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Digital snippets: Nike on 3D printing, HM x Balmain’s selfies, Diesel advertises on Tinder

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

nike

  • Nike’s COO thinks we could soon 3D print Nike sneakers at home [Quartz]
  • H&M x Balmain:  wants to see your selfies [Vogue]
  • Tinder ads tease Diesel fashion models as possible ‘matches’ [Mashable]
  • Louis Vuitton’s spring 2016 show dives into Oculus Rift and virtual gaming [Fashionista]
  • Most fashion houses are baffled by social media. Here’s why old-school Chanel does it best [Washington Post]
  • London-based online fashion startup, Lyst, abandoned a $25 million business — and became huge anyway [Business Insider]
  • Diane von Furstenberg is tapping into millennial tastes to secure her brand’s legacy [AdWeek]
  • Why Burberry’s Snapchat Testino campaign is the best piece of marketing in 2015 [Marketing Magazine]
  • Sears shows how it uses data to build relationships [MediaPost]
  • Can Everlane really become the next J.Crew? [Racked]
  • WME-IMG debuts all-fashion network for Apple TV [BoF]
  • How Diesel talks to its mobile customers through 400 programmatic ads [Digiday]
  • Target’s Kristi Argyilan on what ‘in-house programmatic’ really means [AdAge]
  • China’s Alibaba readies for Singles Day online shopping festival on 11/11/15 [BrandChannel]
  • How Flipkart hopes to shut out rivals by going app-only in India [Tech in Asia]
  • Facebook to test ‘shopping’ section [WWD]
  • ‘In China you have to use it’: How WeChat is powering a mobile commerce boom [Digiday]
  • Why is Silicon Valley pouring millions of dollars into old clothes? [Bloomberg]
  • How (and why) ‘Who What Wear’ bet on commerce [Digiday]
  • The rise of drones [Not Just a Label]
  • A retail geek’s take on modern high-street shopping [The Future of Commerce]
  • What role do fashion runways play in the internet age? [The Globe and Mail]
  • We have not yet reached peak wearable [Re/code]
  • Say it with an emoji: 10 text-free phrases to describe spring 2016 [Vogue]
  • Can content really drive commerce? [Forrester]
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Editor's pick film technology

London Fashion Week pushing virtual reality with Google Cardboard tie-in

Googlecardboard1

The British Fashion Council’s Fashion Film initiative is set to get a virtual reality spin this London Fashion Week season.

River Island, long-time sponsor of the seasonal film event, is partnering with designer Jean-Pierre Braganza to create a piece of content using Google Cardboard. As the picture shows, this is essentially a make-shift headset created out of cardboard with a smartphone embedded into it.

It’s possible to buy them pre-made via the Google Cardboard website, or download instructions there to make one yourself. All you need to do so is cardboard, lenses, magnets, velcro and a rubber band.

As the site reads: “Get it, fold it and look inside to enter the world of Cardboard. It’s a VR experience starting with a simple viewer anyone can build or buy. Once you have it, you can explore a variety of apps that unfold all around you.”

Googlecardboard2

Further details as to the Braganza film are yet to be revealed, though it’s assumed the BFC and/or River Island will provide attendees with the headsets to place their own smartphones in.

Peter Fitzgerald, UK sales director at Google and president of the BFC’s digital pillar, said: “We’re delighted to see River Island using Google Cardboard to create such an innovative, immersive and interactive piece of film, turning their customers’ smartphones into a virtual reality experience. It’s a great example of how fashion and tech continue to drive and inspire each other.”

While virtual reality is yet to make any substantial headway in the fashion and retail space (Topshop’s use of Oculus Rift in February 2014 is one of few early examples), it continues to emerge as an increasingly relevant technology to watch. With experiential marketing as the focus, there’s enormous opportunity for brands to make serious inroads with VR as a consumer engagement ploy. Those who have done so successful to date include Coca-Cola, HBO and Nissan.

Other designers to have received funding from the BFC for a fashion film this season include Gareth Pugh and House of Holland. All of them will be showcased at a breakfast screening open to the public for the first time this LFW.

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2014: A designer meets digital year in review

Burberry_burberry_hr

What a year it has been for fashion and technology…

From wearables taking off with varying designer brands during fashion week, to the launch of new services like Apple Pay, the success of Alibaba’s IPO, discussion around visual search, the ongoing use of selfie campaigns and more, one thing after another has once again been making an impact in this space.

Below then, are 10 of the posts you loved the most on the relaunched F&M site this year. It’s an interesting exploration of subjects as varied as big data and viral videos, as well as the more gimmicky, yet PR-worthy role technology can often play. Think drones, Oculus Rift, the ALS #icebucketchallenge, and yet more on wearable tech.

Thank you for reading and see you in 2015!

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digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media technology

Digital snippets: Apple Pay, Macy’s, Rakuten, John Lewis, Old Navy, social media ads

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

ApplePay

  • The complete guide to Apple Pay, including what’s the point? [Quartz]
  • Macy’s links with Google to show mobile users what’s in stock nearby [AdAge]
  • Japan’s Rakuten e-commerce giant launches in America with fashion site [BrandChannel]
  • John Lewis eyeing Oculus Rift opportunities to unite VR and in-store experiences [The Drum]
  • Old Navy gets in on the #selfie machine [DigitalBuzzBlog]
  • Top 10 fashion films of the season [BoF]
  • Fashion brands push social media ads [WWD]
  • Inside Pinterest: the coming ad colossus that could dwarf Twitter and Facebook [Forbes]
  • Twitter to roll out its Buy button to general public in early 2015 [VentureBeat]
  • Does Oculus Rift have a future in retail? [WGSN/blogs]
  • Wonderluk’s made-to-order, 3D-printed accessories rival mass production [PSFK]
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technology

Why Topshop is focusing on shoppers in-store with virtual reality #LFW experience

TopshopLFW_AW14_Inition

What’s interesting about Topshop’s digital plans for London Fashion Week this season, is its focus primarily on the store – on shoppers rather than showgoers.

The British retailer is partnering with a company called Inition to offer consumers a virtual reality experience from its Oxford Circus flagship. Specially commissioned Oculus Rift-based headsets will enable individuals to see its catwalk event taking place in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall on Sunday, February 16, through a 3D virtual world – from VIP arrivals and backstage sneak peeks, to the Unique collection show itself. The telepresence technology will make them feel as though the models are walking in front of their eyes, and the celebrities sat right beside them.

This is substantially more advanced than Burberry’s 3D streaming to customers in its stores in 2010. Wired has a great write-up explaining why: “Those wearing the [Inition] headsets – incorporating headphones and the Oculus Rift – will be able to see the live catwalk unfold if they look straight ahead on one virtual screen as well as the celebrities they are sitting ‘next to’, thanks to an 180-degree wide angle on the stream. If they look behind them at a second virtual screen they’ll get a view into the backstage area, where models will be having their hair and makeup done. If the wearer happens to look up, they will ascend into a higher level, where they will be able to see the rafters and a number of 360-degree images of, for example, celebrity selfies. All around the virtual screens and other elements, the environment has been designed to look like the Turbine Hall, with concrete and large girders.

“On top of the live stream will be built a number of animated elements that reflect the theme of decay that characterises the autumn/winter collection. So there will be leaves, flowers and crows that fly around on top of the space. Tweets using a specific hashtag will emerge in the virtual world as petals dropped by the virtual crows.”

Andy Millns, co-founder and creative director of Inition, said: “Virtual reality is the ultimate interface to the digital world with the power to transport the user to another place as soon as they put on a special display. This unique technology has the potential to open up fashion shows to the consumer at home and we believe this will be the first of many executions of this kind.”

Last season, Topshop partnered with Chirp, a start-up that enabled the sharing of content via sound. It was a cute idea, and was fun to play with for those who tried, but the truth is (according to those involved) it wasn’t all that successful. Very few people at the show actually downloaded the app you had to have, let alone then had it open ready to collect the specific sounds emitted as the show took place. The Chirp Garden hosted in the store was no doubt a smarter move in terms of engagement. That said, it led to content shared, rather than an immersive experience.

The headsets for this coming weekend, as abstract as they might look and feel to wear, go back to what opening up show access is really about: making consumers feel involved. And not just via the web or social media, but in the brand Mecca that is the flagship store. Topshop Oxford Circus is arguably one of the best global examples of this – a tourist destination, an immersive consumer experience, and a space that has played host to all sorts of other campaigns; a shoppable Pinterest wall, a series of talks and events for those interested in the industry, a Tweet Shop for Halloween and more.

The one downside with this virtual reality initiative of course is that it’s restricted to just a few. A competition is being held in the run up to Sunday’s show via social media, which will result in five winners who will be the first to experience it. The installation will then be available to further visitors – we presume those who sign up, or queue for it – on-demand, for three days.

But as mentioned, that’s only at the Oxford Circus location, and not any of the other 400+ Topshop stores – directly owned or otherwise – around the UK and the rest of the world.

And that’s part of the issue with in-store tech innovation at present. It’s a costly move, it’s also an experiment most of the time, so it tends to be limited to one place. This campaign specifically is quite a unique example, and undoubtedy one best suited to the flagship on the basis it’s the theatrical homeland of the brand. With most other initiatives, however, the technology – no matter how far away from being a gimmick it is – won’t become more than a PR story if the majority of consumers don’t ever get to see or experience it.

Topshop is referring to this virtual reality installation as not just transporting the viewer, but providing an insight into how we will consume media in the not so distant future. This fashion week, it’ll still largely be an exclusive experience, but the potential is there.