Digital London Fashion Week: The Show Must Go Online

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Forced to adapt its usual physical event, last month, London Fashion Week did something it’s never done before. It went digital.

The coronavirus pandemic left the British Fashion Council with the unforeseen challenge of adapting LFW and hosting it as a digital-only event for the very first time. To turn this dream into a reality, they enlisted the help of Red Apple Digital.

The aim was to create a space that would bring the fashion community together. To achieve this, a platform would be needed to host exclusive multimedia content from designers, creatives, brand partners, media, retailers and cultural institutions – enabling collaboration and bringing together fashion, culture and technology.

The digital-only event was to act as a global meet-up; offering interviews, podcasts, designer diaries, webinars and digital showrooms, and would provide the opportunity for designers to tell their stories and share their experiences.

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Kayvan Moghadassi, Founder of Red Apple Digital explains, “The vision of the project was to create a destination for visitors to digitally experience London Fashion Week from wherever they are in the world. With the project being so time constrained, we needed to work with the BFC to choose and then quickly integrate a multitude of different platforms into the hub, so that designers could create and publish their content in whichever format suited them best.”

In under two months, a London Fashion Week digital platform was designed, built and live. With a project of this scale, research was imperative and understanding the key issues that the British Fashion Council faced around a ‘solely’ digital event was vital. This information enabled the digital agency to think about core functionality and user experience which influenced the design of the platform.

This led to the creation of the browser-based platform, which gave designers the opportunity to showcase styles and stories. The digital agency also worked with multiple partners to enable LFW to curate audio and video content from a range of sources.

Another critical part of the solution was the totally customised background CMS, which needed to be flexible enough to cater to the needs of a number of different users. Training guides were created and online training sessions hosted to ensure members of the British Fashion Council were informed and educated when it came to uploading and managing content.

Clara Mercer from the British Fashion Council praised the digital agency saying, “The Red Apple Digital team helped us define what we needed and build something that can develop over time. The two-month timeline from vision to delivery was ambitious, but with strict deadlines, efficient working sessions and good communication, we launched londonfashionweek.co.uk successfully with over 58,000 people tuning in over the first five days. The Red Apple team are great, very collaborative and receptive to ideas. I am looking forward to working with them to develop the platform further over the coming months.”

On the first day of events, the LFW website received over 27,000 sessions, with 50,000 unique visitors over the course of the full weekend.

Reflecting on the project, Kayvan from Red Apple Digital said, “Seeing the platform we’ve created for the BFC come to life as designers innovate and showcase their collections and inspirations through a host of different digital formats and channels has been truly inspiring. Much like the creative industries, the fashion world has had to adapt, and quickly, to the new challenges and landscape in front of us. I think this will mark the shift of companies realising what’s possible in the digital space.”


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