The fashion industry is never predictable — shock and awe reign supreme when it comes to revealing each season’s latest collections.
Once, fashion was an industry built on hierarchies – with the designer as oligarch. Recently though, it has had to adapt to advances in technology that have seen much greater power placed with the consumer. This ethos harks back to the days of punk fashion (of which Vienne Westwood was – and still is – a pioneer) where it was a much more democratic process. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat are just a few of the social media platforms that have contributed to this shift.
It seems fitting then, that September’s London Fashion Week (LFW) took place in a Soho car park and not in its usual grander setting of the neo-classical Somerset House.
With this in mind then, we take a look at this year’s Technology Trendsetters…
Bigger, better and bolder
Brands are constantly looking for novel ways to attract and engage consumers.
Seeing is believing, and at London Fashion Week Henry Holland experimented with a new and unique mobile payment system. After partnering up with Visa, Holland showcased an insect ring which featured NFC (Near Field Communication) inside. The ring was then swiped over a smart brooch to create an instant transaction.
British luxury goods house Burberry partnered up with Snapchat. Although not an obvious partnership, the idea paid off, with Burberry netting 10.5% of all London Fashion Week mentions. Over 24 hours Burberry shared exclusive footage from backstage, as well as showcasing its designs and revealing all the gossip from the much-scrutinised FROW. Borrowing from the old notion that the consumer will trust and buy into your brand if it feels particularly affiliated with it, Burberry is combining the old ethos with new marketing. The hype that Burberry created didn’t dissipate and the fact that the footage disappeared shortly afterwards only made consumers hungrier for this season’s must-haves.
Burberry also gave Apple a helping hand – British singer Alison Moyet’s live musical will be available on Burberry’s new channel on Apple music.
UK heritage brand Hunter Boots followed the lead of fellow British designers Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood, and joined the Periscope bandwagon, proving that all brands are joining the technical revolution to stay in touch with consumers.
A shift of power
Advancing technological developments are changing all aspects of the fashion industry, from the way brands market their goods to the way consumers shop for and buy their clothes. It shows that no matter how big your brand is, the old adage is true: the customer is always right.