January 12th, 2016
The Topshop crew? They’re a Chirpy bunch…
To die for fashion. Top-of-the-game model line-up. Killer FROW. Modern architectural structure. Pioneering new social tool. Inclusive catwalk show. Landmark central London venue. It can only be: Topshop Unique SS14.
In case you were wondering, it’s not just emerging design talent that Topshop’s keen to support – it’s new technologies too. Last season it might have been digital behemoth Google: This season sees the global fashion giant collaborate with pioneering start-up Chirp to deliver a rich content, pervasive media experience at its Unique SS14 show during London Fashion Week this Sunday.
“Each season, we set ourselves the challenge to innovate and excite in a different way with the Unique show; not only in terms of our collection and show space, but also how to engage with and involve Topshop fans worldwide.” said Sir Philip Green: “The link with Chirp is fun and we love the fact that it allows people to discover new aspects of the collection and what goes on behind the scenes at Unique, through creating iconic images to story tell.”
Founded by Patrick Bergel, Chirp uses sound to deliver rich content to users within earshot of the app’s chipper Chirp, and his team has worked with Topshop to evolve his clever idea to the next level – you can now tap the picture you receive to reveal more: Think gorgeous behind-the-scenes sneak peeks of the Unique SS14 show with added extras, all going for a song. Like what you see? Tweet it out. But the point remains: If you’re at the event, you’ll be first to be in the know.
It’s part of the growing trend of using digital and social tools to add layers of narrative to a location, uses technology as a means of encouraging – rather than negating – human interaction. It’s not a new idea – certainly creative technologists have been investigating the possibilities of computer and human interaction since the first PC powered on – but it is rare for a brand to take a leap of imagination with technology, and this is what Topshop really has done. Proof positive that new CMO, Sheena Sauvaire, has no intention of reneging on Topshop’s commitment to creating new stories.
If you’re feeling a tad overwhelmed by the thought of yet another social tool for sharing, think of Chirp as something different. Anticipating digital fatigue, and the vogue for ‘switching off’ from being constantly connected, Chirp is an opt-in experience. No profile, no linked devices, just if you hear the Chirp, open the app and see what delights it delivers to your mobile.
More will be unveiled at the Unique SS14 show this Sunday afternoon – which is also livestreamed at Topshop.com – at the stunning Topshop venue, this season designed by achingly cool architect Pernilla Ohrstedt. Keep an eye out for a stellar line-up of guest designers over the course of LFW: Sophia Webster, Marios Schwab, Nazir Mahzar, Marques’ Almeida, Meadham Kirchoff and Lucas Nascimento.
For those looking for an alternative way to experience Topshop’s five-day sartorial smorgasboard, head down to their iconic Oxford Circus flagship. From tomorrow until September 17, shoppers at the store will be able to interact with Topshop’s fashion week coverage and stable of NEWGEN designers within a ‘Chirp garden’, as well as peruse the Unique AW13 collection (I’ve got my eye on the navy satin jumpsuit. Want.)
Have a play with the Chirp app and let us know what you think!
Emily Fleuriot has been working with the Topshop team as digital project manager for LFW, facilitating the realisation of this very exciting vision. She can’t wait for more to be revealed at London Fashion Week and to be able to talk more about it…