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Brief Published: 12 Dec 2019

Can Gucci and Snap Inc Make AR Fashionable?


Partnering with Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc, Gucci is the latest brand attempting to merge the worlds of tech and fashion, by debuting a pair of exclusive AR camera glasses at Art Basel in Miami Beach.

Designed by film director Harmony Korine, Spectacles x Gucci are a special edition of US social media company Snap Inc’s camera-equipped augmented reality (AR) wearables, which can record both photo and video content with a 3D effect, using a dual-camera system. Korine shot a short film titled Duck Duck using the wearable tech, which incorporated some of the glasses’ exclusive stickers and filters.

Launched in 2016, Snap Inc’s original smart glasses were designed to incorporate social media, image sharing and instant messaging in a wearable AR tech product. This new partnership with Gucci is the first fashion collaboration for the brand, as they attempt to increase lacking sales of Spectacles by making the tech eyewear more desirable. It is not Gucci’s first dance with AR however, having launched its own in-app tool in summer 2019.

Fashion overall has been slow to successfully integrate tech, struggling to resonate with consumers who have a shared interest in both. However, with Gucci’s Genies collaboration, which allowed users to clothe an online avatar in digital versions of runway pieces, the brand succeeded in reaching tech-savvy consumers, who may not have the means to afford their products in real life. 

It remains to be seen if the Spectacles team-up can achieve the same. The physical glasses are currently available only in very limited drops, but interested customers can access a virtual version, as well as special filters via the Snapchat app.

For more on fashion’s foray into tech, see Fashion’s Digital Future. To learn more about wearable tech, see Biometric Brandscapes, Enter the Mirrorworld and Wearable Tech Show 2019.

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