TEA FOR MORE THAN TWO: Prince Charles cut a swathe through west London on Wednesday, paying a visit with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, to Yoox Net-a-porter’s tech hub and to the new Soho House outpost, White City House, to chat with sustainability-minded designers.
The day was all business, however, and there wasn’t a squeak about the forthcoming nuptials between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Yoox founder and YNAP chief executive officer Federico Marchetti led the tour and told the royals how the company is using artificial intelligence to create a personalized future shopping experience. The company created a prototype homepage tailored for royal tastes that included a curated range of luxury fashion pieces, jewelry and watches.
Also on show were items from Mr Porter’s Mr P. range, the Kingsman costume-to-collection line and fine jewelry and watches.
The duo also joined a coding session with 60 schoolgirls, ranging in age from 11 to 13, who took part in a hackathon and other digital games as a part of an initiative between YNAP and Imperial College London.
“Today, our guests had the opportunity to see how Artificial Intelligence can be about warmth, beauty and craftsmanship,” said Marchetti. “There is nothing more human than the desire for uniqueness. One of the great advances of digital technology is the power to personalize products and services on a vast scale. We also shared our vision for preparing the digital talents of tomorrow, when coding will be as essential as reading and writing.”
Items on display at Yoox Net-a-porter’s tech hub included apparel and accessories from Stella McCartney, knitwear from Carcel, a sustainable label that will launch in June, and evening wear pieces from Ralph & Russo, the London-based couture brand said by many to be designing bride Meghan Markle’s dress.
At nearby White City House, the Prince of Wales had tea with British designers, sustainable brands and members of the industry as a part of the British Fashion Council’s Positive Fashion initiative.
Bethany Williams, Mother of Pearl and Teatum Jones were among the guests who chatted with the prince, a longtime supporter of sustainable materials. He founded the Campaign for Wool and is now working on the sustainable sourcing and manufacturing of cotton. The prince is also the founder of the organic food brand Duchy Originals.