Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:
- Target website issues continue; “plagued by glitches” [AdAge]
- Profiling From Me To You’s Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg: how a blogging duo is changing fashion photography with animated cinemagraphs [Mashable]
- New Look launches first iPhone app, designed for use in-store [New Media Age]
- Polyvore creates monthly magazine [AdWeek]
- Publishers say tablet business is picking up; $10m for Condé Nast and Hearst not far off [WWD]
French Connection has become one of the first brands to experiment with Google’s visual search technology, Google Goggles, in a bid to provide shoppers with quick and easy access to video content from its UK store windows.
Users need only take a photograph of the high-street retailer’s posters with the app to access a host of videos created by the brand, including the autumn/winter 2011/12 campaign (as below), alongside additional exclusives.
The application is integrated with Google search on Android devices and the iPhone. It scans images and then matches them against a library of virtual images, pulling in all relevant search information.
“We are lucky as a brand as we make a lot of content, but sometimes we can’t afford to get it all out there. By snapping a window with your Android or iPhone you can be delivered content that is not only relevant and engaging but is actually quite cool as well,” said William Woodhams, director of marketing and PR at French Connection.
The scheme was launched on September 19, initially as a trial in the retailer’s Westfield Stratford City and Westfield London destinations.
There’s a great piece today from Elizabeth Holmes on The Wall Street Journal about iPhone app Instagram and its adoption by the fashion set. Check it out, here: Style as Seen Through Rose-Colored iPhone App
The UK’s GQ magazine has launched a new iPhone app in partnership with designer e-commerce site Mr Porter, the men’s arm of Natalie Massanet’s Net-a-Porter.
The GQ Style Guide labels itself the essential men’s fashion manual, offering advice on “what to wear, how to wear it, and where to buy it”.
Daily updates cover everything from the best suits, shirts and shoes, to the latest trends from the catwalk shows.
There’s also an “Ask the Style Shrink” section, dedicated to answering fashion questions, and a “How to Dress” reference for specific events.
Roger Vivier has amped up its digital activity with the relaunch of its website, new iPhone app and soon to follow e-boutique.
The Parisian shoe and accessory brand’s restyled site comes accompanied with the motto, “chic in just one click”. It sees an animated silhouette leading the viewer from one section of the page to the next, with such content available as regular news from the brand and updates on new bag and shoe models.
The iPhone app maintains a similar playful style, condensing the website’s essentials into the mobile space. New collections are available as videos, while the inbuilt GPS locates nearest boutiques.
“Ines’ little diary”, meanwhile, is a guide to the most exclusive addresses in Paris, selected by brand ambassador Ines de la Fressange
There’s also a game called Miss X. Inspired by classic arcade styles, it sees a little bag navigating a maze by catching small crosses and Roger Vivier buckles without being eaten by scissors.
Both the app and the website are available in French, English and Chinese.
The new e-boutique, Vivier de Vivier, meanwhile, will launch with exclusive access to select designs from the brand since Bruno Frisoni took over its reins in 2004. It opens in September, 2011.
Chinese luxury brand Shanghai Tang has updated its bilingual City Chic application for spring/summer.
The revision features an increased number of must-sees in Beijing and Shanghai including restaurants, hotels, cultural hot spots and shops complete with exclusive offers, location information, images and taxi cards (if you’ve been to China you’ll know how essential these are).
The app, which is compatible with both the iPhone and iPad, is also among the first in China to offer a wish list function, through which users are able to not only order pieces from the spring line but request a store to hold something for them, order a home delivery, or share items with their friends.
There is also a new mini game and news on the latest collections.
The original app was launched in April 2010. Users will continue to have access to The Shanghai Tang Lounge Collection sampler where they can enjoy music from the brand’s own album.
Luxury department store Harrods has launched a GPS-assisted interactive iPhone app.
Following a sneak preview on Twitter last month, the app will be available from iTunes tomorrow.
It aims to help shoppers navigate around the store through an interactive location guide. There is also a news and events page, a history of the store and 3D visualisation.
Harrods store image director, Mark Briggs, said: “The Harrods iPhone App is an exciting new way for us to further engage with our customers. We are continuously aiming to offer our customers the optimum level of service through use of new technology. With its useful tools and services, the Harrods App is set to become a vital part of the shopping experience at the store.”
UK department store Debenhams has upped its mobile commitment with the launch of a dedicated beauty app for the iPhone.
‘Beauty Club’ offers reward card members a shopable experience alongside expert advice and tips. It follows on from the department store’s main app, which launched last autumn and has since seen over 400,000 downloads and sales in excess of £1m.
Simon Forster, online trading director for Debenhams said: “From long-lasting lipsticks to summer fragrances to face creams, our shoppers can now get their much-loved beauty products at just one finger touch. The app is about allowing to customers to shop with Debenhams whenever they want and from wherever they are.”
There is also a skincare consultation section, a fragrance finder and a “paint your nails’ page, where users can virtually try on varnish colours.
The app acts as a club card too, enabling members to collect, track and redeem points as well as be the first to hear about new products.
Through Debenhams TV, consumers can also watch the latest beauty videos with the ability to purchase straight from the films.