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Crafting a digitally immersive showroom for Ganni in six weeks

by Valerie Lalonde

Four times a year, the Scandinavian cult brand GANNI would travel to Paris, London and New York for sales appointments. Its Pre Spring 21 collection was scheduled to be sold to buyers in May 2020 but COVID-19 disrupted plans, forcing GANNI to quickly re-imagine the way it connected with B2B buyers and presented its newest collection. GANNI turned to Dept and MOON agency to help create a unique and immersive digital showroom experience. The result? A retro microsite that emulates a Windows 98 desktop featuring a personalised playlist, a lookbook that combines both video and still elements, campaign imagery, private folders and dress-up dolls. All of this built in just six weeks.

Changing how GANNI interacts with buyers

From its striped sweaters to banana and cherry print T-shirts, the Scandinavian street-style brand has made waves across the fashion industry as it grew to become a designer label that every follow-worthy Instagrammer is wearing. In a world that stays at home, GANNI needed to reinvent how it connected with its B2B buyers by embracing a digital-only approach. Thanks to our previous collaboration, during which our team of experts redesigned the brand’s website in six weeks’ time, GANNI asked Dept to help design and build a lookbook and digital showroom for its wholesale buyers together with MOON.

Although the aim was to present the brand’s newest collection to its B2B buyers, we wanted to take things a step further and create an immersive experience that incorporated some playful elements, reflecting GANNI’s brand personality to make the user smile. Therefore, together with GANNI and MOON, we came up with the idea of recreating Ditte’s, GANNI’s Creative Director’s, desktop and transforming it into an immersive digital showroom experience.

The core of the showroom experience was the lookbook, which enabled buyers to have a 360-degree view of each style. Each selected product would prompt multiple pop-ups of both photos and videos that zoom in and out to demonstrate the fit, shape and texture of the garment. To keep the navigation process simple and intuitive, users could use the arrows on their keyboard to flip through the various product offerings and press “escape” to close all of the open windows; making it easy to navigate the brand’s various product offerings in a surprising and engaging way.

Taking the showroom beyond a simple lookbook

Beyond the lookbook folder that showcased the newest styles in addition to styling suggestions and behind-the-scenes photoshoot images, Ditte’s desktop also included a virtual fitting room feature; which prompted users to take a photo of themselves and play dress up with a few signature styles from the collection. Once the look was finalised, users could save and download their creations. This enabled buyers to visualise and style each item to their liking, from the comfort of their homes.

Lastly, we featured a few small but fun digital components to set the mood for buyers around the world. To ensure usage felt like an experience rather than just business, our team incorporated elements such as a music player that played layback and lively music, a folder that opened the hampsterdance GIF and song as a fun 90s reference; and a “private” folder with a personal letter from Ditte introducing the collection alongside images showing the making of it.

Crafting a microsite using Netlify and Contentful

Our team of experts had six weeks to build and code a digital showroom for GANNI. Given the tight timeframe, we opted to use a customisable, blank slate Netlify CMS that enabled fast and flexible development via a friendly user interface. Meaning we were able to deploy it quickly and GANNI employees could also easily work with it. In addition, we used Contentful for media hosting purposes. This enabled us to construct a small-scale, coherent and self-contained application.

Building the future of wholesale

In six weeks’ time, together with GANNI and MOON, we created and built a digital showroom that enabled 600 buyers to discover a more personal side to the fashion brand, browse the newest collection and save any items they wanted to buy.

Nicolaj Reffstrup, GANNI’s founder, commented: “As COVID-19 hit, we realised that we had to radically rethink our approach to B2B sales. However, we needed to ensure that the project was 100% on-brand, totally immersive, digitally savvy and added value to our partners. We also wanted to combine the digital experience with playful and physical elements such as a handmade wine glass or a curated notebook with fabric swatches, creating tactility. The result was a completely tailored digital platform with an interesting brand narrative and content that was multi-layer. We were able to offer a high level of service to our wholesale partners as well as creating something that felt super personal in the shape of Ditte’s actual desktop.”

However, we’re just getting started. We are currently working on elevating the original concept by enabling e-commerce features in addition to adding even more playfulness. As the world becomes more and more digital, GANNI is future-proofing its brand by catering to all of its customers in a digital manner.


digital experience
immersive design