THE NO-CONTACT BUZZ
Forbes India|October 23, 2020
Indian companies are helping high-end brands reimagine boundaries as the pandemic hits the luxury sector, which has traditionally placed a premium on physical experiences
PANKTI MEHTA KADAKIA

From October 21 to 25, instead of celebrities, air kisses and paparazzi flashes, the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) will immerse its audience into a 3D world, where anyone, anywhere can get a taste of the front-row experience— without stepping out of their homes (or pyjamas). What’s more, they can pick an outfit straight off the virtual runway and add it to their cart for purchase.

Welcome to luxury 2.0, or 2020, if you will. An industry that has long focussed on building one-on-one relationships with customers, through high-end staff service or touch-and-feel retail experiences, has been shaken to its roots by the Covid-19 pandemic. At a time when the greatest luxury, perhaps, is to eliminate all in-person interactions and physical touchpoints, brands have been forced to reinvent the wheel and all the glossy engines with it.

“To be honest, the industry needed an overhaul anyway,” says Jaspreet Chandok, head of lifestyle businesses, IMG Reliance, which manages LFW. “The designer wear industry has not yet reached its full potential. The pandemic has forced people to become more agile, think out of the box, and adopt new-age communication formats. After the Darwinian shake-out expected, we believe that businesses built on a sound foundation will flourish.”

Preparations at LFW are in full swing to offer a ‘seamless’ digital experience. According to Chandok, it has made a significant investment in two major areas: Digital architecture and content enhancement, which involves various vantage points for the viewer and CG (computer-generated) environments.

“The first part is an investment for the future as the platform and virtual showroom will become part of our core, even when we return to a physical event,” Chandok says. “The second part showcases to the industry what technology can actually do. The format has provided the team the opportunity to expand their skillsets.”

Two companies that LFW has engaged to get this ambitious plan off the ground include Tagglabs, a 10-year-old Gurugrambased startup focussed on new media and technology innovations for marketing; and Geometry Encompass, a 14-year-old experiential marketing agency that reimagines retail, under the WPP group aegis.

Tagglabs is helping LFW create a digital live experience, which it says is “much more than a live stream”. The agency will help construct a fantasy 3D world, where viewers can interact with and discover products in a host of ways. Geometry Encompass, meanwhile, is working on converting green-screen stage shows to immersive technology, adding real-time compositing and motion tracking. This means viewers can select different angles and vantage points from which to watch the show, and interact with products while the show is on.

“Experiences are no longer bound to just real or virtual. Today, tech can enable people to have rich experiences in completely virtual settings,” says Ranjit Raina, chief executive officer, Geometry Encompass. “Luxury fashion is no different— with the right tech integrations, the virtual experience can be just as exclusive. Imagine a world where you can interact with a product and discover it in ways that may not be possible in the real world, all while being attended upon by your own personal artificial intelligence (AI) concierge service.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FORBES INDIAView All

Home-Cooked Meal Is Now Greatly Valued

The pandemic has also brought with it an improved focus on hygiene, use of technology in dining, rise of cloud kitchens and resurgence in popularity of Indian ingredients

8 mins read
Forbes India
May 21, 2021

Paytm 3.0 - Reaching Near Breakeven In Two Years

As of 2020, Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s super app for financial services had run up losses in thousands of crores. Now, as digital payments gets yet another boost courtesy Covid-19, he’s hopeful of reaching near breakeven in two years

10+ mins read
Forbes India
June 4, 2021

THE PANDEMIC HAS CAUSED WOMEN GREATER LABOUR PAIN

Covid-19 has shown that women are more likely to face the brunt of job losses than men, and find fewer opportunities when they want to resume. That apart, several have to deal with increased hours of unpaid work at home and even domestic abuse

8 mins read
Forbes India
May 21, 2021

LEADERSHIP WILL BE ABOUT SEEING THE BIGGER PICTURE

Leaders must not only guard their teams first during a crisis, but also deal with stakeholders with respect and dignity. And apart from pursuing business goals, they should remain committed to our planet and the environment

7 mins read
Forbes India
May 21, 2021

PHILANTHROPY SHOULD BE HUMBLE, BUT NOT MODEST

Apart from building a flexible and resilient framework for the future, philanthropists, civil society and the government must work in tandem so that every rupee is absorbed on the ground

9 mins read
Forbes India
May 21, 2021

INTEGRATED HEALTH CARE, TECH WILL DISRUPT SECTOR

While clinical research will get a boost, having a skilled workforce and public spending on health care will be challenges in the near term

8 mins read
Forbes India
May 21, 2021

DIGITALISATION WILL HELP IN VALUE CREATION

As the pandemic brings technology and innovation to the core of business and daily life, the next decade will see about 150 million digital-first families in India

8 mins read
Forbes India
May 21, 2021

Industry 4.0: Climate Revolution?

Augmenting sustainability alongside digital capabilities is an economic, competitive and global opportunity for India’s businesses, but regulations need to reflect intent

10 mins read
Forbes India
June 4, 2021

EV Dream Still Miles Away

Electric vehicles have remained a buzzword in India for years. But not much has moved on ground due to high upfront costs, range anxiety and charging infrastructure

6 mins read
Forbes India
June 4, 2021

Living Waters

A virus has caused us to scramble for oxygen but our chokehold on the environment is slowly strangling the very waters that breathe life into us. The virus is a timely reminder: We are merely consumers, not producers of life’s breath on this planet

4 mins read
Forbes India
June 4, 2021
RELATED STORIES

EVENT OF HORIZON

Ian Evenden explains how the Sun could one day take out our electronics and communications technology in mere moments

10+ mins read
Maximum PC
October 2021

JJ doc ‘speeds' on wrong-side of flyover, hits biker who falls 30ft

A resident doctor from J J Hospital allegedly speeding on the wrong-side carriageway of Kemps Corner bridge hit a 25-year-old biker, throwing him 30ft on the road below in the wee hours of Monday.

2 mins read
The Times of India Mumbai
March 30, 2022

India Inc busy with back-to-office drill

Many firms are still offering remote and flexi-work options

5 mins read
Business Standard
March 07, 2022

Malik's plea: HC says subsequent remands without prejudice

While directing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its reply by March 7 on state minister Nawab Malik's plea challenging his “illegal” arrest in an alleged money laundering case linked to fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim, the Bombay High Court has clarified that the NCP leader's “subsequent remands will be without prejudice to rights and contentions” of both the parties.

1 min read
The Free Press Journal
March 03, 2022

Jhunjhunwala the biggest draw as investors line up to board Akasa

Veterans in the travel industry, a well-known corporate lawyer, and a marquee US-based hedge fund have backed the upcoming lowcost airline Akasa Air.

3 mins read
Business Standard
January 18, 2022

‘NCB seeking MEA help to probe Aryan's alleged foreign contact'

CRUISE DRUG BUST: THE ARGUMENTS

5 mins read
The Times of India Mumbai
October 15, 2021

NCB says probing global link; his lawyer calls it 'absurd'

ARYAN KHAN BAIL HEARING TO CONTINUE TODAY

2 mins read
The Indian Express Delhi
October 14, 2021

They have learnt their lesson, don't deny bail: Aryan's lawyer

Mumbai: Aryan Khan’s lead counsel Amit Desai said on Wednesday that Section 27A is the only offence for illicit trafficking under the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), and NCB rightly never invoked it against Aryan as it has no case.

3 mins read
The Times of India Mumbai
October 14, 2021

NAVIGATING THEIR WAY

When a new family member enters a business it brings issues of a newer generation. As the pandemic stuck last year we saw what kind of transitions these gen-next leaders made to sustain businesses. We also saw a humane side of theirs coming forward and showing a different kind of leadership. This test of time gave them enough room to think about what role they can play to keep the family legacy alive and newer changes they could implement. While businesses would have undergone drastic changes, family values remained uncompromised. The current issue, being the fifth edition of our annual ‘Tomorrow Inc’ edition aims to understand the entrepreneurial spirit of the new generation of the family business and how they can build business for the new-age economy.

10+ mins read
Entrepreneur magazine
September 2021

Builder to give refund for failing to hand over shop booked in '11

Mumbai: In a relief to a senior citizen, MahaRERA chairman Ajay Mehta recently directed Moongippa Realty Pvt Ltd to refund the amount paid by her for a shop in Moongippa Arcade, Andheri, with interest, as the decade-old project is not yet completed.

1 min read
The Times of India Mumbai
April 24, 2021