Apparently... yes. And I'm not talking just about online retail, that would be far too easy. I’m talking about breaking grounds, experiencing and succeeding when doing your homework right. Like Ralph Lauren just did. Have you had the chance to watch the impressive presentation they just did in New York and London? Well, if you haven’t, I’ll just post the video here so you can see what I’m talking about:
You can watch the making of here.
As I said, pretty impressive, uh?
I read at BOF, in the interview they did to David Lauren (son of the designer) that their goal as a brand is to tell stories and create a whole Ralph Lauren environment to go with. The shops, the clothes, the image… everything is contemplated to reach that objective. Now is the turn for technology and internet too. David said in the same interview, that via the online possibilities, they are more able to communicate those stories they’re trying to tell, and they have a better communication with the public, enabling it to step into the experience in a very much complex way. What they tried to do with this wonderful and innovative act was to go one more step ahead in knowing the next trends and getting ahead of them. Magazine spreads and Tv ads are fine, but fashion, as a way of art, needs also to push further and experiment. I dare say this time the experiment was a wonderful success.
And this is precisely what I’m talking about: doing your homework leads to victory. It hasn’t have to be innovating just for the sake of it. Bimba y Lola, for example, tried to launch their online store sooner than expected because of the pressure that Zara’s online store represented and, guess what happened? They’re still closed. Instead of waiting and analyzing how it went for them, they decided to push innovation further than they could, resulting in a tremendous failure and a loss of confidence in the brand from the public.
Bimba y Lola store has been "Coming soon" for months now
Other successful examples of fashion and technology mergers are the online catwalks too. It allows us, fashionistas all over the world, to be part of the wonderful events a catwalk show is in real time, not having to wait for the online summaries or (worse) the news summaries, in which many details and the whole ambiance is lost. Would I rather be there? No doubt. But this way, you feel a teeny tiny bit closer to the shows, especially if the brand has (again) done their homework and they are able to present an online show in high quality, even if you have small problems such as the real time streaming.
As I said, online shops and pages are also key for brands in order to keep upbeat in this techs world. But as always, it’s also very important not to lose the identity of the brand in the process. You need to be able to build up a site that is the continuation of the brand, that it is married with its image, its significance, its story. You always have to have in mind that it is an entrance door to the world of the brand, and therefore, you need to take care of it as it was another of your shops, or the designers’ studio itself. Take Louis Vuitton’s new online store, for instance. It’s easy, elegant, and plain gorgeous. It also offers the possibility to personalize your own bag, something I’m not sure you can do in the stores… you can see there has been hard work behind it.
So, is it possible a merger between Technology and fashion? Most definitely… but if it’s elegantly done, and with the precise amount of time and hard work behind it.