Topshop came out guns blazing with the announcement of its partnership with Google for London Fashion Week last night. Showcased via a very cool trailer from the team at Google’s in-house creative labs (as below), the initiative includes everything from a live model-cam to streetview access inside the autumn/winter 2013/14 show’s impressive Tanks at Tate Modern venue.
The idea is to use all of Google’s platforms to give viewers access to every aspect of the show as if they were “the model on the runway, the buyer in the audience, the make-up artist backstage, the designer fitting a look or the celebrity arriving”.
News quickly spread across the web, from Vogue to The Business of Fashion, and continued this morning on the likes of Wired and The Next Web. A headline from The Guardian, read: “Will Topshop and Google change fashion shows forever?”
Said CMO Justin Cooke: “By partnering with Google we are broadcasting the show to the consumer from every single perspective. A fashion show from concept to creation.”
So here’s the gist of it:
- Models including Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn will all be wearing real-time, HD micro cameras that will enable viewers to experience the show from their perspective. Pre-stitched into the clothes and bags, these cameras will show detailed footage from the runway as well as backstage. They have been developed with SIS Live using the ‘Hawkeye’ technology from major sporting events like Wimbledon. Said Cooke: “The model-cam will steal the show and this partnership with Google will feed that. Viewers will search for ‘Cara on the runway’, and their content will get propelled around the world”
- Exclusive access to these models will also be provided over Google+, where a ‘Road to Runway’ digital diary will feature everything from the first fitting to the moment they hit the catwalk. There will also be a Google Hangout inviting viewers to see behind-the-scenes at Topshop’s headquarters ahead of the show and ask the design team questions as they apply finishing touches
- Topshop’s YouTube page will feature a live feed on show day in a bid to broadcast the event much like the Oscars. Hangouts will air from the red carpet, backstage and the front row hosted by the likes of editor Melanie Rickey, blogger Chiara Ferrangi of The Blonde Salad, and beauty blogger Tanya Burr. Cooke said: “Our customisation of YouTube is a big deal, it’s not just Hangouts with one or two people; we’re using it as a live broadcast, like the Oscars, like a live behind-the-scenes documentary”
- Google+ will also enable fans to ‘Be the Buyer’ with a hangout app that allows them to create moodboards of their favourite items from the runway while seeking video advice from Topshop’s own buying experts as well as those from Selfridges and Browns. This will feed data back to Topshop on what items or colours resonate the most with consumers
- As with last season, every element of the show is also shopabble, from the new collection, to the make-up, nail varnish and music. The shareable Shoot the Show and Customise the Catwalk initiatives will also continue, evolved this time based on customer feedback
- Finally, there will also be a custom designed Google+ animated photo booth in Topshop’s Oxford Street flagship. Fans can try on outfits and have their pictures instantly uploaded to the store’s interactive digital window and Google+ page
If Burberry hadn’t already put London on the digital map, Topshop just did. Watch it all from 2.30pm GMT on Sunday, February 17.