Made for the Loro Piana lifestyle brand, the experience one gets from visiting this site website is one of luxury and classic elegance, everything that Loro Piana is.
This project lasted 2 years, it’s composed of a Flash Front-end, two mobile applications for iOS and Android and a visual CMS made in Adobe Flex. The front-end and Visual CMS techinical implementation was entirely created by unit9 italy. Another Italian company, Value Team, developed the back-end, while unit9 London developed the creative solutions and the mobile applications and managed the production.
On the technical solutions
The biggest challenge of building a corporate website in flash, with hundreds of pages and panels, is to eliminate memory leaks and ensure a smooth experience during the whole time the user browses the site. In order to solve this problem we build an asset recycling system that re-uses each page and panel reducing object allocation to the minimum. The system we developed has proven stable and fast and allowed us to guarantee a comfortable experience even on low-end machines.
Back-end integration posed another challenge for the technical team; Loro Piana already had his own order and stock management system so the back-end team developed a layer on top of the existing system in order to make the front-end aware of stock changes and product availability and pricing. This middle-layer, based on the Hybris platform, is able to fetch data from the Loro Piana stock management system and pass it to the front-end, it manages the shopping cart, favorite products, user registration, and performs all the necessary tasks and checks required to buy products from the site.
On the other side, the front-end was developed with a built-in back-end method cache. This system allows the site to cache back-end calls (exactly like a browser does with web pages) greatly reducing the amount of data transferred over the net. It was not simple to implement such a system cause the cache has to be rebuilt and modified every time the user performs certain actions (like logging in or out ) because the reply from the server, especially regarding prices and stock availability, changes based on a multitude of different conditions. Security was also a big concern: each back-end service that exposes sensible data for the user is called through the HTTPS protocol and the payment process has been thoughtfully tested in order to guarantee maximum security for the user.
We developed a Visual CMS system based on the Adobe Flex framework in order to allow the client to change all the visual elements in the site: in order to do so we save the configuration on XML files that the front-end reads. A staging system was developed in order to test the changes and the front-end site is able to operate in a “staging” mode so that the client can review every detail before publishing the changes. The Visual CMS system manages all the aspects of the site that are not directly related to products such as “Home Scenes”, “Hotspots”, catalogs, language localizations, etc.
- Creative Directors: Marcus Punter-Bradshaw, Steve Price
- Interactive Producers: Valentina Culatti, Ulla Winkler, Steve Price, Davide de Santis, Emily Bell.
- Project Managers: Jessica Broms, Eleanor Bourdillon-Miller
- Designers: Luciano Foglia
- Illustrations: Bobby Kennedy, Fiona Woodcock.
- Tech Lead: Daniele Pelagatti
- Motion graphics/Animation: Marcus Punter-Bradshaw, Simone Nunziato, Poppy Westwell, Rafaelle Sido
- Development: Filippo Tosetto, Domenico Gemoli, Matteo Bonini, Stefano Guidolin, Neil Rackett, Silvio Paganini, Federico Parodi, Rafaelle Sido.
- Sound: Steve Nolan.
- Photography: Emily Bell.
- Copy Writer: Mike Reed.
Loro Piana Team
- Team Leader: Michal Saad.
- Marketing Communications: Erica Nicola Broglio, Michela Fioramonti.
- Technical supervisor: Gianmario Marchini.
Shoot Group Team
- Producer: Michelle Craig
- Production Assistant: Irene Sophia Lopez.
Jaques Vanzo Team
- Design consultants: Martin Jaques, Luisa Vanzo.
- Technical supervisor: Ettore Marcon.
- Developer: Demis Magoga.
- Project Manager: Loredana Donghi.
- Account Manager: Fabrizio Caiani.