Sunday, May 26, 2013

Future of Luxury Fashion: Philip Bjerknes and Julie Fredrickson

Philip Bjerknes and Julie Fredrickson, cofounders, PlayAPI

Exquisite and inspiring — sure — but who says luxury can't be a little fun? Certainly it wasn't PlayAPI,cofounders Julie Fredrickson and Phillip Bjerknes. With their modular, modifiable programming platform, brands can create Facebook apps and mini-sites that allow you to build looks, vote on your favorite pieces, play fashion-themed games, and more. The end result? A personal, lighthearted relationship with your favorite label, which becomes less of a distant corporate monolith and more of an always-accessible digital playground pal .

Building A Better Mousetrap:

Bjerknes: “The trick about what we do is to give companies tools that are flexible enough that they can be altered to look and feel like any brand, but have enough of the basic technical parts that you can use them for any application. And, because we’re cost-efficient, brands can experiment more with creating the right message without sinking a large chunk of their budget. The end result is that a lot more marketing campaigns will succeed on their creative merits, rather than because the brand spent a lot of media dollars to get their message across.”

Identity Crisis:

Fredrickson: “High-net-worth consumers were the first to adopt new technologies, so luxury brands that didn’t move with them lost out on being able to touch their core consumer in many ways. Luxury consumers are more sensitive about having an experience that's convenient, and nothing says ‘on demand’ quite like constant access to a brand delivered straight to you through whatever medium you want. Tech also forced brands to be more articulate about their identity — to reinforce one core message across multiple platforms. Honestly, the most impressive digitally active brands are those who have a strong sense of themselves to begin with.”

Digital Divide:
Bjerknes: "Framing the digital world as 'IRL-lite' doesn’t make sense. For the lack of tangibility, you have the amazing ability for a community of fans and customers to come together around a brand and its communications. Honestly, that is just as important as any product. Also, the idea that tech somehow allows the barbarians in the gate is a little hollow. Good taste will always be the ultimate protector of luxury, and you can have that on any platform.”

Photographed by Winnie Au, Hair and Makeup by Bethany Brill, Styled by Haley Loewenthal.  Content originally published from Refinery29. 
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