H&M’s iPhone app with GoldRun.

Appealing to a new generation of tech-savvy consumers, augmented reality via interactive phone apps and virtual designing continues to be a growing trend in fashion. Two recent examples of using such technology and design include H&M’s AR platform courtesy of mobile app shop GoldRun, and the recent H&M store display in Manhattan, and Airwalk’s virtual pop-up shop, also using GoldRun, for the launch of their limited-edition Jim Plastic and Jim Tennis sneakers.

In the case of H&M, the fast-fashion retailer has always been on the leading-edge when it comes to interactive shopping experiences, including their use of Second Life, and other campaigns (similar to Uniqlo, another retailer/brand on the cusp of trends). In this case, they created a unique iPhone app whereby users can virtually view, change, and style the various clothing and accessories captured in the storefront display.

Like a gaming platform, it creates a sense of excitement and fun for consumers, who can also get very creative and put together their own virtual fashion show. Meanwhile, they receive 10% off the items within H&M, and can enter to win a trip to Las Vegas. The app also allows users to post the styles they’ve created on Facebook in custom Lookbooks.

The gaming sensibility and interactive nature of this concept with H&M so far has been exciting for consumers with iPhones within the area, however it will be interesting to see how it works with Android. Given that many shoppers in H&M are younger, Android is their logical next step as iPhones are still considered somewhat expensive to a younger demographic, who often op for a smart phone which are compatible with Android apps.

Airwalk’s Jim Tennis shoe.

In Airwalk’s case, the launch of their 90’s-inspired Jim Plastic and Jim Tennis shoes are a huge deal, so why not take it to the next level? In addition, pop-up stores are clearly the way to go, as this Holiday season we’ve seen more than the usual fare of pop-ups popping up every (i.e. CoolHunting’s new pop-up in the Gap in mid-town Manhattan).

Airwalk created a virtual pop-up, again using GoldRun, whereby users can download the iPhone app, go to a certain location and take a pic of the shoes (launched in New York and Los Angeles). The image appears on your screen and it qualifies you to get one of 300 pairs available.

Overall, the use of interactive tools via apps and virtual reality combined with the actual buying experience has created an entirely new way to shop. It also provides a crossover with shopping and gaming, which involves the brand, retailer, and consumer. Such examples also validate the reason why every brand and retailer should have a mobile strategy in the works if they don’t already.