The Coterie fashion trade show is always a delightful feast to all the senses and a fashionista’s dream, surrounded by the copious amounts of next season’s fresh cuts under the glass roof of the Javits Center in the heart of the big apple. It is easy to get lost in the opulence as one traverses through the sea of clothes, accessories, and shoes and the endless inspiration on display is truly an experience in itself, but Coterie is all about the business of bringing fashion buyers and brands together.
What really stood out this year at Coterie wasn’t any particular brand, albeit there were many stunning and interesting designs, but it was the new technology behind brand advertising that has been in the making which can potentially change the landscape of how brands market to its consumers. The technology is called augmented reality and one of the pioneers behind this is a NYC based company called Edge DNA. Augmented reality is similar to virtual reality as it is user interactive, but is different where by the use of technology, one’s perception of reality is modified and is enhanced rather than replacing one’s current reality for a simulated one. An example of this is the ubiquitous celebrity and millennial favorite, Snap Chat, where fillers are used to transform the user to look like a dog and what not, to the annoyingly popular game Pokemon Go where gamers are encouraged to trespass their neighbor’s yard to catch a pokemon.
To make this a tangible experience where the real world is layered by a digital one, Edge DNA in partnership with Coterie and a handful of participating designer brands like Elizabeth & James and Missoni built a pop-up maze where designers were allocated a small area to set up their station that were uniquely decorated with items of interests. Users were all given iPads set to the camera view to walk around with and point to towards the brand logos on the wall. Through the iPad users were able to see different visuals, from inside the retailer’s flagship store to the story behind the brand, enhancing the user’s experience and connection to the brand. This means in the future, an ad in a magazine or on a billboard won’t just be a static visual background, but with a mere point of the camera from your electronic device, one’s visual experience will become enhanced, marking a major shift of how companies interact with their audience. Hello future!