Topshop Is Letting Shoppers Use Virtual Reality To See Its Runway Show

We’ve known for some time now that Topshop’s fondness for the cutting-edge extends well beyond the clothes it makes. The fashion magnate has shown a rare willingness to experiment with new technology for its interactive runway presentations, whether that includes partnering with Facebook to build a “social runway” (2012) or with Google+ to re-imagine the “future of the fashion show” with live, interactive video (2013).

Which is why we shouldn’t be surprised that Topshop Unique–the retailer’s high-end, ready-to-wear line–will be trying something new, as it dives headfirst into the immersive world of virtual reality for Autumn/Winter 2014.

If you happen to be in London from February 16 to 18, you can stop by Topshop’s flagship store in Central London to try one of its specially commissioned 360-degree headsets, which will come pre-loaded with footage to make you feel like you’re front row at London Fashion Week. To simulate the experience, Topshop is tapping the expertise of Inition, a tech-savvy creative firm with an impressive track record with 3-D production.

“VR is the ultimate interface to the digital world with the power to transport the user to another place as soon as they put on a special display,” said Inition cofounder Andy Millns in a statement. “This unique technology has the potential to open up fashion shows to the consumer at home and we believe this will be the first of many executions of this kind.” It’s almost as if you and Anna Wintour were breathing the same air. Almost.CG