Over the past few years London Fashion Week has gone from Paris and Milan’s ‘quirky cousin’ to at long last, an established and essential stop for all fashion editors. With Burberry Prorsum leading the way, PPR’s acquisition of Christopher Kane and of course, Tom Ford’s decision to show in London, the UK’s capital can finally claim to wield as much influence as its European counterparts. With 21 shows broadcast live via LFW’s Youtube channel and 60% of all catwalk shows live-streamed we take a look back at London’s most successful Fashion Week, from a digital perspective.
Vine Makes its Mark
It used to be the case that luxury brands dragged their heels when it came to Social – not anymore. A healthy proportion of designers showing at this year’s LFW embraced relative social newcomer Vine to film short clips that created buzz and anticipation prior to events. Paul Smith filmed Vines that revealed before the show preparations while Matthew Williamson made Vine a central part of their Twitter activity. By using the hashtag #MatthewMagnified, Vines amplified tweets by adding extra content. Key collection looks were captured enabling a better view than would otherwise be offered via photo alone. Pre-show a particularly nice touch was a clip from the designer himself inviting fans to watch the live-streamed coverage saying, ‘see my show closer than the front row’. Press were just as keen to use Vine to cover this year’s shows. The Times and The Telegraph both used clips to highlight collections via their Twitter accounts.
Technology Driving Personalisation
Burberry once again proved it’s one of the premier digital innovators in fashion with its ‘Runway Made to Order’ service. Viewers of the live-streamed show were able to order directly from the runway and benefit from ‘Smart Personalisation’. When brought into contact with mobile devices specially developed chips, embedded in bags and coats, unlock clips of bespoke content charting an item’s creation from sketch to runway. Every film clip is tailored to each customer by recording their name being engraved on individual nameplates. In a further twist that ties together on and offline worlds, customers that visit the flagship Burberry store on Regent Street with their chip-embedded items will trigger the same clips to be displayed in the in-store mirrors.
This is technology not simply for the sake of it but intended to build a deeper brand-customer connection. About Burberry’s use of technology in this year’s Trench-Kissing show designer Christopher Bailey said ‘I wanted the collection to be a celebration of these merging worlds we talk so much of, the physical and the digital merging. Tech is a part of who we are and it’s our heritage now. It’s important that we communicate in a way that’s relevant today’.
The Future of the Fashion Show?
This year saw a ground-breaking partnership between Google+ and Topshop. Chief Marketing Officer of Topshop, Justin Cooke has been quoted as saying he’s just as likely to be influenced by tech figures Google, Facebook and Twitter as high-street competitors. Dubbed ‘The Future of the Fashion Show’ Google+ partnered with Topshop after last year’s live show was watched by over 2 million.
This year Google+ pulled out all the stops to provide the most complete digital coverage of a show ever seen. Fans were given the opportunity to access almost every stage involved in the production of the Topshop fashion show, from model diaries and coverage of front-row celebrity arrivals to hangouts with the design team and a chance to curate favourite picks from the collection with the ‘Be the Buyer‘ app. Google Glass made another appearance (having last been seen at DVF) in the guise of ‘Model Cam’ recording the runway from the model’s perspective. By giving Topshop fans the opportunity to engage with so many different elements of the show the ‘life’ of the otherwise ephemeral fashion show.