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Facebook’s new 360-degree fashion view

Fashion News
The Fendi Haute Fur show at the Trevi Fountain in Rome this past June was shot with a 360 degree camera so that the digital audience could feel as if they were sitting right in the front row.

By Jessica Michault

Once upon a time, having a front row seat at a show was the most coveted invitation in fashion. From this coveted perch, one could see every pair of shoes, each new handbag, all the detail work on the garments—not to mention be seen by everyone else. Now, it looks like everyone can have the front row experience—in the privacy of their glowing screen.

This sort of “front row access” proclamation has been made so many times before over the past decade. The industry has been buzzing about the democratization of fashion ever since cell phones with high resolution cameras, combined with the all-encompassing social media platforms, made it possible for people to post fashion images and videos pretty much instantaneously. This was how, via apps like Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, Twitter and live streaming, the world first became privy to the inner workings of the fashionsphere in real time.

But the arrival of the 360 video technology, and Facebook’s new ability to integrate these sort of films, has created a tipping point in the movement to make fashion more accessible to a wider audience. A fact only helped by the news that YouTube has also started supporting such videos. Add to that the hardware of virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift or the more eco-friendly Google cardboard DIY viewers, and the immersive fashion show experience is finally in the bag.

The basic premise of a 360 video is the use of multiple (six) cameras at the same time. Algorithms are then used to weave the six different views together to create a single streamlined video that makes it possible for the viewer to look in any direction from one central point and see what is happening at that exact moment.

Why is this happening? One reason is that clients are looking for authentic designer experiences and want to create memories with their favorite labels before they make a purchase. The interactive nature of 360 videos—sitting in the front row of a fashion show—accomplishes that elegantly.

Now all eyes are on the luxury fashion houses to see just how creative they can get with the technology. So far Dior and Fendi have been leaders in this new field. And AltaRoma Fashion Week recently created a two-minute 360 degree video called “The Secrets of Couture” to give an insiders look at the ateliers of Italian brands like Fendi and Valentino. 


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