Why Virtual Reality Is Fashion's Next Frontier

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One giant leap for...platform heels?

Once upon a time, it felt like tech and fashion couldn't be more different. But as once-nerdy tech has become an industry to reckon with, popular girl fashion is slowly coming around. And we ship this pretty hard.

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Earlier this week, designer to the preppy masses Tommy Hilfiger made it possible for you to watch a full 360-degree virtual reality version of his fall runway show in the NYC Fifth Avenue store. Shoppers have practically the same experience as someone who attended the Park Armory Avenue fashion show on February 16. Actually, it's even better: You get to go backstage, reports Quartz.

After you've taken it all in, you can shop the fall collection right there in the store. GENIUS.

Tommy joins other high-fashion brands like Burberry, which made headlines last year for digitizing the in-store experience - by providing tablets to both retail associates and shoppers, among other examples - under the initial direction of #GirlBoss Angela Ahrendts, now the head of retail at Apple (another tech company that can say it's #BUILTBYGIRLS!).

Rebecca Minkoff is also hyper focused on tech, launching virtual reality headsets that it created with Google's Cardboard (literally, it's a cardboard thing you assemble to turn your smartphone into a VR machine) on its retail site last month. Last year, RM began installing interactive touchscreen mirrors in dressing rooms, so that you can choose which items you want to try on right from the fitting room. Oh, and you can order a drink, too. Neat.

Abi Mandelbaum, CEO and co-founder of YouVisit, a self-described "platform for creating, sharing and managing virtual reality and digitally immersive experiences across devices," says this is only the beginning.

"Retailers have started taking advantage of this new technology by creating fully immersive experiences that allow customers to get a feel for a brand, store or product before actually committing," says Abi. "Virtual reality is bound to make a huge impact when it comes to marketing in the retail industry, especially as social media channels like Facebook have begun supporting 360-degree video. Finally, as virtual reality becomes more robust, brands will be able to offer consumers the ability to purchase items directly from their experiences, greatly increasing the technology's value to both brands and users."

We're excited to see which of our fave brands catch the tech bug and start implementing cool new digital features in their stores. Get in, b****, we're going shopping.

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