WESTFIELD’S VIRTUAL TRENDS: Westfield in London has turned to virtual reality technology to showcase its spring 2015 fashion trends to customers in its Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City malls. Both locations will host a series of digital fashion experiences in March and April called Future Fashion, to bring trends such as denim, florals and “future modern” to life for the malls’ customers. One experience will allow customers to use virtual reality headsets to explore abstract interpretations of different trends in what Westfield called “a completely fantastical space.” Gesture-tracking technology will also mean that customers can use their hands to interact with characters in the virtual world and travel through the space. Another will center on fashion avatars, as part of which customers can use their body movements to create avatars on large screens, in a palette of patterns and images that reflect the trends, such as woven threads or flowers.
Meanwhile Edit Me, Westfield’s trends micro-site — which is available on touch screens in the malls — will allow customers to curate and shop products from Westfield’s retailers that fit with those trends. Westfield has partnered with Inition, a London-based emerging technologies production company, to create the experiences. Myf Ryan, Westfield director for U.K. and Europe, said that the company had wanted to explore a “more abstract way for our consumers to experience the season’s key trends,” after the mall had in October teamed with Decoded Fashion for its first Future Fashion event, to host a hackathon to create a shopping app at the mall, along with showcasing wearable, interactive and virtual technology to shoppers. The Future Fashion event runs March 27 through 29 at Westfield London and April 2 through 4 at Westfield Stratford City. The project is in association with American Eagle Outfitters, who are hosting a pop-up installation, whereby customers can try on jeans in return for a discount in the store and have the chance for their social media images to appear on the retailer’s Denim Diaries video wall.