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Topshop Brings the Runway to You (Virtually)

The retailer is throwing open the (virtual) doors of its Topshop Unique spring 2013 runway show to the label’s online customers.

LONDON — Topshop is throwing open the (virtual) doors of its Topshop Unique spring 2013 runway show to the label’s online customers — and will give them the option of shopping the show.

When the show takes place in London at 3 p.m. Sunday, Topshop’s Web site will not only live-stream the Unique show, but will allow customers to buy a selection of up to six pieces from the retailer’s higher-end line straight from the runway, for delivery in six weeks’ time. Shoppers will also be able to customize the color of each of those pieces, with the option of choosing a different shade from that shown on the runway. The Topshop makeup used on the models in the show will be available to buy immediately online too, for delivery within 48 hours.

To allow customers to share the show online, Topshop has partnered with Facebook to offer a feature that lets visitors to the site capture images from the show and post them on their Facebook pages.

“This show is all about the customer and creating what we call social entertainment around our product,” said Justin Cooke, chief marketing officer at Topshop. “We want to take the energy and the excitement of our iconic Oxford Street store to millions of people all over the world through topshop.com. It’s social, it’s commerce and it’s entertainment all rolled into one.”

Cooke added that he anticipates between one and two million Topshop customers world-wide will view the show online.

Sir Philip Green, the owner of Topshop’s parent company Arcadia Group, added: “This digital innovation with Facebook marks another exciting step for Topshop,” he said. “I feel confident that the show experience offered via topshop.com to this global audience is genuinely something new, giving them a view from our very own front row, and enabling them to access and customize some of our key trends in clothing and beauty quicker than ever before.”

Joanna Shields, vice president and managing director of Facebook, noted: “Topshop…[is] a cool young brand with a deep understanding of their customers, and by developing the innovative ‘shoot the show’ functionality with Facebook, they are enabling millions of people globally to share their favorite moments instantly with their friends.”

Other innovations include a Twitter feed that will be posted on Topshop’s Web site during the show, which will display fans’ 140-character reviews of the collection. Topshop will offer tickets to the fall 2013 Unique show to the author of what it judges the best tweet. The topshop.com Web site will also display an iTunes window, allowing the site’s visitors to download the show’s playlist.

“We want to challenge what a fashion show means but in a positive way,” said Cooke. “There are so many elements to a show — whether that’s music, fashion, architecture [or] beauty, and the Topshop girl wants to be at the center of that experience.”