Skype announced Wednesday that it's producing a documentary project (or reality show, depending on who you ask) with Victoria Beckham. The former Spice Girl will let Skype film her fashion brand's studio, giving the consumer a peek into all the "pre-show cronut binges" as well as meetings and fittings. No word on whether people will want to watch something filmed entirely by Skype, but fashion fans are definitely interested in Beckham. This is Skype's first partnership with a fashion brand, but it's unlikely to be the last.
Beckham's not the only designer to utilize video chat to bring the average consumer behind-the-scenes access to the fashion world. Parisian designer Kenzo is broadcasting its fashion show from Paris on Sunday via a Google+ hangout. According to Fashionista, "a team of 'Kenzo reporters' will be on the ground at the brand’s runway show, capturing behind-the-scenes video that will be immediately available to anyone signed up to the hangout." The Kenzo/Google collaboration comes with merchandise, too. Designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim created a pouch for Google's Nexus 7 tablet, which will be available in October for 85 euros.
Google Glass-aficionado Diane von Furstenberg announced this week she too would use Google+ hangout, and she's found a pretty explicit way to monetize the interaction. Her hangout will take place the evening of October 3rd on the Air app, and anyone who logs in can watch her answer questions while shopping her dresses right in the sidebar. Five lucky fans will actually get to ask the questions. You can see a demo of how the shopping sidebar works at right. Assuming all goes well, Rag & Bone, Rebecca Minkoff, and Rachel Zoe will also do Google+ shopping hangouts on the Air app.
The fashion industry has been historically seen a world of exclusivity, but giving shoppers this kind of digital access is a great way to appear more egalitarian — and make money at the same time. Since a lot of business gets done via video chat these days, designers are comfortable with the medium. When Beckham was living in LA in 2010, she told the Telegraph, "most evenings, I'm curled up in front of Skype, in my dressing gown, speaking with my studio in London."