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Topshop: From off-the-rack to off the virtual runway

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Jeff Horwich: It’s Fashion Week in London, and one High Street retailer is trying on something new. Topshop will hold its show Sunday on the runway and in cyberspace. There’s a live webstream — you can post your favorite outfit to Facebook. Then, pick your colors, click… and purchase.

Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman — work it.

Mitchell Hartman: So it’ll be like last year’s Topshop catwalk…

Topshop 2012 Spring Fashion Show, Makeup Artist: You know, grungy, but I wanted to give her a polish as well, but still a urban street kind-of feel to it…

Only this year there’ll be a million fans on the web furiously tapping messages about what they like. 

Stacey Widlitz: It’s not a fad.

Retail consultant Stacey Widlitz says social media is now a primary channel for fashion labels to reach 20-to-30-somethings, for whom shopping online is second-nature.

Widlitz: Not everybody is invited to a fashion show. You can just get online, look at the clothes, make the models turn, make them back up. So you don’t need to go to the stores.

Retail analyst Marshal Cohen says the target isn’t just young women.

Marshal Cohen: The aging consumer, sometimes to the point of dressing well beyond where they should, they try to dress younger.

Widlitz: If you’re not a 19-year-old supermodel, it’s going to look different on you.

Get ready for some big returns, if you do buy right off the runway. 

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.


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