News & Views

The Catwalk on your Desktop

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective ad campaigns and marketing ideas

Fast fashion brand favours Facebook over fashionistas

UK fast fashion chain Topshop is prioritising its audience of 4 million Facebook fans over the fashion community. It is debuting a selection of items from its premium Topshop Unique Spring Summer 2015 collection on the social network before they appear on the catwalk at London Fashion Week.

What’s more, six pieces of the collection will be available to buy online at and in the brand’s flagship Oxford Street store immediately after the show.

The store will also feature an interactive digital mosaic created by digital duo Hellicar & Lewis, installation artists who have previously worked with brands including Vans and Nike. The triple screen mosaic will be populated and curated by five influential Instagrammers - fashion blogger and photographer Jessie Bush, Fash Feed blogger Natalie Miller, architect Ana Barros, masters student Olivia Li and fashion editor Francis Davison. Topshop is also inviting people to be part of the action by posting to #TOPSHOPWINDOW so they can see their pictures and posts become part of the mosaic.

At 3pm on 14 September, the mosaic will also livestream the Topshop Unique fashion show. Customers and passersby will be able to interact with and enlarge the Instagram images from the mosaic with their body movement from in front of the window. The livestream will combine with the mosaic to create a real-time video feed compiled from the INSTAGRAM content.The retailer claims the move will be the ‘world’s first fashion show created by Instagram imagery’.

Other Topshop stores around the world will also be responding to events on Topshop’s social channels and on the London catwalk. Topshop’s visual merchandising teams will work with personal shoppers to stock designated areas within stores with looks and products inspired by real-time trends on Facebook and Instagram, aiming to give social communities a direct influence on retail.

Arcadia founder Sir Philip Green said: ‘The strength of our social community allows us to be the first brand to debut looks from a catwalk collection on a social network granting unprecedented access online. I believe that enabling Topshop fans to view key looks from the collection before our industry insiders is a real revolution - and one that we are proud to pioneer.’


Contagious Insight /

Democratising fashion / ‘London Fashion Week isn’t just for Anna Wintour.’ Topshop posted this statement on its Facebook page earlier this week, and the brand means it, too. There’s certainly no doubt that letting your fans see a collection before the great and the good of the fashion establishment is practising what you preach, putting the needs of your Facebook community, i.e. your real fans, before a bunch of fashionistas who are there out of entitlement.

Using tech for commerce / Topshop always seeks to democratise the Fashion Week experience, using tech to make the experience as unstuffy as possible. And, of course, this guarantees a broader reach for the new designs, which fits into Topshop’s commercial objectives: the more people who see clothes as they make their debut, the more sales they make. Couple this with Topshop’s pledge to deliver items ordered within a couple of days and it’s an appealing prospect for its core audience of teen and 20-something women who want the latest looks

Visual culture / Topshop is relying heavily on Instagram content for its show, and we like the way it’s collating amateur Instagram posts with those from more established users. The window provides some retail entertainment and its location is such that people will no doubt stop dead in their tracks to watch the show on Sunday. In many ways, Instagram and Facebook is the perfect combination for the brand. While Instagram is playful and creative, Facebook gives Topshop a chance to chat and connect with its fans and prove to them how important they are, particularly by giving them the chance to see the collection first.


This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact