NEW YORK — H&M has seen the future of fashion and it’s centered around augmented reality.
The Swedish retailer tonight will hold a multimedia-themed fashion show and experiential installation to introduce its latest collaboration with Moschino. The 700 guests will see not only a runway show with looks designed by Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott, but also be invited to strap on a headset and walk into a high-tech world designed to bring the collection to life.
H&M has teamed with Magic Leap, a spatial computing company, and Warpin Media, a Swedish-based software company, on what it is calling “an immersive fashion experience at the Moschino tv H&M global launch event.”
The retailer created a walk-in box on the site of the fashion show that replicates the multicolored stripes of an old-fashioned television screen. Within the box are a few colorful apparel and accessories pieces from the collection on display, along with a couple of kiosks.
After strapping on a Magic Leap headset, guests will be able to explore the space where virtual objects will be responsive to viewer cues. For example, by reaching out to “touch” a bag featured in one vignette, the bag melts into itself.
Other pieces have videos that play when the headset is directed toward them that include a young woman playing with a stuffed H&M Moschino dog and a Jeremy Scott gold-plated head that revolves while loud music plays in the background.
Experiencing the entire installation is expected to take around five minutes until most or all of the screens show: “End of Transmission” and the headset is passed to the next person.
Anna Tillberg Pantzar from H&M’s Laboratory, the retailer’s internal think tank, said this is H&M’s first move toward using technology to change the way consumers shop.
“We’re trying to understand the future of fashion retailing,” she said, adding that H&M knows that technology will play an increasingly important role in the future.
“H&M is committed to the future of fashion and to being at the forefront of technology,” she said. “Magic Leap along with Warpin are the perfect partners to allow us to innovate in this space. We will invite guests to experience fashion like never have before. For the Moschino tv H&M global launch we utilized this technology for a creative experience, but we are also looking at ways to apply it to our business in the future.”
She said the company recently launched Click & Collection at its stores, where customers can place an order online and have that order delivered within a couple of days to a local store.
But the augmented reality show is even more groundbreaking, she believes.
“This is a glimpse of the future. We’re taking the virtual world and making it come alive in a physical experience.”
Pantzar said H&M has collaborated with designers for the past decade and “we always try to do something new.” And Scott’s fun and colorful aesthetic made this the perfect opportunity to try augmented reality.
“It demands a lot to think new, but we keep pushing ourselves,” she said, adding that technology such as this could one day represent the future of online shopping.
Emma Ridderstad, cofounder of Warpin, said retailers embracing this technology can help bring garments to life without their customers actually being in the stores.
She added that H&M is the first fashion retailer to utilize this technology, but brands have used it in a smaller fashion by bringing their products to life on their customers’ phone screens. “But this is a much larger experience that soaks you in, is more immersive and will eventually replace the smartphone,” she said.