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e-commerce Editor's pick social media

Victoria’s Secret among first to use new interactive Google Hangout feature, make broadcast shoppable

victoriassecret_GoogleHOA

You may remember Google launched a series of shoppable Hangouts on Air with brands like Diane von Furstenberg, Rag & Bone and others late last year. Now, it’s introducing an app called Showcase, which will enable anyone to incorporate content alongside their live broadcast, including links to websites, merchandise, YouTube videos and more. All of it will appear in a panel on the right hand side of the Hangout.

Victoria’s Secret is set to be among the first, with a Hangout on Air planned for July 29 in celebration of its 2014 What is Sexy List. The broadcast will see Angel Lily Aldridge, PopSugar celebrity editor Britt Stephens, and a series of special guests chatting about street style, beauty and fitness – all made shoppable through the Showcase app.

The cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes already used the app to link to things like exclusive footage and cinema tickets, as did Birchbox, as pictured below. The hope for retailers is that it will open possibilities to drive traffic to product.

Birchbox Showcase App

Categories
Blocks business e-commerce technology

Accelerating change at retail – a chat on innovation with WGSN, John Lewis and Zappos Labs

By day, I’m a global senior editor at WGSN, where we’ve been running an ongoing series of Google+ Hangouts (#wgsnhangout), chatting to experts from across the industry each month on subjects as varied as wearable technologycatwalk trends to know aboutthe future of fashion and more.

This month, the subject was retail innovation. I interviewed Will Young, director of Zappos Labs; John Vary, innovation manager at John Lewis; and Lorna Hall, WGSN’s head of market intelligence. Check out the video above for more on what’s currently shifting the landscape through the eyes of a heritage retail brand and a large US e-commerce player.

We chat about improving the consumer experience, introducing new technologies, partnering with start-ups, gaining internal buy-in, the ever-important role of omnichannel and more. There’s also a quick-fire round flagging up how soon (18 months, three-five years, or not at all) retailers need to care about innovations such as beacons, 3D printing, wearable tech, drones and virtual reality.

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digital snippets film social media technology Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Alexander Wang, Warby Parker, Gucci, Nars, Ray Ban, J Crew + more

It’s been a little while since one of these round-up posts on other interesting fashion and digital stories sourced from around the web, so there’s far more than usual. Each of them is however, of course, as interesting and relevant as ever…

  • Alexander Wang teams up with Samsung for crowdsourced handbag (as above) [Mashable]
  • Google reportedly in talks with Warby Parker to design stylish Google Glass frames [Techcrunch]
  • Gucci ups mobile conversion 70% via optimised site [Luxury Daily]
  • Nars tests Pinterest’s selling potential [Mashable]
  • Ray Ban launches real-life ambermatic lens app installation [DigitalBuzzBlog]
  • This is personal: J Crew debuts an in-store styling app [Refinery29]
  • How John Lewis uses Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ [Econsultancy]
  • Lizzy Caplan’s Viva Vena fashion film is one of the best satirical ads you’ll ever see [Slate]
  • The business of blogging: Garance Doré [BoF]
  • Shopping in the future: Glasses.com’s augmented reality fitting-room app [AllThingsD]
  • Will Apple’s plans for an iWatch herald a new era of wearable tech? [The Observer]
  • Farfetch fashion hub: meet the curator of curators [Wired]
  • Business Of Fashion gets $2.1m seed funding from Index, LVMH and more for its no-nonsense B2B fashion blog [Techcrunch]
  • How your tweets during fashion shows are driving sales [Fashionista]
  • Fashion buys into social tools [NY Times]
  • Online upstarts explore a new model for fashion media [BoF]
  • Why retailers are pinning hopes on Pinterest [Reuters]
  • 10 great uses of Vine during fashion week [The Cut]
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social media Uncategorized

Warby Parker runs Google Hangouts on site at Social Media Week

It might have been all about Topshop’s big partnership with Google during London Fashion Week, but at Social Media Week (SMW), it’s Warby Parker we’re talking about.

The eyewear brand, a long-time social media enthusiast, has set up an installation at SMW’s New York HQ that allows visitors to gain feedback on which frames to choose via a Google Hangout.

A shelf at the stand is filled with glasses, encouraging users to try on different options. Rather than just looking in the mirror, they can log in to a live session where various experts are waiting to share their professional thoughts on which ones to go for.

Those on hand throughout each day include celebrities, influencers, fashion experts and members of the Warby Parker and Google teams, according to a post on SMW’s blog.

Each Hangout is being screened on site, as well as live-streamed on Warby Parker’s G+ and YouTube pages. See a couple of examples from today below.

SMW runs from February 18-22.

 

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social media Uncategorized

Vine, Google+ take center stage at London Fashion Week

This article first appeared on Mashable

Twitter’s new video-sharing app, Vine, took off in a big way at New York Fashion Week. Designers and editors alike logged in to Vine to capture and share six-second scenes from the shows.

London Fashion Week (LFW) attendees are poised to pick up where New York left off. Design houses including Burberry, Jonathan Saunders and Paul Smith, as well as the British Fashion Council, are all expected to use the app to bring followers behind the scenes and front of house.

It’s Matthew Williamson’s feed, however, that’s the must-see. The designer, known for his intricate, handcrafted garments, will use Vine to showcase details up close during Sunday’s show. As the looks hit the runway, backstage shots by photographer Sean Cunningham (of Burberry Tweetwalk fame) will be posted to Twitter, magnifying the embellishment and beadwork in a bid to bring followers a more detailed view than those available to the front row.

The initiative takes its inspiration from Williamson’s #MatthewMagnified campaign on Facebook, which makes use of the Pic Jointer app to show catwalk images alongside close-up detail shots of the fabric work. Vine will see them in motion, as introduced by the designer below:

Rosanna Falconer, head of digital for the designer, referred to the idea as “Cinéma vérité,” a French term for true-to-life documentary filmmaking. “I love the way it’s such raw footage. Rather than being a final polished campaign image, it’s about what’s going on right now, live from backstage,” she says. “We’re trying to give our followers better-than-ever access with a real, up-close quality. In many ways, it’s like 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. It’s the beadwork, the detail and the craftsmanship of the product right there.”

Up close and personal

This idea of a digital go-see, or bringing fans and followers even closer to the Fashion Week action, is also part of Topshop’s plans for the season. As part of a partnership with Google, the British retailer will be providing viewers with live access to every aspect of its show using dozens of cameras, capturing fittings, “red carpet” arrivals and the show itself from multiple points of view. The aim is to offer the experience of what it’s like to be the model, the buyer, the makeup artist or even the designer.

Central to this is its model-cam, which will see Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Rosie Tapner and Ashleigh Good all wearing real-time, HD micro cameras so followers can see 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 satellite broadcasting company, SIS Live, and make use of the “Hawkeye” technology from major sporting events like Wimbledon.

Justin Cooke, Topshop’s chief marketing officer, says he expects it to steal the show. “The models will become the protagonists. Viewers will search for ‘Cara on the runway,’ and their content will get propelled around the world,” he says.

In addition to Topshop, a new partnership between the British Fashion Council and YouTube will serve up live streams of 20 shows through the LFW channel at youtube.com/lfwtv. A further 13 will also be streamed at londonfashionweek.co.uk/live.

Topshop is adding to its event with pre-show coverage also live-streamed through a customized YouTube page. Hangouts will air from the red carpet, backstage and the front row. “We’re using it as a live broadcast, like the Oscars, like a live behind-the-scenes documentary,” says Cooke.

Catwalk countdowns and live Q&As

Last season saw a big focus on visual diaries in the build-up to London’s shows, and the same goes for the Autumn/Winter 2013 shows.

Julien Macdonald returned to London Fashion Week following a two-season break, and in so doing shared preparation images over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram leading up to his show on Saturday. There was also a time-lapse video of the show space being constructed.

Peter Pilotto, meanwhile, who arrived on Twitter just last week, is likewise posting images in the buildup to his Monday show in what he’s calling his “Catwalk Countdown.”

Back at Topshop, the four aforementioned models will all be featured in a “Road to Runway” digital diary on Google+, documenting everything from their first fittings to the moment they hit the catwalk. There’s also 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 their finishing touches.

Expert Q&As are also a go-to for the British Fashion Council again this season. Twitter sessions will this time be held with British Vogue’s Alexandra Shulman, designers Manolo Blahnik and Henry Holland, and blogger and DJ Bip Ling, using the #AskLFW hashtag.

Personalization meets pre-orders

There’s much in the way of shoppable activity set for London this season, too. House of Holland has developed a capsule collection exclusively for eBay.co.uk, comprised of a dress, an oversized slogan t-shirt, an iPhone cover and a pair of tights, each emblazoned with the signature House of Holland Autumn/Winter 2013 “rave wave” print. The micro-line is available for purchase until Sunday, Feb. 24, with all proceeds going to Cancer Research UK.

Burberry, meanwhile, has rebranded its “Runway to Reality” shoppable concept as “Runway Made to Order.” Still a pre-order service for early season delivery on coats and accessories, it will also offer fans a personalization element with nameplate engravings available on each item. The rest of the brand’s show plans will be announced closer to showtime on Monday.

Topshop is enabling followers to buy straight from the catwalk again too, offering items from the collection for pre-order as well as makeup and nail polish for instant delivery. Its “Shoot the Show” and “Customize the Catwalk” initiatives from last season are continuing also, this time refined and modified according to people’s behaviors, i.e. how they interacted with the features during the Spring/Summer 2013 show.

In addition, Topshop and Google have developed a “Be the Buyer” app on Google+ that will allow fans to create moodboards of their favorite items from the runway while seeking video advice from Topshop’s own buying experts, as well as those from department stores Selfridge’s and Browns. The results, says Cooke, will help feed data back to Topshop on what items or colors are the most popular, cleverly shaping its decisions about what to put in store.

Such movements are proving that digital innovation at LFW aren’t solely about gaining fans and building awareness of current collections, but are an opportunity for getting consumers to help determine what will actually hit the shop floor. It doesn’t get much more personal (and for the retailer, efficient) than that.

Categories
data e-commerce social media technology

Topshop teams up with Google for LFW show

Topshop Google The Future of the Fashion Show

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.

 

Jourdan Dunn for Topshop

Topshop.com live stream

Topshop Google+ photo booth

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film social media Uncategorized

Topshop teases holiday film with social game of celebrity guess who – #whosthatgirl

Topshop6

Given the fact online films now pop-up left, right and centre from fashion brands and retailers, it’s always fun to see those who go the extra mile to make sure their fans are fully engaged ahead of launch, almost securing the spot’s virality before it does so.

Kudos then to Topshop, who has made its first holiday campaign an altogether more significant affair by using social media to tease who its star is.

“Winter Wonderland” will premier tomorrow on YouTube, fronted by a Hollywood A-lister. Accordingly, Topshop has been using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram to build anticipation as to who she is.

 

Five teaser trailers reveal shots of her from the neck down, pictures on Instagram capture her in London over the weekend from behind, and comments on Twitter provide clues into where she’s from and what she likes doing. A board on Pinterest houses everything together in one space.

All of it is accompanied with the hashtag #whosthatgirl encouraging consumers to guess for the chance to win a £500/$1000 shopping spree at the store.

Justin Cooke, CMO at Topshop, said: “We are very excited about the launch of our first Christmas movie, its a true 360 degree campaign with some surprise elements that you will see tomorrow! We wanted to create real anticipation before it premiered and it looks likes its working with over 100,000 people watching 10 second teasers and an incredible number of posts and tweets across all platforms.”

Some of the clues have included:

Topshop_whosthatgirl_teaser2Topshop_whosthatgirl_teaser1

This one is particularly fabulous:

Topshop_whosthatgirl_teaser3

And the guesses have been flying in. “From Elizabeth Olsen & Georgia May Jagger to Whitney Port & Diane Kruger…” tweeted Topshop on Saturday, December 1. So too have there been suggestions such as Cara Delevingne, Kate Bosworth, Chloë Grace Moretz, Emma Stone and more.

Fans themselves have been saying things like: “@Topshop’s #whosthatgirl competition is so addictive, keep trying to guess who it is, I really haven’t got a clue!”

And: “@Topshop #whosthatgirl can’t wait til Tuesday to find out if I’m correct, most fun game I’ve played in a long time, feel like a detective!”

And: “Tortured by @Topshop’s #whosthatgirl campaign. Talk about brilliant social media marketing. Can’t wait to find out who she is tomorrow!”

As for the film itself, Topshop says its inspired by The Fabulous Baker Boys – the film that made Michelle Pfeiffer famous. Until tomorrow then… (and some more pics below in the meantime).

Topshop5Topshop1Topshop2Topshop3Topshop4

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Uncategorized

Lyst turns to Google Plus for backstage Hangouts with key influencers during NYFW

Social shopping site Lyst is set to host live Google Plus Hangouts backstage during New York Fashion Week this season.

The initiative will see pre-show video interviews taking place with influential editors, bloggers and the designers themselves at the venue, while seven other people invited by the platform connect in remotely and ask their own questions.

Fans will be able to watch the Hangouts as they happen live on YouTube, as well as send in questions in advance to be asked by the host.

The first one will take place tomorrow, Friday, September 7, with the Rebecca Minkoff show at 3pm. Hosted by Teen Vogue’s Eva Chen, the coverage will see interviews with Rebecca, as well as with the hair and make-up artists behind-the-scenes.

On Saturday, September 8, the Tibi show will include an interview with blogger Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller.

“Google+ is becoming a great place for people who are passionate about fashion to meet, share style tips and promote new brands. We’ve been impressed and excited by the ways Lyst is using Google+ to connect with fashion enthusiasts and build a global fan base by the hundreds of thousands,” said a Google representative.

After each of the shows, Lyst will send out the video along with a collection on the site of the favorite looks from the influencers interviewed.

Meanwhile, Lyst has also invited Nina Garcia and Olivia Palermo to broadcast their favourite looks live from the runway. This “Live Lysting” program will see them both share their top items with their followers on the platform.

As individuals add them to their own lists, they guarantee an alert will reach them as soon as that item comes into stock in any store worldwide. This runway tracking tool was launched by Lyst a year ago.

“Lyst is all about letting people craft their own fashion experience by following their favorite brands and influencers – in Nina and Oliva, we’ve got two of the industries most exciting curators for our users to follow,” said Chris Morton, CEO of Lyst.

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e-commerce Uncategorized

Multimedia Burberry campaign invites users to pre-order new collection

Burberry is inviting consumers to purchase directly from its autumn/winter 2012 campaign and ahead of store delivery, through a series of short films and imagery.

In a continuation of the brand’s Runway to Reality concept, which allows consumers to pre-order items straight from the catwalk, fans will be able to buy straight from the campaign gallery on Burberry.com for the first time.

The campaign – starring up-and-coming British actress Gabriella Wilde, alongside musician Roo Panes – will break on June 1, with new creative rolled out on a monthly basis thereafter. Referred to as the brand’s “most cinematic shoot to date”, it was captured by Mario Testino at the Royal Naval College in London at night.

“We wanted to play with everything that’s at the heart of the Burberry world – celebrating our brand and London through imagery, film, music, weather and our iconic outerwear, all in a very poetic and British way,” said chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey.

Panes has written and recorded a track called “Indigo Home” exclusively for Burberry, due to be released on iTunes also on June 1. The campaign will also be pushed across international platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, Douban, Kaixin001 and Youku.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Oscar PR Girl, Daphne Guinness for Printemps, Narciso Rodriguez, FashionStake

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital this week:

  • Oscar PR Girl joins Pinterest (as pictured) [Pinterest]
  • Here’s why Pinterest works better than Google+ [ReadWriteWeb]
  • Daphne Guinness to play virtual mannequin at Printemps using cutting-edge three-dimensional scanning technology [WWD]
  • Narciso Rodriguez to create exclusive line for online retail store Rent the Runway [PSFK]
  • Why brands including Tiffany & Co, Puma and Burberry are using Instagram [AdAge]
  • New e-commerce business models, including personal subscription, social merchandising, mass customisation and collaborative consumption [BoF]
  • Fab.com acquires FashionStake after seven months of rapid growth [All Things D]
  • Women’s Wear Daily launches on iPad [Mashable]