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How to blend virtual and reality to transform communication in the fashion industry

In a landscape where fashion meets technology, powerhouse brands are making headlines for their groundbreaking approaches to engagement and innovation. Earlier this year, Tommy Hilfiger launched his own mobile game, setting the tone for another year of tech spectacle. 

Let’s explore how fashion giants are reshaping the narrative of style in the digital age with Gucci and Boss’ latest tech-driven endeavours.

Gucci’s metaverse mastery

Gucci’s dominance is not just about fashion; it’s about a strategic embrace of the metaverse and mixed reality. The Italian brand, under the creative direction of Sabato De Sarno, has seamlessly integrated generative AI into its Milan show, inspiring virtual depictions in platforms like Roblox and Zepeto. Gucci’s commitment to Web3 remains unwavering, solidifying its top position despite changes in leadership.

The blending of physical and digital realities has become a hallmark for Gucci. The Gucci Cosmos exhibition, initially held in London, has been digitised, exemplifying how luxury brands can infuse virtual showcases with rich brand heritage. Gucci’s NFT holders were even rewarded with exclusive physical items, demonstrating the brand’s understanding that core luxury shoppers still value tangible experiences.

gucci cosmos the sandbox
Credits : Gucci Cosmos — The Sandbox

However the majority of luxury consumers perceive digital assets as complementary rather than central to their purchasing decisions. Gucci’s success lies not just in virtual endeavours but in its ability to intertwine physical and digital elements, offering consumers a holistic experience.

Boss’s holographic extravaganza

boss hologram london
Credits : Boss - Gisèle Bundchen hologram in London

Boss, a brand known for its bold marketing strategies, has literally taken its campaign to new heights with a 10 metre tall holographic display of supermodel Gisele Bündchen near Tower Bridge. The holographic showcase, visible without any additional devices, signifies Boss’s commitment to making technology accessible and engaging.

This move echoes a broader trend in metaverse tech projects where brands seek to simplify the user experience. Nadia Kokni, SVP of global marketing at Hugo Boss, notes that holograms, while sophisticated in creation, offer a simple and enjoyable experience for a broad audience.

The holographic campaign, part of Boss’s #beyourownboss initiative, goes beyond the holograms. It includes CGI placements of the brand’s monogram in global settings, influencer campaigns on social media platforms, and an exploration of augmented reality to bring digital images into consumers’ personal environments.

Fashion’s future: navigating the intersection of tech and consumer engagement

As both Gucci and Boss pioneer in their respective tech-driven endeavours, the fashion industry stands at a crossroads. The rise of generative AI, the allure of holographic spectacles, and the evolving preferences of luxury consumers present challenges and opportunities.

Communication in the luxury sector undergoes constant evolution, adapting to the changing habits of its clientele who actively engage with new media. Traditionally centred around exclusivity and refinement, the industry is now turning towards digital platforms, social media, and other modern channels to reach a broader audience. Brands should navigate carefully to balance tradition and innovation, effectively conveying a sense of luxury in the digital landscape. 

They need a consistent and coherent brand image across diverse platforms, balancing global appeal versus local relevance to resonate with culturally diverse audiences, without diluting their essence. While also, safeguarding against counterfeit and protecting intellectual property online as it becomes crucial to maintain the authenticity of luxury goods. 

Gucci’s success lies in the careful balance of virtual and physical elements, showcasing that the metaverse is not a replacement but an augmentation of the luxury experience. Boss’s holographic campaign, on the other hand, underscores the potential of accessible and immersive technology, breaking down barriers between the digital and physical realms.

Fashion brands looking to thrive in this tech renaissance must heed the cues from these industry leaders. It’s not just about adopting the latest technology but about crafting experiences that resonate with consumers, whether through the nostalgia-infused virtual showcases or the larger-than-life holograms brought to London’s skyline. 

The future of fashion is tech-driven, and those who master the art of blending innovation with consumer desires will emerge as the true trendsetters in this dynamic landscape.

Source : Vogue Business (article 1 & 2)

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