Categories
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. 

Categories
Campaigns product Retail technology

Coty’s mixed reality experience helps customers find the perfect fragrance

Beauty group Coty has launched an experience that uses touch, smell, sight and sound to immerse customers into a virtual environment and help them find their perfect fragrance.

According to the brand, it aims to enhance the customer’s purchasing journey by guiding them through an emotional experience rather than one that is often led by confusing or marketing-driven vocabulary.

“When we set out on this project, our aim was to create a future facing retail experience that merged the physical and digital worlds to help users navigate the rich and complex world of fragrances,” says Elodie Levy, senior director, digital innovation at Coty. “The result provides shoppers with an incredible experience that marries art, science, and technology.  The technological breakthrough of mixing real scents with virtual reality is unprecedented.”

Customers who want to take part have to put on a VR headset and choose one of five different scented stones, each representing one of the perfumes from Coty’s portfolio – such as Gucci’s “Bloom” – , which are all white and only differentiated by texture.

Coty's mixed reality experience
Gucci’s “Bloom” experience in VR

After choosing the stone, the headset will transport the customer to a virtual environment, made up of both visual and sound elements, which aims to reflect properties of each individual perfume.

For Gucci “Bloom” experience, for example, users are transported to a greenhouse filled with larger-than-life roses and other flowers.  

At the end, a touchscreen reveals which scent the user was experiencing. 

The experience first launched in Buenos Aires, and the group plans on rolling it out to other retail partners and brands within its portfolio in the future.

How are you thinking about retail innovation? 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.

Categories
Retail technology

Wayfair jumps on Magic Leap with AR home visualization app

Wayfair Spaces

E-commerce homewares company, Wayfair, has released an augmented reality interior design and room planning app especially for the new Magic Leap headset.

“Wayfair Spaces”, as it’s called, acts as a virtual showroom for select pieces of the retailer’s furniture and home accessories collection. It is powered by Magic Leap’s spatial computing platform and available on the new Magic Leap One Creator Edition headset, which shipped this week.

“At Wayfair, we know that visual inspiration and discovery are key to creating the best possible shopping experience for home. That’s why we’ve always taken the lead in setting industry standards in 3D modeling and visualization, and in building innovative applications that will transform the way people shop for their homes,” said Steve Conine, co-chairman and co-founder at Wayfair. “Alongside Magic Leap, we’re excited to be on the forefront of one of the most visionary explorations of what’s possible in retail, as mixed reality and spatial computing influence the future of the customer experience.”

Users can access Wayfair Spaces from the comfort of their own home and browse through multiple, professionally curated rooms featuring a selection of home products from the company’s own 3D artists and stylists.

Those 3D rendered interior spaces aim to inspire consumers to imagine the look and feel of the products. Favored elements can then be easily dragged-and-dropped using the Magic Leap handheld controller into the customer’s own home to visualize them more specifically. 

By then clicking on items in front of them, they can also view a more detailed description, read reviews and see the price.

AR is growing in relevance at retail, with numerous brands experimenting with this level of visualization since tools to use it have become more commonplace, namely through iOS and Android devices. Wayfair has done so previously alongside the likes of Ikea, Amazon and a myriad of beauty businesses.

Wayfair announced its new Spaces app at Magic Leap’s inaugural L.E.A.P. conference for creators and developers this week. It is now available in the Magic Leap app store, ML World. Additionally, shoppers can find the Wayfair web experience by visiting next.wayfair.com in the Helio browser.

How are you thinking about augmented reality? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners for your innovation strategy. 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.

Categories
business data digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Inside Magic Leap, no one buys through Alexa, Supreme’s covetable newspaper ad

Magic Leap
Magic Leap

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

TOP STORIES
  • Inside Magic Leap’s quest to remake itself as an ordinary company (with a real product) [Wired]
  • Surprise, no one buys things via Alexa [TechCrunch]
  • New York Post Supreme ad turns tabloid into impossible to find commodity [NY Times]
  • Adidas has a clever plan for staying relevant: withholding its biggest hits [QZ]
  • Toward a different language of size [NY Times]
TECHNOLOGY
  • How fashion retailer H&M is betting on artificial intelligence and big data to regain profitability [Forbes]
  • Wayfair unleashes mixed-reality shopping [RetailDive]
  • Starbucks may let customers pay with bitcoin [CNN]
  • Red Bull, Swarovski test Kik’s cryptocurrency rewards app [MobileMarketer]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Could rental fashion help us become more sustainable? [Harper’s Bazaar]
  • Walmart tried to make sustainability affordable. Here’s what happened [QZ]
  • Esprit and IndustriALL collaborate to improve workers’ rights [FashionUnited]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Online retailers are using empty mall spaces to test products [Digiday]
  • Are retail stores now museums too? New beauty shop charges you to enter [Observer]
  • 9 tips for mastering the in-store experience [BoF]
  • Most consumers abandon online shopping carts due to lengthy checkouts [WWD]
  • Casper to open 200 stores across North America [RetailDive]
  • Levi’s unveils Project F.L.X. customization studio in Downtown LA [WWD]
  • Why isn’t Zara on every street corner? [Forbes]
  • Debenhams begins roll-out of in-store gyms [TheIndustry]
  • Store, café or art gallery? The rise and rise of the concept store [FashionUnited]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • L’Oréal brings AR makeup sampling to Facebook [MobileMarketer]
  • How the #VanLife movement is influencing car design [FastCompany]
  • ‘Stories’ was Instagram’s smartest move yet [Recode]
  • Snapchat expands Shoppable AR to its top creators [Digiday]
  • How Poshmark’s sellers made $1B off the ‘social mall’ [RetailDive]
  • You are not original or creative on Instagram [QZ]
PRODUCT
  • Walmart is reportedly launching an Everlane-like clothing brand [QZ]
  • Vans aims to inspire and educate with its Van Gogh museum collection [AdWeek]
  • Are fashion brands pivoting to focus on cosmetics and fragrance? [Fashionista]
  • Amphibio is a 3D-printed shirt that lets you breathe underwater [FastCompany]
BUSINESS
  • Wrangler owner VF plans to spin off jeans business [WSJ]
  • How Benefit Cosmetics stays young [BoF]
  • Is Burberry’s simple new logo catnip to copycats? [Jing Daily]
  • Black designers have to work twice as hard – & are still ‘emerging’ [Refinery29]
CULTURE
  • Community, the missing ingredient in luxury’s streetwear pivot [BoF]
  • Bad taste is the best thing to happen to fashion [Vogue]
  • Black women are dominating the September issues [Evening Standard]

 

How are you thinking about innovation? 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.

Categories
business data digital snippets e-commerce Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: retail’s existential reckoning, Echo Dot is the Christmas best seller, bots on the rise

2017 was the year of retail’s existential reckoning
2017 was the year of retail’s existential reckoning

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion business, digital comms and tech industry news over the final fortnight of 2017.


TOP STORIES
  • 2017 was the year of retail’s existential reckoning [Quartz]
  • The Echo Dot was the best-selling product on all of Amazon this holiday season [TechCrunch]
  • Bots are about to get better at customer support than humans [Wired]
  • The last days of Colette [Garage]

BUSINESS
  • Retailers feel shoppers’ Christmas cheer [WSJ]
  • Jonathan Saunders steps down from DVF role [Guardian]
  • Meet Oscar Olsson, the mind behind H&M’s new brand for millennials [TheCut]
  • Reformation raises $25 million to fuel brick-and-mortar growth [BoF]
  • Clothing companies are trashing unsold merchandise instead of donating it [TheOutline]
  • With Phoebe Philo leaving Céline, what’s next? [BoF]
  • UK cotton back in production in Manchester [BBC]

MARKETING
  • Adidas brings all-star talent and tech to the table [BrandChannel]

E-COMMERCE
  • Prada launches e-commerce platform in China [Reuters]
  • The fake news of e-commerce [Racked]
  • There’s money to be made in returning e-commerce orders [LA Times]
  • What fashion brands can learn from Nike’s first six months as an Amazon partner [Glossy]
  • E-commerce company ThredUP rolls out AI-powered ‘goody boxes’ to rival discount clothing chains [AdWeek]

STORES
  • Walmart is developing a personal-shopper service for rich moms — and a store with no cashiers [Recode]
  • Sephora mastered in-store sales by investing in data and cutting-edge technology [AdWeek]

TECHNOLOGY
  • This is Magic Leap’s mixed reality headset [Engadget]
  • If the bitcoin bubble bursts, this is what will happen next [Wired]
  • Mall of America gets high-tech with chatbot and humanoid robots [Racked]
  • Ikea is stepping into virtual reality by creating a game for new store openings [AdWeek]
  • Beauty tech made major strides in 2017, and it’s only the beginning [Fashionista]

START-UPS
  • Target to buy Shipt for $550 million in challenge to Amazon [Bloomberg]
  • Meet the nanotech scientist who used her mad skills to build a better party clutch [FastCompany]
Categories
Editor's pick technology

Martine Jarlgaard challenges self-perception with lifesize mixed reality fashion experience

Martine Jarlgaard's Meet Yourself mixed reality experience
Martine Jarlgaard’s Meet Yourself mixed reality experience as modelled by Louise Cehofski 

UK-based designer Martine Jarlgaard first experimented with mixed reality for her September 2016 show at London Fashion Week. Now, her latest experience is more about the user than the collection in question.

Launched at Techfestival in Copenhagen earlier this month, the Meet Yourself interaction enabled users to stand face to face with a lifesize 3-dimensional avatar of themselves.

The idea was to challenge self-perception and present the feeling of stepping outside of yourself, Jarlgaard explains. “This is something that I believe is highly relevant, not just in a fashion context but in general, as we live in a visual culture with a high degree of exposure to perfection. Seeing yourself from a new perspective is thought provoking from a psychological and emotional perspective and challenges your usual settings.”

Her big focus is on highlighting mental health, especially in an age of ever-increasing technology: “Our minds are so incredible and important, yet fragile in certain environments. We can be stuck in a negative idea of ourselves. With Meet Yourself I want you to step out of yourself and to give you the opportunity to meet yourself and to see yourself as others see you. I think this is both necessary and healthy. We as humans will change so much in the coming years with technological, scientific and AI developments. I believe that us feeling good about ourselves is a crucial place to start.”

The avatars are of course dressed in Martine Jarlgaard London collection looks, the styles of which were pre-scanned so that a hologram of the garment is then superimposed onto the animated human forms.

That fashion element is also particularly important within the mixed reality space to Jarlgaard as a sustainable designer. This project helps us to question the value of materiality and immateriality, she explains. “In the current fashion landscape of overflowing landfills and too many garments being treated as disposable, I’m preoccupied with the idea of creating meaningful experiences which can challenge consumption and the idea of value as we know it,” she notes.

She is now working to get the Meet Yourself experience out to more people and to develop it further.

Categories
film mobile technology

W magazine brings Katy Perry issue to life with augmented reality experience

Katy Perry's W magazine feature opens up via augmented reality
Katy Perry’s W magazine feature opens up via augmented reality

W magazine has turned to augmented reality for its latest issue, introducing an interactive virtual experience accessible from its physical pages.

Produced with creative technology and VFX studio, The Mill, the special collector’s issue for September 2017, starts with a “talking” cover, starring Katy Perry, who was shot and directed by Steven Klein. The singer delivers a video and audio message to readers, before inviting them to interact with different parts of her face to unlock new pieces of content.

Those films were developed by creating 3D scans of Perry on set, then matching Klein’s aesthetic through the resulting computer-generated renderings. The aim, according to the press release, was to design a seamless experience between the screen and the printed page.

“We perceive magazines as flat planes of expression. Photographic and print materials as static, firmly held in place by the laws of time and space. But now, through new technology, we have broken those laws and can render a picture as a living entity,” said Klein. “Like Alice looking through the looking glass, you are invited, through the use of an app, to step into the wonderland we have created with the technical assistance of The Mill.”

Katy Perry's W magazine feature opens up via augmented reality
Katy Perry’s W magazine feature opens up via augmented reality

While this is by no means the first time AR has been used to bring a magazine to life (fellow Condé Nast title Tatler did it back in 2012, for instance), The Mill’s chief creative officer, Angus Kneale, believes this world is only just starting to get interesting.

Writing for W, he notes: “We are all currently riding the wave of immense mobile-computing ability and cloud connectivity. No one predicted the smartphone revolution; in 10 short years, the iPhone has transformed not just the way we communicate but how we live. Never before has such power—and information—been in the palm of your hand. That piece of glass in your pocket, crammed with the latest technology, has assumed a lofty place in our hierarchy of precious things.”

In the future, however, the level of interactivity we are able to have with digital storytelling is going to be better yet as we evolve into a mixed reality state – where virtual content is seen before us and in the room around us, rather than just through the confinements of our phone screens. “The blend of physical and digital realities promises to open up creative possibilities like never before: Imagine flipping through a fashion magazine and seeing the model come to life, stepping off the page and into your living room. You can see her clothes from all angles and the weight of the fabric as she moves. In the mixed-reality future, a magazine won’t be confined to the pages in your hand,” Kneale explains.

For now, downloading the magazine’s Beyond the Page app, available for iOS and Android, and also created by The Mill, will have to do. A further four features inside the magazine also have virtual content attached to them, including a collaboration with artist Alex Israel, accompanied by a futuristic piece of fiction, and a defiant take on fall fashion by photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

Adds W editor-in-chief, Stefano Tonchi: “This augmented reality experience embodies everything that W stands for – it’s bold, provocative, and offers a truly immersive escape, across print and digital platforms.”


Categories
Comment Editor's pick technology

Is technology going out of fashion? Why it’s quieter than ever on this season’s catwalks

Gigi Hadid in Tommy Hilfiger's LA fashion week show  - technology innovation
Gigi Hadid in Tommy Hilfiger’s LA fashion week show

Despite some connected clothing here, a spot of mixed reality there, there’s largely been little in the way of technology in action this fashion week season. Not literally of course – behind the scenes, tech is working harder than ever to push the latest shows out to a widening consumer audience – but the role of innovation has made a serious shift away from big tech hits in recent times.

Over the past few years, tech has been the way to grab attention – we’ve seen everything from drones, holograms, virtual reality, wearables and more making their way down the New York, London, Milan and Paris runways. Who could forget Google Glass at Diane von Furstenberg, virtual reality windows at Topshop or the holographic Polo Ralph Lauren show? And that’s before you think about the likes of Burberry pioneering the way with endless partnerships with tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter.

Such a focus wasn’t brand new (the infamous robotic spray-paint scene from Alexander McQueen takes us back to before today’s connected age – nearly 20 years ago to spring/summer 1999), but it exploded in the social media era, becoming the defacto way to draw headlines, whether it was for the first live streams or indeed those big budget campaigns.

But in the centre of all that, in some instances because of it, the very notion of fashion week has changed. Today, the industry is battling with an event series that has become consumer facing while it’s still set up to deliver primarily to a trade (wholesale) model. What appears on the catwalks is generally speaking six-months ahead of it hitting stores. The result is supposed consumer fatigue, greater fast fashion copycats and more pressure than ever on turnover, margins and more. The big question now is not only whether that should change, but how. Enter the “see-now, buy-now” movement from those able to be more agile in their production timelines, including Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford, Rebecca Minkoff, Topshop Unique and more.

Burberry's February 2017 LFW show  - innovation technology
Burberry’s February 2017 LFW show

But the follow-up question that then brings, is if we start selling to consumers now what does that mean for how things are marketed in real-time?

The simple answer, really, is to step away from the tech-for-tech’s-sake stuff; the attention grabbing initiatives without any substance behind them. That concept can still be achieved in other ways – with set designs, with political statements, with genuinely incredible collections. Today’s focus instead seems to be moving to conversion rates – to selling. And importantly, less on gimmicks.

It’s still very early days with this consumer-facing movement, and we’re just bedding in with the first iterations of it, let alone have any true measurement to compare. But, as one big British brand told me off the record this London Fashion Week: “If you have a line to push immediately, your efforts and budgets are going to go to that – to directing consumers into how to shop, not in something else that’s merely a brand move.”

What we did see in technology this season was accordingly driven by what would indeed impact the end shopper. There were chatbots once more from the likes of Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger. There was also an immediately shoppable initiative on Instagram from Rebecca Minkoff in partnership with LiketoKnow.it.

“Our customers love when we create unique experiences for them. More than just shopping, they get to be a part of our brand and we get to know them in a more meaningful way,” said Minkoff. “Collaborating with LiketoKnow.it empowers us to take that to a global audience by giving them immediate access to the same content and products that those attending in person are seeing, and that’s a very powerful opportunity.” She also introduced connected handbags to draw in certain shoppers to a unique experience of the show via a digital ticket.

The new connected #AlwaysOn Midnighter handbag from Rebecca Minkoff - innovation technology
The new connected handbag from Rebecca Minkoff

Tommy Hilfiger then introduced a visual search tool with Slyce – an app called Tommyland Snap:Shop that enabled users to take pictures of the models to pull up the e-commerce link to that item.

Both Minkoff and Hilfiger, who each showed in LA this season, otherwise focused heavily on the idea of full consumer entertainment as well as a significant influencer plug-in. The recognition here is that it’s about getting in front of the right consumers, and spending money to do it.

And this isn’t just a fashion week move. You can see the same with social media. It’s not about gimmicky campaigns anymore – when was the last time you called something on Facebook an innovation? It’s more about integration. It’s about decent budgets and shifting the needle on ROI.

It’s a similar story at retail, with fewer campaigns focused on technology in the store. That doesn’t mean there’s actually less tech in-store – but there’s a redirection towards the sort of tech that matters.

Speaking at the recent Commerce 2020 summit in London, Malcolm Pinkerton, VP of e-commerce and digital retail insights at Kantar Retail, said: “[In recent years] we’ve seen stores flooded with technology hoping it would digitise the experience, but it was hard to do and expensive to maintain. Now we’ve realised we can build solutions around what people bring in with them – mobile.”

Sabinna's LFW show was shot for mixed reality - technology innovation
Sabinna’s LFW show was shot for mixed reality

Innovation today is happening in that somewhat quieter fashion. Chatbots might still be nascent, but it makes sense they’re being experimented with – forget drones on the catwalk, why not offer personalised access to it through an AI-enabled smartphone experience? It’s for that same reason we’re seeing virtual reality and mixed reality content continuing during the shows – dipping a toe into where the future of interactive (and shoppable) content is moving.

The fact is, technology shouldn’t be a “brand move” anymore. It needs to work for who your customer is, where she is, and when. On that basis, it shifts from a headline, to a standard part of what you do. All year round.

That’s not to say there’s no place for innovation anymore. Far from it. It’s perhaps more necessary today, than ever. In this sort of market, the question increasingly becomes how do you stand out – especially if you don’t have Tommy Hilfiger-size budgets? And even if you do, how is that sustainable? On that basis, it’s about shifting the very fundamental underpinning of the business, not just the press release topline.

It’s about truly keeping ahead of the curve by disrupting the way you’ve always operated. Innovation today isn’t necessarily about the flashiest moves, but the smartest. Innovating in the supply chain, in the personalised customer experience via mobile, even eventually more and more through the fabrications themselves, is where we’ll start seeing real movements.

So is tech going out of fashion? No, but the thing to remember is that innovation is no longer just a marketing play; it’s an entire business mentality.

Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups technology

What you missed: Amazon as the most innovative company, Canada Goose IPO, AI versus fraud

Jeff Bezos' Amazon has been named the world’s most innovative company of 2017 - retail fashion tech
Jeff Bezos’ Amazon has been named the world’s most innovative company of 2017

It’s been a pretty quiet season as far as technology goes during New York and London fashion weeks – live content is playing its part, as is politics, but there’s little in the way of the big innovations we’ve seen in the past. There’s lots to be said about that, so look out for some commentary around it in the coming weeks as we cycle into Milan and Paris. In the meantime, one of the highlights there has been is the Fashion Innovation Agency’s return to mixed reality with designer Sabinna.

Elsewhere, news to catch-up on this week spans Amazon as the world’s most innovative company, the digital printing technology taking us closer to fully customisable clothing, the fact Canada Goose has filed for its IPO, and how artificial intelligence is becoming the newest weapon in the fraud fight.


TOP STORIES
  • Why Amazon is the world’s most innovative company of 2017 [Fast Company]
  • Canada Goose IPO: Its smartest business move was expanding beyond Canada [Quartz]
  • How digital printing technology is taking us closer to fully customisable clothing [Forbes]

BUSINESS
  • British Fashion industry steels itself for Brexit [BoF]
  • The all-new Hermès: Taking its cues from… Michael Kors? [LeanLuxe]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Snap lowers valuation expectations in highly awaited IPO [Reuters]
  • Emma Watson launches eco-fashion Instagram [WWD]

MARKETING
  • Browns kicks off year-long #cooltobekind campaign ahead of LFW [The Industry]
  • River Island on navigating the divide between brand marketing and culture [The Drum]
  • A$AP Rocky stars in Zalando’s new spring campaign [The Industry]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • 3 trends shaping retail cybersecurity in 2017 [Retail Dive]
  • Why Indochino is opening new stores in shopping malls [Glossy]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Samsung goes for a new look in virtual reality at New York Fashion Week [Fortune]
  • Rise of the learning machines: How AI is becoming the newest weapon in the fraud fight [Retail Dive]
  • ‘Smart mirrors’ come to the fitting room [Bloomberg]

START-UPS
  • VC Cheryl Cheng: ‘Fashion has not shown it can be disrupted’ [Glossy]