Harrods Digital Style Summit image with Wendy Nguyen

British department store Harrods brought together eight fashion taste makers for a photo shoot in London as part of its first Digital Fashion Summit.

In addition to acting as models, the bloggers created content for the retailer in the form of top five lists of their must-have spring items. Having these bloggers participates creates a form of brand endorsement, both for Harrods and the labels featured in the digital content created.

“Harrods has seen other luxury retailer campaigns and is giving a nod that modern heritage aesthetics include digital lifestyle blogging,” said Paul Farkas, cofounder/CEO of Accessory2, New York.

“Partnerships with social influencers continue to have strong impact where careful selections mix heavily followed, but distinctive voices, with compound sector expertise,” he said. “Brands need to balance skill, versatility, reach and aesthetic values.”

Mr. Farkas is not affiliated with Harrods but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Harrods did not respond by press deadline.

Model bloggers
Harrods introduced its blogger series on its Web site news section and on social media. On Facebook, the brand included two links for consumers to read more about the event or shop the story.

Facebook post from Harrods

Eight fashion bloggers, including  Wendy Nguyen of Wendy’s Lookbook, Tuula Vintage blogger Jessica Stein, Veronica Ferraro of The Fashion Fruit, and Carolina Engman of Fashion Squad, were styled in a look that included a leather item from Harrods’ in-house fashion brand Harrods of London.

Some of the Harrods items chosen were two styles of black leather skirts and a white leather dress.

Carolina Engman wearing a Harrods of London dress

The fashionistas came from around the globe, with some traveling from Los Angeles or Milan for the photo shoot, which took place at the London Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Harrods published a slideshow of the photos taken by Andrew Woffinden from the summit to its Web site.

Below the photo feature, the retailer included a “Shop the story” section, where consumers can browse the articles of clothing the women are wearing in the images.

Harrods Digital Style Summit image


The women chosen are looked to by their followers for their style sense, so Harrods put that to use, allowing each of them to assemble a list of their top five picks for spring in a certain category.

Marie Hindkaer Andersen of Blame It On Fashion shared her five must-have pastel items, while Feifei Song of Weibo’s Miss Fay listed her favorite pointy toe flats. These features are shoppable and include commentary from the bloggers on the individual items.

Aimee Song of Song Of Style and her sister Dani Song also participated.

Contemporary consumer
Harrods has been working to propel its digitally savvy fashion image with recent events.

Condé Nast-owned British Vogue and London department store Harrods struck a partnership for the third annual Vogue Festival March 29-30 to create a high-end, stylish experience for fashion-minded attendees.

For the festival’s inauguration in 2012 and the following year’s installment, British smartphone manufacturer Vertu joined British Vogue as a partner. This year, with Harrods at the helm, the Vogue Festival likely attracted a larger amount of fashion-forward guests due to the retailer’s status (see story).

Other retailers are focusing on their contemporary clothing lines to draw in younger consumers.

For instance, department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue is collaborating with fashion stylist Erin Walsh on a campaign for its contemporary lines that will run through March until May.

Beginning with a series of YouTube videos, the stylist will also be appearing at in-store events across the country at different Saks stores. Not only does this video help consumers by teaching them how to wear trendy items, but it also will help sales associates better serve customers (see story).

Also, department store chain Bloomingdale’s asked consumers to help style blogger Danielle Bernstein for Fashion Week live on Instagram to encourage comments and participation with the retailer on the photo-sharing social media platform.

During the event on Feb. 5, fans could vote on items of clothing as Bloomingdale’s posted photos, contributing to We Wore What blogger Ms. Bernstein’s final look. Through this event, Bloomingdale’s was able to encourage participation and comments from its followers on social media, and generate traffic due to the blogger’s following (see story).

If Harrods chooses to create future iterations of this summit, the retailer should look into getting the brands involved.

“Summits build over time, a one-off will serve for quality cross-media content and increasing social impact, but mixing the next digital influencer team with brand creative directors and personalities offers broader quality reputation and opportunities,” Mr. Farkas said.

“Edits are where it’s at today, they are tight hard-hitting shortlists of what’s trending bylines and needed content,” he said. “As real-time is heading towards right-time, they hit right on what I’ve been deeming FomoJobi, the sweetspot between fear of missing out and joy of being involved.”

Final Take
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York 

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