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Editor's pick social media technology

Prada enlists computer-generated influencer to promote Fall 18 show

Lil Miquela for Prada Fall 18
Lil Miquela for Prada Fall 18

Prada has worked with Lil Miquela, a computer-generated virtual influencer, to promote its Fall 2018 collection via animated GIFs on Instagram Stories.

To announce the partnership alongside the label’s Milan Fashion Week runway show, Miquela posted a series of short Instagram videos featuring the GIFs, and invited her followers to head to Stories and play. The call to action read: “Go off!! #pradagifs are live in stories! Start posting and tag me.”

Over on Prada’s account, the CGI avatar gave followers a mini tour of the show space, a new Rem Koolhaas venue, while flying a drone around, which she controlled with her phone.

GIFs ranged from inspiration of Prada’s current collection, as well as nods to more archival pieces such as the SS10 flame shoe and the SS11 banana print.

Lil Miquela for Prada Fall 18
Lil Miquela for Prada Fall 18

Miquela Souza, or Lil Miquela, is a virtual version of a 19-year-old Los Angeles based influencer, who boasts over 600k followers on Instagram, and whose creators remain purposively elusive.

Speaking to the Business of Fashion in February, Miquela explains her success: “Initially, it probably stems from curiosity. I think people stick around because they end up learning more about themselves through the questions they’re asking. I love being able to communicate, learn and talk to everyone from all corners of the world. There is a sense of community to it as well, the people who follow me end up being friends with each other and the communications that it opens up is inspiring.”

Since “launching”, the influencer has been seen wearing the likes of Vetements and Proenza Schouler, while her music track “Not Mine” has been played over 100K times on Spotify.

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Editor's pick social media technology

Tommy Hilfiger continues digital content push with connected motorsport show experience

TommyNow Drive SS18 - gigi hadid Tommy Hilfiger
TOMMYNOW DRIVE SS18

Tommy Hilfiger launched a “behind the drive” experience as part of the digital content driving its spring 2018 TOMMYNOW DRIVE show; in doing so adding a layer of immersive storytelling to the motorsport-themed proceedings.

Guests at the Milan Fashion Week show could scan QR codes that allowed them access to exclusive video and photo content, such as the evolution of the capsule collection and the process of developing an actual Formula 1 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport racing car.

The motorsport theme was a tribute to Tommy’s long time love of racing, and a partnership with Formula 1 World Champions Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. It was also the theme of the brand’s latest TommyxGigi capsule collection with supermodel Gigi Hadid – a celebration of speed, from Tommy’s love of racing to Gigi’s fast-paced lifestyle.

The occasion marked the brand’s fourth in-season runway show, building upon its now signature see-now, buy-now format. All runway looks were available to buy immediately on shoppable channels across 70 countries.

There were also various other connected content experiences. As with previous seasons, the TOMMYNOW SNAP app was employed, using 2D and 3D image recognition technology so users could take a photo of any item (in store, online, on the runway or on the street) and shop it instantly at Tommy.com. For spring 2018, the TOMMYNOW SNAP app was also able to recognize any men’s or women’s style and present behind-the-scenes footage of the item’s deign process.

The TOMMYNOW DRIVE F1 race simulator
The TOMMYNOW DRIVE F1 race simulator

The 2,000 plus guests were otherwise immersed into TOMMYNOW DRIVE in real-life as well; entering through a futuristic tunnel and portrait station, while being surrounded by real racing sound effects and LED light installations. Guests could also experience an F1 race simulator and an F1 pit stop challenge.

The brand also continued to offer its AI-powered chatbots, TMY.BOY and TMY.GRL, on Facebook messenger, providing celebrity styling advice through video content of influencers sharing their favorite collection looks.

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Editor's pick technology

Dolce & Gabbana’s drones stunt sends flying handbags down the runway at MFW

A drone flies down the runway at Dolce & Gabbana FW18
A drone flies down the runway at Dolce & Gabbana FW18

Dolce & Gabbana staged a tech-filled show in Milan on Sunday as it sent drones down the runway donning next season’s handbags.

One of the biggest marketing stunts of the season so far, the affair kicked off late while the brand waited for all of its 600 guests to turn off their WiFi, indicating in advance that it had a special surprise up its sleeve.

A handful of drones then opened the show by flying along the catwalk from a heavily adorned faux-church facade, each carrying a new color of next season’s bags and guided by assistants in white coats – presumably in place in case anything went wrong. They hovered in place, rotating on the spot, before returning backstage and letting the real show begin.

The label is no stranger to tapping into tech to engage with a millennial audience, with whom it is increasingly turning its focus to. In 2015, it sent models down the runway taking selfies. It has also long focused on enlisting a series of young royals, influencers and famous celebrity heirs to promote the brand through collaborations and runway shows.

This season also marks the second time the label hosted an additional ‘secret’ fashion show, with the aforementioned millennials playing leading roles. On Saturday night at a downtown party spot, the “Secrets & Diamonds” show featured models and selected influencers donning evening wear, including 20-something-year-old members of the British aristocracy, who the next day then watched the drone spectacle from the front row.

Dolce & Gabbana is not the first luxury label to deploy drones to ignite a conversation that one could argue deters from the actual fashion taking place. In 2014, Fendi worked with Unit9 and Google to live-stream its AW14 runway show by using drones that shot models from above. The role of technology as gimmick continues to rule the runway, it would seem.

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Editor's pick product

Moncler announces death of catwalk, introducing co-created monthly collections

Moncler Pierpaolo Piccioli AW18 collection milan fashion week
Moncler Pierpaolo Piccioli AW18

Moncler kicked off Milan Fashion Week with the announcement of its “Genius” series, a co-created collection with big name partners and a new way of presenting.

“The concept of the catwalk show doesn’t exist anymore for us, it’s a new way of working from now on,” chairman & CEO, Remo Ruffini, told reporters at the venue.

Launching as a six day-long event at a warehouse in Milan, the series aims to respond to consumer demand to access fashion at a quicker pace by launching monthly collaborations available in the see-now-by-now model.

The seven inaugural collaborations include Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, British designer Simone Rocha, Kei Nimoiya (designer of Noir) and Craig Green. The new strategy will replace the Gamme Bleu and Gamme Rouge collections, which used to be designed by Thom Browne and Giambattista Valli, respectively.

At the Milan presentation, all seven collections were displayed in individual rooms, which allowed the chosen designer to create their own immersive experience. According to the brand, the Moncler Genius Building allowed for each different room to be devoted to a singular mind, which adds facets to the brand’s identity.

In Piccioli’s room, for instance, the designer worked with artist Sidival Fila to display artwork he believed linked to the sense of purity he infused in his collection.

For the following five days after the launch, the collections will be sold exclusively by a selected partner online retailer, before reaching wholesalers. At Moncler stores, each collection will have a month of focus from June onwards, with additional pop-ups launching from October onwards, according to the Business of Fashion.

Moncler Noir - Kei Ninomiya FW18
Moncler Noir – Kei Ninomiya FW18
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business digital snippets e-commerce film social media Startups technology

What you missed: Snapchat’s spectacles, driving see-now buy-now sales, Cartier’s sponsored content

Snapchat spectacles
Snapchat spectacles

It might have been Milan Fashion Week, but the majority of musing worth knowing about in the digital space this past week surrounds the launch of Snapchat’s (now Snap Inc’s) new camera glasses. On top of that has been everything from whether see-now, buy-now fashion week shows are actually driving sales, the fact McQueen and Chanel top a new CoolBrands list, and why LVMH’s digital drive is taking time despite its big Apple hire. Read on for a breakdown of everything you need to know…


TOP STORIES
  • Why Snapchat’s spectacles can succeed where Google Glass failed [AdAge]
  • Are ‘see now, buy now’ shows driving sales? [BoF]
  • Neiman Marcus is encouraging brands to adopt ‘see-now, buy-now’ strategy [Fashionista]
  • Alexander McQueen and Chanel make top 20 global CoolBrands list [The Industry]
  • Inside Cartier’s sponsored content strategy [Glossy]

BUSINESS
  • LVMH’s digital drive takes time despite Apple hire [Reuters]
  • Adidas and Under Armour are challenging Nike like never before [Business Insider]
  • Tiffany proposes growth through engagement in the digital age [BrandChannel]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • YSL Beauté reveals first ever UK Snapchat lens [The Industry]
  • Adidas claims retention on Snapchat is ‘insane’ compared to YouTube [The Drum]
  • Teens talk Instagram beauty influencers and what makes them buy [Racked]
  • Here’s how much engagement brands got from back-to-school social posts [AdWeek]
  • Google launches messaging app with chatbot [Campaign]
  • Branded emojis coming to messaging apps [WSJ]

MARKETING
  • Gap teams up with Mr Black to raise awareness for denim care [Fashion United]
  • Bobbi Brown initiates mobile makeovers with Uber [WWD]

RETAIL
  • How designer Rebecca Minkoff uses technology to create a better shopping experience [The Street]
  • BHS to launch online a month after last store closed [Guardian]
  • Zara fashions an expanded online growth strategy [BrandChannel]

TECHNOLOGY
  • The secret lab where Nike invented the power-lacing shoe of our dreams [Wired]
  • No. 21 Sends shoes that glow in the dark down the Milan Fashion Week runway [Footwear News]

START-UPS
  • Carmen Busquets, fashion e-commerce’s fairy godmother [NY Times]
  • Where is the Uber of fashion? [Forbes]
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.

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Comment Editor's pick social media

Dolce & Gabbana’s #MFW selfies only enhance the fact we’re still blinded by gimmick

DolceGabbana_selfies

While big tech initiatives are easy to find during New York and London Fashion Weeks, once the month-long slog of back-to-back catwalk shows hits Milan and then Paris, little more follows.

Indeed the greatest news so far has been about the selfies on the Dolce & Gabbana catwalk. Short of anything else to write about, that got substantial press coverage, loads of social media sharing and even some tech blogs to boot.

This was about models walking the runway shooting photos of themselves via their phones in hand (as you can see pictured here). Those same images were then displayed on large screens around the Italian village-themed venue in real-time, as well as shared via Dolce & Gabbana’s own social media channels.

My social media feed, however, was then filled with people virtually rolling their eyes (if only there was an emoji for that). Not because it wasn’t cute – it was – but because it wasn’t new. Frankly, it’s a little mind blowing that it therefore got so much attention. Head on over to Forbes to read more of my comment piece detailing the issue with such gimmicks during fashion week season.

Categories
digital snippets film social media technology

Digital snippets: Dolce & Gabbana’s #selfies, Burberry’s Apple Music channel; NFC payments at House of Holland

Here’s a round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

dolce_selfie

  • Dolce & Gabbana models post selfies straight off the runway (as pictured) [Vogue]
  • Burberry becomes first fashion brand to launch Apple Music channel [BoF/Bloomberg]
  • It might seem like a gimmick, but here’s why Henry Holland’s NFC payment ring matters [Forbes]
  • Intel unveils RFID system for retailers, Levi Strauss pilots [RFID Journal]
  • DKNY gets personal for New York Fashion Week with Instagram Direct campaign [AdAge]
  • H&M releases film featuring David Beckham and American comedian Kevin Hart [Brand Republic]
  • Robots, holograms and wearables: A tech history of fashion week [Fashionista]
  • Snapchat and Uber: How outsiders got into NYFW events [Digiday]
  • The best of tech at London Fashion Week [Forbes]
  • New York Fashion Week’s social media winners and losers [Digiday]
  • Why fashion model Karlie Kloss launched her own YouTube channel [Co.Create]
  • Vogue goes viral [FT]
  • Google’s Eric Schmidt on how artificial intelligence could shape fashion trends [WWD]
  • Can ‘smart malls’ save China’s failing shopping centres from collapse? [The Guardian]
  • ‘A lot of guff is talked about personalisation’, says Ao.com boss John Roberts [Retail Week]
  • The invisible labour of fashion blogging [The Atlantic]
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups

Digital snippets: Burberry, Calvin Klein, Moschino, Saks, M&S, Primark

A round-up of all the latest stories surrounding fashion and tech…

 

  • Burberry reveals ‘digital innovation’ partnership with WeChat to strengthen social presence in China [The Drum]
  • Calvin Klein asks fans to snap selfies in their skivvies for #MyCalvins campaign [BrandChannel]
  • Fast-fashion: Moschino offers fans the ability to shop its McDonald’s-themed show live [Dazed Digital]
  • Saks recreates in-store beauty tutorials with six-second videos on Vine [LuxuryDaily]
  • Marks & Spencer launches new website to replace Amazon platform, after three years in the making [The Telegraph]
  • How Primark achieved 1.7m Facebook Likes in just six months [Econsultancy]
  • Former GQ editor Lauren Bans comes out as @CondeElevator Tweeter [Fashionista]
  • New privacy website lets you opt out of tracking in retail stores [AdAge]
  • Ebay buys virtual fitting room start-up PhiSix Fashion Labs [PC Mag]