Hollister is taking to live streaming video gaming platform Twitch to celebrate the launch of a new videogame in its Los Cerritos store in California tomorrow.
The teen fashion brand is inviting two Twitch streamers called Fuslie and J.D. Witherspoon, to play the new Crash™ Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (or CTR for short) video game live in-store at 5pm. The game comes from Activision, which also created popular titles such as Call of Duty.
Shoppers will be able to watch them online via Twitch or in real-life at the Los Ceritos store. A series of activations are also taking place across three Hollister locations including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, all of which will host gaming lounges and PS4 systems connected to video screens to create a more immersive experience for customers.
The last part of the activation has Hollister influencers, including Adelaine Morin, supporting the launch of the video game by appearing at one of the three stores to host a friendly game competition and interact with shoppers.
“We’re constantly seeking opportunities to provide authentic engagement with our customers that align with their interests. We’re looking forward to bringing this unique experience to our customers,” said Michael Scheiner, SVP of marketing at Hollister. “These events will create a collaborative, inclusive group activity for all customers to connect with our brand, and each other.”
For those that can’t make it to any of the locations, Hollister will make the the CTR game available to download in an additional 100 US-based stores, as well as online.
As the boundaries between physical and digital spaces are blurring, the world of gaming is becoming increasingly important to the fashion industry. The video game Fortnite, for example, made headlines in February when 10 million people tuned in for a live stream from DJ Marshmello. Meanwhile, in April, fashion label Moschino partnered with The Sims for a digitally-inspired capsule collection.
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Urban Outfitters has partnered with social shopping app Dote on a pilot that allows influencers to host live-streamed shopping parties within the platform.
The app, initially launched in 2014, is geared towards a younger audience and heavily relies on the social element of shopping. One of its main features, for instance, allows influencers (or Dote Creators) to create their own profiles and wishlist products across the app’s 150-strong brand inventory, which followers can then shop from. This new feature, called “Shopping Party”, will enable Creators to host 15min-long live streams shopping solely from one brand.
“When we stopped going to malls with our friends and started shopping online, the experience became one skewed toward convenience and assortment,” says Dote founder and CEO Lauren Farleigh. “Along the way, we lost the social experience that shopping can be, which so many people have enjoyed throughout the history of commerce.”
Since its inception, Dote has raised $23 million in funding and added major Gen Z-focused brands and retailers to its assortment, from Asos and Brandy Melville to Madewell. In July 2018, it announced the launch of its first exclusive collection, with YouTube star Emma Chamberlain.
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Tommy Hilfiger calls its seasonal fashion week show an “innovation incubator” – a place to experiment with new experiences for the consumer by layering digital and technology on top of entertainment.
This week, that concept heads to London for a show inspired by rock-and-roll. Rockcircus, as the #TommyNow event is called, is the third showcase of the brand’s partnership with supermodel Gigi Hadid, as well as a continuing “see now, buy now” format, meaning every look presented on the runway is available immediately to buy.
Facilitating that shoppable aim and drive toward the future, is everything from augmented reality to image recognition technology, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot and more.
“[We’re] breaking all the rules and disrupting the fashion industry with new authentic experiences for consumers around the world,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “As we continue our leadership role in democratising the runway, we are driven by our passion to come up with new all-inclusive ways to involve and empower consumers, male and female, to take part in these unique experiences.”
Here are the details on all that will be happening:
Focusing on the idea of “instant gratification” every look from the show will be shoppable. This isn’t just on the website however, where a live stream (and later on-demand) video will indeed facilitate that exact experience, but across a multitude of other channels too. A click-to-buy function will appear on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest. Also look out for custom emoji on Twitter and branded filters on Snapchat.
On Facebook Messenger that shoppable experience is enabled via a chatbot. TMY.GRL, which launched in September 2016, is now joined by TMY.BOY to offer virtual styling advice based on the user’s style preferences and event occasions. More than 100,000 messages have been exchanged using the TMY.GRL chatbot since launch, according to the team. Further stats revealed show that users return to Facebook Messenger to ask for styling advice three or more times on average, spending four minutes interacting with the chatbot.
AR for conversion
Tommy Hilfiger is also using augmented reality for the first time in order to bring the catwalk experience to life for consumers outside of the show. Using the TommyNow Snap app, an image recognition tool that debuted last season, viewers can use a new AR commerce function in order to see and then shop their own private version of the runway. All they have to do is point their phone at a flat surface to view the AR experience, then tap to shop thereafter.
The Snap app has also evolved into a 360-degree offering, meaning users can use image recognition to pull up any of the pieces from the TommyNow show, including men’s, women’s, kids and accessories. They can do so from photos of the models walking the runway, products physically in the store, ad placements, editorial shots and even user-generated content in the app’s own feed. The tool will recognise each style and link directly to Tommy.com for purchase.
SohoMuse, a new invite-only networking platform for creative professionals, is turning to blockchain technology as both a form of token and the basis for transparent transactions this New York Fashion Week.
It will not only play host to the live stream of the designer’s show on September 7, but enable members to purchase pieces from Breton’s collection in real-time. All transactions made will be recorded via the blockchain, which is essentially a distributed digital ledger; making all purchases made both transparent and more secure.
All viewers of the live stream will also receive a blockchain token called ‘MALANBRETON’, as a form of digital memorabilia, however. These will offer exclusive future perks such as early access to features, sales and events. The token introduces a form of Bitcoin-like digital asset, which though doesn’t currently act as a currency per se, is said to be the predecessor of a future fashion-based cryptocurrency.
SohoMuse co-founder, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, says: “By adding blockchain technology to our comprehensive suite of tools, we are staying true to our mission of offering the best possible tools to fuel our members’ careers. This fashion show collaboration is the first of many exciting and innovative projects we will unveil as SohoMuse continues to grow.”
By introducing tokens for fashion, SohoMuse is giving designers and brands the ability to further fan engagement through fully traceable and transparent interactions. The tokens are entirely customisable in their use by the creator, thus enabling brands and designers to offer unique privileges case by case.
The blockchain integration also sets the foundation for the platform in the future by presenting a new form of digital value, ownership and a monetisation opportunity for SohoMuse’s creative community. Fashion creatives will not only be able to showcase their work, as is the basis of the network, but have an additional source of revenue by selling it.
“The tokenisation of creative work presents a tremendous opportunity for creatives operating in consumer and commercial segments – not only in terms of addressing existing issues but also in creating new opportunities for collaboration, monetisation and engagement,” says Martin Rerak, chief strategy officer of Tokenly.
Blockchain technology is already disrupting many industries from banking to music, retail and even government. For the consumer industries, it presents a big opportunity to enable new forms of value exchange between brand and customer.
Ahead of its move to an in-season show in order to meet consumer demand this September, Burberry is turning to Apple TV for an increasing focus on entertainment and conversions during London Fashion Week on Monday.
The British heritage brand will live stream its show on its Apple TV channel – as it did with its menswear show in January. This time however, it will also enable viewers to revisit and explore the collection using the Apple Remote thereafter, and use it to request a call from a dedicated customer service rep so as to pre-order select pieces.
The show will also mark the first time that Burberry presents its womenswear collection under its united “Burberry” label, following the announcement that its Prorsum, London and Brit lines would be merged in November 2015.
The intention is to simplify the presentation of Burberry’s full product range, though it also suggests wider price points, and thus more accessible pieces will be shown in order to appeal to the digital audience it is reaching.
Adding to the entertainment piece is British musician Jake Bugg, who will perform live during the show. The Burberry app for Apple TV also offers access to a back catalogue of Burberry Acoustic films from other British music talent, as well as highlights from previous runway shows and beauty tutorials with Burberry make-up consultant Wendy Rowe.
The new collection will then be on display in the brand’s Regent Street flagship store for a week following the show, before moving to the brand’s Faubourg Saint-Honoré store in Paris. Check out the trailer for the show, below:
Now, it’s Swedish designer Ida Klamborn’s turn. Where most of her contemporaries have taken VR and applied it as an immersive film experience shot during fashion week and delivered a few months later in time with their collection hitting the shop floor, Klamborn is offering up a real-time initiative live from her front row. Read the full story, including detail of where the robots come in, via Forbes.
Yes, you read that right. JW Anderson is turning to gay dating app, Grindr, to stream its autumn/winter 2016/17 menswear show during London Collections: Men this Sunday.
The London-based designer will take to the platform – otherwise known as a location-based hook-up tool for men in cities around the world – in a bid to demonstrate fashion’s “sexy” side, he said.
“I think fashion is a sexy platform as well, ultimately,” he told The New York Times. “We’re all humans, so we all have to be somewhat sexually attractive to someone. That’s the name of the game, with clothing.” He referred to the collaboration as a “no brainer”, and Grindr, which claims one million active users every minute, as an “incredibly modern platform”.
Grindr will be the only place that consumers can access the live video. Users will be sent a secret code, which will then direct them to the stream within phone and tablet browsers (it won’t play within the app itself).
The move comes following Grindr hiring PR Consulting as its new publicity agency – a company usually associated with, well, fashion. And one that does, of course, also represent Anderson.
Memorable moments during fashion month used to surround incidents like Anna Wintour being splattered with paint by anti-fur protesters, or Naomi Campbell taking a tumble in those sky-high Vivienne Westwood shoes. There have been incredible sets – Fendi on the Great Wall of China, everything from an airplane to a supermarket at Chanel and a giant steam train when Marc Jacobs was at Louis Vuitton.
Today, however, technology is becoming the new differentiator and the main means of grabbing attention — not to mention press headlines — during the shows. Thus far this season, Ralph Lauren has streamed his runway show on billboards in London’s Piccadilly Circus via Periscope, Zac Posen partnered with Google to reveal a dress coded with moving LED lights and Intel introduced drones to fly overhead at numerous shows.
“Technology can be a point of differentiation and a source of competitive advantage in a crowded fashion marketplace,” says Karinna Nobbs, program director and senior lecturer of digital fashion strategy at the British School of Fashion. “If you do something well you can really get good PR coverage and be seen as a first mover/innovator, which should translate to sales and loyalty.”
Even if it doesn’t add to the user experience, nor directly impact a brand’s bottom line, technology integrated into a fashion show is often about a designer exercising his or her creative freedom, in a similar way to theatrical extravagances of the past. That said, some of the most elaborate tech ideas showcased during fashion weeks past actually took place well before you could Instagram them. Here’s our history of technology and the designers who have embraced it since 1999.
There might be hot debate in current times about where artificial intelligence is likely to lead us, but robots in some form or another have long appeared at fashion week. For spring/summer 1999, Alexander McQueen presented one of the most famous moments of his career when two robots spray-painted a dress worn by model Shalom Harlow in shades of black and yellow as she spun on a revolving platform.
In 2007, Hussein Chalayan showcased a vision of our future wardrobes based on garments that changed shape. A Victorian dress unfurled to reveal a flapper style and a tiered design shortened into a mini, all thanks to microchips and animatronics. This was wearable tech before wearable tech.
Jump to autumn/winter 2014, and drones hit the runway at Fendi, circling above the heads of show-goers to live stream content back to viewers at home. The resulting experience was terrible, but it grabbed headlines for Fendi all over the world.
Speaking of wearable technology, it goes without saying that designers today are increasingly experimenting with how to embed things like electronics and connected devices into their collections. To highlight that fact, Diane von Furstenberg provided a particularly noteworthy story when she sent Google Glass down her runway in September 2012. Models wore the augmented reality eyewear as they paraded the designer’s spring/summer 2013 looks, capturing the scene around them for a video released at a later date. The finale saw DVF herself dragging Google co-founder Sergey Brin, along with her then-Creative Director Yvan Mispelaere, down the runway to take a bow with her.
Last year we also saw the likes of Rebecca Minkoff and Diesel Black Gold featuring wearable tech accessories in their shows — and let’s not forget the work Dutch designer Iris van Herpen has been doing for a long time in 3D printing. Richard Nicoll, meanwhile, unveiled a slip dress made from a fiber-optic fabric activated by high intensity LED lights for spring/summer 2015 in partnership with Disney and Studio XO. The question remains, however, as to when the wearables trend will become more widespread.
If you’re into gaming, you’re probably all over virtual reality (VR). Maybe you’ve already got your own headset. Fashion brands have been experimenting with those, too. Topshop first offered up such an opportunity when it provided customers with a VR experience in its London flagship store for autumn 2014. Specially commissioned Oculus Rift-based headsets enabled shoppers to see its catwalk show in real-time through a 3D virtual world. The aim was to make them feel as though the models were walking in front of their eyes and the celebrities were sitting right beside them.
Dior captured in 3D a backstage view of its show earlier this year, and proceeded to offer up that experience in select stores through its own VR headset, called DiorEyes. Users were able to explore the full 360 degrees of the backstage space, seeing the models during their final prep for the show surrounded by makeup artists, photographers and designer Raf Simons.
Rebecca Minkoff filmed her February 2015 show for VR viewing, too. The process reportedly required two cameras with three dozen separate lenses to create footage that has just this week been released on a specially designed Google cardboard headset, into which you stick your smartphone. Democratising fashion week indeed.
If you weren’t already convinced Alexander McQueen was an innovator, then consider his autumn/winter 2006 collection, which featured a hologram of Kate Moss in the finale. The projection appeared within a glass pyramid surrounded by billows of white smoke. It was deemed fashion magic.
Holograms were also central to Polo Ralph Lauren’s spring/summer 2015 show. In what the brand referred to as a 4D holographic water projection, it showed models wearing the new collection against a 60-foot high fountain in Manhattan’s Central Park. The images were pretty blurry, making it hard to decipher much about the new collection, but like many other tech experiences, it grabbed headlines around the world.
With all these innovative ideas in mind, hearing that a brand is merely live streaming its show doesn’t really do it for us anymore. But once upon a time, this alone was big news. When Alexander McQueen streamed his spring/summer 2010 show — yes, it really is only that old — the event drew in so many fans, it crashed SHOWstudio’s website. While the fact that Lady Gaga was performing was arguably the biggest contributing factor there, it was also an early sign of just how much interest there was in fashion week happenings from fans around the world, especially when mixed with a little extra entertainment.
As the late designer said at the time: “I wanted to create a sense of inclusion for all those in the world who are interested in my work and the world of fashion. This is just the first step towards revolutionising the ‘show system’ as we know it.” While he personally never did do another live stream — that collection was to be the last before his death — the concept rapidly spread.
Designers providing ever-greater access through digital means has grown season after season. Burberry has been the pioneer in this sense. Its now iconic campaigns have included everything from a “Tweetwalk” that showcased images of the new line on Twitter before those sitting in the front row saw them, to its “Runway to Reality” (later “Runway Made to Order”) concept that offered consumers the ability to instantly purchase specific items from the new collection for delivery within seven weeks, instead of several months. There have also been personalised GIFs, digital kisses and the ability to buy nail polish via Twitter, but this season it’s been all about Snapchat.