At New York Fashion Week, a Hi-Tech Experience from SAP and Cirque du Soleil Steals the Show

In the dynamic world of fashion, technology’s footprint is increasing every day. Brands like Rent the Runway, Moda Operandi, and Amazon are integrating new tools into their platforms to make customer experiences seamless and enjoyable.

As SAP expands its growing presence in the fashion industry, its technology will hit the runway for the third time in September, showcasing tech-enabled designs and a newly enhanced interactive runway app at New York Fashion Week (NYFW).

This year, SAP partnered with Cirque du Soleilthe world leader in art and entertainment, and fashion-tech designer and innovator Anouk Wipprecht to create the first-ever tech-enhanced designs. The designs utilize Experience Management solutions from SAP (Qualtrics) to capture participant’s inputs and delivers custom-made beverages — cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks — and fragrances to the individual.

Additionally, the Runway by SAP mobile app will again be incorporated in top designer Badgley Mischka’s runway show to create new ways for viewers to interact and provide real-time feedback during the shows.

With these innovative technology advances and utilizing participant input to drive personalization, SAP is turning Big Data into a moment of joy in fashion.

Taking Cirque du Soleil’s Customer Experience to New Heights with SAP Qualtrics

Cirque Unveils Tech-Enabled Designs Based on Participant’s Input

The original tech-enabled designs will come to life at NYFW. Together, SAP, Cirque du Soleil, and Anouk Wipprecht created “Elixir” and “Fragrance,” two designs that each include a dress and a suit and are centered around audience interactions to create the ultimate customer experience. Here’s how it works.

The experience begins when the participant first engages with the design. The participant interacts with the model and design through a tablet on their arm that takes them through a series of questions using the Qualtrics XM Platform. Feedback from the interaction is analyzed and feeds the exact experiential and operational data it needs to pick one of many expertly crafted beverages or fragrances for each guest.

After the questions are answered, the design starts to work. All fashionably hidden, through conveyor belts, pumps, and capsules secured by 3D-printed harnesses and accessories, the beverage design blends different alcohols, fruit juices, and flavors to craft the perfect drink. The fragrance design combines different scents, creating a personalized fragrance with a custom label and delivering a world-class product and brand experience for users.

The designs not only make the beverages and fragrances quickly, but they are specifically catered to you. The designs know exactly what you need — a lavender-infused drink for when you are stressed, ginger-infused for more energy, or even the perfect fragrance you did not even know existed.

How’s that for the ultimate personalized experience?

Shop with Runway by SAP

This year, whether you are at the show or watching, you can participate in the runway experience by engaging in real time with the looks from the Badgley Mischka show on the Runway by SAP mobile app. Simply point your iPhone at the model and the app will identify what they are wearing. You can then dive deeper into the look and “like” or “love” the items, and add them to your wish list. You can share your wish list with Badgley Mischka, and they’ll alert you when items are ready for purchase. The app uses the beacon technology and machine learning algorithms that instantly recognize the looks as they walk the runway.

Badgley Mischka has incorporated the app into its show, giving the audience the chance to engage and react to what they like and love, showing the designers the feedback and influencing future designs and buying decisions. It’s a personalized experience for each user.

Future of Fashion and Technology

On the last day of NYFW, SAP will contribute to an “In Conversation” panel, led by Emma Rosenblum, editor-in-chief of Bustle Digital Group, with guests, Alicia Tillman, global chief marketing officer of SAP; Marcus Wainwright, founder of rag & bone; Diane Quinn, chief creative officer at Cirque du Soleil; and Aaron Duffy, CEO of Specialguest. These thought leaders will discuss the impact of technology and experience in the fashion industry across a wide variety of topics.

“We are excited to return to our third New York Fashion Week with a focus on creating more personalized and unique consumer experiences at the intersection of technology and fashion,” said Tillman. “Through our tech-enabled fashion designs, created in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil, and our enhanced Runway by SAP app, we wanted to demonstrate how our technology can translate direct feedback and inputs to give designers the feedback they need to create designs that are the most relevant to consumers today.”


Follow @SAP to stay up to date on SAP at New York Fashion Week. Learn more about SAP and Cirque du Soleil’s partnership here.


A version of this story originally appeared on SAP BrandVoice on Forbes.