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Rag & Bone film is a contemporary study of movement

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Rag & Bone unveiled its autumn/winter 2015/16 menswear collection with a short film starring ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and street dancer Lil Buck.

Intended as a “study of movement”, the three-minute spot sees the two different artists providing a captivating, contemporary sequence.

They spin, twist and flip amid props including a chess set and giant speakers. The now 67-year-old Baryshnikov, who will be remembered for his role as Carrie Bradshaw’s Russian lover Aleksandr Petrovsky in Sex and the City, holds his own alongside 26-year-old Lil Buck.

“We liked the blend of the two – the young up-and-comer and the old guard. Lil Buck is more street and raw while Mr. B is sophisticated and sartorial,” co-designer and managing partner David Neville told WWD.

The brand’s urban armour-themed line is showcased on the duo, as well as a handful of other models, throughout. The movement and varying style of the film were part and parcel of trying to bring the collection to light in a way that allows male fans to get a better sense of what the designs are really about and where the influences came from.

The music is “Öngyilkos Vasárnap” by Venetian Snares.

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Blocks social media

Burberry won in the Twitter stakes this #LFW

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Burberry beat out Topshop on Twitter this London Fashion Week season thanks to the introduction of its #Tweetcam initiative.

The British heritage brand more than doubled the 8,000 tweets attached to its September show, hitting a huge 19,000 mentions between February 20 and 24, according to social analytics company SocialBro.

Its #Tweetcam campaign, which provided fans with a personalised, automated image live from the show in response to tweeting to the brand with the hashtag, generated 7,220 tweets alone.

Topshop meanwhile received 6,100 tweets during the same time period tied to both its show and its #livetrends campaign run in conjunction with Twitter.

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Editor's pick social media

Burberry #Tweetcam to provide personalised access to #LFW show

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Twitter users will be able to gain unique and personalised access to the Burberry show at London Fashion Week today through a new initiative called #Tweetcam.

Cameras around the show venue have been embedded with responsive technology that will enable real-time images to be sent straight to Twitter. Fans who tweet to the brand with #Tweetcam, will get a photograph returned to them from the “best vantage point” at that moment, with their Twitter handle and a time stamp placed on top.

It’s a pretty simple move for Burberry, but one in keeping with the brand’s ongoing bid to provide consumers with as much access to the action as possible. It has used Twitter for numerous such initiatives in the past, including the #Tweetwalk in 2011, personalised GIFs in 2012, and even a gifting service for holiday in 2014. Last season it also sold product via the Twitter ‘Buy Now’ button for the first time.

In a bid to reach further global consumers, Burberry has also partnered with messaging app Line to live stream its show to Japanese users.

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British brands enabling fans to shop real-time #LFW trends by leveraging outdoor advertising

This post first appeared on Forbes.com

Despite fashion week being all about what clothes we’re going to wear next season, brands including Hunter Original and Topshop will push current stock in a big way when London begins from Friday.

Both are turning to digital screens up and down the UK in Ocean Outdoor’s network, in a bid to truly capitalize on the hype that London Fashion Week brings. They will run real-time out-of-home (OOH) campaigns that not only provide consumers with more access to the event than ever before, but encourage them to actually shop by placing existing product, rather than new, front and center.

The fashion industry has struggled to solve the conundrum that building huge hype during fashion week season brings, when that tends to be six months before products hit the shop floor. Essentially, by the time the collections arrive, the shopper is already on to the next. Burberry was one of the first to make some of its line available for purchase immediately as far back as 2010, in response. Numerous other brands have followed suit since, including as recently as Tommy Hilfiger yesterday in New York.

But that idea only goes so far in practice. By the nature of their release, those items tend to be limited in numbers; either pre-produced thus run as more of a campaign (Tommy Hilfiger), or available for pre-order and delivery in just a few weeks on items that are straightforward to do so with (Burberry). Shifting the production process any further is quite an ordeal for most design houses, but for those on the high street it can be quite a different story.

“Since Burberry first [live streamed its show] there has been a slow trickle of better accessibility and speed to market from fashion week,” Lindsay Nuttall, chief digital officer of BBH and former global head of strategy and communications at Asos , told me. “Zara famously turn around production in a rapid process to soak up demand piqued by fashion week coverage. At ASOS we would provide guides of the key trends from each season for fashion hungry customers that related directly to current stock we were carrying. Innovation in digital formats like mobile and digital outdoor is shifting this up a gear now and taking it out to the mainstream consumer.”

Hunter and Topshop will be some of the first examples of brands making fashion week shoppable by promoting current, and therefore assumedly less limited, stock in conjunction with their shows.

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Hunter will kickstart its initiative by live streaming from its catwalk on Monday February 23 at 6pm GMT simultaneously across nine billboards. Run by agency Candyspace, this digital first for the industry (Burberry previously live streamed its show on just one billboard in London’s Piccadilly Circus), will hit high-traffic retail environments in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Glasgow. Messaging alongside the show will drive the audience to Hunterboots.com, as will a content takeover on the landing page of the WiFi-enabled sites for those logging in via their mobiles.

The brand will continue its campaign for three further days after the show, pairing content from the new Fall 2015 collection alongside similar pieces already available for purchase this season, including a poncho, parka and boot. By focusing on core silhouettes and ‘icon’ styles, rather than merely newness, the brand aims to offer the inspiration, not to mention the functionality, for immediate purchase.

Topshop meanwhile has partnered with Twitter to showcase  key trends emerging from London Fashion Week according to tweets using the #LFW hashtag. That real-time data will be fed through to billboards around the country from Friday February 20 until Tuesday February 24. It will be displayed as a word cloud and placed alongside corresponding shoppable Topshop product.

Consumers will also be invited to tweet to @Topshop with any one of the trends highlighted (it might be #pleats or #colourblocking for instance), to then receive a curated shopping list in response. Six billboards – all of which are within 10 minutes walking distance of a Topshop store – will be utilized for the time period. The experience will be replicated in one of the Topshop Oxford Circus windows as well as viaTopshop.com.

Sheena Sauvaire, global marketing and communications director at Topshop, said: “Through Twitter’s listening power, we can allow our global consumer to shop the trends as and when they happen, and give them insight and access into runway shows. The idea of live advertising is just beginning, and thanks to the Ocean Outdoor sites, this will be a first example of real-time shoppable billboards.”

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For both Hunter and Topshop, which are of course two of the more accessible fashion week brands in terms of price point, it’s a smart move to marry fresh and buzzworthy content with current stock. It’s smarter again to facilitate the shopping element of it all by integrating a seamless mobile experience, says Nuttall. “Linking everything to mobile means awareness and engagement is never more than one swipe away from converting to purchase, right there and then, wherever they are.”

Both campaigns have the potential to not only satisfy consumer appetite, but also provide measurable return on investment (ROI) on what would otherwise be a pure brand awareness push.

As the Hunter team said in a statement: “[It] will allow Hunter to capitalize on the heightened brand attention afforded by London Fashion Week and maximize this considerable commercial opportunity, addressing the challenge to drive sales six months before the runway collection lands in stores.”

This focus on ROI also comes at a time when the industry seems to be moving away from large scale, or more PR-worthy, innovation usually seen during fashion week – think drones at Fendi or a 4-D water show from Polo Ralph Lauren. Instead the emphasis so far in New York this season has been on social media programs that drive conversion, according to WWD.

As Melisa Goldie, chief marketing officer of Calvin Klein, told the paper: “You can have millions and millions of eyeballs, but if there’s no real conversation it’s nothing but a bunch of eyeballs… We really want to show that we are getting a return on our investment that is beyond just brand awareness and buzz. That is the next phase of digital.”

OOH done well has the potential to fit within that remit. Says Nuttall: “Outdoor has always been a brilliantly high impact and creative medium. It’s also always been able to reach a burgeoning young fashion consumer at a key moment that is both inherently social and ripe for conversion – when they are out and about shopping with their friends.”

The idea of a shoppable OOH campaign is “hard working commercial stuff”, she adds. “If the fashion industry embraces the creative and commercial opportunity that it represents, it will be really exciting to see where they take it.”

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e-commerce Editor's pick social media

Tommy Hilfiger to make limited edition runway styles shoppable at #NYFW

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Tommy Hilfiger is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and with it making two pieces walking its catwalk show at New York Fashion Week on Monday, immediately available to buy.

These limited edition commemorative styles include a varsity-inspired faux fur V-neck sweater in burgundy and oyster grey, and a zip-top oversized leather clutch in five colours. Both feature the brand’s milestone birthday emblazoned on them to match the heavy sports-themed autumn/winter 2015/16 collection.

Shown here are sketches of the sweater, as well as some of the other looks due to hit the catwalk. Fans following Tommy via social media will also be able to see snapshots of models wearing the looks at a pre-show backstage rally.

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Some of those images will come courtesy of the Twitter Mirror. As with designer Matthew Williamson who used this in the past, this is a software application that allows the user (in this case the models), to take a ‘selfie’, edit it with a personalised comment and then share it via @tommyhilfiger. Bloggers and VIPs are also expected to participate.

Tommy will also be handing the reins of its Instagram account over to It-couple Olive Palermo and Johannes Huebl this season, following in the footsteps of Alexa Chung who did the same for spring/summer 2015.

The brand’s First Timers campaign, which brings a group of digital influencers to a fashion show for the first time, as also debuted in September 2014, will continue once more. On Monday that will include vlogger and filmmaker Charlie McDonnell, and Instagram and Tumblr photographer Bryant Eslava.

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New York Fashion Week (and beyond): Digital do’s and don’ts

This story first appeared on Campaign US

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New York Fashion Week kicks off Wednesday, with hundreds of designers showcasing their latest collections in back-to-back runway shows and presentations. What is fundamentally a trade event — an occasion for press and buyers to see next season’s looks and plan accordingly — has become increasingly consumer facing.

Last season, a reported 1.2 million tweets and 330,000 Instagram posts mentioned #NYFW or related terms. Those weren’t just from brands. Fans and followers around the world (not to mention influencers on site) are tuning in to experience as much of Fashion Week as possible through digital means, soaking up streams of content across multiple channels, then post their own content alongside

Pressure for the brands has never been greater, as teams must consider how to showcase their products as quickly as possible to a huge digital audience. Standing out from the noise has become the greatest challenge no matter the size of the organization. Here are 11 do’s and don’ts for fashion’s big show.

Don’t post weak visuals. This is rule No. 1 for fashion week, a time when Instagram and Twitter are overwhelmed with blurry photos and videos of models as they walk past the front row. No one cares about mere proof that you were there; but they do care about Fashion Week more broadly, so give them something they can’t otherwise see. If you want engagement, think more like Dolce & Gabbana instead: a brand that consistently delivers beautiful still and motion imagery, real time or otherwise. With today’s devices, there’s no excuse for anything but.

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Do think beyond the “like.” What are you actually trying to achieve during Fashion Week? This is one of the noisiest times of the year in this industry, so be prepared to put the legwork in to be able to get the sort of numbers you want out. Your first challenge, therefore, is figuring out exactly what your objectives are, and accepting the fact they may be different from what you usually push for. Are you looking to build awareness? Drive traffic? Increase brand affinity? Or actually influence conversions? Apply your answer to the channels you use.

Do determine the channels most suited to your brand. Just because it’s a noisy time of year, don’t feel like you have to jump on every channel because you can, and whatever you do don’t just blind spray the same content across them all. Facebook needs to be different from Pinterest, which needs to be different from Instagram. And you’ll need to consider video, too. If resources are limited, use them wisely by prioritizing which of the big platforms are right for your consumers. Who are you trying to reach, and where are they? It’s worth remembering much of the online Fashion Week crowd won’t be your current customers, but they could be your future ones; targeting them could be quite a different move, so think through how best to capture their attention.

Don’t be scared to experiment. As much as it’s sensible to have a strong base strategy going into Fashion Week, it’s also a time ripe for experimentation. Take risks by trying out new channels and thinking about what you could do on some of the more niche ones. In the past, Fashion Week has seen some great campaign work on the likes of Spotify by Zac Posen, Skype by Victoria Beckham, and WeChat by Burberry. Expect Snapchat to be another platform to make a splash this season. And if something just doesn’t work for you, step away from it. The beauty of digital is being forgiven and forgotten very quickly — so cut your losses and refocus your efforts elsewhere.

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Do think about what will stand out. Snapchat will of course only get you so far. If brand awareness is your goal, then press coverage is key. If you’ve got the resources, go big by considering true innovation. Sometimes it might be seen as a gimmick, but it works. Fendi is a strong example. In February 2014 it introduced drones flying above its Milan Fashion Week show, recording the models as they walked out and beaming that footage back in real time to fans watching at home. The quality was terrible, but every major press outlet reported on it.

Do take advantage of organic content about your brand. If you’re directly involved with Fashion Week, it’s quite likely a lot of content will be generated on your behalf. Use it! Chanel has frequently been one of the most hashtagged fashion brands on Instagram, which helped it generate an enormous 2.4 million followers via @chanelofficial before it even posted any of its of its own content on there. (It finally did for the first time in October 2014.) Retweet or regram your influencers, integrate their posts into your own digital assets, and strive to push that advocacy further.

Don’t forget to interact with your fans. Social media is not a one-way channel, but it’s still very much considered so by many designer brands. Fashion Week is an ideal time to break that code and interact more regularly with existing and aspiring consumers. Rebecca Minkoff is a great brand to look at for inspiration. It took the idea of direct engagement a step further last season by involving Instagram fans in a critical decision related to the show: which of two looks would walk the runway. It was an incredibly simple post featuring two shots side by side with the opportunity for followers to vote. It worked.

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Do partner with influencers. Beyond the reposts and the interactions, think about setting up more strategic relationships with influencers in the space. They don’t have to be bloggers; perhaps they’re Instagram artists or Pinterest stars. Tommy Hilfiger in September 2014 introduced what it referred to as its “First Timers” campaign, giving access to a group of digital influencers from outside the fashion industry. Experts from the worlds of music, art, floristry, travel and architecture were all invited. Tumblr also runs a scheme every season that sees up-and-coming artists and photographers on its channel, taken on tour throughout Fashion Week; they hit some of the big shows, meet the designers and enhance their own networks. Open up your space to influential outsiders.

Do back all of this with budget. Free only goes so far these days. Partnerships take money. Content takes money. Most important: If you really want to target specific sets of customers, boosting your presence with real media spend is what makes all the difference. Think about doing so in real time, reacting to what is working and getting behind it to push it further.

Do think beyond the moment. It’s easy to get carried away during Fashion Week in a bid to keep up with what everyone else is doing. The amount of incredible visual assets at your disposal certainly helps, but don’t forget about what that means for your digital profile the rest of the year. Brands that enjoy the best engagement are the ones that maintain the quality, volume and velocity of Fashion Week long after the live stream. Look to Victoria’s Secret for inspiration: Its annual show has become an entertainment property in its own right, and the content it surrounds it with is equally commendable.

Or maybe … Don’t bother. If you’re not already an integral part of Fashion Week — set up with a scheduled slot for your show or presentation — consider how necessary it is to bid for relevance. Yes, there are opportunities for digital engagement, but it’s even easier to just get lost in the noise entirely. If you have something to launch, truly consider a different time of year before you use up valuable resource — not only might your consumers pay more attention, but so will others in the industry. This is, after all, a trade event at its very heart.