Who knew London fashion week was first held in 1984? Well I for one didn’t…I thought it started in 1964. Despite getting this question wrong, I still received the Guardian fashion seal of approval: ‘You’ve won a seat on the front row of fashion week wisdom. Mwah. You look fabulous!’
YES fashion quiz, take that! What a sigh of relief I passed. What did this mean? Absolutely nothing, it turned out. Instead, I experienced AW13 London Fashion Week on the FROW of social media.
After the success of last year’s partnership with Facebook, the British High St giant Topshop continued to push the boundaries of the digital space, which saw them collaborate with Google +. Together they successfully developed products to allow customers to experience the show as if they were there. I wasn’t alone in being made to feel like I was part of the FROW (or the ‘model’ walking the catwalk…or the fashion ‘buyer’), over 4 million people clearly did too. The clever products Google + produced created an intimate, engaging and personal experience for people watching online.
My second FROW experience came from the luxury brand, Burberry. Live streamed through their website, the show experience was captivating, alluring and intimate. Content is King when it comes to Burberry, and they didn’t disappoint. The British fashion label gave viewers the chance to click to buy from the catwalk, the opportunity to personalise their purchases, go backstage with the models and share their Burberry experience on social media platforms. Whether you’re a regular customer or a fan like me, Burberry offered innovative ways to interact socially, leaving your Facebook friends wondering: did you actually attend?
The new video app from Twitter, Vine, caught on with the fashion set in a big way, as Paul Smith, Burberry, Matthew Williamson, Topshop, Jonathan Saunders and journalists were noticeable Vine advocates. The British designer, Paul Smith, partnered with London-based artist Kate Moross, who shot a series of imaginative six-second clips in the run-up to Paul Smith’s London Fashion Week show.
Established designer Matthew Williamson collaborated with esteemed photographer Sean Cunningham, who exclusively shot the designers collection using Vine and posted his own six-second clips just before the ensemble hit the catwalk. The idea was to give Williamson fans the ultimate FROW experience, focusing on the intricate craftsmanship and detail of each garment in the collection – often overlooked by regular FROWers. Fans were able to follow the Vines on Twitter through #MatthewMagnifield and on Facebook. Like Burberry, Williamson also released his catwalk soundtrack on Spotify.
Fashion socialite and acclaimed designer Henry Holland (of House of Holland) developed a capsule collection exclusively for eBay.co.uk with all proceeds from items sold on the auction site during London Fashion Week going to Cancer Research UK.
Sponsor of London Fashion Week, American Express launched ‘Fashion Insiders’ based at Somerset House. Their purpose was to assist, navigate and advise fashion week guests when needed. Sporting the latest colour block trend, American Express exclusively partnered with new gen designer Jonathan Saunders to ensure the ‘Fashion Insiders’ were suitably dressed for the occasion. The brand also partnered with fashion blogger, Disney Roll, who created a series of sponsored posts for the brand.
The British Fashion Council (BCF) made a strong statement that 2013 would be the start of the digital revolution for fashion in this country and London Fashion Week AW13 would be the starting place. For the first time ever the BFC partnered with You Tube to live-stream 21 of the on-schedule catwalk shows through the LFW channel. The BFC continues to lead British Fashion in the right direction, showing our fashion counterparts that pioneering new technologies need to be integrated into Fashion Week and remain at the forefront of the global fashion industry for the future.
Finally, it’s hard to mention LFW without a nod to the biggest talk of the town, model Cara Delevingne, the coolest girl in the world right now. Opposed to the quieter Kate Moss, Cara is a social media addict and posts her journey through life across all social media sites such as Instagam, Google +, Tumblr, Twitter and You Tube. Out with the model talk on weight issues and in with social buzz of this new, fresh-faced exciting British talent, who doesn’t take herself too seriously, is everyone’s best friend and loves to eat McDonald’s.
Which brand wouldn’t want her as the face of their campaign? #modelbehaviour
Noticeably this season, London Fashion Week was dominated by the designers’ innovative desire to give their fans and customers the most intimate experience possible. Where traditionally big sponsors of the event may have capitalised on their dominant position, designers and models have re-emerged, laying claim on digital innovation and consumer engagement.
So, whether you want to dress up, invite your friends over or even don a pair of sunglasses for the occasion, fashion has a new set of FROWers, the ‘Socialistas.’
By Francesca Gamble on February 26th, 2013