Beyond Burberry: How London Fashion Week Is Ramping Up Digital

Mashable

Burberry might be the hot ticket when it comes to pioneering digital initiatives during London Fashion Week, but that doesn’t mean a wealth of other British brands aren’t giving it a go as well.

Participating fashion and media brands are once again focusing on reaching mass consumer audiences throughout the week. More shows than ever before -- 46 in sum -- are being live-streamed from Feb. 17 to 21 via the British Fashion Council. Consumers can watch both online or, if in town, on the outdoor LED screen at LFW headquarters at Somerset House. Highlights will also be displayed on screens in the London Underground, which will include commentary from Twitter and behind-the-scenes shots from a dedicated backstage photographer.

[More from Mashable: Stimulate Your Lintellect With the Ultimate Jeremy Lin Nerd-Fest [CHARTS]]

Similar content will also be available through the Aurasma app, first launched for the spring/summer collections in September. This initiative enables anyone to access to additional video content simply by scanning either the LFW logo or the cover of the LFW Daily newspaper.

The aim of all these efforts, says the Council, is to enable access for everyone from anywhere.

[More from Mashable: How Twitter Is Changing the Craft of Comedy]

Vogue's digital billboard will bring highlights from London Fashion Week to Westfield Mall.

Vogue is aiding the charge with an out-of-home experience of its own. The British edition of the title is taking its authoritative editorial to a giant digital screen at Westfield London shopping mall for the week, as shown in the video above. The screen will feature four one-minute highlight reels on rotation from all the previous day’s shows, alongside real-time commentary from the @BritishVogue Twitter handle and behind-the-scenes footage.

Topshop is forgoing digital billboards in favor of an upgraded app that allows users to live-stream fashion shows directly to their mobile phones from the Topshop show space. Those on offer will include Mary Katrantzou (whose collection for Topshop launches Friday), Peter Pilotto, Meadham Kirchhoff, Louise Gray, Michael Van Der Ham and Topshop Unique. QR codes in the store’s Oxford Circus flagship windows and in its ‘zine 214 mag will activate the livestream. The codes will also provide access to other content, including makeup tutorials, backstage videos and a new film by Nick Knight starring model Karlie Kloss.

You'll also be able to find Fashion Week coverage on emerging platforms like Pinterest, where Dazed magazine will be posting favorite trends from the week, as well as Instagram (see Dazed's and Burberry's accounts in particular.)


Greater Opportunities for Online Engagement


Grazia is releasing a week-long series of documentary shorts as editors put together the spring issue.

Consumers won't just have greater opportunities to watch London Fashion Week; they'll also be able to engage more directly with the people behind the shows.

Throughout the week, the official @LondonFashionWk Twitter account will host live chats with industry greats, including designers Anya Hindmarch and Alice Temperley, as well as GQ editor Dylan Jones, by using the #AskLFW hashtag.

Grazia magazine is going several steps further, providing readers and online fans with full behind-the-scenes access to its editorial process on YouTube. Cameras from content agency Gravity Road are following editors 24 hours per day to put together the series of week-long videos, dubbed “Grazia’s Fashion Issue... Live!” Editors are also inviting readers to get involved, calling for them to send in their comments and vote on what makes it into the publication, including the cover shot. The issue will hit newsstands on Tuesday, Feb. 21 and will be accompanied by a 30-minute version of the documentary.

If there’s anyone giving consumers real control over how the fashion industry operates, however, it’s Harrods. Following a similar initiative from U.S. retailer Bergdorf Goodman last season, the luxury department store is putting the buying decision into the hands of its Facebook fans next week, when it will post every look from the Burberry show on its Page. The images that get the most Likes on Facebook will be incorporated into the store’s buy for the season, in a test to see whether Facebook can help brands determine a collection's bestseller items.


Making It Fun


Elsewhere, the focus is on using technology to provide consumers with thematic but entertaining content.

In a bid to promote itself in the UK market, French beauty brand Bourjois has turned to gamification. Working with immersive designers SlingShot, the company is launching a game called Spot the Belle, which is based on a treasure hunt concept.

Users are tasked with finding the GPS-tracked Bourjois Belle out on the streets of Shoreditch in London’s East End. They’ll be able to see her location on Facebook everyday. Then, between the hours of 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. GMT, fans can take the quest into the real world by using a live map on their mobile phones. Once they do, they’ll be directed to the Bourjois Boutique to claim free products.

Meanwhile, department store Selfridges is launching its new Women’s Designer Galleries in time for fashion week. Alongside eight new designer boutiques and a floor full of edgier young designers, this space includes a focus on in-store technology, with the unveiling of a next-generation fitting room.

Here, a central spot featuring three mirrors, allows shoppers to capture an image or short video of themselves. They can then compare different outfits by playing them back simultaneously and sharing them with friends for feedback. The space also includes a digital art gallery that features the work of British artist Daniel Brown, who is known for his interactive installations.

As you can see, there's a great many things happening with digital this London Fashion Week. From video billboards to mobile apps and in-store experiences, brands and retailers are using digital to draw consumer audiences into what is essentially a trade event. What remains to be seen is the route Burberry takes on Monday.

Image courtesy of the British Fashion Council

This story originally published on Mashable here.

View Comments (0)