News 28.03.2023

Need to Know

A fashion opera in the metaverse, Levi’s turning to AI models for diversity, and why Instagram remains the preferred social platform for branding.

A genre-bending fashion opera lands in the metaverse

#Capital by Alastair White for Metaverse Fashion Week 2023

Global – Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 is starting with an avant-garde event – a cross-disciplinary opera experience blending music, architecture and fashion in a bespoke digital venue in Web3.

Staged in the House of Synergos, a digital venue designed by Sybarite Architects in Decentraland’s Dragon City, the #Capital fashion-opera performance is as much an opera as a runway. This immersive work is a ‘tale of dematerialisation and symbolism’ that re-imagines the relationships and intersections between garments and music.

Sponsored by TONG agency, a collective of artists and designers collaborated to bring this one-of-a-kind experience to life – Scottish composer Alastair White wrote the score, and Gemma A Williams curated the fashion collection featuring the designs of Chinese brand Chenpeng.

The opening number of Metaverse Fashion Week shows that with the correct dose of creativity and innovation, Web3 can be conducive to fashion experiences and sow the seeds of nascent artistic genres.

Strategic opportunity

The digital fashion opera shows how arts and tech can collide into new genres. Ask yourself how mixing mediums could breed multi-disciplinary and multi-sensorial Betterverse experiences

Ritz-Carlton adds two new yachts to its fleet

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, US The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, US
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, US The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, US

US – Ritz-Carlton has added Ilma and Luminara, two new luxury vessels, to its Yacht Collection. Set to sail in 2024 and 2025, the super-yachts aim to set new luxury standards in the cruise industry.

Features of the new super-yachts include the highest space ratios at sea, with 228 suites, each with its own private terrace. Two new spacious upper suite categories will also measure 100 square metres (1,076 square feet). Both vessels will showcase modern craftsmanship and interior finishes created by the London-based architect and design firm AD Associates and award-winning lighting designer DPA. Finnish yacht stylist Aivan is set to develop the exteriors – taking inspiration from the elegant aesthetics of private yacht design.

The itineraries offer an all-inclusive seven or 10 nights in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, although all the super-yachts are also available for private charter. The expansion of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection aligns with industry expectations of a post-pandemic return of global revenues from cruising, ­as highlighted in our Cruise Ship Market report.

Strategic opportunity

The cruise ship market is a significant growth opportunity for high-end hospitality brands aiming to reach an increasingly demanding international luxury clientele craving a five-star hotel experience on the ground and at sea

Levi’s to experiment with AI models to enhance diversity

US – Levi’s has announced plans to feature digital models generated by artificial intelligence (AI) on its website to showcase more diversity. Amy Gershkoff Bolles, Levi’s global head of digital and emerging technology strategy, announced the company’s new partnership with digital studio LaLaLand.ai at the BoF Professional Summit on Technology on 22 March.

The iconic denim brand hopes AI will supplement its existing roster of models with a more extensive mix of sizes, body types, ages and skin colours to create what it describes as ‘a more personal and inclusive shopping experience’. ‘It would be impossible for us to have models that cover every combination of race, ethnicity, age, body size, body type,’ said Gershkoff Bolles to justify the decision.

In the Betterverse, we previously looked at how organisations large and small can use the metaverse to build better worlds by placing people and ethics first. Levi’s hints at new opportunities and risks for brands trying to appeal to a diverse audience via an AI third party.

Levi Strauss & Co. and Lalaland.ai, US

Strategic opportunity

Diverse representation in an e-shop is no longer enough. Under-represented communities will demand a real commitment to diversity and inclusion that AI can’t deliver on its own

Stat: Instagram remains preferred social platform for branding

Photography by Polina Tankilevitch Photography by Polina Tankilevitch

Global – According to a survey conducted by Glossy and Modern Retail for Q1 2023, consumer brands and retailers chose Instagram as the best social media channel for both branding and driving sales conversions. Some 69% chose Instagram as best for branding, while TikTok came second, with 15%.

In contrast to Instagram, Facebook was not a preferred branding tool, with only 9% of respondents listing it as their top choice. But they did recognise the platform as a sales driver: it came in second place after Instagram, with 28% of those surveyed saying it was the best. TikTok’s popularity in helping brands go viral did not go unrecognised ­– 18% of respondents chose it as their number one platform for driving sales conversions, putting it in third place overall.

As social media plays an increasingly bigger role in communicating branding and creating sales conversions, we explore how online visual merchandising will need to overcome its structural barriers to create quality, aspirational relatability and entertainment in our Digital Display Futures report.

Strategic opportunity

Using AI and unexpected but authentic influencer partnerships can help brands reach new audiences on Instagram despite it feeling oversaturated already

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