As Tamara and her husband and business partner went into lockdown, you could excuse them for taking an ostrich approach to the events of 2020. Let’s just stick our heads in the sand and wait for it to blow over.
Instead, the pair threw themselves into the digital development of their business.
Working with an artificial intelligence (AI) company from South Korea, they created an avatar named “Hauli”, which is African for “strength”. They used this avatar as their lead model, replacing the well-known (and highly paid) Catwalk models from their physical fashion shows with a digital archetype.
Instead of spending their time and marketing investment on fitting their latest pieces to their Catwalk models, they focussed on making Hauli as lifelike as possible and then working on each gown to be perfectly fitted to her, right down to the accessories.
Just as they would do for the real live fashion show, they put the same energy and investment into bringing their new digital experience to life.
Tamara said the process took “just as long, if not longer than creating real couture pieces”. But goes on to also say that it was very much a “labour of love”. Whilst it wasn’t an experience that she could have possibly prepared herself for – the results for her company have been outstanding.
Vogue recently quoted Tamara saying “We wanted to do something that had never been done before to that level.”
Earlier this year Ralph & Russo published 52 completely digital pieces, with all of them modelled by their new digital avatar Hauli.
They chose to use the 7 Wonders of the World as their theme, which was also a masterstroke of the time. This theme tapped directly into our pent-up desires to go travelling once again and to experience new and wonderous places and cultures beyond our own.
The results from the company’s perspective?
10 Magazine quoted Tamara saying that the digital development of the business will be her new “priority”, and that these sorts of initiatives will “extend across the entire industry” and that the opportunities within this space are “truly limitless” with so much room for creativity.
Of course, we’d all need to get over the hump of learning AI-first.