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Suddenly It’s About Everything But The Fashion

by | Nov 7, 2021 | Art, Fashion

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COURTESY OF BURBERRY

Highsnobiety: I was scanning LinkedIn earlier this week and saw an eye-catching post by Bottega Veneta CEO, Bartolomeo Rongone. The feedpost captioned “The iconic green MAZE installation at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. Unexpected location. No products. Immersive experience… getting lost in what we love,” was accompanied by six photos of an empty real life labrinth stretching 16 meters, decked out in signature Bottega Veneta green faux fur walls, metal structures and logoed duct tape. Indeed no products in sight.

Not even a day had passed and Louis Vuitton hit me up to share the news that it had planted an actual 240 square meter mini-forest in the middle of South-West London, a stone’s throw from its UK flagship store. The “heritage forest” created in collaboration with the local council and SUGI — a renowned organization known for restoring native forests in urban spaces — sees the luxury brand plant 22 native tree species and 55 native wildflowers which are intended to become self-sustaining within three years. The project, part of Louis Vuitton’s “Our Committed Journey” sustainable development plan, is dedicated to preserving natural resources by 2025.

 

And then some. Three days ago A|X Armani Exchange announces a global collaboration with renowned radio platform NTS to celebrate the Italian brand’s 30th anniversary. As part of the partnership, the two will pair local musicians and DJs with multiple A|X Armani Exchange stores to create DJ mixes which will be played in stores globally, and hold other physical events around the campaign. The next day Burberry messages me to announce its hosting of an event the night before that celebrated the closing of German visual artist Anne Imhof’s Paris exhibition. Outside of Palais de Tokyo, just outside of the exhibition, Imhof and Balenciaga-muse Eliza Douglas led an art performance. A DJ set by friends of the house followed until late.

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All are more than campaigns. They’re the first steps in fashion brands becoming just “brands”. On the surface a simple evolution, yet in practise it’s a major internal mindset shift for many fashion houses in erasing the self-created boundaries in which fields it can exist and operate. The future will see brands work with streaming platforms like Netflix on shows and documentaries, deepen its ties with the metaverse and gaming, and touch on the wider net of interests and preferred brands of their audience.

Not all roads will lead to products as in the past, giving way to new creative ways of earning revenue through the non-physical by testing, testing, testing new concepts and areas. Just watch it unfold.

Editorial Director
Toronto-born, bred in The Netherlands, living in London.

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