Fashion Brands Continue to Innovate at London Fashion Week
Another Fashion Week season has come and gone and, as we've come to expect, the innovation in digital marketing from the leading fashion brands has cranked up yet another notch.The brand grabbing most of the headlines (the marketing ones at least) at this year's LFW was Topshop with their "The Future of the Fashion Show" - a partnership with Google designed to let audiences see the show from every point of view.Their most eye-catching initiative involved the models themselves, who wore HD micro cameras pre-stitched into the clothes and accessories so the show was livestreamed from their perspective - including the runway and backstage - on Google+, YouTube, Topshop.com and into Topshop's flagship store on Oxford Street. In addition, several models involved in the show, including Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn, kept "digital diaries" on their Google+ accounts, so followers could follow their journey from first fittings to catwalk.Hangouts were aired from Topshop's HQ ahead of the show as the designers applied the finishing touches to their looks, as well as from the red carpet, backstage and the front row to give fans a full 360 degree perspective. The brand also enabled fans to slip into the buyers shoes by releasing a 'Be the Buyer' app, allowing them to create their own look boards with pieces from the runway collection, with the help of style bloggers on Google+. The app fed back information on the most popular styles and colours, allowing Topshop to make informed decisions on what items to feature in store. After the event, viewers were able to access music from the show and purchase the makeup and nail varnish worn by the models.Topshop wasn't the only brand innovating and other fashion marketers were quick to put the new social media tools at their disposal to good use.For example, Pinterest has more than trebled in size since this time last year and Badgley Mischka and Bergdorf Goodman both used it to good effect at NYFW by co-previewing their collections exclusively and attracting another 40,000 followers as a result.And Vine, the new micro-video platform from Twitter, saw heavy usage, most imaginatively by Matthew Williamson. The designer, renowned for the embellishments and beadwork in his handcrafted garments, used Vine to showcase his workmanship up close during his show. Rosanna Falconer, Head of Digital for the designer described it as 'a digital version of the go-see, which are the appointments made by press and buyers after the show to view the collection in greater detail.'But of course, Fashion Week wouldn't be Fashion Week without a headline grabbing initiative from Burberry. And their most interesting innovation this year came in the form of the re-launch of their 'shoppable catwalk' initiative.Re-branded as “Runway Made to Order” (from "Runway to Reality"), the service still offered customers the ability to pre-order for early season delivery of coats and accessories. However, it also offered fans a personalized element with their purchase in the form of a 'Made for' engraved nameplate.In addition, those pre-ordered items will come with embedded digital chips that will activate short films that tell the story of the creation of that item - from sketches to runway edits - as well as a video of the customer's name being engraved on their personalised nameplate. Customers will be able to watch these videos when their items are put in contact with smartphone or tablets logged into Burberry.com.What will we see at the SS14 shows in September? Will Vine and/or Pinterest still be the flavour of the month or will a new social network, like Pose, steal the shows? We can hardly wait.