Virtual shopping: apps for an almost real experience
Because of Covid, the usual tour of the shops during lunch break (here i new opening in December) has been replaced by online shopping and home deliveries. But practicality aside, looking for the perfect summer dress or the right shade of concealer from your phone is often a source of disappointment, confusion and multiple returns. But here comes the app ‘try on‘and virtual dressing rooms.
Even before the pandemic, brands and stores were introducing the latest technologies in order to improve there shopping experience of customers. The most advanced augmented reality and digital tools will never be able to 100% accurately predict what works or doesn’t work in real life (after all, the joy of a fashion or beauty product is not limited to the outward appearance. but also how it makes us feel when we wear it or apply it on us) but they can certainly increase the success rate and reduce, at the same time, the environmental impact of packaging and deliveries. And there’s an added bonus: they’re pretty fun.
We experimented with some of the best virtual shopping tools and funniest fashion apps out there and here’s what we found …
Precious Lee for DREST
© Courtesy of DREST
The sneakers in ‘try on ‘ virtual
Do you want to try on shoes and accessories? Wanna Kicks offers the best experience ‘try on ‘ virtual reality you might want, and that’s probably what prompted model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova to invest in this tech fashion start-up led by Sergey Arkhangelskiy with previous Google experience.
Wanna Kicks is a digital sneaker store that includes both traditional brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok and more properly fashion labels such as Common Projects and Gucci. The use is very simple: just scroll through the models on offer and, when you have found the one that’s right for you, point the phone camera towards your feet and, as if by magic, the sneakers you have chosen will appear worn to help you. to decide whether to buy them or not. SneakerKit, from Berlin start-up Vyking, offers a similar service and, while it doesn’t boast the same variety of models as Wanna Kicks, it’s the only app that allows you to try the Nike Air Jordan Retro.
The outfit in different sizes
At the beginning of 2020, the British e-tailer Asos had launched the function ‘See My Fit ‘ and, during the pandemic, it accelerated its expansion. It’s not exactly like trying the garment on your body but it makes it online shopping a decidedly more realistic and inclusive experience for those who do not have a super model body.
Just click on the garment that has caught your attention and you have the option of being able to see it worn by six women with different builds and heights (from size 36 to 50) and get a better idea of how it will look to you. The feature is not available for every product but is being added at approximately 500 garments per week.
How to choose the perfect makeup shade
The beauty industry is probably a step ahead of fashion in terms of virtual proofing of a look: from MAC to Maybelline, there are several brands that are turning to technology to help customers choose the right foundation or eyeshadow.
Just visit their website, turn on your camera and your chosen lipstick or foundation color will be digitally applied to your face so you can figure out which shade of red is right for you (and which matches the garment. loungewear you’re wearing) and whether that purple eyeshadow suits your complexion.
Irina Shayk for DREST
© Courtesy of DREST
Ready to play?
They represent a brilliant mix of escape from reality (which we have an immense need) and high fashion: the apps of gaming they put us back in touch with the child within each of us. For an option purely fashion, downloaded Drest, an app created by former fashion editor Lucy Yeomans, which allows you to digitally style avatars based on real supermodels and complete challenges by creating photo shoots.
Thanks to the offer of almost 200 luxury labels, including Christopher Kane, Prada and Tabitha Simmons, you can play this ‘spin the fashion’ of our days by choosing from important evening dresses or slides very chic and then take inspiration for your outfits. Then, if you have really fallen in love with a garment, you can click on it, buy it on Farfetch and add it to your wardrobe in real life.
Alternatively, you can be infected by the obsession that has kept us company in the various lockdowns. We are talking about Animal Crossing, the simulation game by Nintendo, where you can dress your character with clothes must-have thanks to Marc Jacobs, Sandy Liang, Valentino and many others. Or you can remedy the current absence of fashion shows with Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow, Balenciaga’s dystopian video game, through which the fashion house presented the fall winter 2021 collection.
Visiting (virtual) at Gucci
You won’t be able to experience the soft rugs or the rarefied atmosphere of its boutiques live but Gucci is doing everything to ensure a shopping experience as complete as possible from the comfort of your home. Last summer, the fashion house launched a new service through which to book an appointment and speak directly with a salesman from one of the various stores in video mode. He will take you on a tour of the boutique, show you the items on display and answer all your questions, from fit to fabrics. This is a particularly useful experience if you are looking for a new bag: you will not touch the new Jackie 1961 but you can observe and admire it from every angle.
A makeover business suit
Voir, another app endorsed by Natalia Vodianova, is primarily a subscription tool aimed at perfecting and editing your selfies thanks to a series of ‘retouch’ functions (touch up) and filters. But it also allows you to use your photos to test different hair colors and over 1500 beauty products. And it doesn’t stop there: you can try whole beauty looks – a trick smoky eye and lipstick nude, for example – rather than limiting yourself to individual components.
Tinta, what a passion!
Since, right now, going to the hairdresser is either forbidden or a real lottery game, the temptation might be to do your DIY hair dye at home. But, as you well know, choosing the right color is essential and both L’Oréal and Garnier have online tools designed to simplify the process: upload a photo of yourself or operate the camera and, whether you want to replicate the same color you have now or find out how you would look with pink hair chewing gum, you can give the green light to your imagination. In fact, these tools can even tell you what works – and what doesn’t – for your complexion. A suggestion? Make sure you have the right light for the most accurate result possible.
And for an experience ‘try on‘dream… stay tuned!
But let’s be honest. The app ‘try on ‘ virtual reality of our dreams is the one able to replicate an experience worthy of Girls in Beverly Hills. Well it could be just around the corner. Close your eyes and imagine the following scenario: a luxury virtual dressing room where you can upload your own photo and wear the latest looks that have just walked the catwalk. The Israeli start-up Zeekit is about to launch what is already billed as the world’s largest virtual wardrobe, and Amazon Fashion is working on a similar service.
Meanwhile, companies like 3DLook is Style.Me they are partnering with fashion brands to modify digital mannequins to look more like us. Then, there is Meepl, an app that scans and measures every inch of your body so it’s easier to buy the right size the first time. Lastly, keep an eye out Psykhe, an algorithm-based shopping tool that, after completing a test, suggests you outfit starting from your psychological profile.