Who would have guessed one of the most exciting shows on our screens this month would star fashion designers Jonathan Anderson, Emilia Wickstead and Joseph Altuzarra? Matchesfashion.com’s new entertainment/shopping segment, the Digital Trunk Show, aired its third episode with J.W.Anderson yesterday; its guest-star-of-honour was Pierce (the pierced bag), J.W.Anderson’s latest accessory that launched exclusively with Matchesfashion.com.

“As a brand we are interacting more and more with our customers digitally,” Anderson told us. “Being able to share our products; how they are made, where they are made, what they are made of – this furthers our customer interaction, we like to offer them the chance to feel involved in our process.”

During the show Anderson mentions the personal significance he feels as a designer to create 3D objects. This comment is only incidental to the intriguing experiment in hybrid physical-virtual retail in which the conversation is taking place. Alongside a Twitter Q&A, the “360 shopping concept” of the trunk show involves an in-depth designer talk, a film of the bag’s production and “cinematique” technology that allows the viewer to save the product in their basket by clicking on it as it appears on screen. This mechanism is particularly fun in the previous two episodes, in which Altuzarra presents a range of striped shirt-dresses, and Emilia Wickstead, a floral-themed capsule, and the variety of garments on models creates the illusion of attending a private salon show.

As Anderson discusses the details of the bag, which took a year to develop, it becomes apparent that this retail model is perfect for such thoughtfully produced pieces. In our current digitised market, merchandise is often homogenised and lost within the infinite scrolling, grid-like interface of typical e-tailers. We are glad for an opportunity to better understand the concept behind a design, watch it in motion and see its minute details, in order to prolong and inform our own decision-making process (especially with such high-order items). After all, Anderson himself defined the J.W.Anderson customer for us as “an innovative person with an eye for design and quality. The Pierce Bag fits her completely and it's a timeless bag to be continued into collections to come.”

It’s not the first time Anderson has experimented with virtual reality in presenting his designs. Only in February he streamed his menswear collection on the dating app Grindr. He identifies the medium of tech’s one clear advantage as global reach: “we could reach so many people worldwide without any limitations.”

As for Pierce? Albeit a very tempting purchase in photo form, the narrative provided by Anderson during the trunk show really peaks our desire. The silver-toned ring puncturing Pierce’s facade is a play on earlier J.W.A. menswear collections and references punk culture. Anderson says, “I like the idea of taking a punk reference and twisting it on itself. It’s that border line between something which is classy, but not too classy.” Satchel-shaped and with a cross-body-strap option, it carries a school uniform nostalgia, a kind of androgynous, young un-fussiness – all inherent to the J.W.Anderson brand. It transforms from shoulder-slung to hand-held with a detachable strap. It’s designed with three compartments that won’t disrupt the sturdy shape of the bag no matter how stuffed or unstuffed they are. It’s a smart design worthy of being shown off with its own trunk show, and, as our shopping baskets will testify, definitely worthy of a “cinematique” click.

 

For more information on the Pierce bag and the Digital Trunk Show, visit MATCHESFASHION.COM. 

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