HOW TOPSHOP INJECTS TECH TO LEAD THE WAY IN HIGHSTREET RETAIL

HOW TOPSHOP INJECTS TECH TO LEAD THE WAY IN HIGHSTREET RETAIL

London Fashion Week is just around the corner and, if NYFW was anything to go by, this season’s fashion extravaganza will bring much more change than new prints and colour palettes. Tech has been increasingly present in headlines each fashion month and as the capital of both (fashion and tech), we expect London Fashion Week to have a trick or two up its sleeve. One of most prominent players in this interdisciplinary field is highstreet retailer Topshop. Fancy bodycon dresses and bleached denim shirts aside, the clothing giant is investing in some serious tech innovation. In 2014, when both the public and the industry were trying to get their head around virtual reality, Topshop was transporting consumers from its stores to the front row with Oculus Rift. Last year, the retailer partnered with Barclaycard for a line of stylish accessories such as phone cases, stickers and bracelets, which incorporated Barclaycard’s contactless payment technology and let users shop seamlessly in more than 300,000 locations across the UK. Later this year, a second, more luxurious line of the Topshop x bPay collection was unveiled. During the summer, the clothing giant also launched its first Top Pitch competition, encouraging designers and technologists to join its bootcamp programme and receive intensive coaching on how to bring their product to market as well as the chance to pitch to Topshop. The retailer recently announced the winner of the competition, Loomia (formerly The Crated) – a company focused on e-textiles and developing enabling technologies. The two parties will now work together on designing a prototype for a heated garment. Top Pitch makes the future of smart...
NEW YORK FASHION WEEK A/W16 RECAP

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK A/W16 RECAP

A beautiful mess. That’s exactly what springs to mind when trying to describe the start of Autumn/Winter16 fashion month. From labels redefining the fashion calendar as we know it, to brands slowly becoming more open towards tech, the industry has never been more ripe for disruption. SEE NOW, BUY NOW STRATEGY The first breaking news around New York Fashion Week actually came from British giant Burberry. The company announced that, in a move to make its shows more relevant to global and always-on consumers, will be moving to a See now, buy now strategy. From September 2016, Burberry will consolidate its four calendar into two seasonless shows, featuring both menswear and womenswear collections. Instead of Spring/Summer and Autmun/Winter, the shows will be named the February and September based on the month they’re presented. What’s more, the collections will be available to purchase in-store and online immediately after each show and all marketing materials and advertising campaigns will reflect the strategy accordingly. The move comes in a bid to significantly shorten the traditional gap between runway shows and retail availability. This makes sense in the age of constant social media feeds, instant Snapchat stories from the runways and live-streamed catwalk shows. Back in December 2015, CFDA president Dianne von Furstenberg announced that she and her fellow board members have appointed consultancy company Boston Consultung Group to evaluate the effects on the industry if the fashion shows are turned into consumer-facing events. A major drive for this is all the social media hype, she told WWD. After the announcement from Burberry, designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff and Thakoon made similar...
FASHION & TECHNOLOGY AT NYFW

FASHION & TECHNOLOGY AT NYFW

As NYFW is coming to an end for another season we look at some of the technologically-enhanced designs and accessories that paraded the catwalks. Coding on top of the agenda With our lives becoming more and more connected, no wonder the importance of coding is significantly rising. And fashion seems keen to put in on top of the agenda too in order to get young girls and teens interested. Couple of months ago, supermodel – cookie maker and (recently) vlogger – Karlie Kloss launched the Kode with Karlie scholarship with the Flatiron School. The scholarship gave 21 young women the resources to become leaders in technology. As Karlie puts it ‘Code is the language of the future and it’s crucial that young women have a voice and a stake of what the future looks like”. This September, all sorts of fashion and technology giants have made this a priority. Google, fashion heavyweight Zac Posen and wearable technology designer & coder Maddy Maxey from The Crated combined forces for Google’s ‘Made with Code’ project. The collaboration saw the birth of an LED dress, coded by Maxey and debuted as part of the ZAC – Zac Posen Spring 2016 collection at New York Fashion Week. The collaboration aims to encourage young women to get into coding and show that it can go way beyond the screen. Naturally, the LED dress was modelled by high-fashion model, tech-lover and Posen’s close friend Coco Rocha. New beauty & fashion standards Chromat‘s designer Becca McCharen is somewhat an expert in breaking fashion laws and setting new standards for beauty and designs. This is the reason...
HOW FASHION PLAYS WITH VIRTUAL REALITY

HOW FASHION PLAYS WITH VIRTUAL REALITY

More and more fashion brands tap into VR to bring customers into new immersive experiences. Westfield UK’s latest campaign called Future Fashion uses Virtual Reality technology to promote key Spring/Summer 2015 trends through immersive experiences. During New York Fashion Week, Rebecca Minkoff’s team used two high tech cameras to film their Fall/Winter 2015 show, planning to release the show for VR headsets. Last year, Topshop brought 5 lucky customers in stores to watch their AW14 catwalk show through VR. Initiatives we’re happy to see, even though not so innovative today, because they show how tech slowly but finally surely gets inside the world of fashion. WESTFIELD UK USES VR TO IMMERSE VISITORS INTO S/S15 TRENDS In a world first, Westfield UK gives you the opportunity to ‘fly’ into the world of fashion. Westfield worked in collaboration with multidisciplinary production company INITION to produce the interactive experiences for their Future Fashion campaign. Using a combination of VR headsets with gesture tracking technology (which allows users to see their own hands in the virtual world). All this makes interaction  with virtual characters possible, as well as flying through landscapes and mixing & matching new fashion trends in a completely fantastical space, creating a bespoke conceptual fashion journey for customers. Fashion avatars will be created when visitors approach a large screen. The digital representations will then track the visitor across the screen while sweeping shapes and movements, leaving trails of the season’s trends in the air: Future Modern is expressed through glowing lines; Denim will see the avatar appear as if woven from thread; and Floral will create buds and sweeping colours representative of scent across the screen that colour flowers around visitors. REBECCA MINKOFF PREPARED TO BRING YOU...