Topshop Unique SS15 – The “social catwalk”

1

2.50pm   I’m settled and awaiting the start of the Topshop Unique SS15 show, live from their very own show space near King’s Cross. The web page is already streaming, with an overview of the space. This is undoubtedly so that we can spot the celebrities as they arrive, and get a bit more excited about the show.

2.57pm   The venue is hardly ready – people everywhere, no-one is seated. I spot some D-list celebs – Abbey Clancy, some girl from Little Mix… or is it The Saturdays?… someone who looks like Rita Ora but isn’t. Starting to wonder if they aren’t able to pull the right crowd anymore.

2

3pm   The show definitely isn’t ready to start. An apology notice appears on screen – Topshop admits to being ‘fashionably late’ (haha). Luckily, the front row seems to have perked up, with practically every current It Girl you could desire – Daisy Lowe, Harley Viera-Newton, Gemma Arterton, Kate Foley, Pixie Geldof, Alexa Chung, Ellie Goulding, Laura Carmichael… oh look! That’s Anna Wintour next to Philip Green and spawn.

3

3.15pm   After a few quality issues with the streaming and the removal of the grey video filter, the music starts pumping. Finally!

3.16pm   Here we go – Cara Delevingne has just made her first fashion week appearance and opened the show. She’s followed by every current popular Brit model – the It Models of the moment – Jourdan Dunn, Lily Donaldson, Sam Rollinson, Malaika Firth et al.

4

3.19pm   The look du jour seems to be primary-colour-blocked sportswear, with a feminine contrast of thin ribbon detailing on shoes. Sheer panels and stripes abound! Bombers are here to stay!

The film team has clearly practiced – each look gets panned up and down, with a full view and a zoom in on the details. There are a couple of glitches in the stream though – it freezes and stops and starts a few times. I expect it’s because so many people are tuning in.

3.21pm   I’ve just noticed the ‘Shop Now’ button – how exciting! I click… and click again …nothing seems to be happening. Brilliant. I accidentally scroll down and notice that what the button has done is release a drop down with 6 t-shirts/sweatshirts – a ‘capsule collection’ of the SS15 range that is available to shop now. The only problem is, these items don’t even appear on the runway. They’re just inspired by the collection. A far cry from the shopping functionality of Burberry shows.

5

3.23pm   The stream starts cutting out. Cara Delevingne closes the show and the models do their victory lap. Hurrah! Because the image has become pixelated and unclear there is no way I could have continued to watch the show.

The Review

6

The real triumph of the Topshop show is the integration of social media platforms and the inclusion of their target audience, the teen generation, in all aspects of fashion week. A dedicated ‘Access All Areas’ page has been set up so that customers can get the low-down on London Fashion Week, regardless of whether or not they are able to attend. There is an ‘Everything You Need To Know’ take on the fashion week experience, from a guide on what to wear to ‘get papped’ to who to follow on social media for the best updates, a breakdown of the front row, and even what the fashion crowd will be eating.

7

Guest Instagrammers share the best street style, catwalk looks and behind-the-scenes moments so that customers aren’t missing out on any action. On Facebook, an exclusive video showcases three of the SS15 looks. The blog, at http://insideout.topshop.com, has regular updates and fashion week features – that is, if you can get the darn thing to load.

8

Topshop clearly needs to work on its integrated e-commerce features during their fashion week shows. Our digital expert Eva Pascoe suggests a Pre-Order Button to take orders for delivery in a few weeks for ‘early birds’, with the additional benefit of gauging the demand for the particular items. She also suggests the innovative concept of a heat map on the video, with links to jewellery, shoes, accessories as the models walk by, and the Pre-Order button featuring in the detail shot.

This being said, if the target was to achieve connectivity and appeal to its customers, it certainly succeeded. This has undoubtedly been the most commercial show of any fashion week yet, with strong product and clear handwriting. Well done Topshop!