Best tech at London Fashion Week 2017

Each year at London Fashion Week retailers and brands turn to technology to generate hype, and this year was no different.

Essential Retail takes a look at the best uses of technology on the catwalk. This year there was a broad variety on show, including one-hour deliveries, connected streetwear and social media blitzes.

Tommy Hilfiger

Arguably the most buzz was created by Tommy Hilfiger as it sought to make a bang with its return to London Fashion Week after a 20-year absence.

The rock ‘n’ roll inspired show was themed around “instant gratification”. Everything in its show was shoppable and the ‘Rock Circus’ event was streamed across multiple platforms with a call-to-action to buy the product on posts on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Tommy Hilfiger further appealed to those who could not attend the show with its ‘TommyNow Snap’ app, which created a private version of the catwalk using augmented reality. The app also provided a 360-degree view of the collection, while a Facebook AI chatbot offered users fashion advice.

Craig Smith, VP of customer success at retail engagement platform Amplience, described Rock Circus as “a masterclass in online customer engagement”.

Amazon & Nicopanda

The concept of instant gratification also manifested itself in a partnership between Amazon and fashion label Nicopanda. The ‘see now, buy now’ concept has grown increasing traction within the fashion industry, but Amazon took this to the next level at this London Fashion Week with one-hour deliveries.

Amazon is investing heavily as it seeks to make in-roads into the fashion sector, and the partnership with Nicopanda is underlining its fashion credentials. The Nicopanda label was set up by Nicola Formichetti, who shot to fame for his collaboration with Lady Gaga and was behind the singer’s infamous meat dress.

During the London Fashion Week show London-based customers were able to receive delivery of the collection within an hour of seeing it in the show.

“Nicopanda’s designs immediately turn heads,” Susan Saideman, vice president for Amazon Fashion Europe. “We’re excited to bring such an exciting brand to our customers for the first time.”


Topshop made sure it was top of mind at this year’s show with a digital content blitz. Instagram’s in-house data team revealed that Topshop posted more videos and stories than any other designer during London Fashion Week – twice as many as third placed Tommy Hilfiger.

Emily Buckman, global strategic consultant at mobile engagement platform Urban Airship, said the days when London Fashion Week was for the elite are gone.

She explained: “The proliferation of smart devices means consumers can now not only live stream all the runway shows while on the go but also gain backstage access to the event.

“Brands like Topshop are now taking consumers backstage with exclusive interviews and previews of their collections.”

A backstage Instagram video of model Hailey Baldwin posted by the brand received over 100,000 views and pushed people towards the website in order to shop the collection.

Meanwhile, people were invited by Topshop to stream the show live via an Instagram story.

TwentyFour15 & XO

Technology has infused almost every area of the fashion industry, but the last bastion could be the integrating of technology into the garments themselves.

Fashion and technology brand TwentyFour15 is seeking to change this and launched a collection of connected streetwear at London Fashion Week.

The collection includes connected rucksacks, T-shirts, and bomber jackets that change colour and animate in time to music being played on a smartphone.

TwentyFour15’s collection has been designed in collaboration with XO, an agency behind wearable clothing including Lady Gaga’s flying dress and a light-up dress by Richard Nicholl.

Matthew Drinkwater, who has collaborated with XO and is the head of the Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion, says the streetwear brand is something XO has been working on for the last few years and believes it could appeal to millennials and generation Z.

“Fashion focused wearable technology is something that has not really happened,” said Drinkwater. “It will be really interesting to see where the consumer demand is and if they can start delivering pre-orders for that collection. Will they get Venture Capital backing on the back of that collection, it is a really big deal for the industry?

“The luxury industry has always struggled to associated fashion and technology together, there has always been that wider question around wearable technology in fashion and what need is it fulfilling.”