Focusing on the intersections of fashion, technology, retail and marketing, key topics at Decoded Fashion’s New York 2016 summit included capitalising on augmented reality, commandeering the IoT and using content to cultivate spending.
New (Augmented) Realities
- AR Elevates Bricks & Mortar: “People love digital at the counter,” said JuE Wong, president of Elizabeth Arden. The US cosmetics brand is partnering with augmented reality (AR) app YouCam Makeup from Perfect Corp to deploy the app’s recently added Consultation Mode via in-store tablets. It allows sales associates to quickly demonstrate designated products, with facial recognition tech overlaying make-up virtually on the user’s face.
- Virtual Fit & Allure of User-Generated Content: For New York Fashion Week S/S 17, US brand Rebecca Minkoff worked with Israeli AR start-up Zeekit to show fans how they’d look in key items – both on-site at the show and online (via the brand’s site or the Zeekit app). Co-founder and chief executive Uri Minkoff noted that the initiative also tapped user-generated content since all images were shareable, enabling fans to see similarly sized bloggers in the garments. Minkoff said the brand will revive the initiative “on steroids,” for the A/W 17/18 shows.
- From Third Party Inspiration to Purchase: Elodie Levy, global director of digital innovation for US beauty company Coty, said the Get the Look concept for Coty’s brand Rimmel was a response to consumers predominantly drawing inspiration from influencers, social networks and online tutorials. The app uses AR and facial recognition to virtually apply looks seen on other people or in images onto users’ own faces (see Rimmel Copycat Cosmetics AR app for more). The concept is monetised by supplying a shopping list of matching Rimmel products.
Digital Content Remains King
- Stretching Content: Mary Beech, chief marketing officer at US fashion brand Kate Spade – which devotes 70% of its media spend to digital marketing – advocated a savvy approach to multipurpose content. A recent episode in its Miss Adventure video series was designed to be easily spliced into standalone clips for the brand’s site and social media. The video’s three mini-stories, each focused on a different actress, were written with bite-sized content in mind. The ‘PR girl’, a minor character, had a breakout show on mobile video shopping network MikMak, where she discussed Kate Spade products.
- Pinterest Assist: Amy Gilmer, creative strategy executive at Pinterest, discussed how the company is updating its brand-to-consumer connections (150 million globally) via newly launched Pin Collective. It improves brands’ content by matching them with exemplary creators like publishers, social media agencies and influencers, similarly to YouTube. It’s also launched Promoted Video (UK/US), placing shoppable pins under brands’ ads.
- Enabling & Evolving Image Search: Evolving visual search is “the path we are going down”, said Gilmer. A year ago Pinterest began enabling users to home in on one product in an image to see Pins with similar content. More recently it previewed image-recognition technology that provides search results in response to photos that users snap within its app. Pinterest receives 130 million visual searches monthly, from two billion total searches.
Branching Into the Internet of Things (IoT)
The advent of the IoT, where products, devices, systems and even spaces will converge, was another hot topic.
- Content-Packed Products: Andy Hobsbawm, co-founder of British IoT agency Evrythng described how smart tech can layer content into apparel, giving it “digital superpowers”.
In tandem with US packaging manufacturer Avery Dennison, the company is creating “web-ready” apparel and footwear – most recently, ‘smart jackets’ designed by NY fashion label Rochambeau. A smart tag within the sleeve connects with the wearer’s smartphone to unlock experiences and privileges in real-time, such as access to restaurants, galleries and clubs.
“Brands can start choreographing what services they want to deliver through the product as a digital interface, creating a completely new connection to the consumer,” said Hobsbawm.
Image Source: Rochambeau x Evrythng