Google, CFDA / Hangouts On Air
Fashion and technology merge with Google's shoppable Hangouts
Google has partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) to bring a shopping TV style experience to its Google+ social network.
The tech company invited fashion designer and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg to launch its shoppable Hangouts. The experience adds an ecommerce element to Hangouts on Air, the platform that allows Google+ Hangouts to be edited and shared as a public video that can be added to a website or YouTube.
Von Furstenberg was joined by YouTube beauty expert Michelle Phan and Eva Chen, editor in chief of Condé Nast shopping magazine Lucky, for the live shopping Hangout. Google+ users could tune in to ask the designer fashion questions, while five lucky fans won the chance to be featured in the Hangout and ask live questions on camera. While von Furstenberg shared fashion tips and styled models, Shop the Hangout viewers could explore a tab beside the video featuring products from the DVF fashion label. As they watched the Hangout, they could click through Google Shopping Shortlists to see trends that the designer had identified. They could then shop the looks and either choose to buy them directly from the DVF website or save them to their own Google Shopping Shortlist under categories such as 'Products I want'.
Shop the Hangout with Diane von Furstenberg is being followed by other similar hangouts with CFDA designers including Rebecca Minkoff, Rachel Zoe and Marcus Wainwright and David Neville of Rag & Bone.
Shop the Hangout was designed to deepen engagement between designers and shoppers, ahead of the all-important Christmas season. It will help 'retailers engage with consumers directly around key items or trends they want to highlight', as the CFDA explained in its press release.
While not that long ago fashion, particularly luxury fashion, seemed wary of technology, it seems that everyone in the industry is now ready to embrace geek chic. Since brands like Burberry proved their digital prowess, the worlds of tech and fashion are finally coming together, from Yahoo!'s Marissa Mayer being featured in US Vogue's September issue to Diane von Furstenberg herself wearing Google Glass on the catwalk last year.
We've seen retailers experiment with Hangouts before. ASOS, for example, last August hosted a Q&A on the platform starring its fashionista ambassadors. And we're impressed that the CFDA's Hangout answered some of the criticisms that we had of that earlier effort. We faulted ASOS in particular for not doing enough to drive purchase, whereas we found that the DVF Shop the Hangout was a smart way to use branded entertainment to push products. The brands featured in the Hangouts understand the importance of the celebrity cachet of their designers. Rachel Zoe and Diane von Fursternberg, for example, are as much a part of their fashion labels as the clothes themselves. Although the statistics for the actual Hangout were disabled, we think this interest in celebrity designers goes a long way to explain why the trailer for Shop the Hangout with Diane von Furstenberg has been watched more than 2.3 million times.
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