September 14, 2012

Topshop to turn London fashion week show into Facebook 'entertainment'

The front page of Topshop Unique Live web page which allows users to customize clothes and accessories from the Topshop Unique collection

Users will be able to customise clothes and accessories as they appear on the catwalk

This Sunday, Topshop will turn its London fashion week catwalk into "social entertainment". The high-street trendsetter, in partnership with Facebook, has developed cutting-edge technology to make the fashion show experience more inclusive for its legions of fans.

For the first time, website users will be able to customise clothes and accessories from the latest Topshop Unique collection as they appear on the catwalk.

"We want to take the energy and the excitement of our iconic Oxford Street store to millions of people all over the world through," says Justin Cooke, chief marketing officer. "It's social, it's commerce and it's entertainment all rolled into one."

Topshop developers, working closely with Facebook, have created a camera button as part of the catwalk livestream where users can click to capture their favourite looks to share online.

Joanna Shields, the Facebook vice-president and managing director, said: "Fashion enthusiasts are sharing the things they love on Facebook more than ever. This is where the conversation happens, its among friends and its where great brands need to engage."

The catwalk clothes will be available for pre-order while the models' makeup and the show's soundtrack can also be bought as the event happens.

Jonathan Saunders, one of London's rising stars and biggest draws of the week, is also developing his digital business. This season, he is partnering the luxury online platform Motilo in a "shop together" scheme, with consumers able to make purchases during the show.

Saunders said: "Brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce are both constantly evolving and for me it is important to be able to listen to what the customer wants and how they respond to this ever-changing marketplace."

The British Fashion Council has also developed fashion week's digital offer. 70% of the shows this season are being livestreamed. The accessories designer Anya Hindmarch will also create a diary on while live Q&As via Twitter are set to feature fashion stars such as Matthew Williamson.

Burberry, which livestreamed its show on screens at Piccadilly Circus in 2011, will also host a virtual show of its spring/summer collection at its new Regent Street space.

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