The Transatlantic, Traffic-Stopping Ralph Lauren Show
Ralph Lauren doesn’t think small. Give the guy the keys to the city one day, and he shuts it down (or a high-traffic strip of Madison Avenue, at least) the next. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of RalphLauren.com, the company projected a cutting-edge stream of images, created in collaboration with the tech wizards behind Harry Potter, onto the facade of its new women’s flagship in New York. And because more is more, six hours beforehand, they shut down New Bond Street—usually the exclusive privilege of presidential corteges and visiting royals—and did it in London, too.
The English city wasn’t chosen by accident—the U.K. Ralph Lauren e-commerce site has just launched, and David Lauren, the company’s senior vice president for advertising, marketing, and corporate communication, was in town to celebrate and to speak at the IHT‘s luxury conference, alongside Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Alber Elbaz, and more. In London, Lauren was seeing the actual 4-D presentation, which included liberal sprays of the new Big Pony fragrances, for the first time. “We have all been stuck away in our offices in front of our computers working hard on this, as well as arranging with the other shops on the street to let us put our projectors in and so on,” he said. “It’s the first time I actually saw it, and definitely, along with the rest of the team, we had pre-game jitters. But I think it worked out well.” Attendees like Suzy Menkes, British Vogue‘s Alexandra Shulman, Stephen Webster, and Jefferson Hack seemed to agree. And in New York later that night, a thronging crowd of fashion types and passersby hit Madison to watch it unfold again. The results were certainly intriguing, especially when the four-story store appeared to fold in on itself. Now it will be interesting to see if and how other retailers adopt and adapt this technology. But Lauren got there first.
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