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Using film festivals to change the face of mobile luxury fashion

By
January 26, 2012

Affluent consumer with iPad

Mobile video is becoming one of the most popular mediums in which to display fashion products and is rapidly changing the face of the industry in terms of how consumers are accessing products and interacting with brands.

For the first time this year, A Shaded View on Fashion Film film festival is including mobile video in its presentations, and by doing so is dramatically altering the way that consumers see fashion through video. ASVOFF lets brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Prada and Calvin Klein showcase their products, discover fashion themes and connect with audiences in real-time through mobile video and film at the festival.

“For fashion and luxury brands, the unique qualities that mobile video offers can be especially important and valuable because consumers want to experience aspects of the brand that are less staged, more exclusive and appear more authentic,” said Diane Pernet, founder of ASVOFF.

“Sure, mobile video is evolving and becoming ever more sophisticated by the day but, for the moment, there are still some limitations in terms of camera quality,” she said. “And besides, the size of the devices and the fact that they’re always switched on and at your fingertips will probably compel mobile filmmakers to capture things differently than others.

“Mobile video is inevitably a little more impromptu and a little more voyeuristic – two characteristics that many marketers for luxury brands can definitely take advantage of if their strategic planning and casting of the creative team behind it are spot-on.”

ASVOFF encourages emerging and established artists to reconsider the way fashion is presented by challenging the conventional parameters of film. The festival debuts during Paris Fashion Week and travels to cities including New York, Barcelona, Cannes, London, Tokyo, Milan, Moscow and Mexico City.

Ms. Pernet discusses ASVOFF, the addition of mobile video to the festival and how it relates to fashion in the luxury industry. Here is the dialogue:

How does mobile add value to ASVOFF?  
Well, first of all, there’s the fresh artistic aspect that mobile video brings to the table.

Then there is the matter of how that can be translated and leveraged by clever business brains within the industry to communicate the brand’s message.

For the most part, video footage shot on mobiles is still more spontaneous, ephemeral, realistic-looking, gritty and a whole lot less precious than other formats, and I think that these are the same qualities that – to some extent at least – define the times we are in right now.

Everything is becoming supercharged and supersonic because of social media [with] faster manufacturing cycles and globalization.

That means that consumers have become more impulsive and demanding.

What is the strategy behind the addition of the mobile video to ASVOFF?
For fashion and luxury brands, the unique qualities that mobile video offers can be especially important and valuable because consumers want to experience aspects of the brand that are less staged, more exclusive and appear more authentic.

Sure, mobile video is evolving and becoming ever more sophisticated by the day but, for the moment, there are still some limitations in terms of camera quality.

And besides, the size of the devices and the fact that they are always switched on and at your fingertips will probably compel mobile filmmakers to capture things differently than others.

Mobile video is inevitably a little more impromptu and a little more voyeuristic – two characteristics that many marketeers for luxury brands can definitely take advantage of if their strategic planning and casting of the creative team behind it are spot-on.”

How has ASVOFF changed the fashion industry?
That is really a question I’d rather leave up to others in the industry to judge, but one of the things that ASVOFF strives to do is to pair up people in both the fashion and luxury industries, the film and wider creative industries — and talented outsiders, too — by offering them a platform to let a new genre of video flourish.

Hopefully, by rewarding excellence in the field, it also keeps pushing them to keep pushing the boundaries forward, too.

One spin-off of all this is that luxury brands that are avidly using video in their businesses get a constantly-replenished talent pool and much more diversity in terms of aesthetics, approaches, ideas and experimentation than they might have without a contest like ASVOFF spurring people on.

Brands that trade on innovation need innovative collaborators.

So, the festival also aims to provide luxury brands with a way to find the right video creators to interpret the brand’s USP and DNA into video-based marketing and advertising.

ASVOFF can serve to do matchmaking for certain projects for brands. Sometimes just by exposing one of the films we have curated, it can lead a brand to be inspired for an entire campaign.

Why is video an effective medium for fashion and luxury?
When I first started this back in 2008, somehow I instinctively knew that ASVOFF would fill a much-needed creative gap.

I guess it was because I understood there was already an audience waiting to be served.

I’ve always said that good fashion photography has always been like a storyboard for a film. The difference is that now we’re seeing people bring that story off the magazine pages and to life.

But when we were still putting the concept together, what I hadn’t quite anticipated was just how quickly the cross-over between fashion/luxury and film would evolve from wild experimentation into a bona fide art form and a valuable commercial outlet.

To begin with, I think the fashion film was born out of a real need to breathe life into the old static medium and set fashion in motion through the magic of cinema.

Now, four years later, the two disciplines have grown even closer thanks to the incredible impact of the digital revolution, new commercial realities and a mutual fascination between fashion and film industry leaders.

But it’s not only that.

As online, tablet and smartphone media channels grow ever more important, fashion film is also filling important business niches and offering artistic solutions to challenges we could never have imagined even a few years ago.

It is also creating totally new, sometimes unexpected opportunities as it goes along.

Film makes perfect sense for fashion and luxury brands in today’s world where we have the live-streaming of catwalk shows, click-to-buy video ecommerce functionality, behind-the-scenes and fly-on-the-wall fashion brand documentaries, not to mention video ads spreading virally like wild fire through social media networks.

Final Take
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York 

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Rachel Lamb is an associate reporter on Luxury Daily. Her beats are apparel and accessories, arts and entertainment, education, food and beverage, fragrance and personal care, government, healthcare, home furnishings, jewelry, legal/privacy and nonprofits. Reach her at rachel@napean.com.

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