Forever 21 to stage holographic fashion show

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It’s one event during Los Angeles fashion week(s) that is most definitely open to the public.


L.A.-based cheap chic emporium Forever 21 is hosting a holographic fashion show at the Grove on Thursday, with showings every 15 minutes from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The seven-minute runway event, which was conceived by Los Angeles digital agency space150, will feature holographic projections of models, clad in Forever 21 looks, walking a virtual runway over Gilmore Lane. There will also be a pop-up store on-site featuring styles inspired by the show, as well as a sneak peek at the second Rory Becca for Forever 21 collection, which officially hits stores Friday.

Los Angeles is the second-to-last stop for the hard-working holograms, which debuted to great fanfare in April in Vienna, when Forever 21 opened its first store there.

‘It’s an amazing show, and it really captures the essence of what we’re about -- that we’re not a traditional designer brand, we’re trendy and fun,’ Linda Chang, the company’s senior marketing manager, said by phone Wednesday. (Chang is the daughter of Don Chang, who founded the company in 1984.)

The $2-billion fast-fashion giant’s first digital project with space150 was an interactive Times Square billboard that went up in June, when Forever 21 opened its New York flagship there. The ‘augmented reality’ billboard features digital footage of a model, dressed in Forever 21 clothes, who takes photos of random people in the crowd and throws them into a Forever 21 bag. ‘Even today, hundreds of people want to get picked up by a model,’ Chang says.

The hologram show, which has traveled to several other cities and will end up in New York later this month, is the latest example of fashion brands trying to harness new technology to entice younger shoppers. In November 2010, digital pioneer Ralph Lauren presented a 4-D holographic fashion show on Madison Avenue in New York and simultaneously on Bond Street in London. Later that month, H&M created artsy holographic projections that leaped out from the facade of a new store in Amsterdam.

In May, Burberry held a holographic runway show to open its flagship in Beijing. And in September at New York Fashion Week, designer Norma Kamali showed her spring collection in 3-D film format, complete with stylish 3-D glasses for viewers. (The film can also be seen on Kamali’s website.)

Talk about taking fashion to the streets ... and the people. Hollywood is banking on 3-D films to increase revenue, why not the fashion industry?

[For the Record, 10:02 p.m., Oct. 20: An earlier version of this post gave incorrect starting and ending times for the Forever 21 event Thursday at the Grove. Showings will be held starting at 1 p.m., not 10 a.m., and ending at 9 p.m., not 8 p.m.]


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Why not let fashion frame the debate over who pays for 3D glasses?

-- Booth Moore