Woman-owned Fashion Production Company Makes Immersive Experiences – WWD

When Bree McAlister decided to open and run her own fashion production company, Blue Revolver, she did so to create an environment for pure talent to take center stage. Typically, the field is dominated by men and riddled with ego. Nevertheless, McAlister branched out on her own and carved a space for herself.

Moreover, the company took the atypical stance of not working with freelancers to execute their visions — as McAlister believes that they can better serve their clients through an in-house team who truly understands their craft. Sensory experiences and creating joy is the main driving force behind Blue Revolver. McAlister studies the ways that the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch can tap into an attendee’s psyche and create a memorable, immersive experience.

Furthermore, being conscious of environmental impact is a responsibility McAlister takes seriously when creating large-scale projects for clients such as Louis Vuitton, Nike, Apple and Netflix. Recently, the company worked with Revolve Clothing for its annual Coachella Revolve Festival.

Originally based in Los Angeles, the company will be opening a new office in Paris this month to expand wider into the European market. The company has its own fabrication shops across the U.S. in Los Angeles, Austin, Texas, and New York and will be looking to take a similar approach in Europe.

Here, McAlister speaks to WWD about starting her own production company, opening a new office in Paris, immersive and sensory experiences, working with LVMH and more.

WWD: What was the impetus for starting your own production and immersive experiences company?
Bree McAlister:
I started Blue Revolver because I wanted to create a studio filled with incredible talent from all facets of design, that had no rules when it came to ideas. I started my career in stage design, touring the globe with some of the world’s biggest names in music. Through those experiences, I discovered that my deep passion is for bringing people joy through design-based storytelling that is rooted in science. My interest has always been in connecting with audiences more meaningfully and hopefully in life-changing ways. That led me to explore sensory science research around how the five human senses can be harnessed to create subconscious emotional connections with consumers.

That was my light-bulb moment. I could see that so many brands were rich in story, but struggled to connect with their audiences authentically. I wanted to create a studio that was not just focused on making something look amazing, but that creates in ways that are memorable and that allow people to truly connect with a story. I love that so many of the luxury brands we work with, such as LVMH, spend such an incredible amount of time crafting and telling a visual and expressive story through all of their collections. It’s so exciting to be able to continue that narrative through live and physical experiences that are meaningful and shine a new light on just how much work and care these brands put into the design and launch of a special piece.

This is why we’ve focused the last few years on expanding our full-time team of spatial designers, graphic designers and producers. We want to create deeper connections with our clients by having a consistent team of familiar faces that grows stronger at supporting each brand by applying learnings from project to project.

Woman-owned Fashion Production Company Makes Immersive Experiences – WWD

Blue Revolver’s owner Bree McAlister

WWD: Why did you decide to expand into the European market and open a Paris office?
Our expansion into Europe is a reflection of our growing portfolio of luxury brand clients. We’ve been intentional around our growth in that space and opening our next office in Paris just makes sense to us. Much of our team comes from a fashion events background and so it has been a natural fit to follow the call from European-based fashion and luxury brands for our unique approach to creating experiences. The response has been overwhelming and with it has come a strong push to have a physical presence in the European market, particularly in Paris. We could not be more grateful for the support our partners have shown for this new endeavor and we are beyond excited to bring our Blue Revolver magic to Paris.

WWD: Can you describe how you work with companies like Revolve Clothing, Nike, Netflix, Apple, Louis Vuitton, etc.? What is the process?
We love big blue sky meetings. It’s where the “blue” in our name comes from. We start each project by coming together after absorbing a brief and we just let our collective imagination go wild. Egos get put to the side and all ideas are worth putting on the table. From there, we begin to refine and revise through the lens of sensory research and the science of experience. Ideas evolve and get revolved (the other part of our name) internally and with our brand partners, until what comes together is something uniquely Blue Revolver, that speaks to the brand’s specific identity, objectives and voice.

WWD: How does being sustainably responsible and using artificial intelligence within your production process play into your ability to create meaningful sensory experiences?
Environmental stewardship is just a fundamental responsibility in an industry that is rooted in ephemeral experiences. It’s our job as designers and producers to minimize environmental impact without sacrificing emotional impact. It’s a normal part of our process to stay attuned to the best materials and practices for minimizing waste and to create opportunities to reuse, repurpose or recycle as much of what we build as we can.

Similarly, we’re also always looking for ways to expand and improve our creative process. AI is an exciting tool that adds new dimensions to our creative work, particularly when we’re in our initial blue-sky ideas phase. AI-generated imagery offers us a new way to sketch something out. We’re also excited about the opportunity it provides members of our team who aren’t designers to visualize a concept they’ve dreamed up in their heads. We’re still exploring and learning, but we’re already finding AI tools becoming a natural extension of the way we work.

WWD: What do you want attendees of your experiences to take away from your work?
It’s all about creating joy. That’s been our north star since the start of Blue Revolver. To be able to spend our lives making dreams into realities is a gift we don’t take for granted. We want our guests to feel completely captivated by a moment that leaves them overjoyed and deeply grateful to the brand that made it possible.

WWD: What’s next for the company? And what’s your vision for the company’s future moving forward in the U.S. and Europe?
We have invested heavily in bringing the most amazing architects/spatial designers, graphic artists and a full-scale production team into Blue Revolver full-time. We left behind the freelance model because we’ve developed our Blue Revolver way of doing things. We’ve grown our creative and production teams with immense talent and experience and it has been invigorating to work with this incredible group of people.

We’re focused on continuing to build out our fabrication facility and then most excitingly, opening up our very own IP project based around Happiness — a multisensory physical experience dedicated to the science of creating sensory joy. Imagine a fully realized architectural space that is scientifically proven to make people happy. We have been working on this project since 2020 and collaborating with research labs and doctors to get this right. We respect that people’s happiness is an extremely personal subject and must be handled responsibly, with careful curation. There is a gym for your body and we have envisioned the gym for your mind, and we couldn’t be more excited to give people the opportunity to experience art, science, design, technology and sleep in one incredible destination.

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