Monday, August 25, 2008

Wallace & Gromit in Armani?

What a month for fashion crossovers!

This great catch by Daily Style Essence really caught our attention.

It's a unique collaboration to put the much beloved Wallace & Gromit as models for Harvey Nichols, sporting fashions from Armani through to D&G. This advertising campaign not only is friendly & cute but really helps freshen up the brand image.

OK the story is a little off topic as it's not strictly virtual world related, but fits in with the theme.

And like virtual models, Wallace & Gromit will always strike the perfect pose and not be prone to temper tantrums or storming off mid-shoot like their human counterparts - ok, maybe exaggerating a little here, but you get the idea.

What do you think, like it? Or think characters like Wallace should stay in cartoons?


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Thursday, August 21, 2008

A TomDoll is born...

On the heels of their recent signing chic designer Vivienne Tam, girl avatar site Stardoll.com has lept into the booming China market with a tie up with heavyweight Tom.com


The new collaboration given birth to stardoll.tom.com, a site that follows the global Stardoll formula and functions with some localized content. Speaking of content, the site lets young girls play “dress up doll” with Chinese and Asian stars such as Maggie Cheung, Rain, Twins (a somewhat controversial inclusion given recent scandals?), Selina, Hebe and Elle from S.H.E among others. There is also the full complement of global stars including Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie and Justin Timberlake.


It’s an excellent move by Stardoll confirms what we have known for a while - avatar fashion is big growth segment.

Right from early days the website supported multiple languages including Traditional Chinese used in Taiwan and Hong Kong and Simplified Chinese as used in mainland China. Without much marketing effort they had already seeded user populations in these countries, even prior to any market partnerships.

Having recently hit a milestone of 20 million global users and picking up a good revenue stream, will this deal let them cement themselves into the position as one of the largest growing communities on the Internet today?

Got another site you'd like VR Fashion to review or topic to explore? Feel free to leave a note.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

TheStylist - interactive style advisor for China

Too shy to ask for fashion advice? Try Metersbonwe online style advisor..

You don't often think of China's retail environment being particularly high tech. Yet an new campaign by one of the largest apparel brands in China - Metersbonwe, bucks the trend, and is a great example of taking advantage of possibilities of online.

The casual retail giant has created TheStylist.cn. An simple 2D flash website that offers mix-and-match style advice for its customers, it is available both online and in their anchor store in Shanghai.
The aim of the website is to get more personal engagement with it's highly online literate consumer base, and help spark the buying mood. Already the site is having results, according to Marketing Interactive's Adaline Lau, helping raise in-store sales in the installed location by 9% - a significant impact to the top line.

Enlisting the aid of 3 idol pop stars as fashion advisors, the site asks customers to fill out a few questions about themselves - starting with gender, age, skin complexion and then moving onto interests, personality types.

The site then suggests clothes from its range, that can be mixed and matched on a simple manequin on the site. It's not that interactive, and you can't see how the clothes look or feel on a real moving body, but it's enough to give a flavour to users.

It's well conceived, as many consumers are shy about seeking style advice in store, and an online site helps them get what they are looking for in a more comfortable environment. There is no online shopping on the site and although it is a fairly simple site and restricted to one retail brand only, for what it targets it does it well.

TheStylist is a great example of taking advantage of online possibilities, and surely it will spark more interest from other brands looking to increase sales in store.

Got another site you'd like VR Fashion to review or topic to explore? Feel free to leave a note.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cosmetics and Gaming - Shiseido pushes the boundaries

Shiseido Makeup Training - Project Beauty

You wouldn't expect the worlds oldest cosmetics company to be one of the most progressive when it comes to virtual technology, yet it seems the case with global cosmetics powerhouse Shiseido.

The Japanese brand, adored by girls across Asia and the world has embarked on a fascinating collaboration with Sega, a renowned video game maker. The result? Project Beauty - an upcoming makeup training "game" based on the wildly popular Nintendo DS handheld platform.

With help from the DS Scan camera accessory, the game promises to offer "live" makeup and styling advice to girls, as well as showing before and digitally generated after shots, similar to what is offered by makeover website Tazz.

Set to retail in Japan at approximately $US 60 together with the DS Scan, the package is pricey, yet still within range for many.
This is a really innovative move on Shiseido's part.

Similar to Brain Age and Nintendogs which defied traditional game genres and became breakout hits, this new form of casual entertainment (with a slight education flavour) has a lot of potential.

Not only is it likely to be commercial success popular with throngs of DS loving teenage girls in Japan (of which there are many), but also helps strengthen the brand's image as dynamic and in-touch with their new generation of customers.

Mobile phone and web next?

Update - Thanks to the reader who submitted the extra screen shot and official link!

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