*notcot in wearable , 16:48

Ryan Mc Sorley Skin by Chanel- 01.19.10

chanelskin1.jpgThis post is the second in a series of 4 posts sponsored by Syfy’s Caprica focused on Future Technologies. As usual, our fun advertisers enable us do our thing around a theme by trusting us when it comes to content!

Ryan Mc Sorley just sent over some images of his product design final project at Central Saint Martins - Skin by Chanel. While at first glance it seems bizarre and perhaps even more low tech on the surface than you’d expect for a “future tech” post… it really sparked some playful conversations on where skincare may take us in the future. But first, here’s his concept! It plays with the idea of skincare and branding ~ looking at the skincare market and how far people go to primp their skin, “Just as we can define ourselves through the brands of clothing we wear, or the brand of mobile phone we have, we can now define ourselves by the brand of skincare product we use. If you are using skincare by Chanel, you want people to know that your skin is by Chanel, in the same way that Chanel handbags have clear branding, why shouldn’t our skin.” In his design, in addition to your cleanser, toner, lotion, you can also leave a logo impression on your skin! Yes, the type that appears when you sit in short shorts on a rattan chair for example. It fades in a few hours, but you look pretty silly until then.

While i can’t say i buy in to the logic, nor do i love overly branded goods, it did get me thinking about the future of branding and technology. Imagine if the lotion itself had the ability to create those branded impressions. Or if the samples created a brand on your cheek… unlocking the full version gave you the full experience brand free? Much like software? Or what if tattoos came in creme form? Or imagine if you are what you eat, and small symbols appeared on the skin of your wrist showing what you are made of ~ fun motivation to get some eating healthier? So many random ideas keep popping up… see more picture of Ryan Mc Sorley’s Skin by Chanel project on the next page!

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Here’s Ryan’s description of the project:

SKIN BY CHANEL

The skincare market is growing year after year. We see more and more skincare procedures, products and brands becoming available to us, and we are under constant pressure to look younger than we are. Where does it stop? And what does the future look like for skin?

Bernadette Wegenstein, in her book Getting under the Skin: Body and Media Theory, puts it like this, ‘In cosmetics, just as in the figurative arts, the skin has become a detached commodity. Marketers think about it in absolute, abstract and detached terms.’ Our own skin has become a material ans surface which is open to creative reworking.

As with mass-produced commodity products, skin is a means for individual expression- we want to be different and set ourselves apart from the masses. Just as we can define ourselves through the brands of clothing we wear, or the brand of mobile phone we have, we can now define ourselves by the brand of skincare product we use. If you are using skincare by Chanel, you want people to know that your skin is by Chanel, in the same way that Chanel handbags have clear branding, why shouldn’t our skin.

Considering this idea of branding skin, I have designed a beauty kit for Chanel. I chose Chanel due to it’s strong logo and brand history, and the fact that it is a high end brand. The packaging is manufactured in Corian, giving a smooth finish, and the organic and pebble like form is intended to reflect our obsession with perfection, especially when it comes to our faces. The kit is used at night before sleeping and includes a Cleanser, Toner and Moisturiser. There is also a headband in the kit, which is tied around the head and worn while sleeping. There is a silicone ‘Chanel logo’ on the underside of the headband which during the night leaves an imprint of the Chanel logo on the skin, which is visible for a few hours. People can then clearly see that the owner uses Chanel Skincare and not some other brand. Their skin has been branded Chanel… the ultimate fashion accessory you might say!?

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8 Notes

You can probably do anything you like with clothes. But there is only so much you could do with skin and appearance. I do not believe in pushing the limits in that end.

----- jullie 24.06.11 12:31

I love Chanel and their skin products are totally out of this world! I wouldn’t mind the logo thing on my skin, I’m absolutely obsessed with the brand! The skin collection looks really cool and I loved how it was advertised in an old fashion way yet the product is super trendy.

----- Gracey York 08.04.11 01:30

Teresa’s comment “In all honesty, this is pretty ridiculous and an unlikely reality.” is half true and half not. Yes, it’s ridiculous, no it’s very close to reality. People TATTOO these logos on themselves. I work in Manhattan and can’t tell you how many people tattoo their favorite brands on themselves. LV, CC, Budweiser, Guinness… I wouldn’t doubt that people would do this in a heartbeat in this city.

It’s also already started on an advertising scale with the tan tattoos another commenter mentioned, and this made some waves early last year: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/business/media/18adco.html

It’s coming, and never underestimate the human’s need to belong.

----- rachel 21.01.10 18:35

Anyone who defines themselves based on corporate logos has already given up their individuality.

----- Corvin 20.01.10 19:52

In all honesty, this is pretty ridiculous and an unlikely reality. The fact that the headband serves no other purpose makes it absolutely gaudy and really just useless. Wearing a chanel bag with a logo on it is one thing, but to spend actual time and effort by having wear a contraption overnight? I’m really trying to imagine the person who would use this. Brush my teeth, floss and strap on my *insert brand* headband?

----- Teresa 20.01.10 09:22

This isn’t sufficiently different than the little Playboy logo tanning stencils that have been in use for years and years now…

----- Lilith Snow 20.01.10 05:56

Hey Gonzalo… I would be happy to discuss this with you. I should say though this project was accompanied by a dissertation so there is a lot more thought behind it than I have put here. I am not really making a statement but just trying to get people to think about the way we view skin and skin care. But feel free to e-mail me on ryanmcsorley7@hotmail.com.

----- Ryan 19.01.10 23:57

This is interesting Ryan, and the execution is well accomplished. Don’t you think, however, that there is something sadly ironic in encouraging a megabrand like Chanel to skin brand their costumers? (as consumers we often behave unreflectively like cattle, though, so maybe we deserve the brand on the skn!).
Sarcasm aside, Ryan, I do think this kind of idea is problematic, and I would love to discuss more about it with you.

----- Gonzalo 19.01.10 22:51

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