I just happened to be cutting through Carnaby Street at just the right time this past Saturday Afternoon. My appearance was perfectly timed to see the final - 16:00 performance of the Carnaby Street Catwalk Show - beautifully arranged by Fashion Stylist Alexis Knox and Creative Events Agency - Doll.
Within about 1 hour, around 20 models - 10 of each gender, all super slim it must be said, showcased 120 outfits from 100 different shops and boutiques from the Carnaby Street Area - encapsulated by Regent Street on the western edge, Great Marlborough Street to the North, Marshall Street on the East and Beak Street to the South. I found the streetwise collection from Year Zero particularly interesting, along with occasional pieces from Bolangaro Trevor. Everything about the Catwalk Show was spot on - the red, white and blue cordon with stepped risers - which produced a catwalk along almost the entire length of main Carnaby Street, great Models and well sequenced, well-selected booming soundtrack. So what was wrong?
Well, as with a similarly staged Liberty event a few years ago, the Online delivery of the event was woeful for this day and age of amazing Internet Technology and capabilities. To open up the show to a much broader audience, make it relevant for a longer time-span, and better stimulate actual sales, they should have done the following:
Live Webcast - I saw 3 professional grade video cameras deployed, but there was no live coverage, in fact there is still no proper video coverage really (30 second clip is all - on YouTube) to be found online
Retail Integration - In tandem with the Live Webcast, there should be labelled pictures of each of the outfits, indicating price and retailer
Store Participation - I would have though the Carnaby Street stores themselves would have made use of pictures or catwalk video footage, but so far - nothing - surely there should be at least a couple of ’As featured on the Carnaby Street Catwalk...’ pictures related to actual catalogue items
More Online Content - The actual coverage and detail of the Event on the Carnaby Website is poor - it lacks vitality, excitement and context - what is the unifying theme for instance?
More Commentary - Most pedestrians were given handouts which detailed each of the 120 outfits, but it would have been nice to have an LED Ticker or billboard of some description describing what was happening on the catwalk. Would have been even better to have those materials available online
Commemorative Program - How about a PDF featuring pictures of the outfits from the show - in catalogue fashion; this could be made available online, be given out on the street, and be used as an insert in relevant fashion publications
With the dynamic, instant and far reaching power of the web, and how easily it influences and leads to purchase, I feel that Carnaby Street has really missed out on a great opportunity here.
The show itself was superb, just as a fully ’connected’ retail event it left a lot to be desired ...