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Coach to launch virtual reality show experience in select US stores

The Coach 1941 autumn/winter 2017/18 show will be available as a virtual reality experience in certain stores
The Coach 1941 autumn/winter 2017/18 show will be available as a VR experience in certain stores

Coach is inviting shoppers to experience its latest runway show using virtual reality in ten Simon malls across the US.

The initiative, running in collaboration with IMG, will see VR headsets in select Coach stores providing full access to the show in stereoscopic sound from February 17.

“Coach and IMG didn’t want to venture into this unless the technology was at a point where watching a runway show online would give you a better experience than being there in the flesh,” Mark Shapiro, co-president of WME | IMG told BoF. He said virtual and augmented reality have been a priority for the company over the last year. “We’re bringing online audiences closer to fashion. And that’s something that I think is paramount for the industry going forward.”

The aim is to use the campaign to turn buzz around the show into actual sales. Certain stores will offer a free “Rexy” dinosaur bag charm with any $300 purchase, for instance, and the Roosevelt Field location will reportedly give away 75 “Rexy” editor’s envelopes holding tickets to a future New York Fashion Week show.

The VR experience will also be extended to a wider consumer base than those visiting physical locations, thanks to Facebook 360, YouTube and VR networks.

Coach follows in the footsteps of brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff, Dior and Topshop, who have all used virtual reality in a bid to drive traffic into stores in the past. Usually that follows six months later as the line in question hit the shelves. This example is immediately following the runway, albeit still showing a future season (autumn/winter 2017).

The show itself (Coach 1941) took place in New York yesterday, streamed exclusively via Instagram Live, which has also been gaining traction this season.

The Coach 1941 autumn/winter 2017/18 show streamed via Instagram Live
The Coach 1941 autumn/winter 2017/18 show streamed via Instagram Live
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What you missed: Shopping on Instagram, the mobile web, Silicon Valley’s top retail VC

Shopping Instagram
Shopping is coming to Instagram

The big story on the web this week was of course about shopping coming to Instagram, but backing that idea even further comes the fact mobile browsing overtook desktop for the first time. That’s a huge deal for retailers.

Meanwhile also worth catching up on is an in-depth view on how Nike embraced sustainability, an exploration of what Gen Z and Millennials love and hate about social media, and an update on wearables from the world of Will.i.am. Don’t forget to also sign up for our Snapchat Masterclass taking place on November 22.


TOP STORIES
  • Shopping is coming to Instagram [WWD]
  • Mobile web browsing overtakes desktop for the first time [Guardian]
  • How Forerunner Ventures’ Kirsten Green crashed Silicon Valley’s boys’ club to become retail’s top VC [Forbes]
  • The downward spiral: Why Everlane, Mizzen+Main, and Lululemon don’t discount[LeanLuxe]
  • How mass retailers are traversing ‘big transparency’ [Glossy]

BUSINESS
  • Hermès joins luxury-goods makers reporting Chinese recovery [Bloomberg]
  • Bain: Chinese shoppers’ share of global luxury purchases drops to 30% [Jing Daily]
  • Karlie Kloss and David Lauren talk innovation [BoF]
  • Are the Black Friday sales worth it and are the deals real or a con? [The Telegraph]

SUSTAINABILITY
  • Just fix it: how Nike learned to embrace sustainability [BoF]
  • Kering launches free environmental calculator for fashion designers [Ecouterre]
  • One chart shows how fast fashion is reshaping the global apparel industry [Quartz]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Everlane tests social shopping on Snapchat with Sweet [Glossy]
  • Here’s what Gen Z and Millennials love and hate about Instagram and Snapchat [AdWeek]
  • Facebook’s WhatsApp is testing a feature like Snapchat Stories [Digital Trends]
  • Twitter takes on Facebook as it rolls out customer service chatbots within direct messages [The Drum]
  • YouTube is helping to sell a lot of make-up [Bloomberg]
  • Facebook shares Snapchat attack plan, including a new camera [AdAge]

ADVERTISING
  • Reformation’s founder on its ‘stigma-breaking’ new campaign starring trans model Andreja Pejic [Yahoo]
  • Miss Piggy stars in Kate Spade holiday ad campaign and collection [WWD]
  • Nordstrom gets in festive spirit with customer appreciation campaign [Luxury Daily]
  • H&M replace David Beckham with younger model The Weeknd after five years [International Business Times]
  • Harvey Nichols keeps up irreverent advertising tradition with “Britalia” [The Industry]

RETAIL
  • Simon Malls preps for holiday rush with interactive wayfinding directories [Luxury Daily]
  • John Lewis signs up to click and collect joint venture with Clipper Logistics [Internet Retailing]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Will.i.am moves wearables off the wrist with the help of Kendall Jenner and Apple [NY Times]
  • L’Oréal is using virtual reality to expand the “Matrix Academy” [Fast Company]

START-UPS
  • Introducing Floravere, the first direct-to-consumer, made-to-order wedding dress brand [Fashionista]

UPCOMING EVENTS