AT YOUR SERVICE: New York Fashion Week can be a circus, but that hasn’t deterred the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group and SAP SE from staging their own center ring with fashion tech designer Anouk Wipprecht.
Together they have developed futuristic costumes that can create customized cocktails and fragrances based on fans’ personalized input. These digitalized otherworldly designs will debut Sept. 11 at an event at Spring Studios. As one of the few fashion designers fully committed to blending engineering, science and interactive experiences into her creations, the Dutch designer’s tinkering isn’t a part-time pursuit. Wipprecht has worked with Intel, Google, Microsoft, Swarovski, 3-D printer Materialise and others. Her Intel-Edison based “Spider Dress,” for example, was embedded with sensors and created with moveable arms to protect the wearer’s personal space.
Wipprecht’s latest fashion-tech project is geared for Cirque du Soleil fans to enhance their pre-show interaction with performers that will result in a customized cocktail or fragrance. Imagine approaching an acrobat or other Cirque du Soleil-er suited up in an intergalactic dress or suit. Using technology from SAP Qualtrics, guests respond to the questions that appear on the performer’s arm band such as, “What color do you prefer?” The ticketholder’s input is collected, analyzed to measure stress levels and other factors before the personalized fragrance, cocktail or nonalcoholic beverage is created. Capsules stored in the model’s 3-D printed shoulder pieces are then placed on a built-in conveyor belt at the model’s chest, filled with the respective ingredients and handed to the participant.
Cirque du Soleil worked with mixologist Fanny Gauthier for the libations and perfumer Laurent Le Guernec of International Flavors & Fragrances for the personalized fragrances. Through the partnership, Cirque du Soleil will continue to work with SAP for new ways to enhance the fan experience.
Managed through Cirque du Soleil’s “Nextasy” department, which specializes in experimentation and trend watching, the collaboration will remain just an exercise for now. Frederic Macdonald, manager business of development for corporate alliances, said via e-mail, “We are hopeful that it will be incorporated as part of future on-site, pre-show interactions – in some way, shape or form.”
Dinesh Vandayar, vice president and head of strategy for Experience SAP at SAP Global Marketing, described the project “as a great example of how experience data is driving operations to make a product — either a cocktail or a fragrance at the end of the experience. But if I extrapolate this and use experience data using Qualtrics, and Cirque du Soleil is already collecting Qualtrics post-show data today. I merge these data sets together to use as another data source that could potentially have a huge impact on how we plan for inventory and how we procure things. This is a classic example of how experience data [can] have an impact on operations data. By merging these two data sets together we can arrive at results that are now possible today.”
In addition to being New York Fashion Week’s official software solutions partner, SAP has joined forces with Badgley Mischka to create an app that allows attendees at its show to offer immediate feedback about runway looks and to request notification when an item that appeals to them is available to purchase.