London Fashion Week: Burberry and Topshop Woo Tech-Savvy Fashionistas


Burberry Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey promised back in September ahead of its global flagship store opening on London’s Regent Street that Burberry would be stepping up its digital innovation lead even more. He wasn’t kidding.

London Fashion Week kicked off Monday with Burberry’s autumn/winter 2013 women’s ready-to-wear show full of glossy trenchcoats, hearts, animal prints and polished metals. It’s also taking a shine to latest in digital personalization: giving consumers the ability to order what they see on the catwalk straight from their mobile devices with a novel twist—customization using the brand’s proprietary technology.

It’s the latest example of how the Burberry brand is all in on tech, including its Art of the Trench and Burberry World digital platforms, pushing photos to Instagram, making contact with consumers across the social and mobile web. The fastest growing luxury brand on Interbrand’s 2012 Best Global Brands list is now bridging social and mobile with its latest move: live streaming its fashion show on its website, on Facebook, on Twitter (a first, the brand believes, according to the New York Times) and in its digital-first flagship Regent Street store.[more]

As for how personalization is embedded in this digital fashion show, scanning the desired item from the company’s website or from a tag in-store will “trigger a short film on your mobile (phone), showing the creation of each piece,” Fast Company reports. If the scanning occurs in the brand’s flagship London store, “smart mirrors will turn into screens and show the content.”

The short films “will also show video of the customer’s name being engraved on metal nameplates … that are stitched into the lining of the coats and bags,” as Mashable notes. Those on Twitter can see get an image of their own nameplate [name or initials] if they simply tweet with the hashtag #madefor through March 3rd.

Mashable initially reported that the customization was possible using RFID technology, but corrected its story to change it to “embedded digital content,” noting: “An earlier version of this story referred to the technology as RFID chips. This is incorrect. The chips are a new technology developed by Burberry, which has not released further details.”

While Burberry’s Bailey was keeping a close eye on rival Tom Ford’s London Fashion Week debut runway show, Topshop was also competing for digital chic.

The fashion-forward High Street retailer tapped Google for its multichannel London Fashion Week show (also starring model of the moment Cara Delevigne) at the Tate Modern art gallery on Sunday evening in what it billed as “the future of the Fashion Show.” Take a peek below.