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H&M live-streamed its Paris Fashion Week runway show in VR

h&m

Emily Ratajkowski hosted the New York launch event for the H&M Studio collection

Clothing retailer H&M looked to digital outlets and immersive content to expand the reach of the runway show for its S/S 2017 collection at Paris Fashion Week. 

The live stream was held in conjunction with H&M Studio’s "see now, buy now" S/S 2017 collection inspired by “the strength and passion of ballet,” and featured both womenswear and for the first time, menswear. Following the show, the over 800 guests in attendance — along with a global audience watching live on H&M’s mobile-optimized Web site and via VR on H&M's YouTube channel — were all treated to a performance by the singer/songwriter The Weeknd, who played hits such as Starboy, Can't Feel My Face and I Feel It Coming.

“This is not our first live stream event,” said an H&M spokesperson. “We have been live streaming our fashion show in Paris since we began showing four years ago.
 
“We stream the show so that people all over the world can experience the H&M Studio collection live. The collection was available on hm.com immediately following the show and in store the next morning.”

S/S 2017
Viewers were also treated to a glimpse of the glitterati that attended the Paris show, which included guests such as Nicki Minaj, Alexa Chung, Lucky Blue Smith, Clémence Poésy and Sasha Lane. The show took place at the iconic Tennis Club de Paris.

While the decision to broadcast a runway show in VR isn’t necessarily a unique one — companies such as Samsung and Intel have provided technology for VR viewing at past iterations of New York Fashion Week, for example — the engagement is special in that it gives viewers an immersive look at the cut and fit of an extremely affordable line, one that is available at stores and through ecommerce channels immediately. 

And the chance to watch The Weeknd’s live performance of some of his most popular hits also was a huge draw, and was an opportunity for H&M to stack traditional and not-so-traditional uses for VR within the same experience.

H&M's Paris Fashion Week show

“We always want to be at the forefront of fashion and we thought that incorporating something new and exciting for our fans and followers like VR was a really interesting thing to try,” the spokesperson said.

An interactive pop-up shop was set up for guests in attendance, and Shortly following the show in Paris, actress and model Emily Ratajkowski celebrated the launch of the new collection alongside H&M customers at H&M's flagship 5th avenue store. Guests were some of the first to be able to shop the brand new collection straight off of the runway, making the runway show’s live stream an especially valuable marketing tool.

Fast fashion
Many fashion companies, both high and low, have been turning to digital outlets to expand the scope of its offerings. Recently, accessories manufacturer Coach brought its fashion show to fans who did not get to attend its NYFW runway, available on social media and at Simon Mall locations, with a virtual reality experience (see story). 

The Weeknd

“Today we see that our customers are really savvy and connected to all types of media,” the spokesperson said. “We always want to be where they are bringing them fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way. 

“Online is an important channel for us, and to be able to have a fully integrated mobile site is an important part of not only our strategy, but also staying connected with our customers. It also gives our customers the chance to shop H&M when it’s convenient for them, no matter where they are — which was important when showing our very first every ‘see now, buy now’ collection.”

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Rakin Azfar is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach him at rakin@napean.com.

 
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