Fashion and technology have finally crossed paths and the results are creatively weird, fun, experimental, quirky and definitely have Millennial’s and Gen-Z’s attention!

From digital editorials altering what’s real and what’s not to weird moving forms, all adding to the augmented experiences in the spirit of wowing brand enthusiasts like never before! According to Augmented Reality Post, about 62% of consumers believe that AR could help them when they are shopping for goods.

Millennials are the largest consumers for market brands, and they have a ‘tech-savvy’ characteristic. This aligns well as many millennial consumers find it natural to shop or purchase off technological and social media platforms.

Augmented Reality makes it so much easier and convenient to shop when it creates a new hybrid experience that Zara decided to explore this concept and had installed AR into their customers shopping experience, by just one click of a button and the consumer had access to the latest clothing line as it popped up right in front of their eyes!

Augmented reality meets fashion apps

Many fashion brands are embracing Augmented Reality and taking the use of their fashion apps to the next level of experience. For many brands, AR can become easily accessible through Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARcore which allows for easy smart phone integration. Many fashion brands such as Burberry and Vogue rely on Apple’s ARKit and have started to apply the technology to their apps.

AR experience in fashion is not limited to only clothes. Cosmetic, jewellery and shoes brands have all invested positively in AR and already experimenting in new user experiences.

MAC recently installed AR with virtual try-on mirrors. The mirrors rely mainly on facial recognition and maps your face for an accurate appearance.

Here are 5 different ways technology encountered the fashion industry this year and perhaps you could get inspired and create new experiences for your consumer!

1. Clothing Free Pop-Ups

Lego and Snapchat popup with augmented reality {source: LEGO Wear & Forbes}

Lego and Snapchat popup with augmented reality {source: LEGO Wear & Forbes}

Yes, you read right, fashion pop ups but with no clothing in sight! Think you going to browse through rails of clothing? think again. Augmented reality pop up stores are one of the interesting collaborations so far this year between Snapchat and Lego Wear – Launching a first exciting collection for adults.

The popup experience was released in time for London fashion week, it was an empty space only displaying a Snapcode which visitors scanned in order to access the virtual store that included a DJ booth, arcade machine, Lego bounder and of course the virtual collection for purchase.

This unconventional gamified collaboration kept Millennials and GenZ engaged and didn’t allow for the passivity of browsing, the experience brought digital and the physical environment together for the most innovative shopping experience. Read our previous article on pop ups becoming more about experiences than hard sales as a shifting trend for 2019.

2. Personalised Shopping Experiences

Chanel augmented reality customer experience (Source: CurrentDaily)

Chanel augmented reality customer experience (Source: CurrentDaily)

The newly opened Chanel Store in the French capital of Paris, is now a destination for cutting-edge retail experiences centred around personalisation shopping thanks to the implementation of augmented reality technology.

Earlier this year, Chanel announced a partnership with Farfetch to develop online and in-store clientele tools.

As part of this vision, ‘Augmented Retail’ will leverage digital resources and data to prioritize customization and an elevated shopping experience with the luxury brand.

These efforts will also be supported by the launch of a dedicated Chanel app. Now when you shop Chanel, everything will be suggested to your preference.

3. MOSCHINO X H&M

Moschino x H&M augmented fashion show with Magic leap (Source: magic-leap.reality.news)

Moschino x H&M augmented fashion show with Magic leap (Source: magic-leap.reality.news)

In addition to H&M x Moschino collaboration, in order to see the pieces in-person from the runway in New York City, people were allowed to partake in an exciting experience powered by Magic One Leap.

Selected guests attended the fashion show modeled in an old school tv! attendees were able to touch and experience the collections set out throughout the room and had virtual experiences of the products. The show connected the real and virtual creating what we call augmented reality.

With the success of the show, H&M is looking to create more technologically advanced experiences with their brand, as Anna Tillberg Pantzar from H&M’s Laboratory announces, “This is a glimpse of the future. We’re taking the virtual world and making it come alive in a physical experience.”

4. ASOS Experiment With AR

Asos augmented models in their shopping app (source: standardUK)

Asos augmented models in their shopping app (source: standardUK)

ASOS has started to experiment with Augmented Reality, they have launched an AR catwalk feature on their app in partnership with London-based augmented reality firm, HoloMe, is available now through the Asos app!

ASOS experimental application users are able to point their smartphone camera at a flat surface, at the click of the AR button a virtual model pops up in front of them as if on a catwalk displaying the item of choice! People have described it as so realistic as a model pops up in front you when viewing products.

Janosch Amstutz, chief executive at HoloMe, said in a statement: “By allowing the consumer to bring mobile shopping into their own physical space, we can create a more intimate buying experience. We are excited to see how our technology can be used as a new way to communicate to the customer.”

Asos has also launched an action on Google Assistant, allowing customers to shop with just their voice, and has introduced an AI-driven Fit Assistant to help customers get the right size all the time!

5. Mixed-Reality Fashion Shows

London Fashion Week mixed reality 5G fashion show - London Powered by a 5G fashion show.

London Fashion Week mixed reality 5G fashion show – London Powered by a 5G fashion show.

Central Saint Martins has recently hosted its 5G cat-walk at two very popular fashion shows. New York Fashion week was fully functioned by a mixed-reality one-of-a-kind experience. Due to the tech-heavy requirements of the show, London Fashion Week was powered by Three Mobile’s 5G technology thanks to a new partnership between Central Saint Martin’s and the telecommunications provider.

Created by graduate student Gerrit Jacob, the collection combines clip-on ties and teddy shoes with skull and tiger motifs which took animated form in the space above the catwalk. Ten lucky FROW attendees were able to watch the show wearing  Magic Leap’s One headsets and get to witness designer Gerrit Jacob’s designs come to life in more ways than one.

This kind of mixed-reality experience that was created could potentially be used in shops around the globe and open the idea to experimentation of realities that ultimately bring product enhancement.

Watch the amazing augmented experience here

When fashion brands explore and incorporate the idea of augmented reality going forward it becomes easier for consumers to engage in the journey and global digital shift.

As augmented reality makes it possible for reality-bending visualizations to be created, many of the products were brought to life with dynamic animations. Brands are creating never before experiences and interactions which is incredibly exciting and we can’t wait to see what is next!

We for see that the game is set higher and fashion brands need to plan a market strategy that not only includes social media engagement but also now digital experiences.

Designers may have to start understanding technology, brands may have to start including tech savvy developers or collaborators onto their teams.

In all honesty fashion and technology were destined to eventually cross paths and the inevitable relationship is one that we are definitely looking forward to at FWME and Fashion Foresight!