Louis Vuitton’s latest AR project? Covering landmarks in dots

The partnership expands on some of Louis Vuitton’s previous Snap experiments, which began in 2019 when Snap rendered the late Louis Vuitton Men’s Artistic Director Virgil Abloh’s Keepall bag in AR. The brand already has lenses such as the Kusama-inspired pumpkin face filter and lenses that project artist dots around the user. This latest project was an effort to get even “bigger,” says Geoffrey Perez, head of luxury at Snap.

“We wanted to create something on a huge scale, and it means a lot. Paint the world’s biggest landmarks and monuments the way Louis Vuitton painted its boutiques and stores. It’s also a statement to do,” Perez says. “This is how the teams at Louis Vuitton and Kusama demonstrate the bridge between online and offline. They are digitally drawing dots on top of the real world.”

A focus on AR (as opposed to virtual reality, etc.) allows both brands and consumers to stay in the physical world and experiment with technology. “Augmented reality is connected to the ‘real world,’” says Perez. “AR is the healthiest way to think about the evolution of the web, rooted in real life and real people rather than escaping into VR.”

Partnerships like this mark a “return to storytelling” with AR, Perez says. After the pandemic increased the need for brands to adapt to this kind of technology for more practical needs like AR try-on. “Covid has forced us to move to a utility-focused element of AR,” says Perez. Now, with lockdowns lifted and more advanced technology, brands are now able to utilize both of these elements together. “It’s about inspiring and showcasing the artwork,” Perez says. “It shows that the world is a canvas.

Expect more projects like this from luxury brands. “This Louis Vuitton collaboration allows them to see the impact of making the world more interactive and more fun,” says Perez. “The next step is to make it a little more convenient.”

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