Monday, February 16, 2015

Fashion Week Meets Virtual Reality

New York Fashion Week which started last week Thursday will be held through February 19th with over 200 designers participating.  Labels such as Alexander Wang, Diane Von Furstenberg, Rebecca Minkoff, Tory Burch and Zac Posen previewed their Autumn/Winter 2015 collection.  For the first time ever, Fashion Week meets virtual reality on the runway.  

TOPSHOP collaborated with Inition, a 3D agency to create a live streaming runway show experience which began today at 3pm and runs through February 18th.  Using the Oculus Rift, Topshop fans were able to experience what it’s like to be on the front row of the show at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall through live streamed HD footage, 360-degree photography, tweets and animation.  The technology allowed fans on Oxford Street to immerse in the experience with a great sense of presence.

Four women who won the TOPSHOP competition were the first “guests” at the virtual show.  They placed the headset/googles on and the screens went into full effect displaying what was being streamed into the googles.

TOPSHOP competition winners

The live show was filmed by two HD cameras with a total of over three dozen lenses.  Those wearing the headset were able to see the live catwalk, as well as the celebrities they were sitting “next to”.  Turn around and they were able to see a second virtual screen that allowed them to view into the backstage where models were getting ready.

TOPSHOP has taken other initiatives in the past to incorporate technology and digital into fashion but this is the most immersed one yet.  With a focus on the customer and their experience, TOPSHOP managed to excite and entice the digital savvy customer within a retail environment.  This will only help them increase their already high level of brand recognition.  For fashionistas who are used to and expecting tangible products at TOPSHOP shops, there were a few selected pieces from the show that were available to be bought immediately.  The experience of instant gratification, the “I want now” customer was still satisfied.

In less than three months, you too will be able to access a virtual runway show.  From the comfort of your own home, you can watch Rebecca Minkoff’s Fall 2015 collection .  Her team used special cameras to film the show.  Once it has been put together, it will allow viewers a 360-dgree view of the event.  Fans will be able to experience the show from the photographer pit and runway, watching models on the catwalk, celebrities and flashing cameras.  It will be available on Oculus Rift, and for those of you who don’t own a pair and don’t want to dish out $200, you can also opt for Google’s $10 VR headset Cardboard.


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