IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Tatler Magazine, in partnership with industry leaders in Augmented Reality Holition, create a series of drool-worthy pages in the September issue, featuring multi-million pound rings that readers can ‘try on’, whilst sitting at their computer. All you need is a pair of scissors and a webcam. International jewellery brands featured in this world-first piece of editorial are Boodles, Cartier, Chanel Fine Jewellery, Chopard, De Beers, Fabergé, Graff, Harry Winston, Louis Vuitton, Mikimoto, Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels. When asked about the collaboration, Jessica Walsh, Tatler’s Jewellery Editor, added: “What excites me is that we have brought together the oldest magazine in the world with an industry steeped in heritage and tradition – and combined the two to create a ‘first-time’ digital innovation. Digital technologies are changing the way in which people interact with both media and brands and I am excited to be contributing to this shift through such an exciting initiative.”
Jessica Walsh is currently Watch and Jewellery Editor at Tatler, having started her career as Isabella Blow’s assistant on the magazine. With over seven years’ experience in the fashion and luxury industries, Jessica has worked with many of the world’s most renowned publications, brands and photographers in a diverse range of stylistic, journalistic and consultancy roles. From creative direction to strategic brand consultancy, Jessica applies her unique mix of sophisticated taste, creative insight and professional values to every project.
I am delighted to have had the opportunity to interview Jessica and find out just a little bit more about this innovative collaboration.
JH-S: How do you think augmented reality is going to impact on the jewellery world?
Jessica: We can already see the nature of the impact, but we are at the start of the journey. The technology is constantly evolving and developing, with new opportunities becoming more and more apparent. There have already been some very exciting projects from Holition, experts in the emerging technology of augmented reality, including pioneers Boucheron, who used Augmented Retail to great success, opening the brand up to a much wider audience; similarly De Beers installed interactive 3D windows, which were beautiful and provided a solution by allowing jewellery to be on display 24/7. As mobile technology continues to improve and customers get more used to interacting with brands in this way, I am sure we will see many more innovative executions.”
JH-S: You have linked your glossy pages with a concept that is progressive and forward thinking; what has the response been amongst your readers?
Jessica: Thankfully very positive, not only from the readers but also from brands who were and weren’t featured! It is always a challenge to offer your readers something new and exciting every month, especially in print. I think we hit the nail on the head by combining the cutting edge technology with desire – who wouldn’t want to try on a multi-million pound ring from the comfort of their desk?
JH-S: At the heart of most of us, there is a desire to dress up and try on sparkly jewels. Is this a way of bringing jewellery to the people?
Jessica: That is the best part of my job! But the majority of us rarely set foot on Bond Street, let alone one of its most illustrious jewellery stores – it can be an intimidating experience. By using this technology, anyone anywhere has access to these jewels.
JH-S: What about the touchy-feely aspect of jewellery purchasing? What is augmented reality going to have to do to make the consumers’ experience turn from a playful fantasy into a commercial reality?
Jessica: We under-estimate the power of e-commerce: the success of Net-A-Porter and Astley Clarke among others has smashed the theory that consumers don’t want to buy luxury on line. Many people want convenience, privacy and efficiency. There is huge scope for selling Fine Jewellery online, not just entry price point jewellery. There is still the option of trying on the real deal, but first you can do your window shopping online, getting a sense of scale and size, before making the big purchase. There is an opportunity with the online platform to tell a richer story than in store, by using interactive still-lifes, the inspiration behind the collection, craftsmanship etc..”
JH-S: How did you choose the rings that we get to try on?
Jessica: I purposely targeted the very luxury, high-end jewellers of Bond Street. Tatler is one of the only magazines fortunate enough to have access and to be able to feature such high-end brands and exquisite pieces and bring them to life with Holition’s virtual technology. The rings are of very different designs, with a whole range of precious stones, so readers can choose their favourites.