Katy Perry Takes on Augmented Reality for W Magazine’s September Issue

by Sydney Sadick

As W Magazine’s September issue says, listen up! The glossy released its epic special collector’s September issue starring singer Katy Perry, marking the book’s launch of an augmented reality experience, which brings the issue to life with a “talking” cover, a series of short films, and other interactive features. Steven Klein lensed the cover, and it was styled by Edward Enninful. “We perceive magazines as flat planes of expression. Photographic and print materials as static, firmly held in place by the laws of time and space. But now, through new technology, we have broken those laws and can render a picture as a living entity, as in the case of my W magazine cover story with musical artist Katy Perry,” said Klein. “Like Alice looking through the looking glass, you are invited, through the use of an app, to step into the wonderland we have created with the technical assistance of The Mill.” The AR experience can be accessed by downloading W’s Beyond the Page app and scanning the cover and images from the magazine.

“We are thrilled to unveil a very special and collectible September issue, blending the printed page with the virtual realm,” said W editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi. “This augmented reality experience embodies everything that W stands for – it’s bold, provocative, and offers a truly immersive escape, across print and digital platforms.” In addition to the cover story, the AR experience extends to a collaboration with artist Alex Israel, accompanied by a futuristic piece of fiction; a defiant take on fall fashion by photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott; and a portfolio by photographer and artist Collier Schorr, capturing fashion’s obsession with gender fluidity.

Peruse some highlights from Katy’s interview below. W’s September collector’s issue will hit newsstands August 14. A special edition, including two additional covers, will be on sale in New York and Los Angeles. To order a copy, go to wmag.com/go/katyperrypromo.

Where do you get your best ideas?
“I get them in three different ways. From transcendental meditation, where I rest and kind of restart my mind. Or during a massage. Or showering. I always have my phone on standby when I hop out of the shower.” 

Do you sing your own songs in the shower?
“No. I make up songs. Or I go, “I like to move it move it.” I’ve had several sing-offs with boyfriends. That’s very fun—singing in the shower and scrubbing!”

Is life more enjoyable with short hair?
“Everything is more fun with short hair! I can just get up and go. I feel so liberated with this hair now. In general, I feel 360-degrees liberated—all around. Whether it’s politically, mentally, spiritually, sexually. I feel liberated from all the things that don’t serve me. I’m surrendering and embracing my 30s. You couldn’t give me anything to go back to my 20s. To get to this place, I had to do some much-needed work on my heart, soul, mind, and body. Since doing that, a lot of beautiful things started to bloom again.”

Where was your first kiss?
“My first French kiss was in sixth grade in Big Bear, California. I was hanging out with this girl from church who had a bit of a reputation. She had a coed party, and I was not allowed to go to a coed party until eighth grade. But I went anyway. At the party, we played spin the bottle. It got to be my turn, and I spun the bottle, and, all of a sudden, I felt like there was a wet fish in my mouth. That was my first kiss. When you’re in sixth grade, there’s no art to French kissing. There’s no cadence, no beautiful up and down, no waves. Instead, it just feels like your mouth is getting invaded by a slug.”

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