Google has called upon Kate Lanphear to curate it's fashion week product searches.
With Kate Lanphear's help, Google has launched an experimental new service that allows shoppers to browse and buy their favourite looks straight from the runway.
The search engine's new functionality is available through Google mobile phone, and displays shoppable imagery when users search 'Fashion Week' or a designer's name alongside the aforementioned term. In addition to the latest runway looks, users can also shop pieces that are featured in backstage and street style shots, as well as front row and party pictures.
Although a number of luxury brands have embraced social media catwalk shows in recent years, Google's latest development marks a significant change in the way that brands are utilising technology to reach a larger, more digitally savvy audience.
Google's curated fashion week search is currently invite-only but a number of big name brands are already on board including Stella Mcartney, Burberry and Tom Ford. Carefully selected brands like these have the ability to post text, images and videos via Google which can then be shared on social media.
It's hoped that allowing consumers to buy straight from the runway will give them the instant gratification that they're seeking and bridge the gap between initial visibility and the moment of purchase.
Despite the fashion world and consumers reacting positively to Google's latest software update, it begs the question, how does one search for relevant and current fashion imagery? Although Pinterest and Tumblr are both excellent image resources, the platforms' in-channel searches could certainly be smarter.
Perhaps social platforms need to work closer with brands and influencers to ensure that relevant and engaging imagery is tagged, curated and shared, so that it becomes easier to discover in search results. Whatever the solution may be, it's clear that Google is set to become a trailblazer in this field.
Words: Dan Flay
Image via WWD