London menswear shows to benefit from multiple digital initiatives


London’s first dedicated menswear fashion week is focusing on engaging with consumers via digital, thanks to multiple innovations backed by the British Fashion Council.

London Collections: Men, which kickstarts Friday and runs through Sunday, will incorporate everything from live-streaming to pinning, as well as a film programme and augmented reality-enabled windows.

Here are some of the highlights:

Pinterest
Leading industry figures such as Jeremy Langmead, editor-in-chief of e-commerce site, Mr Porter, will share their moments from the week’s events by pinning onto the British Fashion Council’s newly launched Pinterest page. The public is also invited to participate by using the hashtag #ManAboutTown. The request is for menswear street style photos, whether taken at the event or anywhere else around the world. The resulting images will be collated on a dedicated pinboard and in a Facebook album in a bid to “provide a crowd-sourced visual collection of the best of British men’s style”.

Twitter
On Twitter, @BFC is not only pushing conversation around the #londoncollections hashtag, but hosting a series of Q&A sessions with members of its Fashion 2012 Menswear Committee, including Alex Bilmes, editor of UK Esquire magazine, and designer Richard James. The live interviews can be followed via #AskLCM.

Interactive image gallery
In celebration of The Prince of Wales officially launching the event at St James’s Palace tomorrow, the BFC has published an online image gallery dedicated to his style. Within it, users can explore outfits ranging from highland tartans to Savile Row suits, discovering the origin of each and learning more about the brand that made it. His preferred London labels are also plotted on a map alongside a picture of the related garments.

Aurasma
Following in the footsteps of Net-a-Porter’s Fashion’s Night Out and Karl initiatives, Mr Porter has teamed up with augmented reality technology company Aurasma, to bring the windows of The Hospital Club (the main hub for the event) to life. By scanning the life-sized catwalk illustrations with the Mr Porter Style Help app, users will be able to see the latest show footage.

Film and live-streaming
There is also a screening room within The Hospital Club that will run the BFC’s Fashion/On Film programme, sponsored by high street retailer River Island. Included will be an evening hosted by Test Presents with DJ and fashion luminary Jeffrey Hinton, who will show excerpts from his 80s film archive; as well as panel member Kathryn Ferguson discussing fashion film with female menswear designers, Carri Munden (Cassette Playa), Katie Eary and Martine Rose. Every show held at The Hospital Club as well as those at the Topman Venue will also be live streamed, both online and on mobile.

Rachel Arthur is the founder and editor of Fashion & Mash. By day, she’s the global senior editor of digital media and marketing at leading online fashion trade publication and trend forecaster WGSN, where she oversees coverage of the industry from a communications, branding and technology standpoint. She is a regular speaker on conference panels, an advisor on digital strategy to leading retail brands, and host for a monthly Google Hangout series with industry leaders. Her work can also be seen in The Daily Telegraph, Mashable, Dazed and The Business of Fashion. She is based between New York and London.