The Burberry show was about as socially distanced as you can get, taking place in a British forest sans audience. But while it was eerily beautiful in a “Blair Witch Project” kind of a way, that’s not what made it interesting.
It was the format. Burberry teamed up with Twitch for the livestream. Twitch is the world’s biggest live streaming platform. And although it started life in 2011 as a gaming platform, it has since evolved into live events like music and sports.
Burberry is the first luxury house to stream a fashion show on Twitch. The show was filmed from various angles, which all appeared in one window on Twitch. And viewers could enlarge or shrink said screens according to what they wanted to see.
Twitch subscribers could also discuss the proceedings and comment on them in real time via Twitch’s chat functionality. Said appeared to the side of the livestream in a souped up version of the comments visible on an Instagram Live.
This certainly helps democratize the viewing experience and ups the experiential appeal which is so crucial with digital shows vying for airtime. According to WWD, Saint Laurent’s men’s spring ’21 digital fashion show garnered 42.4 million global views with an audience engagement of more than eight million.This included 17 million views on YouTube, 5.6 million on Instagram and Facebook, and 5.6 million on TikTok.
Burberry Chief Marketing Officer Rod Manley said the following in a statement: “Twitch unlocks an exciting new space where our Burberry community can be digitally transported to feel like they have a virtual seat at our live show. It is an interactive experience where guests can connect with both our brand and each other whilst personalizing their viewing journey.”
The brand also found a way to harness the pulling power of celebrities and influencers like Bella Hadid. We all know it can be a celebrity heavy front row that often generates more interest at fashion shows than the actual clothes but as there’s little opportunity for that this season a little creative thinking was called for.
Burberry had Hadid, Erykah Badu, Rosalía and Steve Lacy host its livestream with a pre-show conversation using Twitch’s Squad Stream functionality. A clever way to harness the virtual pulling power of a celebrity or four, no?
So we’ve already established that Twitch was a smart way to go. But here’s where it gets even more interesting. Twitch is owned by Amazon.
A handful of Burberry accessories have already been available via Amazon Fashion for some time, albeit without fanfare. However, in the light of the recent launch of Amazon Luxury Stores with Oscar de la Renta as its first partner (available only to select Amazon Prime customers, for now), one wonders whether Burberry’s Twitch partnership is a hint of things to come.
FN has reached out to Burberry for comment.