ARTEIXO, Spain —Zara is looking to press home its growing focus on its omnichannel synergies to shoppers with the planned launch of an augmented reality app geared to its Studio Collection.Dubbed Zara AR, and conceived by Self-Service cofounder and creative director Ezra Petronio, the shop-the-look app was unveiled in the chain's pilot store area at the Inditex headquarters here on Tuesday. It will be introduced in 120 Zara flagships on April 18, for a period of two weeks.After downloading the app and scanning a QR code, users point their smartphones at graphic signage markings on one of three dedicated points. Once activated, models Léa Julian and Fran Summers seemingly spring to life in seven- to 12-second sequences, parading looks from the line. They can be seen from the street, moving through an empty window, for instance, or Lilliputian size, twirling across the boxes used for online deliveries.The app features a tool for sharing the experience on social media, encouraging users to take and submit photos of the holograms.Beyond the surface retail-tainment value, the chain’s continued focus on customer-centric technology — the basis of its business model, as the pioneer of a fast-fashion concept built on a flexible, proximity-based supply chain — combined with its disciplined approach to expansion, should help solidify the Zara’s lead in a tough market, experts say.The technology could also serve as a real enabler for boosting online sales in both the fashion and home categories.“The remarkable thing about Zara is they’ve been at the top of the tree for such a long time and they’ve kept on innovating. They’re experimenting with different payment methods and self-service checkouts, eliminating paper receipts….I’m sure they’re looking at artificial intelligence, both in warehouse application and stores. They have always said, let’s be driven by what the customer wants and how the customers are going to buy more rather than maximizing the gross margin,” said George Wallace, chief executive officer of MHE Retail.“And because of their vision and concentration and investment in change — despite the fact that they were already the best — that’s what is standing out now. By using technology in a meaningful way, and concentrating on having fewer stores and bigger and better flagships, that absolutely plays to the way people are shopping.”Though the contrast with beleaguered competitor H&M “has become very stark over the past 12 months,” with companies including Gap, New Look, Arcadia also struggling to turn their businesses around, Zara still has its fair share of challengers, he cautioned, citing pure-player Asos as a leading example. The backdrop is also tricky, with consumers squeezed and young people less material minded and more attracted by experiences.Zara, which in January opened a temporary concept store in London’s Westfield focused on click-and-collect services while its flagship is being revamped, counts around 7,500 stores in 93 markets and 43 online markets.The chain, which produces around 60 percent of its garments in Spain, Portugal and Morocco, uses a centralized logistics platform to feed both the brick-and-mortar and online stores, with two fresh deliveries a week. (To get an idea of volumes, Inditex’s portfolio of brands, which includes Bershka, Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti, produced around 1.3 billion garments in 2016, and Zara, as the group’s flagship brand, represents around two-thirds of the business.)In total Zara counts 10 centralized distribution hubs in Spain that deliver to its stores, and 19 online warehouses internationally, including three in the U.S.Aiding the chain’s agility is its grip on its inventory system. Zara has been fully radio frequency identification technology-integrated since 2016 - microchips are embedded in the security tags of garments - with Inditex gradually rolling out the technology to its other brands.
@beyonce chose a custom gown by @falgunishanepeacockindia for mother @mstinalawson 's second annual Wearable Art Gala last night. The gown, which took 10 days to make, was inspired by Nubian warrior queen Amanishakheto. Reporting by @hernameislex . #wwdeye 👑 🐝#beyonce
After dressing @justintimberlake for his Super Bowl halftime performance last month, @stellamccartney has designed the star’s "Man of the Woods" tour wardrobe. Timberlake will be wearing a mix of pieces from McCartney’s fall men's collection as well as custom designs and items from his own closet. #wwdfashion
@carmeloanthony is upping his fashion game once again, introducing a hat collection with @goorinbros. Called Fresh Greens by Melo x Goorin, the line consists of five unisex models, all of which are made in America from 100 percent wool. Each hat is lined with Anthony’s signature and the inscription “Knowledge of self, wisdom and understanding.” You can purchase the collection line at Goorin’s website as well as three off its stores in San Francisco, New York City and Las Vegas #wwdaccessories
“I am of tradition, but that doesn’t mean I have an old outlook on life,” Hubert de Givenchy told WWD in an interview in 1978. The legendary designer, who died last week at the age of 91, achieved wide success soon after launching his own couture boutique in the early ’50s, but he refused to pine for that time. For the first time since its original publication, read our interview with Givenchy on his awe for Audrey Hepburn and looking forward. Link in bio. #wwdarchives #fbf (📷: Pierre Schermann)
About last night: @alexachung and @supergausa toasted the launch of their capsule collection. “It’s the shape that I love, so rather than amend the last and make the sole crazy or do anything wild, we just did really subtle additions that I think make it look really luxe-y,” said Chung. #wwdfashion (📷: Marc Patrick)
Exclusive: @off____white’s @virgilabloh is launching an exclusive eyewear capsule collection @sunglasshut. The unisex collection, which is made up of three styles, first made its debut on the brand’s fall runway show in Paris. Get all the details on WWD.com – link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion