Technology and fashion collide at the unveiling of AnOther’s digital first in Dublin (video)

18 May 2015

Jefferson Hack at Dublin's Brown Thomas with his digital creation

In an interview with Jefferson Hack and Liam Casey about AnOther’s digital magazine cover featuring Rihanna, we got some fascinating insights into how the internet of things could eventually transform the media.

Picture the scene. It is a muggy May afternoon in Dublin city and somewhere on the third floor of Brown Thomas the world of technology met high fashion as hurrying models carrying signature Alexander McQueen creations brushed shoulders with some of the high priests of technology and media.

The event was the unveiling of a revolutionary digital first – a moving fashion magazine with a bespoke audio component – and it was intriguing to see just how comfortable the technology and fashion worlds were with each other.

Just a week earlier PCH, a US$1bn technology supply chain player headquartered in Cork that works with everyone from Beats to Pebble and Apple, held Silicon Valley’s first-ever fashion show.

The idea for fashion bible AnOther’s digital magazine came about in Dublin last November when PCH founder Liam Casey had dinner with renowned fashion editor Jefferson Hack.

Hack explained that he had the idea in mind and had scrapped the idea that very day but Casey convinced him it could actually be done.

Publishing for the internet-of-things age

Casey says that Hack’s qualities as an editor ensured the project did not fall foul to mission creep and his insistence on minimal detail such as only a finite amount of video ensured that the entire endeavor came together flawlessly.

Combining the worlds of tech and fashion, a premium quality HD display shows a video of Rihanna performing in Alexander McQueen, filmed by Inez and Vinoodh. The video is accompanied by ‘The Sound of McQueen’, a specially commissioned, album-length soundtrack created by McQueen’s long-standing musical partner John Gosling.

Devised by Jefferson Hack of AnOther magazine and Liam Casey of PCH, the AnOther Digital Limited Edition is about celebrating the creative genius of Alexander McQueen, a long-time collaborator with both AnOther magazine and Hack.

Described as a “unique design object”, the magazine, which has a LCD screen stitched onto a paper magazine, went on sale recently at Colette, Selfridges, and Only 1,000 numbered, limited editions will be distributed.

“I wanted to bring McQueen past, present and future together in one spectacular moment to celebrate his career and the future of the brand,” says Jefferson Hack.

“Rihanna is wearing bespoke McQueen inside this ground-breaking issue. In collaboration with PCH and McQueen, we have made fashion history. [McQueen] was all about innovation in fashion. This collaboration shows dedication and passion for technical and creative risk-taking.”

A collector’s item

Art, fashion and technology blended into one beautiful object, the magazine will become a digital artefact and true one-off collector’s item.

“This is a unique collaboration which marries media, art, fashion and technology, and the results are extraordinary,” said PCH founder and CEO Liam Casey.

“Jefferson pushed the boundaries of creativity and helped us produce something that is both unexpected and beautiful, and which is guaranteed to surprise anyone who sees it. We were really thrilled to work with Jefferson, and his team, because he had a very clear vision of what he wanted, and we were able to focus on making it happen.”

Hardware hackathon

The unveiling of the digital-first magazine in Dublin came just one week ahead of the next Dublin PCH Hardware Hackathon in partnership with DCU and Irish Design 2015 at the DCU Innovation Campus in Glasnevin between Friday 22 May and Sunday 24 May, which is also open to the public.

The PCH Hardware Hackathon panel discussions will include contributions from:

Sarah McDonald, director/country IT lead, MSD — Sarah has fulfilled the positions of PMO, Sector CIO and head of Information Systems and IT with global companies in the pharmaceutical industry since 1992. At MSD, Sarah is responsible for maximising the business value of IT, through careful management of people, projects, investments and systems, and developing a high-performing organisation with exceptional standards of compliance and competency throughout.

Emer O’Daly, co-founder, — Trained as an architect at UCD and Yale University, Emer loves the idea of empowering people to become designers and innovators themselves. Her passion lies in discovering new intersections in design, technology and business.

Jack Phelan, COO, Drop – Jack is a seasoned technologist and designer in software development and engineering who’s designed and built many custom technological solutions over the years – from cycling robots to home automation systems.

Gaia Dempsey, co-founder, DAQRI – Gaia Dempsey is the co-founder and director of public relations and marketing at Daqri, the leader in 4D experiences. At Daqri, she manages projects including the company’s first hosted conference, VOX; The 4D Summit and the Daqri blog. Gaia also currently serves as the liaison for global educational and art-related partnerships.

Tim Hannon, general manager (computers), Harvey Norman Ireland – Tim and his team travel the world sourcing the latest and greatest technology to bring to the Irish market first. He has played a vital role in establishing Harvey Norman as one of the No 1 destinations for technology.

Niall Austin, co-founder, Moocall Sensors — Moocall Sensors provide calving alerts to any mobile phone. By attaching a wearable device to the cow’s tail, it can send an SMS text alert to the farmer.

Panel discussions on Sunday 24 May will be moderated by Ann O’Dea, CEO and editor-at-large at Silicon Republic, and Katherine Hague, vice president of community engagement and hackathons at PCH.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years