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From streetwear to food and beverage: Fashion collaborations continue to thrive

AllBirds x Shake Shack
AllBirds x Shake Shack

Unconventional collaborations aren’t a completely novel concept in fashion, but heat is building with streetwear and more commercial entities alike, in a bid to gain share of voice in an increasingly populated space.

Ever since Vetements teamed up with DHL, there’s been a continuing race for more interesting partnerships. Alexander Wang and Adidas Originals is small fry alongside a major delivery service and a then-cult luxury line. We’ve also seen Louis Vuitton and Supreme, Off-White and Levi’s, and even Balenciaga and Crocs. The high-low feel knows no bounds.

In the past few weeks alone there have been a myriad of further launches in this vein, but this time from more accessible brands. Here we see them both tapping into the streetwear vibe, as well as nodding to a more commercial side by stepping towards the food and beverage space. Here’s a look at some of the highlights:

PrettyLittleThing x Karl Kani

PrettyLittleThing x Karl Kani
PrettyLittleThing x Karl Kani
British fast fashon e-tailer PrettyLittleThing has teamed up with 90s hip-hop label Karl Kani. The 45-piece line includes signature jerseys, bodysuits, denim and croptops. It’s the perfect blend of nostalgia and streetwear in line with today’s Gen Z demands.

A promo video aims to educate the young consumer on Karl Kani’s past, showcasing stars including Aaliyah, Biggie, Tupac wearing the brand back in the day, alongside the new collaboration pieces featured on actress and recording artist Teyana Taylor.

AllBirds x Shake Shack

AllBirds x Shake Shack
AllBirds x Shake Shack
Direct-to-consumer sneaker brand AllBirds has collaborated with fast food chain Shake Shack on a limited edition shoe acknowledging the latter’s branding of white and green. There’s also a tiny burger featured on the tongue.

The Shake Shack Tree Runner shoe was on sale for one day only in New York’s Madison Square Park, where fans had to line up for several hours to get their hands on a pair. They were also treated to a new shake called the Hokey Pokey while they were waiting. x Pepsi x Pepsi x Pepsi
Fast fashion retailer, as well as its menswear arm, BooHoo, have teamed up with Pepsi for a capsule collection celebrating soccer.

The sportswear influenced line incorporates matching track sets, loungewear and sports tops. The interest comes in however in the fact each of the designs have been inspired by five emerging visual artists from around the world, spotlighted in the Pepsi collective campaign: Argentina’s DIYE, Brazil’s Bicicleta Sem Freio, Germany’s DXTR, US’ Kim Sielbeck and UK’s Iain Macarthur.

Other collaborations we’re waiting for: NASA x Vans; Uniqlo x KAWS x Sesame Street; H&M x Moschino.


VR, AR and voice tech drive innovation highlights at Super Bowl LII

Pepsi and Google's VR experience
Pepsi and Google’s VR experience

At last night’s Super Bowl LII game, varying innovative marketing approaches took place as ways to grab consumer attention and drive engagement amid a flurry of brand noise.

While the traditional $5 million TV spot still reigned supreme, there were also numerous experiments with tech including virtual and augmented reality, as well as Amazon’s Alexa grabbing attention.

First up was Pepsi with a pop-up VR experience stationed near to the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Created in partnership with Google, the setup invited visitors into an immersive Pepsi world inspired by the Back to the Future film series. As users travel through time, they see different Pepsi ad references of the past as they go – including Cindy Crawford’s 1991 spot, which she has remade for 2018.

Mike Yapp, chief creative director of Google Zoo, said the aim was to tap into “sense perception”, by immersing people in the nostalgia. “If what we’re talking about here is going back and seeing what these were about and remembering what Pepsi means to your life then, we thought one of the best experiences you can do digitally is through VR,” he explained to AdWeek.

Fans at home could also view the experience with their own VR headset or through a web-based VR microsite.

AR also had its place at the game, with StubHub using it to help sell tickets to the stadium, and gaming company Virtex Arena, inviting smartphone users to participate in AR games from their sears. The latter saw a mobile app placing virtual objects and characters onto the football field, with users competing to kick and pass balls between the receivers by flicking them on their screens, in between actual play.

Mercedes-Benz meanwhile was giving away a sports car to whoever could track a virtual car around on their phone for the longest during the game.

When it came to the play itself, Amazon took on the role of fortune-teller with its voice assistant, Alexa, firmly declaring she was an Eagles fan in advance. The AI-enabled device was also front and center for the retailer’s commercial spot this year. Featuring a cameo from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the storyline focuses on what happens when Alexa loses her voice. Cue celeb appearances from the likes of Cardi B, Gordon Ramsey, Rebel Wilson and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

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Jeremy Scott’s missed opportunity in ‘unshoppable’ Katy Perry Super Bowl XLIX collection


One of the great add-ons to Katy Perry’s performance during last night’s Super Bowl was the fact limited edition merchandise was instantly made shoppable to those viewing via Twitter, YouTube, Shazam and connected TV devices from Samsung, LG and Roku.

According to Variety, the deal was established between Universal Music Group and halftime show sponsor Pepsi. It was powered by San Francisco-based interactive commerce provider Delivery Agent, with Visa as the exclusive payment service.

When the star hit the field kitted out head-to-toe in Jeremy Scott, you’d be forgiven for thinking this great shoppable integration was about to involve him too. I certainly did.

Head over to Forbes for insight into why Scott not being involved (especially given his experience producing Moschino collections immediately made available for purchase) was a huge missed opportunity.

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Digital billboards in Times Square, New York

American Eagle and Forever 21’s digital billboards in New York might have been written about numerous times before, but seeing them firsthand is quite another experience, so I couldn’t help but get my camera out.

Forever 21's interactive billboard at Times Square

Forever 21’s is the epitome of interactive. Using high-tech surveillance equipment and computer vision technology, it plays on the notion of vanity (who doesn’t like to see themselves on a 61-foot screen) to form a real-time image of the crowd.

A super-sized virtual model can be seen taking a Polaroid photo of onlookers before showing it to them once developed; picking up an individual and either turning him into a frog by a kiss or dropping him into a shopping bag; or placing a magnifying glass over certain groups.

The campaign, created by interactive agency Space150, even picks up on the yellow of the Forever 21 bag, to specifically pick out those that have shopped in the store. Bearing in mind consumers look at billboards for an average of six seconds normally, this one definitely has people captured for a couple of minutes at a time – and that’s a whole year after it first launched.

Check out the video, below:

Meanwhile, American Eagle’s similarly taps into the “15 seconds of fame” idea. It’s been about for a little while longer (first trialled in November 2009), but continues to fare well. Anyone who buys something in store can opt to have both their photo and a message posted to the multiple giant screens, some 25-storeys high, outside.

It all happens within 15 minutes so there’s not too much hanging around in the meantime, but while you wait, there’s also conveniently a rotation of all the current campaign shots too.

Check out the below slideshow of examples:

And a couple of other related things I loved…

The fashion ads from Pepsi for its new skinny can, also in Times Square:

Clinique’s digital vending machines at JFK airport: