Samsung Partners With Makeup Artist Charlotte Tilbury for VR Ad Starring Kate Moss

Fragrance spot debuts at New York Fashion Week

Headshot of Marty Swant

For this season's New York Fashion Week, Charlotte Tilbury decided to release her fragrance, Scent of a Dream, with a twist.

On Saturday evening at the Samsung 837 space in lower Manhattan, the British makeup artist launched her debut virtual reality experience for the brand's campaign starring Kate Moss. Through a partnership with the South Korean electronics powerhouse, Samsung Gear VR headsets were set up around the three-story building for celebrities, models and other guests to view the dream-like experience.

The film begins in outer space, where soon a glimmering Kate Moss appears to twirl around a wand of light while floating in the darkness. Soon, the scene switches to an elegant dance floor, where the viewer is supposed to feel like they're in the middle of a dance circle before returning back to outer space to see Tilbury herself floating with her fragrance.

It's not necessarily the most immersive or creative of virtual reality films. However, for what appears to be the first VR commercial for a fragrance in a still emerging space, the experience at least gives you a sense of what might be possible for all types of industries.

In an interview, Tilbury said she "built the scent with all these feelings of joy, love, light, positivity and power to the wearer." She said the scent and the VR film—which was a first for both her and for Moss—are meant to give the viewer a sense of traveling through time. 

"What was so amazing about it was when you go through these emotional pathways," Tilbury told Adweek. "There are these portals you go down when you put the VR on, that's like the emotional pathways that are between all of us. [It's] kind of also about having the keys of being submerged in space, which is like the keys to attraction. You kind of have the feeling that there's this limitless way to how you feel, and that you could be dancing on Orion's Belt, or you could be at a party with Kate Moss. So you can experience the whole sensuality of this fragrance."

During NYFW: Men's, Samsung worked with Platform 3 emerging designers to develop VR content that showcased collections and also gave more insight into the process and inspiration.

Virtual reality is just one part of how Samsung 837 is taking a different approach to NYFW since opening earlier this year. According to Zach Overton, vice president and general manager of Samsung 837, the company is hosting a number of events during the week as a way to "democratize" NYFW. Along with producing virtual reality content, Samsung created a "see now, buy now" station for Kendall and Kylie Jenner's newest line and will be livestreaming events during the week to involve a broader audience in a way that's different than the usual exclusive nature.

"We believe that VR is a unique and innovative tool in immersive storytelling, and we are using it to help designers and brands give fans immersive experiences around their fashion shows, brands and collections," he said in an email. "We are creating an intimate and experiential connection between the designer, fashions and viewers that can only come from VR. Fashion is an emotional form of design and the immersive quality of VR can heighten the connection between the inspiration, the design and the audience."

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.