June 11, 2021

Case study: How 5G technology is fuelling fashion


The rollout of 5G technology could spearhead much needed innovation in the retail and fashion industry.

The technology is already transforming commercial fashion events, elevating them to an even larger scale. 5G is also revolutionising other industries including healthcare, retail and sports.

Hi tech fashion experience

5G network technology was used at London Fashion Week 2020 to enable British fashion model Adwoa Aboah to walk the catwalk in augmented reality (AR). The result made it look like she was there in person. In fact she was a digitally created moving image projected in real time onto the catwalk.

The immersive experience was only made possible through Three’s ultrafast 5G connection. By capturing the model previously in a volumetric studio it created a 3D representation in near perfect detail.  

 Adwoa Aboah then watched her digital-self walk down the catwalk from the FRONT ROW (aka FROW) in full-size, high-definition on what appears to be an otherwise empty catwalk.

The advanced technology could also be viewed at any angle by those on the FROW through the latest 5G phones.

This real-life effect was made possible through 106 synchronised cameras that created a 3D visual representation of the Vogue cover star. The event showcased how 5G can transform fashion experiences which in the past have required many models and staff to all be in one place at the same time.

Technicolour viewing

Attendees at the show were ushered into a venue fitted out with 3D surround sound, an 8K projection the length of the runaway and haptic feedback seating - which stimulates different touch sensations to allow audiences to interact with the show in a new way.

5G capability allowed fashion aficionados to view the flow and cut of fabrics at a super-close distance and in fine detail, creating a seamless experience, almost as if the models and clothes were there when, in reality, they were being projected from another location.

A preview of Adwoa Aboah’s 5G powered digital catwalk can be viewed here.

Fashion forward

The event was pioneered by University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins which also has the UK’s first permanent 5G installation at the college and the creation of a design-focused 5G laboratory for students including a range of internet enabled devices.

The world-renowned fashion and design college aims to inspire the next generation of creatives to develop new projects using augmented reality (real-time creation of text, graphics or audio integrated into the real world), mixed reality (combining physical and digital experiences), virtual reality(computer-generated 3D simulations using specially designed goggles, glasses or gloves), and cloud technology (delivery of services through the internet) all powered by Three's 5G.

Jeremy Till, head of Central Saint Martins said:

The future of design and fashion is intrinsically linked with the evolution of tech, and we are seeing more and more disruptive and innovative technologies shaking up the way the design and fashion industries operate.”


The 2020 London Fashion Week 5G experience was conducted as the result of a partnership between mobile network operator Three UK and Central Saint Martins. The partnership began at London Fashion Week in 2019, when designer and graduating student Gerrit Jacob used 5G technology to create the world’s first mixed reality show which combined digital and physicalelements.

About Building Mobile Britain

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