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Digital Innovation at London Fashion Week

30th September 2014

Another London Fashion Week has been and gone, leaving a trail of wearable tech and naked nails all over the streets of our trendy capital. The British Fashion Councils (BFC) focus for spring/summer 2015 was on digital innovation. This meant celebrating the digital revolution within the industry and asking designers to embrace technology in order to amplify their stores and work.

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You may remember the days when fashion shows were so exclusive only the fashion elite were able to experience the catwalk first hand. Well times have most definitely changed and now over 60% of catwalk shows are being live-streamed. Alfred’s self confessed fashionistas followed LFW’s goings on and we’ve contested who we think are some of the most innovative ways in which designers and brands embraced technology at LFW. Here’s Alfred’s opinion…

The BFC created a LFW online shop on eBay. The online boutique was available to customers across Europe and showcased 11 exclusive items from a range of designers, including; Alexis Barrell, Georgia Hardinge. No bidding needed though, it was straight to buy it now and all items were under £100…

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The official LFW sponsor Maybelline teamed up with Exterion Media to bring daily video highlights from LFW to London Underground’s projection screens across Zone 1 locations.

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House of Holland teamed up with Metail to create the ‘MeModel’- a digital avatar, which let shoppers try on and pre-order the SS15 collection in real time.

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The BBC featured a series of 3 programmes exclusively to iPlayer. The content included behind the scene footage with Susie Lau (Style Bubble), meeting celebrity front towers and reviewing SS15 trends with Daily Lowe (absolute fashion ICON).

You may have heard that Twitter are trialling a ‘buy’ button in the US, which will allow marketers turn a direct social relationship into sales. Well Burberry partnered with the little birdy to allow users to directly purchase exclusive nail polishes seen on the catwalk from a tweet. Don’t forget the little digital chips which were embedded into garments, unlocking content when a smartphone was hovered above them (jaw touching floor).

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But who won the digital war you ask? Fast fashion giant Topshop were the ones who impressed us the most with its fashion show firsts. Part of the ‘Unique’ collection was streamed on Facebook instead of the runways. Six items were made available straight after one of its shows AND cue Instagram…

Instagram is becoming an increasingly popular tool for brands and designers within the fashion industry, so it wasn’t surprising Topshop turned to the social photography app to deliver content for LFW. Five influential Instagramers, including @olivials and @wethepeoplestyle, guest edited Topshop’s social channels over the course of a week.

Topshop also partnered with Hellicar & Lewis to build a custom-designed installation in the window of flagship store- Oxford Street (love). The interactive mosaic acted as a livestream of the Unique SS15 show by using the influencer content, alongside other posts and pictures fans had posted using #TOPSHOPWINDOW. Passers by could open and enlarge tiles on the screen and print their favourite images in-store, provding an end-to-end catwalk to consumer experience as it happened. If that’s not showcasing the benefits of digital immediacy to the max, we don’t know what is.

So, I think we can safely say digital was FULLY embraced throughout LFW S/S ’15, from the smaller, more niche designers, through to the leading high street chains. The world’s first fashion show created by Instagram imagery though? Think you may have won the digital war this time Topshop. It leaves us debating just what is going to be in store for A/W ’15…