, began her coding career at the age of 10. These days, she uses hacking to teach children how to protect themselves online. Most notably, she runs the yearly r00tz Asylum conference, a hacking and cybersecurity event held during DEF CON in Vegas, to help children practice cryptography and reverse-engineering, and learn more about tech security and privacy.

Current Global also booked a hologram technology for the Kirkwood show experience, which was on display on entering the warehouse venue in Central London. The collection’s main shoe, a boot with neon yellow detail, was showcased in 3D by UK company Hologrm.

Nicholas Kirkwood SS19
Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. Current Global 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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Campaigns Editor's pick Events social media

Anya Hindmarch launches immersive Chubby Cloud installation at LFW

Anya Hindmarch - Chubby Cloud
Anya Hindmarch – Chubby Cloud

Accessories designer Anya Hindmarch launched an immersive, consumer-facing installation called Chubby Cloud at London Fashion Week this past weekend. 

Located in Banqueting House near Trafalagar Square, the designer created the world’s largest beanbag – meant to represent a “chubby cloud” – for visitors to relax and recuperate, and to enjoy the “fun” side of fashion. 

Hindmarch’s vision for the experience was to engage with people in an untraditional format. Visitors who arrived at pre-booked time slots were invited to slip into a protective suit with matching sock covers, before being escorted into the social media worthy room. Unsurprisingly, for that very reason, the only item allowed to accompany them was a mobile phone.

Once on the beanbag, guests were invited to lie back, enjoy the ceiling painted by artist Ruben, and then relax through a guided meditation.

To make the experience truly unique, a series of special events were also hosted on the Chubby Cloud – all connected to the theme of relaxation, meditation and mindfulness. Highlights included guest appearances from celebrity stars Poppy Delevingne reading a bedtime story, and a guided morning meditation by mindfulness brand Happy not Perfect.

The move comes following Anya Hindmarch Chubby Hearts installation, in February 2018, which saw giant red hearts floating over a number of historic London sites. The designer has been innovating the established retail schedule since last year, launching see-now-buy-now collections as well as replacing runway shows with interactive experiences.

Post Chubby Cloud experience, guests were also able to snack on themed cupcakes and pastries in the Chubby Cloud Café. Souvenirs, as well as exclusive items from the Chubby Cloud collection, were also available for purchase at a Chubby Cloud store.

Ticket sales from the experience went to not-for-profit organization, Historic Royal Palaces, which supports the maintenance and upkeep of venues such as Banqueting House. 

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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Campaigns Events technology

Victoria Beckham to livestream LFW show on Piccadilly Circus screens

Victoria Beckham will be livestreaming on Piccadilly Circus
Victoria Beckham will be livestreaming on Piccadilly Circus

Victoria Beckham is set to livestream her A/W 2018 London Fashion Week show on Piccadilly Circus’s iconic digital screens as part of the label’s 10-year anniversary celebration.

This occasion also marks the first time that the Piccadilly Circus 4K advertising screens, known as Piccadilly Lights, will be streaming live content.

This Sunday (September 16) at exactly 9:25am, the screens will light up with a video celebrating Victoria Beckham’s 10-year tenure in fashion, after which at 9:32am the show will be broadcasted live from its location at the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac gallery in London.

For the past week, the brand has been teasing Piccadilly Circus pedestrians with a rotation of three images showing Beckham inside a shopping bag, paying homage to a 2008 Marc Jacobs ad where she did the same. The images are all part of the brand’s upcoming advertising campaign.

Beckham’s intention behind the live show is to connect with her audience in a whole new way. That is also why she will be spending quality time with customers on a one-to-one basis at her Dover Street flagship after the fashion show.

A selection of this season’s accessories, jewelry and shoes will be exclusively available for purchase on Saturday, one day ahead the show, on VictoriaBeckham.com as well as at the Dover Street and Hong Kong stores. Customers will also be able to purchase a t-shirt featuring a campaign visual.

Are you thinking innovatively enough? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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data social media technology

London Fashion Week to illustrate digital conversations with data tree

London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week

The British Fashion Council (BFC) is turning to data for the upcoming London Fashion Week, by releasing an eye-catching visual display of live conversations happening about the event.

Using data derived from social media and other digital channels, it will unveil the so-called “Blossoming Fashion Conversation” at the 180 Strand venue that hosts the bi-annual event.

The visualization, developed in partnership with Google and technology company Holition, will be shaped like a tree. It will showcase the most talked-about topics on its roots, while its branches will show the number of social outlet mentions.

Conversations will be collected from social media mentions, as well as from Vogue UK and Harper’s Bazaar UK.

Subject matter is expected to be diverse, including relevant conversations on sustainability, the luxury and streetwear sectors, diversity, and innovation in general.

The installation will kick off on Friday September 14, to coincide with the official start of LFW, and stay on display for the duration of the event.

As part of its mission to ensure evolution within the industry, the BFC is investigating ways in which fashion players can be innovating across the board. In June, TheCurrent curated and produced the BFC’s annual Fashion Forum, which discussed future-facing industry topics and saw a keynote with designer Tommy Hilfiger and chief brand officer Avery Baker.

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 Retail social media

Burberry to drop first Tisci products through exclusive 24-hour releases

Burberry
Burberry

Burberry is releasing limited edition products through a series of 24-hour releases across its Instagram and WeChat channels, as well as in-store at its flagship in London.

The move is to launch the inaugural collection from new chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci. It will see the first product released 30 minutes after the beginning of the brand’s show at London Fashion Week, happening on September 17 at 5pm.

This ‘drop’ culture is reflective of the strategy applied in the streetwear market, whereby new items are released on given days, often for a set amount of time only, in order to drive hype around their exclusivity. The luxury industry is increasingly jumping in this same direction in order to capitalize on the consumer appetite it’s created, and arguably build conversions in the somewhat complicated see-now-buy-now era.

For Burberry, the initiative also marks another step towards a complete brand overhaul under Tisci’s guise. The Italian designer has also recently introduced a rebrand that modernizes Burberry’s traditional logo.

During the month of September, he will translate this new aesthetic via an installation at the brand’s London flagship. Commissioned British artist Graham Hudson, will create ‘Sisyphus Reclined’, an immersive three-storey installation in the store, with themed rooms celebrating the brand’s rich history.

Burberry’s London flagship

The reimagined flagship will be open to the public from September 15, with Hudson’s installation remaining on display until early October.

It’s 24-hour product drops are also expected to continue beyond fashion week. This is not the first time Burberry has launched a bespoke e-commerce experience through its social channels. The luxury retailer has previously tapped into the potential of WeChat to sell product – for Chinese Valentine’s Day this year, it launched a WeChat mini-program that encouraged couples to take a quiz which, once completed, gave them access to a range of products created exclusively for the event.

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 technology

Hollywood steps in to give LFW a preview of an immersive augmented reality future

The augmented reality screen at steventai's LFW show
The augmented reality screen at steventai’s LFW show

Those with a beady eye will have noticed a certain Blade Runner feel to designer steventai’s London Fashion Week presentation this weekend.

While models posed onstage, a recreation of the scene was depicted on a giant screen behind them in real-time, complete with a wealth of digital augmentation – including a virtual avatar whose look transitioned from one outfit to another before viewers’ eyes, just as in a scene from the film.

It was actually a Star Wars team behind the action however. The “LiveCGX” campaign was a project between London College of Fashion’s Innovation Agency (FIA) and ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division. It included a transformation of the venue itself (it was hosted by the GREAT Britain Campaign at Durbar Court within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) to look like a street scene in Macau.

Special visual effects transformed the courtyard space into a bustling scene, complete with neon digital signage, fluttering leaves and more. Meanwhile, a model in a motion capture suit backstage, made the virtual model possible – driving an improvisational series of movements reflected live on the screen amid the other models, thanks to a number of depth-sensing cameras placed around the venue. The team referred to it as a connection between real-time visual effects and human-driven expression.

As with Blade Runner, it also serves as a glimpse into a future where garments could have both physical and digital designs, worn in perfect coordination.

“Immersive technologies are leading us to a new narrative for the fashion industry. Imagine a world where you can augment everything from the clothes that you’re wearing to the environment that surrounds you, in real-time. That is the glimpse into the future that this technology offers us. LiveCGX will force us to redefine what we experience in fashion today, allowing for creative possibilities where we are limited only by our imagination. We are thrilled to bring this experience to life at this incredible venue with the support of the GREAT Britain Campaign,” says Matthew Drinkwater, head of the Fashion Innovation Agency.

The motion capture model backstage at steventai's augmented reality real-time show
The motion capture model backstage at steventai’s augmented reality real-time show

Interestingly for those in attendance, at this point you really had to look hard to understand what was happening with the technology. Drinkwater’s vision longer term is that we would all be able to be truly immersed in the experience by either looking through our smartphones to witness the augmented reality in the space around us, or better yet, by wearing smart glasses to see it.

At this point, he told me, the barrier is the technology just not quite being ready. “Give it six months and we’ll be able to do so much more,” he said. “We’re talking to Apple, we’re waiting for Magic Leap – the smart glasses are coming.”

That promise of the future was palpable, if still delivered in a relatively elementary way at this point. It fits with ILMxLAB’s mission to have people step inside stories, creating amazing worlds through pioneering immersive entertainment.

“What is exciting about this collaboration with steventai and London College of Fashion’s Innovation Agency is the opportunity to bring the stories and worlds that have inspired Steven’s designs to life by exploring augmented live performance as a means of sparking intimate and compelling relationships with the people and characters who inhabit those worlds,” says Vicki Dobbs Beck, ILMxLAB’s executive in charge.

Tai himself added that fashion is about storytelling: “It’s about representing a concept, to sell a dream, or just selling an idea that is close to the designer’s heart. Having a digitally augmented presentation this season allows us, and our guests, to achieve and experience things beyond our physical possibilities.”

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Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Burberry and Farfetch, Natalie Massenet on exiting BFC, Alibaba’s retail strategy

Cara Delevingne in Burberry latest collection
Cara Delevingne in Burberry’s latest collection

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Burberry to expand online reach with Farfetch tie-up [Telegraph]
  • For Natalie Massenet, change brings opportunity [BoF]
  • Alibaba invests another $1.3 billion into its offline retail strategy [TechCrunch]
  • Can Marchesa survive in a post-Weinstein world? [Refinery29]
  • NYFW roundup: #MeToo conversations, immersive runways and supersized robots [TCDaily]
TECHNOLOGY
  • In-depth: H&M puts tech at the heart of action plan to turn the brand around [TCDaily]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • When it comes to millennials’ fashion buys, price and convenience trump sustainability [WWD]
  • If you care about ethical fashion, it’s time to stop sleeping on G-Star Raw [Fashionista]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Selfridges opens in-store boxing gym in “world first” [RetailGazette]
  • WeWork moves into retail with new partnership with J.Crew [Glossy]
  • Mulberry takes over Spencer House for London Fashion Week 2018 [Campaign]
  • Fewer happy returns in retail land as companies tighten generous return policies [Fung Global Retail Tech]
  • Target will roll out same day delivery in Twin Cities next month as it faces off with Amazon [StarTribune]
  • Google wants to change the way we shop online, beginning with beauty brands [Campaign]
MARKETING
  • How Nike’s “Nothing Beats a Londoner” advert taps into real London culture [HypeBeast]
  • PORTER becomes editorial voice across Net-A-Porter as it goes digital with daily updates [TheIndustry]
SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Inside Vans’ social media strategy [Digiday]
  • Pinterest now lets you archive boards, rearrange pins and more [AdWeek]
PRODUCT
  • This blouse comes with free performance coaching sessions [FastCompany]
  • Macy’s is making history with its new hijab-friendly clothing line [Brit+Co]
  • Customization in beauty is on the rise, but its scalability is uncertain [Glossy]
BUSINESS
  • Blockbuster Gucci continues to boost Kering [BoF]
  • Fashion unicorn Farfetch will soon interview bankers for its New York IPO [CNBC]
  • Richemont uncovers counterfeiters abusing customer service line to copy designs [WWD]
  • The future of luxury: 7 trends reshaping the luxury industry [CBInsights]