Kenneth Cole + Digital Models


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Kenneth Cole + Digital Models

Mark Wilson recently wrote an article for Fast Company on Kenneth Cole’s daring move to forgo live models for digital ones. It may be a novel idea in the U.S., but throughout key cities in Europe the concept of substituting real live models for images on high definition digital screens has been out for a few years now.

One particular example are the Nike stores, in Paris. Nike has both male and female models, including international sports stars like Usain Bolt and Rafael Nadal, trying on clothing and shoes on full body-size screens, displaying Nike’s current collections.

Shoppers can also find these types of digital promotions in high-end stores like Giorgio Armani and John Galliano. It seems like the trend of digitizing the presentation of the collection has finally reached the U.S., with Kenneth Cole leading the way.

Below is a portion of Wilson’s article:

The traditional runway shows of events like Paris Fashion Week are global media spectacles. Photos and video taken during those days disseminate, not just to trade press, but to magazines and TV shows. And at the end of the day, consumers get a peek into the world of high fashion.

But the very model of the runway show is not really structured for the global audience. It takes place in a single room–even if it is a big room–and no print or video medium does much justice to its intent, to capture how this clothing actually looks on someone.

So for Kenneth Cole’s Fall Collection, they did something different–what they call a digital flip book. They used eight slightly-larger-than-life video installations of interactive models wearing the new line of clothing. The model would stand there, twirling their hair or looking around impatiently. When someone walked up, the video would “turn on,” the model would respond and share one of 24 looks from the collection.

On its own, the idea is a bit of a gimmick–and just like a runway show, this occurred at a press event that was clearly catering to the press. But what is neat about this idea of interactive digital models is that it can democratize the high fashion experience.

While few labels could afford to employ runway models 24/7 in their stores, Kenneth Cole plans to bring these video installations to their flagships (and maybe even include elements online), meaning that the average shopper can get the same taste of their new line as some of the most privileged members of the press.

To read the rest of the article click HERE.

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