This past September, Samsung and FTL Moda got together with Fashion Week Online to create a singular experience during New York Fashion Week. The event was held at Space 404 in Manhattan and live-streamed at FWO.

But the event wasn’t just covered here at FWO; it appeared in People, The Wall Street Journal, MSN, The Today Show, Teen Vogue, USA Today, ABC News, CBS News, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Oxygen, Glamour, Elle … among many other press outlets.

It’s all part of Samsung’s commitment to new technologies that make people’s lives better. Read on to learn more about the collaboration with Samsung, and how it aims to introduce a Fashion Future: Powered by Samsung.

Interview with Ron Gazzola,VP, Samsung Display

FWO: The new Samsung mirror technology was designed specifically with fashion in mind. How did the idea come about?

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Ron Gazzola, VP, Samsung Display

Ronald Gazzola: The idea of developing digital display science for the fashion industry came about when we looked at the retail space. We knew developing a mirror display for fashion would be all about how to incorporate that experience. So we wanted to create a dynamic, engaging interaction, to create one-on-one interactivity between the consumer and the brand.

FWO: What are some interesting ways the mirrors can be used?

rdi-event-digital-mirror-displayRonald Gazzola: One of the most basic would be the fitting room. Today you go into the fitting room and you’re trying on different designs and it’s a very static environment. You’re looking in a mirror and you’re seeing how something looks.

Now you can make that into a very interactive experience. I go into the fitting room, I try on a particular item, and now I want to try some different accessories. Now I want to look at some other colors. I can actually engage with that display. If you’re a fashion designer, suddenly you’ve created an endless aisle of opportunities for that customer.

“I can actually engage with that display.”

If you’re a retailer, the fitting room becomes another space where you can essentially engage and sell the consumer. And you really give shoppers another reason to want to come in … you give customers a brand new experience of your brand.

“You give shoppers another reason to want to come in.”

FWO: So the customers can see the garment on themselves, in the mirror?

Ronald Gazzola: Yes, but the digital display can accept almost any type of content that can be developed. So you would work with a content provider to create the experience the particular retailer wants to create. So in one instance you may want to show different sizes or different colors of that garment. You may want to show accessories that fit well with that garment.

“You would work with a content provider to create the experience.”

You can really create an endless amount of engagement opportunities in that display. The beauty of the display is that it’s an endpoint through which the consumer and the retailer can engage with one another.

“The consumer and the retailer can engage with one another.”

FWO: And this sort of brings us to the idea of the “Internet of Things.” Obviously Samsung has a suite of products — like virtual reality for example — which is something that’s coming to market that’s very exciting. How do you foresee multiple Samsung products working together? Smartphones, GPS displays, virtual reality, to deliver a “Fashion Future: Powered by Samsung?”

Ronald Gazzola: One of the exciting things is that we have such a broad portfolio of products, both in the consumer and enterprise space. And one of the commitments we’ve made to our customers is that we are going to lead IoT technology and connectivity. Our goal is to have all our devices connected by 2020.

“Our goal is to have all our devices connected by 2020.”

So when you think about that commitment in an R&D investment, now suddenly you have wearable devices, Samsung Gear VR, digital displays … all of those devices are operating together.

So the ability of those devices to “speak” together really creates a totally different and dynamic experience. And from a digital display perspective, we really look at the digital display as a sort of “window to IoT.”

The ability of the consumer and the business to now visualize and conceptualize all of that information — and that content — really makes it something a lot more tangible for the consumer and the business.

Interview with Ilaria Niccolini, Producer FTL Moda

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Ilaria Niccolini, Producer FTL Moda

FWO: Where do you foresee the future for FTL Moda in terms of shopping … and how do you think it will incorporate Samsung technology?

Ilaria: I could foresee incorporating the mirror displays into showrooms in New York, as well as in Tokyo, Paris, or Milan. Showroom space in these fashion capitals tends to be extremely expensive, and it’s really impossible to have an entire collection represented in those spaces. It’s really like having a magic wand.

You can finally think of representing an extended collection in the same environment where until just recently you could represent a very, very limited part of a collection.

Obviously the technology has many uses in and near fashion shows, as well, to drive engagement and real-time shopping.

FWO: This season’s FTL Moda featured Reshma Qureshi, an acid attack survivor from India. How do you think Samsung’s technology and the partnership this season with Samsung has allowed you to bring some of this social consciousness or some of this diversity to a larger audience?

Ilaria: All these months of preparation for participation of Reshma have been extremely touching, very emotional for me. That’s the mission behind FTL Moda. We want to improve the world a little bit, one step at a time. When we partner with a brand like Samsung and a partner like Fashion Week Online — where we have the opportunity to provide service and content to a worldwide audience — it’s really fantastic. Reshma had never even dreamed of walking the runway. Now her message is reaching millions of people.

It could have been a flat activation: technology exists all over. But having Samsung working with us and supporting a shared vision was fantastic. Seeing Reshma was something that made the audience really happy. That’s why all these people left with such big smiles on their faces, because they really experienced something. And having the opportunity to distribute this live streaming via Fashion Week Online was an absolutely great experience.

“Having Samsung working with us and supporting a shared vision was fantastic.”

FWO: It’s exciting because as you mentioned, technology actually has the ability to bring people together.

Ilaria: Yes.

FWO: One of the wonderful things about having Reshma was … when I first heard about the idea of hosting an acid attack survivor, I didn’t want to look. And the exciting thing is, looking is exactly what we need to do! Because the worst thing we can do is look away. One of the most painful parts of something like an acid attack I think is the social isolation that comes to the victim: because people are afraid; they’re afraid of having to see what’s happening in the world.

It was wonderful that so many people were supportive; there was so much press that came out in support of the runway show: not just in FWO, but in People, The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, CBS News, The Today Show, Washington Post, Teen Vogue, USA Today, Oxygen, Glamour, Elle … they all covered the show.

That’s the power of humanizing technology, and what happens when we work together.

And that’s exactly what we need, when somebody is hurting like this. We need to be there for them, and to not look away. So I think it’s a really exciting opportunity — especially with Samsung — to bring this to a large audience, and remind us that we’re all here together, working together. I want to thank you so much for letting us be a part of this journey, and all the things that you do with the diversity-enabling presentations at FTL Moda.

Ilaria: And I thank you, too. When it’s a good synergy, it puts together very good elements — creativity, technology, vision, communication, distribution. I hope to create more in the future.

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