Fashion faces off in this award-winning app

How Nicholas Cheong's people-watching with fellow creative Lena Paik inspired an innovative app for an advertising brief.

When Nicholas Cheong and Lena Paik joined forces to meet an ASOS interactive brief, there were two top results: a stylish fashion showcase app for young people, and a deserved D&AD New Blood Yellow Pencil award. Cheong tells us more...

How did the Face/Off idea come about?

It took us probably about 20 bad ideas before we got to this one. It happened at Starbucks as we people-watched and brainstormed for ideas, when two girls passed us by wearing the exact same clothes. In that moment, we saw an all-too-familiar awkward situation: when two complete strangers realise they are wearing the same outfit. We knew it was the insight we were looking for, all we needed to do was put it into context and apply it to the brief. Besides that, we also studied the things young people do, say and feel, which led us to specific platforms to focus on. For example, outfit of the day (OOTD), selfies, Instagram hashtags, tinder and so on. With that in mind, we combined the insight with the platforms, and voilà! The face-off battle came about.

What inspired the aesthetic?

The execution was inspired by Tinder's simple act of swiping left or right, a gesture that strips an idea down to its core. Since our idea is primarily about OOTD photos, we wanted an interface that could clearly showcase an outfit, even as it is placed beside another. The two competing outfit photos had to be the focal point, so we stripped away everything that could possibly complicate the interface.

What was the best part of the process?

This is probably one of the only ideas we had that we enjoyed the moment we grasped hold of an insight. The excitement sustained us throughout the execution, from storyboards to acting, filing, song choices, editing and more editing. Every part of it was truly fun and indeed a memorable experience.

Finally, what's your most unusual source of creative inspiration?

Finding yourself right at the brink of giving up. It happens way too often!

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 230.