VERIZON MEDIA, London / VERIZON MEDIA / 2021
With high fashion rupturing at the seams thanks to Covid-19 and the pressures of sustainability accelerating, we saw an opportunity to disrupt and reinvent fashion shows by creating a radical wave of positive change through the industry and showing how VR could be a serious solution to the sustainability issues that come with fashion. There was no client or brief for this project at its inception, it was a proactive concept that came from our insight work into the industry. Of course, we needed partnerships to bring it to life - what would a fashion show be without the fashion? - but this was an easy sell to an industry looking to advance.
‘Fabric of Reality’- a pioneering virtual fashion show
We saw emerging trends in mixed reality experiences, digital fashion and an industry under pressure to change. Fashion brands and designers are increasingly looking to digital experiences and innovation to showcase their creative talents. With fashion sustainability, representation and ethical concerns growing, what if we could tap into these technological innovations, and bring the best out of creators, whilst showcasing to the world a commitment to positive change? We took this an opportunity to create a radical wave of positive change through the fashion industry, disrupting and reinventing fashion shows, showing how VR could be a serious solution to the ethical and sustainability issues that come with fashion.
This was a proactive self-promotional activation with the main objective of driving awareness amongst agency and advertiser audiences of Verizon Media’s new state-of-the-art production studio capabilities. This audience is constantly under pressure from their clients to deliver meaningful narratives through cutting-edge technologies. Their clients challenge them daily to deliver “world firsts” and to “tear up the rule book” in search of a way to cut-through industry noise. They’re under immense pressure and often rely on partners to help fill their knowledge gaps. That’s where we come in. Leveraging our own first party data and third party trends we identified a fashion industry under pressure to change and an opportunity to showcase what we can bring to the table. Our approach was to showcase our storytelling and technical expertise through a cutting-edge mixed reality experience that drove meaningful change in an industry that was in need of transformation.
Our event showcased the work of three emerging fashion designers, Damara, Charli Cohen and Sabinna, who were each paired with some of the world’s leading XR artists, creating work that allowed audiences to step inside and interact with their designs.
The experience featured an exhibition room housing the designers’ Sculptural Garments, and portals representing each project’s ‘Storyworld’ – a self-contained universe that expressed the stories behind the collections and their ambition for positive change. Each attendee had their own customisable avatar, hand controllers and headsets that allowed participants to ‘fly’, explore the space and try on one of the garments. Visitors could talk to each other and meet the artists and designers, truly making it a social experience.
For fans not able to view in VR, the event was filmed using VR headsets as cameras, creating a live-stream on Yahoo Style and HuffPost, with articles featuring the designs in AR.
Forbes labelled it a potentially ‘landmark event’, demonstrating how interactive, immersive and digital experiences are the future of live events.
The event gained 4.6M event streams and 7M video views in total with 150 VIP guests attending live in VR.
Over 80pieces of coverage in Fashion, Tech and Trade press were secured internationally, featuring in Campaign, Forbes, Vogue Business, Stuff China and Elle Brazil.
Research showed using VR positively impacts brands. 81% of consumers would be more likely to purchase from brands that use VR to engage with them and 79% of consumers thought of brands more favourably if they created VRcontent. The event also positively impacted the fashion designers, with 90% of research respondents saying it made them understand the designer better, 84% respected the designers more and 78% said knowing the background story added positive value to the garments.