NBA star Carmelo Anthony is helping the models of Valentino’s resort 2018 campaign up their basketball skills.
In a short film called How Good Is Your Game, the Oklahoma City Thunder player takes to St Vartan Park basketball court in New York to coach Tori Bowie, Imari Karanja, Faretta, Ratner, Jolie Alien and Mag Cysewska on how to both dribble and shoot.
The campaign accompanies a series of pop-up shops presenting the new resort collection in Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong and Milan, as well as other special collaborations with Maxfield in Los Angeles and Harrods in London.
The pop-up spaces are focused on the active nature of the collection, with a reinforced concrete setting,samples in primary colours that recall the functional training box-jump and imaginary metropolitan basketball nets.
Each space reportedly has “authors”, rather than vendors, dedicated personnel “chosen for their inclination and cultural belonging”, who each wear a uniform of the white shirt from the Valentino Rockstud Untitled collection. The collection is also accompanied by a limited edition line of sporting goods for sale, including basketballs, yoga mats and sneakers.
British e-tailers SimplyBe and MyTheresa have partnered with interactive video startup Smartzer to release shoppable videos via social media.
Smartzer’s technology, which has so far been used by the likes of John Lewis and Zalando on their websites, allows customers to click through and buy items while watching interactive videos. The latest update will enable brands to share shoppable video content on social apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.
When watching a video, consumers can swipe up from an Instagram or Snapchat story, or via Facebook Canvas, to trigger the interactive experience that features clickable hotspots.
The MyTheresa partnership saw Italian label Valentino benefit from the new feature on its AW17 pre-launch. MyTheresa produced a film showcasing items from its range, as well as a behind the scenes Instagram story, using the Smartzer shoppable technology. Meanwhile SimplyBe used the technology to make its The Curve Catwalk event at London Fashion Week entirely shoppable via Instagram within an hour of the show.
“Our aim is to enable all brands from the highstreet or high end to offer these kinds of interactive, customer-centric experiences – while providing detailed analysis of customer interaction. In an ever-evolving landscape where technology is constantly revolutionising the way that consumers shop, it’s imperative that brands listen to what their customers really want,” says Smartzer founder AND CEO Karoline Gross, who launched the company in 2012.
Gross emphasises the importance of customer-centric strategies in the current retail scenario: “Take Amazon for instance – partnering with Nicola Formichetti to offer catwalk to doorstep delivery in just one hour. We see shoppable video as a core part of that process – enabling customers to find the piece they want instantly. In a few years, we could be seeing shoppable live streams which allow customers to click through to the item they want, purchase it, and have it delivered the next day, or even within an hour.”
Retailers have been dipping their toes into social commerce for years, often creating and using tools that work around platform limitations, such as RewardStyle’s Liketoknow.it app. In 2016, media company Popsugar also introduced Emoticode, an e-commerce companion app to Snapchat where users could post screengrabs of snaps that featured items they wanted to purchase. Meanwhile Tommy Hilfiger is leveraging the ‘instant gratification’ demand this season by enabling fans to buy looks straight off the runway with click-to-buy functionality on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest.
So is Amazon the big threat to retail, or do retailers really have themselves to blame? There’s a great piece from Recode exploring the longer-term demise of Macy’s. No surprise to also see Neiman Marcus’ IPO has been stalled given current market conditions. The Limited is another US store announcing its closure over the past week.
Meanwhile, other big news to know about include a bid to fight counterfeit goods on Alibaba, PETA aiming to disrupt LVMH from the inside (as well as a separate piece on how LVMH is making luxury more sustainable), and yet more advertising updates on both Instagram and Snapchat. If you haven’t seen it, don’t forget to also check out our list of the 8 top tech trends for fashion and luxury retail in 2017.
While anything new in social media normally hits New York and London fashion weeks first, taking several seasons to finally get to Milan and Paris, Snapchat seems to be bucking that trend.
Yes the platform launched back in 2011, and yes it has been used at fashion weeks before too, but if there’s one thing the past month has proved, it’s how many more brands have willingly taken the plunge.
New York saw new accounts launch from Tommy Hilfiger (in partnership with supermodel Gigi Hadid) and Marc Jacobs, as well as two dedicated stories from Snapchat shared throughout the week. London meanwhile, also saw some exciting work, with a dedicated story created by Burberry for the channel, and further new accounts from the likes of Mulberry and Mr Porter.
Once we hit Milan, much of the same continued, with some great insights behind-the-scenes from the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci particularly. Over to Paris, and H&M used the platform to get its viewers to help choose which shoes from its show should be sold in store in September (inviting them to take a screenshot to vote). Balmain was also on there documenting its bevy of supermodels and their new hair colours, Stella McCartney playfully added lots of emojis, and Valentino handed the reins of its account over to blogger Bryan Boy.
Dior was a bit of a surprise with its launch – providing another behind-the-scenes tour with further emojis splashed on top (who would have thought it!) And for all those wanting more, Snapchat provided yet another dedicated catwalk story throughout as well.
Here are some of the Milan and Paris brand highlights:
Fashion can seem to be a strange world when you’re not at its heart. It’s impractical, obsessed with things that the rest of the world thinks trivial, it’s frequently silly, and sometimes seems designed to make us all feel totally inadequate. But it’s also one of the world’s biggest employers and in so many ways it defines us – think of any era from the past and you’re most likely to think about it in terms of what people wore, whether it’s the 1960s, the 19th century or the Roman Empire.
Haute couture is about as impractical as fashion can possibly get and its chances of survival seem to ebb and flow. It’s not what it was, obviously, with fewer fashion houses, and prices that are stratospheric so that only the mega-rich (not simply the rich) can afford it. But big name fashion labels don’t want to give it up. Plenty of RTW labels also have a custom arm (Gucci, Saint Laurent, for instance) while some designers have given up RTW altogether to focus on couture (Gaultier, Giles).
Out of step with the world most of us live in it may be. But there’s one area in which couture is keeping up with the fashion pack and that’s social media. Whether it’s tweeting about who’s worn which dress on the red carpet or pulling back the curtain to give us a glimpse into the rarefied world of Paris during Couture Week, fashion houses are now very social media-focused.
So, here’s a pick of some of the best Instagram posts from the latest round of couture shows:
Hey, guess what – e-commerce is becoming really important to the luxury sector but not enough luxury brands quite ‘get it’ yet.
OK, tell us something we don’t know. But cynicism aside, it’s always interesting when someone pulls that kind of information together and puts it into context. And that’s what L2’s latest Digital IQ Index for fashion has done.
I decided not to cover this story when it came out last week as the headline that Burberry’s doing so well in digital didn’t really throw up any surprises. But digging deeper, it stunned me how so many luxury brands are still not thinking truly digital.
Why does it matter? Well, as much as 83% of luxury growth last year came from online sales. A year earlier the figure was just 33%, up from a pretty pathetic 5% from 2010 to 2013 (I say pathetic, of course, because the mass-market had been happily getting online for years before that).
Why is luxury so slow?
Not that it’s such a surprise that luxury has been slow coming to the table. The sector’s $129bn in offline apparel sales are pretty impressive without the relatively tiny $210m in online sales. But with the latter figure set to double in five years and continue soaring after that, and with many consumers increasingly expecting a sophisticated approach to online, luxury can’t continue to bury its head in the sand.
Some brands are getting it right – very right. L2 said that the top 10 brands accounted for less than a quarter of that $129bn in offline sales. But online, they account for 65% of sales – yes, you read that right. On the downside, it also means that plenty of brands are getting it wrong – very wrong!
From genius to feeble – how brands fare
Anyway, the report looks at a large number of luxury brands and how they’ve performed online generally and in e-commerce, taking into account the many features designed to make the user journey easier/more pleasurable.
So, who’s doing well? Yes, Burberry’s out there in front (as it usually is, although it did drop back a little in last year’s list). It beats Kate Spade by one point with both given ‘genius’ status by L2. Burberry stands out for its well-rounded approach to both established platforms and emerging ‘cool kid’ platforms like Periscope and SnapChat, and for its upgraded mobile channel.
Burberry has invested heavily in improving the buying experience on mobile and its mobile penetration tripled after it updated its m-commerce channel.
Cole Haan was also singled out for praise in this area and for reducing mobile checkout from around 15 clicks to one thumbprint by using ApplePay.
Plenty of other brands are getting it right too. Digitally ‘gifted’ brands in L2’s list include Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Michael Kors, Bottega Veneta, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo, Diane von Furstenberg and Dolce & Gabbana. Valentino also came into the gifted category, which is great given that it was so slow getting online in the first place. In fact the New York Times said that since arriving on Instagram, the brand has posted more than almost any other. Go Valentino!
But L2 is pretty scathing about some other luxury labels. Chanel, Paul Smith, Balenciaga, Prada, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang and Dior may be fashion influencers to you and I, but L2 said they’re digitally ‘average’. It also said Chloé and Pucci are ‘feeble’. And Céline, Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Kenzo, Miu Miu, Sergio Rossi and Vivienne Westwood are ‘challenged’. Ouch!
What’s the problem?
Some brands are doing lots of things wrong, it seems. That can include not bothering to find out any extra information about their customers online, apart from their gender and birthday. While face-to-face they’re falling over themselves to find out as much as they can about them in order to improve their in-store shopping experience, online, they just don’t seem to care. Bizarre.
And many aren’t global enough online, even though they are offline. They appear to think their brands are strong enough not to have to speak to potential customers globally in their own languages. Big mistake says L2.
Any more faux pas? Yes plenty. One of the most interesting is that they don’t get that search is key and a social media ad video strategy isn’t enough to make them visible. Paid search is being neglected, which is a major obstacle to growth in an increasingly crowded e-commerce space, L2 said.
There’s more, a whole lot more but I doubt many people would read that far if I reported it all. It does seem strange that such a report full of criticisms could come out as late as 2015. We live in a world in which online just shouldn’t be ignored by so many companies that are so far ahead of the pack in so many other areas.
Can’t wait for next year’s list to see whether the “must try harder” message has got through.
This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday
We might be in the final throes of the spring/summer 2016 fashion week season, but all the while our consumers (remember those) are starting to dress for autumn. Accordingly, a number of new films have been released that tick the box for both creativity and relevancy. They even feature looks you can buy now…
Here’s our pick of the best for autumn/winter 2015/16:
It might be 15-minutes long, but Belstaff’s Outlaws is one of the most engaging film on this list. David Beckham takes on the role of “The Stranger”, a mysterious drifter (he doesn’t actually have any lines) and motorcycle stuntman haunted by memories of a trapeze artist played by Katherine Waterston, and hunted by a maniacal director-cum-circus-master seeking revenge, played by Harvey Keitel. Tarot cards, late night diners and biker gangs also feature, Cathy Moriarty stars too, and if that wasn’t enough, Liv Tyler is executive producer.
Narrative is often central to Miu Miu films and this season is no different, albeit it in a more conceptual fashion leaving you trying to figure it out. Subjective Reality, as the Steven Meisel piece is called, sees upcoming actresses Maddison Brown, Hailey Gates, Mia Goth and Stacy Martin play the role of casual passersby being admired through a number of lenses. In a voyeuristic fashion, the women clearly know they’re being watched, as they go about their business in a gritty New York setting – buying bagels from the street cart, waiting at the bus stop, sometimes being upstaged by others in the street, and more.
Judy Blume’s Famous Five is the inspiration behind Hunter Original’s short film called A Hunter Highland Fling, which sees a group of young pioneers venturing through the Scottish Highlands. Visual artist Thomas Traum worked on the piece, which results in all sorts of digital graphics appearing throughout, which when paired with the tinny music, makes for what feels like you’re witnessing a virtual reality gaming experience.
Calvin Klein Jeans
Calvin Klein Jeans made headlines with its “sexting” -themed campaign this season. Based on the idea of today’s online dating nature, this is the brand once again combining the idea of being raunchy with what’s incredibly relevant in pop culture today, especially with the digital generation. Its provocative film shot by Mario Sorrenti, follows the same theme with groups of men and women, men and men, women and women, sharing the fact they’re getting together, and getting it on, via text messages.
Passion is at play over at River Island too, where models Hollie-May Saker and Simon Nessman feature in a film dedicated to them trying to pose a kiss for the camera, when the director keeps shouting “cut”. Several attempts later they’re clearly bored of such guidance and take matters into their own hands.
Kate Spade is back with the third in its #missadventure series starring actress Anna Kendrick. This time set in a Russian Tea Room, it’s all about the company she keeps, from her dog to her handbag, and a special guest appearance from American journalist and activist Gloria Steinem. The piece is, once again, also completely shoppable.
There’s something a little more playful than expected in Givenchy’s film this season too. The Riccardo Tisci-led brand focuses on the frivolity of riding a bike, skipping, and playing a pinball machine, all the while set against the backdrop of an opulent stately home. Even bouncing a basketball on the dining room table underneath an elaborate chandelier isn’t a step too far for directors Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.
David Beckham also appears in this list for H&M. The former footballer is on set in the retailer’s new Modern Essentials collection, when his agent shares the fact US comedian Kevin Hart is coming along to shadow him in advance of playing his character in “I Beckham, The Movie”. A very amusing tale follows of Beckham’s every move being watched and recorded. “There’s method acting, and then there’s what I plan on doing,” says Hart in their first encounter.
Valentino’s seasonal menswear expression doesn’t lead with a narrative like many of the other films this season, but it does suggest that you’re missing one. Almost like the hint for a bigger tale still to come, it shows models in the busy Columbia Road Flower Market surrounded by the sounds of people all around them, the stall owners yelling out special deals and the constant backdrop of church bells. Flowers in arm, it’s otherwise a simple showcase of the collection.
And some others we’d recommend:
Rag & Bone dropping a concrete block on a car behind actress Gabriella Wilde; Burberry’s 70s vignettes of London; Behati Prinsloo on the American football field for Tommy Hilfiger; real-life shoplifters at Harvey Nichols as a promotion for its new rewards app; Marc Jacobs’ famous faces talking about what inspires them every day; and models over at Alexander Wang confessing to big secrets about themselves.
Something is happening with social media content. Where once highly pristine images made all the more perfect with an Instagram filter were a sure-fire strategic win, what’s beginning to take over with younger generations and the early adopter set is a much more candid approach to documenting a moment in time.
From Snapchat to Periscope (and all the other live streaming apps in between), there’s much more of a raw aesthetic filling our content feeds. It’s unedited, unscripted, totally of the moment, and more authentic as a result. As Lucie Greene, worldwide director at J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, explains, it’s part of a consumer shift in terms of what is deemed acceptable with visual language.
“We’re seeing intimate, real, and even amateur style photography becoming aspirational. And consumers, meanwhile, becoming active creators of content. They’re even starting to see themselves increasingly as their own brand. What’s interesting is that traditional entertainers and fashion brands are embracing this — they’re moving from slick, glossy, synthesised content to more ‘real’ looking imagery,” she says.
Inevitably it’s a big shift for the majority of brands however. In the fashion industry particularly, this more organic form of content is at odds with the increasingly strict controls in place around social media output. For many brands, content is created months in advance. For the giants in the space able to be more flexible, there are large teams and significant creative budgets in order to produce such flawless assets.
Those doing a really nice job of it however (on Snapchat check out Burberry, Valentino and Everlane), are still remaining ‘on brand’ with their output, just with a slightly more lighthearted view. If you’re a subscriber, check out the full report on WGSN to read all about what they’re doing to achieve it, and how true interaction will be the next leap forward in this space.