Topshop and Google launch interactive catwalk.

All of Google’s platforms including Google+, YouTube, Hangouts and 3D maps will be used to create live content. Real time content can also be shared after the event.

The initiative has been created to offer fashion fans access to aspects of fashion catwalk shows previously unavailable.

The fashion brand is the first to use live HD micro-cameras built into the clothes to show the perspective of models such as Cara Delevingne as they walk the runway. The live Model cam was inspired by player-cam technology used in US sports programming to give viewers different viewpoints during games.

Speaking to Marketing Week ahead of the launch, Topshop CMO Justin Cooke, says: “This is the complete democratisation of a fashion show. The idea is that no one has ever seen that moment when the girl walks down the catwalk. You [fans] never know what it feels like to be her, so the emotive side is really important  to us – we want to really make that connection with people. It takes engagement to a whole other level.”

Fans will be able to buy all fashion and beauty products used on the catwalk instantly through a click to buy ecommerce function, but Cooke says the primary aim is not to sell products, but to create emotional engagement through content.

An interactive window display including a live stream of the event as well as a Google+ camera booth will mean shoppers in the London Oxford Street store can engage with the activity and upload their own photos directly from the store.

Cooke adds: “People’s expectations have changed so much in terms of what they can do and when they can do it so we need to service that and create these environments where people can make their own choices and do what they would do naturally. We’re testing and learning and it’s a process for all of us. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t, some of its incredible. It’s about [using digital] to let customers in and have access to something that is usually closed off.”

“This is progressive in the sense that no one else has thought to do this much [digital interaction], but the concept is still around exciting content all we’ve done is make it more exciting. [The investment] is nothing more than we would have spent on any other show in our history, but it’s about connecting things seamlessly and embracing the technological vision within the fashion.”

The initiative builds on the Facebook fashion app Topshop launched in September offering opportunities to buy directly from a live stream of the catwalk.

Features of the “Future of the fashion show” initiative include:

  • Model cam – HD micro cameras used on models as they walk the runway for the first time.
  • Google+ – content created in the run up to the show including a digital diary fronted by models will be curated on Google+ pages.
  • YouTube – Topshop TV includes a customised feed to allow live-streamed content from the red carpet and behind the scenes to be broadcast on YouTube.
  • Be the buyer app – first ever fashion hangout app allows fans to drag and drop content to create mood boards using fashion and styles from the catwalk show. Video content from Topshop experts will offer tips and advice.
  • Be the creative app – a Google+ Hangout will offer access to stylists behind the scenes so that users can ask questions as the show is being prepared.
  • 3D Google Maps – will allow users to see inside the venue at Tate Modern before the show.
  • In-store Google+ booth in London Oxford Street store allows shoppers to take photos and upload the images to an interactive window display that will live stream the catwalk show.