Topshop is teaming up with Nick Knight, founder of SHOWstudio.com, for live Instagram coverage during its upcoming London Fashion Week show.
The visionary photographer will shoot the “true atmosphere and unseen culture” of the Topshop Unique autumn/winter 2016 event at Tate Britain, and release the images in real-time to the brand’s 6.2 million Instagram followers.
This “Insta-shoot”, will cover everything from the setup through to the finale on show day (Sunday, February 21). The aim is to step away from the “ordinary, often ubiquitous documentation process” seen during fashion weeks, Topshop said in a statement.
It will also be possible to watch Knight in action by tuning into Periscope, where GoPro cameras will be broadcasting his creative process.
Said Knight: “Fashion systems are developing so rapidly, and there are so many new and amazing possibilities. SHOWstudio has always championed change and innovation, so the challenge of posting real-time and live steaming from GoPro straight to Periscope is one we relish. SHOWstudio was also founded on the principal of championing fashion film and moving image, so we were delighted to accept Topshop’s offer to collaborate on capturing the Topshop Unique Show in the most dynamic way possible.”
Shoppers at the retailer’s flagship store at Oxford Circus in London will also be able to access a dedicated London Fashion Week area, and see a 3-D window installation by set designer Thomas Petherick.
Hey, guess what – e-commerce is becoming really important to the luxury sector but not enough luxury brands quite ‘get it’ yet.
OK, tell us something we don’t know. But cynicism aside, it’s always interesting when someone pulls that kind of information together and puts it into context. And that’s what L2’s latest Digital IQ Index for fashion has done.
I decided not to cover this story when it came out last week as the headline that Burberry’s doing so well in digital didn’t really throw up any surprises. But digging deeper, it stunned me how so many luxury brands are still not thinking truly digital.
Why does it matter? Well, as much as 83% of luxury growth last year came from online sales. A year earlier the figure was just 33%, up from a pretty pathetic 5% from 2010 to 2013 (I say pathetic, of course, because the mass-market had been happily getting online for years before that).
Why is luxury so slow?
Not that it’s such a surprise that luxury has been slow coming to the table. The sector’s $129bn in offline apparel sales are pretty impressive without the relatively tiny $210m in online sales. But with the latter figure set to double in five years and continue soaring after that, and with many consumers increasingly expecting a sophisticated approach to online, luxury can’t continue to bury its head in the sand.
Some brands are getting it right – very right. L2 said that the top 10 brands accounted for less than a quarter of that $129bn in offline sales. But online, they account for 65% of sales – yes, you read that right. On the downside, it also means that plenty of brands are getting it wrong – very wrong!
From genius to feeble – how brands fare
Anyway, the report looks at a large number of luxury brands and how they’ve performed online generally and in e-commerce, taking into account the many features designed to make the user journey easier/more pleasurable.
So, who’s doing well? Yes, Burberry’s out there in front (as it usually is, although it did drop back a little in last year’s list). It beats Kate Spade by one point with both given ‘genius’ status by L2. Burberry stands out for its well-rounded approach to both established platforms and emerging ‘cool kid’ platforms like Periscope and SnapChat, and for its upgraded mobile channel.
Burberry has invested heavily in improving the buying experience on mobile and its mobile penetration tripled after it updated its m-commerce channel.
Cole Haan was also singled out for praise in this area and for reducing mobile checkout from around 15 clicks to one thumbprint by using ApplePay.
Plenty of other brands are getting it right too. Digitally ‘gifted’ brands in L2’s list include Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Michael Kors, Bottega Veneta, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo, Diane von Furstenberg and Dolce & Gabbana. Valentino also came into the gifted category, which is great given that it was so slow getting online in the first place. In fact the New York Times said that since arriving on Instagram, the brand has posted more than almost any other. Go Valentino!
But L2 is pretty scathing about some other luxury labels. Chanel, Paul Smith, Balenciaga, Prada, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang and Dior may be fashion influencers to you and I, but L2 said they’re digitally ‘average’. It also said Chloé and Pucci are ‘feeble’. And Céline, Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Kenzo, Miu Miu, Sergio Rossi and Vivienne Westwood are ‘challenged’. Ouch!
What’s the problem?
Some brands are doing lots of things wrong, it seems. That can include not bothering to find out any extra information about their customers online, apart from their gender and birthday. While face-to-face they’re falling over themselves to find out as much as they can about them in order to improve their in-store shopping experience, online, they just don’t seem to care. Bizarre.
And many aren’t global enough online, even though they are offline. They appear to think their brands are strong enough not to have to speak to potential customers globally in their own languages. Big mistake says L2.
Any more faux pas? Yes plenty. One of the most interesting is that they don’t get that search is key and a social media ad video strategy isn’t enough to make them visible. Paid search is being neglected, which is a major obstacle to growth in an increasingly crowded e-commerce space, L2 said.
There’s more, a whole lot more but I doubt many people would read that far if I reported it all. It does seem strange that such a report full of criticisms could come out as late as 2015. We live in a world in which online just shouldn’t be ignored by so many companies that are so far ahead of the pack in so many other areas.
Can’t wait for next year’s list to see whether the “must try harder” message has got through.
This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday
One month later, four cities down and with hundreds upon hundreds of different designer looks for spring/summer 2016 revealed, it’s no wonder so much of the fashion week season blurs together.
For the fashion savvy, there are of course the ever-notable collections (Wang’s last at Balenciaga, new colour and embellishment at Gucci, in my opinion everything at Hermès, plus the endless off-the-shoulder looks seen throughout each week), but there are also the marketing techniques used that helped some brands stand out more than others, regardless of the outfits they revealed.
Agent Provocateur has launched on Snapchat and Periscope simultaneously in order to provide candid insights into life working in one of its shops around the world.
#ShopGirlTakeover, as the social media initiative is being called, sees sales associates taking control of the brand’s Snapchat channel for a day as well as has them answering fan questions via live broadcasts on Periscope.
Creative director Sarah Shotton says: “I love how Snapchat and Periscope offer a candid way to document ?a moment in time, and who wouldn’t want to see what AP Agents from around the world get up to? Want to know how to get into suspenders in 30 seconds, or what to do with a whip? These are your girls!”
The results have generated over 1.2m views on Snapchat and 10,000 views on Periscope in the month its been running so far, thanks to takeovers in London, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Toronto, Shanghai and Melbourne.
Singer Paloma Faith, herself an ex-AP employee, has also had 24-hours on the channels as part of her tie-up as the star of Agent Provocateur’s autumn/winter 2015/16 #KnickersForever campaign alongside photographer Alice Hawkins.
London Fashion Week kicked off yesterday, and while there might not be quite as much buzz around tech or digital ideas at the shows as there was in New York this season, there are still a handful of things worth knowing about.
Head over to Forbes for a highlight of the best, including Burberry’s early Snapchat reveal, Hunter’s mobile gigs on Periscope, Topshop’s Pinterest Palettes, Henry Holland’s NFC-enabled wearables, Fyodor Golan’s Transformers (as pictured) and a look ahead at Intel as a patron of the British Fashion Council.
Tweet with the official New York Fashion Week hashtag this week – #NYFW – and you might spot the pleasant surprise of a fashion-themed emoji to go with it. Twitter has released a total of seven custom designs, including a dress, high heel and leather jacket, which will change throughout the week.
That’s just one of several digital initiatives capturing our imagination for spring/summer 2016 so far. Numerous designers have also been turning to technology with everything from drones and wearables, to big partnerships on social media, making their events more connected than ever.
Interested in fashion weeks? Prepare to be social media bombarded starting from tomorrow when the shows kick off for another season in New York. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat (the list goes on), will all have their place, but the new app of choice looks set to be Periscope.
Twitter’s live streaming tool, launched in March 2015, started gaining ground with the fashion set during both the menswear and resort shows earlier this summer. For September, brands including Hunter, Ralph Lauren and Desigual have big plans ahead, while editors and bloggers are likely to be the ones grabbing the most attention as they head from one catwalk to the next.
Caroline Issa, fashion director of Tank and Because magazines, and herself a style icon, used the app heavily during menswear weeks in June and intends to again in New York. “Periscope allows true consumer access to the best in fashion month – I would have loved to have watched my favorite fashion editor’s point of view at the show when I was 17, and now anyone can,” she says. “It means a wonderful inclusion and access to what was [once] truly exclusive – it’s a step closer to the action.”
The team at Twitter are referring to the use of Periscope during fashion weeks as #fashionunfiltered. It’s about real access and no editing, which likely makes it one of the most authentic views of what it’s really like to attend. “Periscope is like a teleportation device, it can take us into another world,” says Georgina Parnell, head of fashion at Twitter UK. “It’s all about giving people a view or an experience they’ve never had before.”
CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists Chromat is reportedly giving wearables a new shape on the runway thanks to a tie-up with Intel too
Zac Posen meanwhile has partnered with Google to create a little black dress “coded” by girls via the Google Made With Code site so it displays a pattern created by moving LED lights (as pictured)
In terms of online content, Misha Nonoo is replacing the traditional catwalk with an “Insta-show” (a show via Instagram); and Ralph Lauren is live streaming its event to Piccadilly Circus in London via Periscope
We’ve also heard that Zoë Jordan is following in the path of numerous other KCD brands and hosting a digital show tomorrow, that Yigal Azrouël is partnering with styling app Covet Fashion to reveal select pieces from the collection 24 hours in advance, and that Desigual will be sending a Periscope stream out in the hand of one of the models as she hits the catwalk