Our talk with AO Production’s Partner ANNE LANDY


BY KENNETH RICHARD

Anne, thanks for being a part of this. So, how did you become a fashion show producer?
I grew tired of finance and had an opportunity to work for a firm that produced fashion events. After a few months of dealing with operational issues, I found that I enjoyed the production side of the business; it was a pleasurable challenge.

The challenge of opening your own firm then must have been a good time. How did that come about?
I partnered with Owen Davidson, who was a co-worker at the time. We found that we had similar sensibilities as far as our approach to production and customer servicing. We both enjoy the process of interpreting a client’s creative vision and the challenges involved. We were lucky enough to have great support from existing clients, which gave us the confidence to move forward on our own.

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How have shows changed in the last five years?
Social media has been one of the biggest changing factors for fashion shows, where audiences, who now consist of so much more than members of the press and retailers, require immediate access.

Has social media impacted how to produce a show?
There is a need to create an exciting environment that grabs the attention of the social media set. This impacts upon show elements such as scenic design, where the ever-present question arises: Are there ‘Instagram-able moments’ that will translate for bloggers? Also in casting models for the show, you have to consider whether they have a large social media following, and try to create backstage excitement for pre-show coverage. All elements of the show are now somehow affected by social media coverage. The important question is: Does this translate into sales?

On the subject of sales, with all the talk of see-now, buy-now shows, does the timing of shows matter in the big scheme of things?
Globally, there seems to still be a need for some kind of organized seasonal scheduling to provide cohesive collection messages. Fabric mills and clothing producers may take the longest to assimilate towards the ‘see-now, buy-now’ movement, as they will need to re-think their current supply chain methods. There is, however, a huge push for immediate access to the collection, driven by the consumers’ need for instant gratification. I just hope that creativity is not sacrificed in achieving this goal.

That’s the big technical challenge. Funny how all the tech has really been in communication rather than production. So, what do you think the next evolution of shows will be?
Virtual reality and interactive technology will be incorporated into the way shows are produced, recorded and presented.

Have you used any of these technologies yet?
We worked with a British firm that developed holographic technology, which we used for another Target event. We had a model-less fashion show using their holographic technology, causing the clothing to seem animated. The event, ‘Project Casper,’ was held in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station. The public had access to the show for a two-day period. It was innovative and generated plenty of excitement for all commuters as well as press.

We have also incorporated 360° video technology, where the audience seems to be immersed in the video, as well as livestreaming, which has become the norm for fashion shows.

Do you think there is an expanded interest out there from people to watch more and more shows?
I do believe that there is interest for more access to the collections. The question will be in what form people want this access in our ever-expanding digital world.

What was your favorite show experience?
That would have to have been the Target ‘Vertical Fashion Show’ we produced in Rockefeller Center. We had an incredible combination of reality and fantasy, what with acrobats coming down the side of Rock Center while simultaneously presenting a ground-based fashion show. It was really an exhilarating experience!

Talk about a vertical operator. What are you looking forward to this season?
We are very excited about the coming Delpozo show as it is always a wonderful experience working with the designer, Josep Font. His vision is always a wonderful surprise and his architectural background makes for an exciting and very special collection.

It is also our pleasure to be producing the Carolina Herrera show as Mrs. Herrera is a joy to work with!