Tommy Hilfiger is using virtual reality to create a new kind of shopping experience in stores that lets shoppers have an immersive experience while viewing the brand's fall runway show.
The technology debuted Oct. 20 at Tommy Hilfiger's 5th Avenue location in New York City, and will be soon be added to stores in London; Paris; Milan; Amsterdam; Dusseldorf, Germany; Florence, Italy; Zurich; and Moscow. The concept will also launch inside London's Selfridges department store.
Users simply don a Samsung GearVR headset to create a virtual experience of sitting front row at a runway event that took place Feb. 16. It also provides a sneak peek backstage, an area usually reserved for fashion insiders.
The virtual reality installation is housed in-store in a dedicated area that reflects the American football theme of the fall 2015 show, alongside the Hilfiger Collection designs. Shoppers can then browse the collection in the physical space.
"Through virtual reality, we're now able to bring our one-of-a-kind fashion show to the retail setting," Tommy Hilfiger said. "From the incredible set and music to exclusive backstage moments, consumers will be able to watch the clothes move and see the collection in the original show environment—it's a compelling and interesting elevation of the traditional shopping experience."
"We are driven by a vision to exceed consumer expectations, inspire them, and offer retail experiences they never thought possible," said Daniel Grieder, CEO of Tommy Hilfiger. "Through cutting-edge virtual reality technology, we can invite shoppers to experience the Hilfiger Collection fashion show from a front row seat. We're using virtual reality to open the doors to a unique part of our world, directly connecting the consumers in our retail space with one of our largest brand events each season."
The concept was created in collaboration with WeMakeVR, developers of 360-degree 3D virtual reality experiences. The show was captured with the WeMakeVR-Falcon, a proprietary camera.
Virtual reality will likely play a role in stores as retailers strive to create a more immersive and exciting environment. But while there has been quite a bit of discussion, few brands have tested the waters. The introduction of virtual reality in Tommy Hilfiger stores reflects its "mission to elevate the shopping experience through digital innovation," according to a company statement. "These technological integrations in the retail space are evolving traditional brick-and-mortar set-ups and increasing opportunities for social engagement."
-See this Tommy Hilfiger press release
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