Katy Perry Comes To Life in W Magazine AR Cover

The fashion publication’s latest issue embraces augmented reality.

Whether capturing Kate Moss in VR for a fragrance ad or letting retail shoppers don a headset in store, fashion brands are always seeking new ways to capture consumer attention. And when it comes to fashion publishers, augmented reality seems to be the immersive technology of choice when bringing printed stories to life in a bigger way.

One of those publishers is W Magazine, who today launched an augmented reality experience that brings the September 2017 issue to life with a 3D cover, a series of short films, interactive features, and AR-enhanced fashion portfolios produced with VFX studio The Mill.

This latest issue features Katy Perry on the cover, transforming into a “talking” cover where a video and audio message from music star begins playing, depicting Perry in a surreal setting while reading an Albert Camus-esque declaration of freedom. Readers are encouraged to interact with different parts of Katy Perry’s cover portrait, as each facial feature unlocks a new piece of content. Cover was conceptualized and shot by Steven Klein.

Aside from the cover, there are four other magazine features and fashion portfolios that can be activated using W’s Beyond the Page app. This includes a collaboration with artist Alex Israel, accompanied by a futuristic piece of fiction; a defiant take on fall fashion by photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott; and a portfolio by photographer and artist Collier Schorr, capturing fashion’s obsession with gender fluidity.

Scanning images and pages from the magazine, which are marked with an AR-activated W icon, leads to multi-dimensional visuals, films, and a panoramic, 360-degree view of the cinematic set. The app is available for download today, for iOS and Android.

This AR initiative by W is the latest hope for the fashion publisher to make their printed product more relevant and collectible, taking the flat page of yesterday to the holographic world of tomorrow.

Last year, fashion publisher Elle teamed up with RYOT to bring AR technology to its annual Women in Hollywood issue. The issue featured eight covers; one for Kristen Stewart, Lupita Nyong’o, Amy Adams, Anna Kendrick, Aja Naomi King, Felicity Jones, Helen Mirren, and Kathy Bates, all of whom were deemed the most influential women in the industry today. By using the magazine’s “ElleNow” app, you could hover your mobile device over any cover to watch the portrait come to life in a video interview.

W’s September, collector’s issue will hit newsstands August 14. A special edition, including two additional covers, will be on sale in New York and Los Angeles. To order a copy of W’s September issue, go to

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder of VRScout.

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