Archive | October, 2011

Could Louis Vuitton’s site relaunch set a new pace for ‘digital destinations’?

31 Oct

It’s great to see luxury fashion houses finally grasping hold of the fact the web provides an ideal place for them to demonstrate the richness of their brands.

Slowly but surely, we’re moving away from tremendously uninspiring sites built on basic building blocks, to innovative platforms housing everything the company both stands for and creates. Accordingly, that once awful label of ‘digital destination’, might finally be warranted after all.

Admittedly not all of them are quite there… recently relaunched, for instance, and its yet to prove itself as impressive as its preview video implied – a little clunky in functionality, and that’s before we get into the remaining lack of e-commerce debate.

And then there’s say Marc Jacobs, which, as Tony King, creative director of King & Partners, highlighted last week at the Fashion Forward Digital conference in New York, doesn’t quite live up to the luxurious persona with its animated entrance point. (For the record he drew on the likes of Burberry, Oki-ni, Bally and Tory Burch, among others, as examples of digital best practice).

But has just announced its redesign, and if its previous efforts in the online space are anything to go by, this could be one that sets a new pace.

Said to be “an exciting, ever-changing format of exceptional richness and visual appeal”, its design is based on the concept of a journey, tying in, of course, with the brand’s longstanding initiative, The Art of Travel.


On the homepage, a moving cloud of images entices users towards five sections of content:

  • New, Now: the brand’s online magazine, which offers insights into the house, interviews with international personalities and coverage of events
  • Collections: a presentation of the entire product range, featuring new moving and 360° images. A multiple search functionality is also integrated, allowing users to refine by category, line, colour or collection
  • Stores: a detailed information feed of Louis Vuitton stores worldwide
  • My LV: a dedicated personalised space for users to access bookmarked content such as news and wish lists, and info on past purchases

It’s certainly a hefty offering. The question is, once users have entered in, will they stay long enough to actually navigate their way through it all? While the content is beautifully done (albeit surprisingly in Flash), the functionality is a little slow, and if it’s a sale they’re after, the route to buy is not all that straightforward, once again. But on what level does this matter?

With a brand like Louis Vuitton, is it more important to immerse and engage consumers in the experience with the aim of developing them into sales properties later? Or certainly at least driving them into store instead? Maybe so.

As Rich Tong, fashion director of blogging platform Tumblr recently told me in reference to Oscar de la Renta’s use of social media, it’s about awareness and brand building.

“Oscar de la Renta sells $5,000-$10,000 dresses; there is absolutely no correlation between those dresses and a 15-year-old in the Tumblr community. But Erika [Bearman, director of communications] is aiming more for establishing the Oscar brand in that little girl’s mind, so that when she grows up and does become established or successful, or becomes engaged and wants to get married, she’s thinking: ‘I want to be in an Oscar dress, I want to be an Oscar girl’,” he said.

“For Erika, it’s really about the persistence of the brand; seeding the Oscar brand in these girls’ minds really, really early on. It’s a long-term play.”

Louis Vuitton – once it’s ironed out a few creases – in that case, might just be on to a winner. It’ll be interesting to see how it develops.


Digital snippets: Steve Jobs, Lagerfeld, Saks, Macy’s, Anya Hindmarch, Club Monaco

30 Oct

It’s been a mega busy couple of weeks in the fashion and digital space, so here’s a (larger than usual) round up of some of the best stories:

  • Steve Jobs: fashion inspiration []
  • Karl Lagerfeld to launch accessible womenswear line exclusively with Net-a-Porter [Reuters]
  • Saks Fifth Avenue unveils shoe-themed Tumblr blog based on “floor so big that it has its own zip code” (as pictured), partners with The Man Repeller [Tumblr]
  • Macy’s mBlog offers insider access to fashion, beauty, home and lifestyle news and trends [WWD]
  • Anya Hindmarch launching bespoke website, allowing customers to personalise leather goods, diaries and handbags [L2 Blog]
  • Jonathan Saunders and Richard Nicoll join Twitter []
  • British Vogue and Net-a-Porter team up on dedicated autumn/winter 2011/12 microsite []
  • Italian Vogue releasing its own version of Wikipedia, Vogue Encyclo [The Cut]
  • Interview: A Shaded View on Fashion Film Grand Prize winner, Elisha Leverock-Smith [Dazed Digital]

Debenhams launches virtual store concept with Goldrun

27 Oct

Department store Debenhams has partnered with augmented reality app Goldrun to place 10 virtual party dresses in various locations around the UK for shoppers to discover.

Launched yesterday, the initiative sees the digital garments “hidden” at specific landmarks in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow.  Using the Goldrun app on the iPhone or iPad2, consumers are able to scan the area for the items and then opt to see an image of themselves trying each one on.

The app also allows shoppers to upload their picture to Facebook and Twitter to get feedback from friends, order the item they want and then have it delivered to an address of their choice.’s director, Simon Forster,  said: “This really is the future of shopping. It brings the hassle-free element of online, with the experience of shopping in store combined with the fantastic backdrops of iconic UK locations. It is incredible what the developments in technology mean we can now do – including trying on a dress without even having to remove an item of clothing!”

Check out the video explaining more, below:


The virtual “stores” will be at the following locations until Saturday, October 29:

London – Trafalgar Square
Glasgow – George Square
Birmingham – Centenary Square
Manchester –Albert Square
Cardiff – Cardiff Castle

Forever 21’s holographic catwalk continues global tour

26 Oct


Forever 21 has brought its hologram fashion show to the US following a tour through various cities in Europe.

The seven-minute digital event hit Los Angeles last week and New York (as the above video shows) yesterday. It features a series of holographic models walking on a “cosmic runway”, climbing invisible staircases that light up underfoot, and disappearing in a burst of stars.

“Our customers are very digitally savvy,” says Linda Chang, senior marketing manager for the retailer. “We love that, because it challenges us to meet them head on with a fashion experience that’s innovative, fun and progressive.”

The show will now travel to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.

Forever 21 previously made waves in digital, with its interactive billboard in Times Square.

Alberta Ferretti launches on Weibo in China

26 Oct

Alberta Ferretti has launched on popular Chinese micro blogging platform, Weibo, and in so doing joined other luxury fashion brands including Burberry, Chanel and Louis Vuitton who have realised the importance of local social media in China.

Referred to as a hyrbid between Twitter and Facebook, Weibo has in excess of 200m subscribers. Fans are able to follow the world of Alberta Ferretti and Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti with real time updates in Chinese. See the brand’s page here:

WGSN today published an incredibly detailed insight into China’s digital media landscape, referring to it as “dynamic, ever-changing and home to social media platforms unfamiliar to many outside the market”. The piece rounds up 10 of the most important ones to know. If you’re a subsriber, be sure to check it out: China’s social media landscape

Alberta Ferretti also launched its YouTube channel today:

Behind-the-scenes on the new Versace for H&M TV spot

25 Oct


Check out the behind-the-scenes video for the forthcoming Versace for H&M TV campaign. In it, Donald Schneider, creative director for H&M, and Donatella Versace herself are both interviewed.

Meanwhile, models Lindsey Wixson and Daphne Groeneveld can be seen flying backwards down a flight of stairs, walking on an oversized hamster wheel, and climbing inside an enormous birdcage.

[The Cut]

Uniqlo demos ‘Innovation Project’ product functionality with interactive user site

25 Oct

Uniqlo has launched another great interactive experience, this time enabling users to explore the retailer’s new line of functional apparel via video and motion graphics.

Developed by Tha Ltd Japan, the “Innovation Project”, as it’s called, is an example of online product demonstration at its best.

On entering the sub-site, users are first provided with an explanation of the collection concept – “clothing with revolutionary functions and universal designs” – as well as an in-depth write-up on all of the functional properties alongside their corresponding symbol .

Each piece in the collection is then illustrated with a model on a virtual catwalk. As she or he walks, symbols, icons and explanations appear alongside to indicate the fabric and properties of the garment.

Users are able to click through each look one at a time, or see the group together in an indexed overview. Beyond the moving catwalk, models are shown in a series of rolling animated images revealing other features of the product including fit and design details.

The line hit stores on October 14.

More pics below:

DKNY PR Girl revealed

24 Oct

Well what do you know, the infamous DKNY PR Girl has revealed herself: Aliza Licht, aka Donna Karan’s SVP of global communications.

DKNY PR Girl: Aliza Licht

A self-confessed Twitter and Tumblr-addict, Licht has built herself up to be one of the preeminent fashion stars in the digital space. It’ll be interesting to see how and if things change now the anonymous veil has been lifted.

Her “coming out” video below sees her talking about social media skills being a job requirement and demonstrates life dealing with the brand’s three shows during fashion week:

Target’s light show scoops WGSN Global Fashion Award

22 Oct

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks having dedicated the majority of my time to working on this:

So lots of posts to follow…

But in the meantime, while it’s not new, I thought I’d once again highlight Target’s Kaleidoscopic Fashion Spectacular from 2010, as it just won in the aforementioned awards’ Most Innovative Marketing Campaign category.  

Check it out below:

Digital snippets: L2 Digital IQ,, Versace and H&M, Olivia Palermo

17 Oct

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

  • profile: can Sarah Curran (pictured) compete with Asos? [The Guardian]
  • L2 releases 2011 Fashion Digital IQ study (as below), Burberry take top spot, Kate Spade a newcomer, Hermès and Prada plummet [L2 Think Tank]
  • Olivia Palermo launches own fashion blog, employs five staff and at least 11 contributors [Elle]
  • Vogue among Condé Nast titles to join iPad by early 2012 [Mashable]
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