How tech ruled London Fashion Week’s runway

The British fashion industry contributes a huge £26billion directly to the UK economy, so it should come as no surprise that the bi-annual London Fashion Week is a big deal. With Bloggers, Vloggers and Instagrammers bringing accessible streetstyle to the masses – the big four Fashion Weeks (London, NY, Paris and Milan) that were once strictly trade shows are now truly consumer affairs.

At the most recent London Fashion Week, we were lucky enough to attend the Kristian Aadnevik show at the Royal Horseguards on Sunday 17th July.  Aside from admiring the designer attire of the city’s most fashionable, we couldn’t help but notice how ‘online’ everyone was. Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram were lighting up the FROW just as much at the camera flashes from the array of photographers waiting at the end of the catwalk.

With social media and technology playing such a huge role in our daily lives, it’s important for brands to embrace the digital age in increasingly innovative ways. Taking heed from some of the big hitters at London Fashion Week, we’ve compiled the top five ways brands used and harnessed technology during London Fashion Week 2016:

See now, buy now: Topshop fans were able to live stream the UNIQUE catwalk and then click-through to purchase the collection as soon as the last model had left the runway. Burberry also brought back their revolutionary ‘runway to retail’ business model – tapping into consumer demand for real-time shopping experiences.

Virtual expeditions: Attendees to emerging London designer Martine Jarlgaard’s show were given Microsoft Hololens headsets to explore the full SS17 collection from all angles – appearing in the form of holograms.

Social chit-chat: Facebook messenger was embraced by brands showcasing at LFW for the first time this season – with Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger (in NY) promoting the instantaneous shopability of their shows by using automated bots to share content around the new collection, as well as offering live customer service help. Burberry took the conversation one step further and created a gamified maze with models, where the user could “step inside” to reveal pieces from the new collection.

Theatrical flair: A tried and tested tactic, embraced best by Charlotte Olympia at her most recent LFW showcase – if you put on one hell of a show, you can be sure your content will be shared. Any social media savvy fashionista would have seen the countless Boomerangs, Snapchats and Instagram vids of the fruit-themed 1920’s showgirl extravaganza plastered across the internet during Charlotte Olympia’s catwalk. It was bananas!

Rich pickings: Christopher Bailey abandoned Kensington Palace Gardens this year and instead chose a new location in Soho to showcase his most recent collection.  In partnership with The New Craftsmen, they turned the showspace into an exhibition hall and opened a series of activities to celebrate the craft behind and inspiration for the collection for a full week after the catwalk show. The best thing was that Burberry’s Makers House was open to all and completely free – so everyone could enjoy and share their experience via social.