January 7, 2011 10:02 pm

Next big trend: 3D eyewear

 
An LA audience watches Burberry’s London show live in 3D

An LA audience watches Burberry’s London show in 3D

With 3D set to take over the entertainment world this year (33 leap-off-the-screen films are already penned for release), it is bound to become part of our style experience too.

Eyewear group Marchon is this month transforming the low-fi cardboard image of previous 3D eyewear via a new line of stylish, multifunctional sunglasses created in collaboration with Nike, Calvin Klein Eyewear, and Nautica brands (from $195) each capable of viewing 3D images and also being worn day-to-day.

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David Johnson, president of Marchon3D, says: “It’s not so much that 3D is an eye-popping experience, it’s that it enhances the entire process of viewing anything. There’s more impact and viewers are much more personally involved.”

Johnson says the glasses have been two years in the making. “We had the challenge of making the lenses curved and not disturbing vision,” he says. “Pretty soon 3D will be a part of everyday life. 3D movies already generate more than $300m a year. Ninety million new LCD TV sets are sold at the moment each year. The possibilities are endless.”

Marchon isn’t the only fashion company getting excited about 3D. This month Gucci is also introducing 3D glasses ($225) in its US stores, although they are only designed for use in the theatre (apparently there’s a market for people who still want to look good, even in the dark).

Brands have been enthusiastic over the marketing and consumer possibilities of 3D for a while, including it in everything from their online retail sites to their store windows.

“3D is a way of adding texture and interactivity,” says Manfred Abraham, director of strategy at Interbrand, the branding consultancy. “For fashion brands, online retail particularly has never done justice to what’s in store. This narrows the gap between reality and the screen.”

This autumn designer Marc Ecko has tapped actress Lindsay Lohan (in hologram form) to appear in his online campaign.

Last February Burberry streamed its London catwalk show live in 3D to stores in New York, Los Angeles, Dubai, Paris and Tokyo, prompting a slew of other brands to follow. Last month Saks Fifth Avenue used state-of-the-art projection technology to create a 3D snow scene as a holiday window display.

In September, London-based gallery Haunch of Venison hosted KM3D-1, a short 3D film by director Baillie Walsh featuring Kate Moss throwing Swarovski crystals dramatically at the screen (this can be viewed online at LVMH’s web-zine nowness.com); Gucci Guilty’s recent ad campaign directed by Frank Miller was launched with a 3D screening; director Wim Wenders has collaborated with Rolex on a 3D sponsored film; and Armani A|X Exchange has introduced a 3D music video for its autumn campaign (accompanying 3D print ads appeared in magazines, complete with non-fashion 3D glasses).

Ralph Lauren has gone further, hosting a 4D (3D but with scent) event last November to celebrate the anniversary of its online store. In front of a 1,000-strong audience at both its Bond Street and Madison Avenue flagships, the brand projected a 3D film on to the buildings, adding moving models that exited the boutiques and seemed to walk out into the audience. It also featured a hologram of Ralph himself waving from an upstairs window and a giant bottle of the brand’s Big Pony fragrances, which appeared as spritzes of the scent were simultaneously pumped out to the audience.

“It helps that 3D is much cheaper and easier to produce now,” says Interbrand’s Abraham. “It used to be expensive but now 3D effects can be applied to anything.” Even what you wear. Did you see it coming?

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