Go to the sites of the most innovative labels — Prada and Balenciaga, to name two — and you find almost no appreciation for the potential of digital technology. No special films that might illuminate the creative process, no animation, no design gestures that are consistent with the contemporary spirit of these brands. Instead, what you chiefly get is a video of the last collection, some still images from an advertising campaign and, in Prada’s case, an update about its art-world projects.
This goes for Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Armani, Maison Martin Margiela, to mention only a few. Everywhere you look, it’s a disappointing mix of predictable content, unimaginative presentation and god-awful navigation. A sorry state of affairs which I can only imagine has contributed to thwarting general interest for the industry in the past few years. It has mine.
A couple of exceptions: Hermès has done a nice job with its site. And Burberry, in an attempt to save itself from unwanted chav love, showed with artofthetrench.com (and a collaboration with The Sartorialist) a better understanding of the role the internet should be playing in fashion. Still, it’s nothing to rave about. Just what you’d expect to see in 2009.
— From London.