A/W 22 Catwalks, Best Brand Engagement: AR, Holograms & NFTs
The A/W 22 fashion weeks continued to provide a platform for brands to spotlight and trial digital innovation engagement tactics. From Bottega Veneta’s augmented reality app, to Roksanda’s tiered, shoppable non-fungible tokens and Maisie Wilen’s eerie shoppable hologram, we profile the most noteworthy initiatives.
Roksanda x IoDF: Shoppable, Tiered NFT Democratises Crypto Access
Seeking to democratise (and somewhat demystify) non-fungible tokens (NFTs), London-based designer Roksanda partnered with British creative collective the Institute of Digital Fashion (IoDF) on shoppable NFTs of her show’s demi-couture final look. This could be virtually tried on using an Instagram filter accessed via both Roksanda and the IoDF’s feeds.
The NFTs were sold in pounds sterling (GBP) on Roksanda’s website, rather than in a considerably more intimidating (to most) cryptocurrency. They were also priced in a three-tiered system: £25 ($33) for one of 500 3D-animated garment renders; £250 ($330) for one of 250 renders; and £5,000 ($6,564) for one of 10 animated renders. In addition, these came with the software files used to create the digital version of the dress, enabling the NFT owner to make their own replica for use across the metaverse. Physical Roksanda pieces sell for between £450 ($590) and £4,000 ($5,251).
The move to selling NFTs in standard currency, and the low entry price, evolves previous projects that have spearheaded a more accessible approach to selling luxury fashion NFTs. This is exemplified by British department store Selfridges’ decision to sell NFTs in an in-store kiosk, purchasable with a credit card – see The Brief.
Maisie Wilen x Yahoo Ryot Lab: Blended Reality Show & Shoppable Holograms
American label Maisie Wilen’s browser-based augmented reality (WebAR) collaboration with Yahoo’s immersive division Yahoo Ryot Lab projected 7ft-tall holograms of the show’s models within the hangar-like space. Yahoo used 106 volumetric capture cameras to create the holograms, adding surreal touches such as blue-tinged skin and pointed ears.
Beyond the show, fans could visit a Yahoo-hosted site to browse a ‘see now, buy now’ gif-populated lookbook, featuring 28 shoppable pieces, which redirected to Wilen’s e-commerce page to buy. Users could also scan a QR code to place the hologram within their own space, scaled to fit and casting shadows as they moved.
For more on Yahoo’s holographic fashion week work last season, where an augmented reality (AR) clone of British designer Christian Cowan invited consumers to his virtual show, see The Brief. For more on using AR to view products in context, read Retail: AR Added Value.
Off-White x TikTok: Multi-Perspective Show Views
Marking its TikTok debut, American-Milanese streetwear label Off-White – founded by the late iconic designer Virgil Abloh – harnessed TikTok’s new multi-camera feature, allowing users to toggle between perspectives. Users tuning in to watch the live-streamed show were able to switch between different perspectives, moving from the front row to backstage and even the DJ booth, although the experience was not shoppable.
The project evolved Burberry’s S/S 21 show, which used gaming platform Twitch to host multiple perspectives – see The Brief.
Bottega Veneta: Launch App Combines AR & Livestreaming
Continuing its non-traditional marketing play, which so far has included sidestepping social media altogether, Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta launched its first app, combining a livestream of its Milan Fashion Week show with AR capabilities. Users could hold their smartphones against any green surface (playing on the label’s trademark green shade) to play cryptic content (such as a grey Bottega Veneta logo and a naked male torso), reflecting the artistic vision of new creative director Matthieu Blazy.
Samsung x Charles Jeffrey: Tech Campaign Trades on Night Life & Fashion Clichés
Korean tech giant Samsung, a London Fashion Week sponsor, partnered with Scottish designer Charles Jeffrey (founder and creative director of London-based label and club night Loverboy) for a series of six short humorous films, produced by British ad agency Mother. Promoting the new Samsung Galaxy S22 phone’s features including Night Mode, they riff on fashion clichés such as vanity and highly impractical outfits, as well as Jeffrey’s trademark punk-inspired club kid aesthetic (particularly appropriate for night-vision cameras).