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How social media is making luxury fashion available to everyone

By Hannah Moore
Newsbeat reporter at London Fashion Week

image copyrightTommy Hilfiger

A number of shows at London Fashion Week trialled a system where clothes are made available for sale immediately after appearing on the catwalk.

Gigi Hadid modelled the outfits she'd collaborated on with designer Tommy Hilfiger in Camden.

The brand is one of five which used the "see now, buy now" model.

It's a big change for high fashion brands. They typically take six months to make collections available to buy but social media's shifted all that.

image copyrightTommy Hilfiger
image captionBella Hadid also walked the Hilfiger show, which was heavy with American flag prints and plaid

Collaborating with a celebrity like Gigi Hadid, who has more then 37 million Instagram followers, certainly gets more attention for the brand.

"Fashion Week before was an event that happened behind closed doors. Technology has smashed open those doors," says Matthew Drinkwater from London College of Fashion.

Gigi Hadid has been promoting the show on her Instagram.

"Social media has allowed consumers to see in real time what's happening at Fashion Week."

Burberry was one of the first brands to launch see now, buy now, at London fashion week, in its September show last year.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionBurberry did "see now, buy now" again this season

Topshop, Mother of Pearl and Nicopanda also did it this week, the latter in a collaboration with Amazon which made its collection available for delivery in an hour.

Matthew Drinkwater says fast-fashion retailers like Asos and Zara have increased the pressure on luxury brands to make clothes available immediately.

image copyrightNicopanda
image captionSaturday's Nicopanda show was held at one of Amazon's offices

"The time from idea to production in fast fashion is now three weeks," he explains.

"Fashion week has always been more inspirational, more forward thinking than that."

It's too early to know whether see now, buy now is increasing the profits of luxury brands, but the UK's overall spend on fashion online is going up.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionTopshop streamed its LFW catwalk online

The UK spent £12.4bn on fashion online in 2015, up from £10.7bn in 2014, according to researchers Mintel.

Another way designers are trying to guarantee attention for their shows is by filling the front row with online influencers.

image copyrightTommy Hilfiger
image captionThe Chainsmokers played after the catwalk show at Camden Roundhouse

The guests at Topshop's show included Kate Moss, Vogue editor Edward Enninful and pop stars like Charli XCX and Anne-Marie.

Matthew says big brands can make clothes available straight away because they've got shops to sell them in, and plenty of money.

Tommy Hilfiger sold $6.5bn (around £4.8bn) of clothes, footwear and accessories in 2015.

Matthew says he's worried about the pressure see now, buy now is putting on smaller designers.

image copyrightTommy Hilfiger
image captionPoppy Delevingne, Lara Stone, Neymar and Lewis Hamilton were among the guests at Hilfiger

"I don't want our young, emerging talent to be worried about fulfilling mass orders. I want them to be experimenting.

"If you love what they're making, and the quality, you'll be prepared to wait."

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