Store No. 8 is putting its money on virtual reality.The Wal-Mart Stores Inc.-supported Store No. 8 and Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global on Wednesday revealed the launch of a competition for the VR community, Innov8: V-Commerce, to uncover applications for immersive retail experiences. Accenture is a strategic innovation adviser to the competition, which has the lofty goal of finding "ideas with the potential to change the way people shop and live."
An innovation center for transforming the shopping experience, Store No. 8 is taking a longer-term view — three-and-a-half years out — when VR technology is expected to have evolved from today's clunky headsets to more consumer-friendly wireless devices.
"There will be really key enhancements in three-plus years," said Katie Finnegan, principal of Store No. 8. "The resolution on the screen isn't there yet. You kind of know it's not real. We believe you’re almost not going to be able to tell the difference. It'll be like you're standing in Yosemite."The competition will culminate on Oct. 18 with an invitation-only exhibition in Los Angeles highlighting the top submissions, which will be chosen for their storytelling and ability to increase the sense of engagement and connection between consumers and their favored products.Winners will get capital to fund development costs and strategic advice during the incubation of their concepts as well as the opportunity to work with Wal-Mart, Jet.com, Thrive Global and other retail partners.Store No. 8 believes that VR can make shopping "more mindful, more human, less stressful and more enjoyable," which Finnegan acknowledged is not the case now, with 20 percent of people getting "that seasick sort of feeling with VR."Finnegan admitted that VR also has to overcome an image problem. "What we've seen in the market is that all the focus in on gaming," she said. "How do we get these amazingly passionate [VR developers] to think about commerce and customer experience. We have to change the perception of what VR can do."Potential applications can be as straightforward as browsing the aisle of a store from home or "virtually" trying on apparel before going to a store to buy it. "We think there’s applications for a wide spectrum of categories," Finnegan said. "There's a lot of apparel applications, especially where fit isn't important. When you get to nuances of fit, the technology is further out. With denim, I'm going to want to feel the wash and how it hugs my hips."Finnegan said Store No. 8 is looking for ways to inspire consumers with VR. "For a customer preparing for a fishing trip, over half the fun and excitement comes from planning the trip," she said, including "choosing the lake, type of fish and length of the pole. VR is an enhanced experience of what you do now in store and online. It puts you in the context. It can happen in the fishing section of a store or your home. We think there’s something magical, having an emotional connection with the consumer."Huffington, whose Global Thrive is dedicated to ending "the epidemic of stress and burnout," said her interest in VR is in making "everyday experiences, like shopping, easier and less stressful. Innov8 will focus the industry’s brightest minds and talent toward the development of virtual experiences that change the way we live for the better."Innov8's board includes Marc Lore, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart U.S. e-commerce and founder and ceo of Jet.com; Kirsten Green, general partner of Forerunner Ventures; Tipatat Chennavasin, general partner of the Virtual Reality Fund; Seth Beal, Store No. 8 principal; Marc Carrel-Billiard, senior managing director of Accenture Labs, and Jason Welsh, managing director of Accenture Interactive.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)