By  on June 19, 2009

What do bicycles, fashion, photography and the Internet have in common? They’re all part of Topshop’s first annual summer celebration in the U.S., which starts Saturday at the New York flagship.

Shoppers can borrow one of 30 Topshop bikes from valets in front of the store (or park their own while they shop). A brochure and map shows Topshop’s favorite destinations downtown and in Brooklyn, from Lower East Side boutique Pixie Market to Williamsburg brunch hot spot Enid’s. Cyclists are encouraged to take street-style photos of themselves out with their bikes in natty attire and submit them to a Topshop contest on fashion social networking site Chictopia. The site’s users and Topshop will choose the winners, who will receive bikes.

Followers of Topshop’s Twitter feed will get clues to a scavenger hunt in the store, where hidden tokens will admit finders to a screening of Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Blowup” on June 26 at The Yard in Brooklyn, an outdoor party space on a grassy bank of the Gowanus Canal that is also on the Topshop map.

In the store, stylists will consult on outfits as nightlife photographer Nicky Digital snaps photos of customers in front of a street-style backdrop. The pictures will be uploaded to Flickr and Topshop’s Facebook page, where people can comment.

“The theme is really picking up on the fact that bicycling is becoming more fashionable globally,” said Topshop head of marketing Sheena Sauvaire. “Girls are now donning their glad rags and getting on a bike and cycling around town. We’re picking up on this zeitgeist.”

Past Topshop events in its flagship stores overseas have included a Miami roller disco with tanning parlors and lip plumping set up in the basement of the Oxford Circus store in London. Last year, a Helmut Newton-style photo booth was the attraction.

“We’re encouraging people to go onto Facebook and tag themselves,” said Sauvaire. “The idea is that they will use that image for their Facebook page, they will use it as a digital trophy, so their friends will see it. It’s really a quick, cost effective, easy way to get your message out and increase awareness.”

The retailer was one of the first to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter for marketing, and its Facebook widget is still one of the most popular fashion applications on the site. Topshop’s annual summer promotions increasingly blur the online and offline worlds. “It’s something we’re doing more and more,” said Sauvaire. “Our customer is online all the time now.”

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