September 20, 2011, 2:34 PM

Burberry walks its Twitter followers down the runway

The British upscale apparel retailer previews its runway looks on the microblogging site.

Lead Photo

To garner the biggest possible audience for its runway collection British upscale apparel retailer Burberry Ltd. turned to social media.

Burberry partnered with Twitter to launch what the companies are calling the first-ever Tweetwalk. The offering enabled the retailer’s Twitter followers yesterday to view backstage Twit pics of every fashion look live from London’s fashion show before the models hit the runway.

“Burberry was one of the first brands to truly understand Twitter’s ability to connect people all over the world with what’s most meaningful to them,” says Tony Wang, general manager, Twitter UK. “Thanks to their creativity, fashion lovers were able to see the new Burberry collection even before those in the front row.”

Beyond Twitter, Burberry streamed the show live in high definition through its web site, YouTube and Facebook. On Facebook the retailer featured a link for each of its 8.4 million fans to stream the show through their own personal Facebook pages,in an effort to draw more attention to the show from those consumers’ friends, many of whom likely do not officially “Like” Burberry.

The retailer also streamed the show on Chinese social networks Sina and Youku

The retailer will enable consumers to purchase the runway collection on Burberry.com for one week after the show. The apparel will also be available for eight weeks at 45 Burberry bricks-and-mortar stores that feature what the retailer is calling “retail theatre” events in which consumers can use an in-store iPad to get a 360-degree view.

“I love the idea that streaming a show can be in many different forms,” says Christopher Bailey, Burberry chief creative officer. “This collection is all about the most detailed hand-crafted pieces and fabric innovation, creating a beautiful physical experience that is communicated digitally in dynamic and diverse ways— and I love balancing those two worlds.”

Burberry is No. 400 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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