Virtual reality is not the fault of Millennials, but it could be a by-product: according to the latest census stats, there are about 80 million who came of age with the new century, and are the first in all human generations to be wired — linked by iPhones, laptops, and iPads, and to Snapchat, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, with immediate informational and personal access to just about everything.
Part of this ubiquitous connectedness is the intrigue of Virtual Reality, a major player in the millennial multi-sensory experience, and emerging now in the world of luxury fashion. Many luxury brands have used virtual reality to sell products – Tissot, Topshop, Ralph Lauren, Rebecca Minkoff, 7 For All Mankind, and all with great success.
This technology requires object recognition and computerization on the PCs, Macs or mobile devices as well as 3D renderings, as it superimposes images on the real world. What this process does is allow greater interactivity in the selling/buying process, creating emotional connections between consumer curiosity, engendering wants, then needs.
Tommy Hilfiger, for example, launched a Samsung Gear based experience that enabled visitors to their New York store to experience their Autumn Runway presentation as if they were sitting in the front row at Manhattan’s Park Avenue store. These experiences add to the theatricality and drama of the retail experience, and give customers a reason to visit more often and stay longer. Hilfiger was the first to install VR as a fixture in his NY store.
This year, Dior, the historic French haute-couture luxury brand, founded in 1946 by Christian Dior has also created a new VR experience called Dior Eyes, that has become very popular. The fact that Dior, one of the great high end brands did this signals the strong possibility that Chanel, Gucci, and Hermes, may not be far behind.
Dior Eyes offers an immersive experience, and for the launch, it created backstage access to its latest ready to wear runway show.
The VR headset designed entirely by Dior’s own workshops. The headset is equipped with high-definition image resolution and integrated Holophonic audio, creating a 3D immersion into the backstage world, that includes the sensation of 360° vision, letting visitors move about in the virtual Dior universe.
Dior Eyes was introduced in June this year at selected Dior stores, and was among the first high end luxury brands to show the strength of the lucrative possibility between high tech and high fashion. More to come.
Watch this space.