5 Things You May Have Missed This Week

By Georgia Buchanan

1. Mixed Reality Hits LFW

See-Now-Buy-Now has been the stand-out talking point of NYFW and LFW, with some of the biggest names in the industry listening to consumer demand and creating instantly shoppable collections. But what other innovative new tools are appearing in the shows this season?

We’ve all heard of virtual reality before, but this week Martine Jarlgaard transformed her LFW presentation with the use of mixed reality. Instead of the normal runway set up, the designer’s show room was nothing but an empty space, creating the perfect back drop for a Hololens-assisted show. When wearing a Hololens, a Microsoft mixed reality headset, the viewer could see the full spring/summer 2017 collection coming to life in the form of holograms in front of their eyes.

As the first use of mixed reality during a fashion week show, Martine Jarlgaard’s presentation hopes to reimagine the catwalk show, removing the barrier between the physical location and the audience. Unlike virtual reality, you can simply add apparitions to your natural environment, instead of being transported somewhere entirely separate. “For me it’s very important there’s a link to reality; that you don’t remove yourself completely. It’s quite a desirable thing - you still have your point of reference, but there’s another layer on top,” says Jarlgaard.

To read more about her use of mixed reality, read Rachel Arthur’s Forbes article here.

2. Burberry Leads The Show At LFW

Burberry made quite an impression on LFW this season, following the see-now-buy-now trend in spectacular fashion, making absolutely everything available to buy for the first time, including the menswear and womenswear apparel, the accessories and even the makeup. That meant a total of over 250 pieces being sold through Burberry’s physical and digital retail network, shipping to over 100 countries.

Not only did they accomplish “see-now-buy-now” on a mammoth scale, the British fashion house also turned its LFW show into a weeklong event, in which the ideas and inspirations behind the collection were brought to life at London Maker’s House.

“The show, which is the brand’s first straight-to-consumer collection that features men’s and women’s collections together, will include art exhibitions and activities, theatrical performances, as well as a pop-up shop. It’s a move that signals how designers are shifting from a traditional fashion show, and approaching them in more consumer-facing ways” (Glossy).

With this ongoing beautifully experiential show, alongside a week’s worth of social media content for its platforms, from Facebook Live and WeChat to the newly trialling Facebook Messenger Bot, Burberry aimed to create the biggest social media buzz at LFW.

To read more about Burberry’s LFW extravaganza, click here.

3. Technology: Fashion Weeks’ Real Winner

With each season that passes, fashion week shows are becoming more and more breathtakingly elaborate in their presentations. The amount of time, creativity, and money that goes in to making these shows the most spectacular and eye-catching they can be is growing by the year; because if it’s not ‘Instagrammable’ then what’s the point!

And the latest tools, tricks and treats being used by the biggest fashion houses to try to steal the top spot? Technological innovations such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality. We’ve been championing the intersection of fashion and technology since our founding day (hence the name!) and it is brilliant to see technology now being used so blatantly and so openly across all of the biggest designers in the world. We’ve seen Alexander McQueen use holograms, Ralph Lauren Polo present a 4D fashion show, Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry create Facebook Messenger chat bots, Misha Nonoo present her collections on Instagram and Snapchat, and a huge number of the biggest names in the business creating see-now, buy-now collections to satisfy their consumers’ want for instant gratification.

Technology is accelerating the progress of fashion set designs and presentations at a rate that no one would have predicted, and I cannot wait to see what new innovations next season might have in store for us.

4. Is ‘See Now, Buy Now’ Driving Sales?

Having considered the negative repercussions of the current ‘see now, buy now’ trend in last week’s digest (i.e. designer burnout), we can now start to see if fashion weeks’ most popular new movement is proving successful in terms of sales figures. Business of Fashion spoke to a number of brands and retailers to find out how the collections have faired in the days following the runway shows, and on the whole, the results are looking encouraging.

Bergdorf Goodman stated that they had their largest Tom Ford day of the year immediately after his New York see-now, buy-now show: “Typically, these sales would be spread over many weeks as the deliveries arrive piecemeal. The immediacy of being able to buy immediately after the show, combined with the impact of seeing the whole collection on the floor at once, gave our customers a sense of urgency to buy now”, said Joshua Schulman, president. Meanwhile, mytheresa.com noted an instant uplift in sales for their Burberry collection following the LFW show on Monday.

Other key pieces from the Burberry, Ralph Lauren and Topshop Unique collections are selling out on online platforms at an unprecedented rate; and even some of the most extravagant expensive pieces, such as Burberry’s $5,249 Cavalry jacket, are in the best-selling items since the runway shows.

Not all retailers have seen sales increases as a result of the fashion week presentations, but they have still witnessed a substantial spike in consumer interest, even if not in immediate sales. The ‘see-now, buy now’ model appears to have initiated more searches on Lyst for said brands after these fashion weeks than after previous fashion shows, implying the new format is undoubtedly having a beneficial immediate effect. Will this interest and spike in sales tail off over the coming months though? Time will tell.

To read more about BoF’s findings, click here.

5. FashTech Winter Summit - Final Agenda Now Live!

Our Winter Summit Agenda is now live! With presentations including “Tapping into Consumer Interest with Pinterest” with Ayumi Nakajima, Partner Manager, Pinterest; “Growth Hacking Your Content Marketing Strategy to Blow Up Your Fashion Brand” with Vincent Dignan, Magnific; and “Growing A Brand Organically” with Finery London Founder & CEO Luca Marini, this is one NOT to be missed!

If you haven’t downloaded your copy yet, click HERE.