Digital Fashion

For my Instructional video assignment, I added Dior to my Google alerts (thanks Wags!). Since then I have been notoriously stalking everything to do with Dior.

One of the updates I found in my (7574649 unread messages) inbox, was that Paris Fashion Week is in full force. What is exciting is Raf Simon’s first Ready to Wear Summer 2013 collection for Dior will be launched in the coming hours.

But what is interesting is the fact that this show will be streamed live on the Dior website. Dior asks you to reserve your seat to become an official photographer and share your favourite looks in real time. This is a first for the fashion house as it seeks to engage and connect with consumers and fans while catching up with the digital world. Being asked to reserve your seat retains that air of exclusivity that the major fashion houses struggle to integrate with social media and digital marketing. It’s an on going battle between the idea of  luxury being accessible in the digital world. It is very interesting to see the results of it will be for Dior.

Similarly, TopShop launched TOPSHOP Unique Live for London Fashion week where customers are invited to experience the catwalk on a different level. The keyword in this event is social. Users are able to watch the fashion show in real time, tweet, listen to the catwalk playlist and download directly from iTunes and snap and share their favourite looks on facebook and twitter. It’s a long list, but there’s more! You can customize the catwalk, as it happens with your favourite colours and shop directly (impulse shopping anyone?). Pretty cool, I must say.

The results? 2 million people from all over the world logging in with a purported 200 million being exposed to Topshop Unique S/S 13 content due to people sharing their experience as part of a partnership with Facebook. This is great stuff for Topshop and a great example how how digital technology, fashion and marketing can be integrated together to bring a seamless  and totally new experience for consumers. Furthermore, this is a great example of going further to drive immediate sales and being even more active on the social media front. By giving unrestricted access, everyone by their own right is now a fashionista thanks to Topshop.

This post from The Telegraph explains and details the on going angst between fashion houses who want to remain exclusive but still want to maintain a strong online presence. These two ideas aren’t always compatible, but definitely not  impossible. Looking at Dior, these may be the first baby steps needed to do reach out.

These two fashion brands have obviously different marketing objectives. For Dior, it is to reconnect audiences with the brand but still maintaining exclusivity, while on the other hand, Topshop’s objective is to increase brand awareness and delivering an alternative experience for consumers. It is interesting to see how these ‘live’ catwalks can be designed to meet different needs.

These are exciting times ahead for fashion!

If you are an inspiring fashionista, you can watch the Paris Fashion week, as it happens in real time via  http://parisfashionweeklive.com/

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