The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

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By Evita Akomode

February 15, 2013 | 3 min read

During the major fashion weeks, more and more labels have made their runway shows accessible to their consumers and wannabe consumers (me included) by embracing the digital world.

According to Elle’s beauty director Emma Strenner, social media is powerful for the industry – enhancing the desire for new inspiring fashion amongst emerging markets. British fashion house Burberry has been miles ahead, using social networks such as Weibo (China’s version of Twitter) to enhance engagement and digitally broadcasting its Burberry Prorsum shows on its website and in Piccadilly Circus.

In addition Burberry also enables its passionate consumers to purchase garments as soon as they are shown on the runway – enhancing the excitement of the whole experience. However Burberry now have a worthy competitor in terms of digital endeavours.

At London Fashion Week (LFW) British brand Topshop will be ‘doing a Burberry’ and then some – well kind of. As Topshop focuses on a younger fashion-conscious market than that of Burberry Prorsum, the Arcadia brand will be tapping into their consumers’ aspirations. An insight into the backstage drama of LFW and a runway perspective of the show will be provided by attaching cameras to some of their models.

Furthermore, aspiring Fashion Buyers and Stylists can get more added value via the Topshop ‘Be the Buyer’ app – a resource of fashion buying advice and a platform for budding stylists to be creative using the newly released line. This wholesome approach could possibly appeal to fashionistas at many intellectual levels. Vogue’s Ella Alexander has called the show, to be held at Tate Modern, “more innovative and accessible than ever before”.

The whole show will be broadcast via Google +. Yes I said Google +. Not my platform of my choice.

No confidence in Google + has been instilled in me since its launch. Even Google’s own engineer Steve Yegge admitted publically (2011) that Google has “a lack of understanding of platforms”.

Is this partnership a dreadful mistake for Topshop or a glorious marketing ploy for the popular clothing company and web giant? Time will tell, but I say it’s the latter.

Young impressionable fashionistas will sign up to Google + if it means they will get to see the freshest looks first. Strenner proposes fashion conscious consumers are hungry for new styles and crave the effortless London street wear styles. Topshop provides the garments to achieve that.

If highly esteemed Vogue feeding the story to its 1 million followers and the promotional video on Youtube is anything to go by, then the show broadcast Sunday February 17 will be a smash. Here’s to potentially smart marketing, new fashion and Google+ trying to overcome defeat.

Everyone loves an underdog, no?

Evita Akomode is The Drum's research assistant