An essential round-up of the latest digital launches by luxury brands, including Net-a-Porter TV, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Vogue and Thakoon.
It's clear interactive technology is fast becoming a part of luxury's future, so much so that interactive billboards are being installed in the US that recognise and target passers-by with custom ads. Even the Internet is becoming increasingly customised and interactive, as modern publishers and brands look at ways to innovate print and existing digital media and combine all of our favourite digital and social tools in one place.
Imagine Fashion, Interactive Film
Self described as an interactive digital luxury destination, Imagine Fashion is a constantly evolving space in which to view, share and buy items within a monthly video-editorial.
Instead of presenting traditional fashion spreads, Imagine will commission leading creative's and fashion personalities, to direct and star in short films, that are then shoppable from a range of sources and sharable on a number of digital platforms, engineered for specifically for the digital and mobile environment.
The site's technology enables shoppers to instantly purchase anything they can see or hear as well to share and/or save items in a personalized, multi‐functional favourites archive to view at a later date. Luxury Society have partnered with Imagine Fashion to bring you the full interactivity of the premiere video, A Letter, directed by Italian photographer Francesco Carrozzini, starring Elisa Sednaoui, Poppy Delevigne, Paz de la Huerta and Zoe Le Ber, within this post.
To view the comprehensive interactivity of the site, ensure your cursor is located within the video frame as it plays and you will be presented with opportunities to view product details, shop or share items you like on various social media platforms.
Ralph Lauren, iPad
Designed by Ralph Lauren as a 'convergence of technology, fashion and art,' the RLX application showcases highlights from the Spring 2011 collection with cutting-edge multi-touch functionality, a built-in accelerometer and assisted GPS technology.
The app demonstrates how the Ralph Lauren collection for men and women looks on real athletes and uses the iPad's built-in accelerometer, digital compass, assisted GPS and multi-touch screen capabilities to let users interact with the athletes' images. Users can shift the iPad's centre of gravity to glide through a virtual showroom, exhale to set fabric in motion, swipe a fingertip to render vivid colour or gently tap to capture forms in midair.
BMW, Digital Documentaries
"Wherever You Want To Go" is the first release under BMW Documentaries, a new media franchise dedicated to crafting original, thought-provoking and entertaining content. The initial series of short films enlists influential scientists, academics, pioneers, and entrepreneurs to discuss technology, culture, cities, the past, present and how it all relates to the future of mobility.
Films are hosted on microsite Activate the Future, in an attempt to generate discussion, provoke thought and stir the imagination. As part of the website, viewers are also encouraged to click and comment on various points throughout the documentary.
Clinique, In-store iPad
Developed exclusively for the retail floor, the iPad Skin Diagnostic Tool seeks to offer boutique customers' comprehensive advice and information regarding Clinique products. By answering questions about individual skin conditions, the iPad tool is designed to produce a personal analysis for consumers, providing 180,000 possible product recommendations. Clinique is planning to roll out the iPad devices to 1,300 doors globally by the end of the year, starting in North America.
Mr Porter, e-Commerce
Mr Porter, the designer menswear site from Net-a-porter Group, recently debuted to the public, offering over 60 brands including Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Paul Smith and Gucci. One decade after the launch of Net-a-Porter by former fashion editor and journalist Natalie Massenet, the company has since been bought in entirety by Richemont. Its target audience is affluent, style-conscious men, and as per the womenswear offering, goods from the site can be express delivered to over 170 countries with same day delivery available in London and New York.
Chanel recently entered the world of m-commerce, offering a commerce-enabled, Smartphone-optimised site for the Chanel parent brand, and mobile shopabiilty for its perfumes and cosmetics. They also launched Chanel Confidential, a digital style magazine that goes behind the scenes of Chanel Beauty, the often sell-out seasonal products and picks the brains of the make-up artistry team. One could speculate that it will provide editorial support to the cosmetics side of the business, as Chanel News does for the house's fashion and accessories.
Vogue US, iPad
Vogue America joined the digital publishing realm with the release of its first ever iPad application: Vogue Cover Exclusive. The application retails for $0.99 and features the Lady Gaga cover story, alternate photographs, new interviews and intimate behind-the-scenes footage of the cover shoot. Anna Wintour stated: "With the Cover Exclusive app, we have created a custom brand of journalism targeted at the Twitter generation."
Moda Operandi, e-Commerce
The brainchild of Vogue US's Lauren Santo Domingo and former head of merchandising at Gilt Groupe, Aslaug Magnusdottir, Moda Operandi has been launched as "an innovative version of the traditional trunk show." Brands such as Derek Lam, Carolina Herrera and Alexander Wang recently sold garments from recent runway shows via digital trunk show presentations hosted on the member's only site.
Santo Domingo explained: "for the first time ever, members will be able to order directly from designers, pieces from the runway collection as soon as 48 hours after the show. This will enable consumers to obtain the pieces as they were seen on the runway, as opposed to have to shop from the watered down version of the collection that's been edited by retailers in an attempt to broaden the appeal as much as possible."
Net a Porter, Digital TV
'The line between commerce and editorial continues to blur? as more and more luxury brands and retailers try their hand at advertorial. Net-A-Porter has enlisted Google TV technology to create a new video portal, Net-A-Porter TV, which includes runway shows, designer interviews and other content over four channels. In true-to-business form all television presentations are shoppable and sharable, with full product details, size, fit and sale conditions available within the presentation.
Thakoon?s revamped site has been thoroughly updated and re-imagined to include a comprehensive social media presence (Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook) and to offer web videos about his life in the studio, with the promise of e-Commerce in June 2011. Thakoon Panichgul believes that Thakoon.com will allow the brand to communicate its message to a global audience and let the customer know what the business stands for and who exactly they are. The designer remarked: "We want to allow visitors to make a personal connection with the brand.
There is so much character behind a brand that gets lost in translation when going through the traditional channels of designer to retailer to consumer. There is value in this character?it is our DNA. We want to show our customer what we find so special about our brand."