Burberry and Kenneth Cole Create Emotive, Cutting-Edge Experiences Via Tipping-Point Technologies
Burberry and Kenneth Cole tap into the latest video and holographic techniques to draw in the fickle fashion flock across the globe.
Fashion is a tough business with a legion of luxe vendors vying not only for the limited market place but also limited media placement from ADD-addled editors deluged with too many PR pitches. But two savvy fashion houses, the Brit brand Burberry and the all-American design firm Kenneth Cole have experimented with 21st-century technologies to garner their sliver of attention. These houses are not using hard, cold technology merely as a gimmick, but as a way to ironically, create a more experiential, emotive, memorable communication with their customers. Kenneth Cole is using holographs to highlight its fashion collections, while heritage brand Burberry has created a literal theater-in-the-round using video, sound and even climate effects to bring home the message of its historical brand. Read on to discover how these two brands are upending the way fashion intersects with technology.
Kenneth Cole is King of Digital Models
Several high-profile designers have exploited the wow-factor of holographic images for a fashion show. Most notably, the late Alexander McQueen famously ended a show with a ghostly holographic image of model Kate Moss. But until now, no one has really tapped into the power of digital imagery beyond the ephemeral fashion show moment. Now, Kenneth Cole has created a digital look book for its Fall 2012 Collection using eight life-size video installations of male and female models wearing the new looks. The “models” are somewhat static, gazing at their shoes or twirling their hair, until a viewer walks up and then they “turn on,” becoming truly interactive models that showcase a given look in the collection. The innovation was introduced at a recent press event and Kenneth Cole plans to take these cyber models to its flagship stores, and possibly online as well. European vendors such as Nike Paris, Giorgio Armani and John Galliano have already flirted with digital models, but Kenneth Cole is the first U.S. fashion client. Cole is still exploring all the ramifications for its custom, full-motion, high-definition video installations, but needless to say the interactive world presented in Mission Impossible with talking billboards addressed specifically to the viewer may be just around the new-millennium corner.
Burberry Creates a Virtual Storm to Showcase Its Outerwear
Burberry has created a literal media circus, called Burberry World Live, to bring the brand to customers in an immersive, experiential, sensory way. A 360-degree theater-in-the-round space combines film of Burberry-clad models wandering through forests and urban environments, live musical performance of “Looking For the Golden Light” by Marina and the Diamonds and digital “weather experiences” (i.e. a fake rain storm with falling autumn leave, light golden drizzle and thunderclaps and lightning) to bring home the value of their fashion wares and their trademark trench coats, umbrellas, and wellies. The mobile theater was tested in Beijing last year and made its debut this April in Taipei at the opening of a stunning Burberry flagship there. The memorable experience was hosted by Burberry’s chief designer and creative officer Christopher Bailey and, judging from the video of the event, below, the gaping-mouth audience was definitely amused. Bailey says the intention of the multi-sensory event is to “blur the physical and digital dimensions of the brand.” Burberry will take its mobile celebration of British heritage, fashion (and British weather!) round the globe, with future stops planned for Hong Kong, London and Chicago later this year.