Oct 22, 2021
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Zalando shakes up creative photography with 'virtual location' technology

Oct 22, 2021

Zalando has announced an interesting development this week as it aims to “elevate the visual experience for customers” by piloting “virtual production” in a partnership with Orendt Studios for the retailer’s Designer category.


Focusing for the first outing on a number of British, Italian and American labels, the Hamburg-based creative content production group uses technology that allows any background to be projected on a 6m x 4m LED screen. And it’s “creating the impression the image was shot in a variety of dynamic locations and environments”. 

This addition of virtual production techniques “supports Zalando’s goal to be the Starting Point for Fashion, by unlocking the potential to showcase its assortment in a range of lifelike environments, or digital worlds, to create an elevated visual experience for customers”, the company said.

For the first shoot in front of an LED screen, Zalando chose products from “luxury and advanced contemporary brands” with a focus on occasionwear. Among these brands are Christopher Kane, N21, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, Roksanda and Phillip Lim. 

The products are set against digitally projected scenes of New York rooftops and streets, but were actually shot in a production studio in Hamburg. 

Matthias Haase, Managing Director Zalando Studios: “[This] enables us to bring storytelling to our product detail page without having to move our product shoots to different locations or build elaborate sets. For the fashion industry, this technology marks a new, cost-efficient and more sustainable way of elevating product content without compromising on the quality of images.”


Online retailers have been investing heavily in state-of-the-art studio facilities with advanced technology in recent years. But however advanced these locations are, the resulting photography is still clearly studio-based. A development like this shakes up the whole approach to creative photography and could mean an end to some expensive shoots in exotic locations, or simply fewer studio shoots and more 'faux' location shoots.

Anaheta Metghalchi von Berenberg, Buying Director Zalando Designer, added: “This partnership offers us a new creative production concept for our luxury and designer brands, moving beyond the traditional white backdrops and elevating the total look and feel of our online environment for Zalando Designer. Shooting within inspiring environments offers us the possibility to extend designer brand campaigns to product images, inspiring our customers and elevating their shopping experience from initial browsing, through to purchase.”

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