Regardless of whether you’re into fashion or not, you must have heard about New York Fashion Week, which this year generated more buzz than ever before, and guess why? Because it finally embraced the digital, using social media and anything else (digital) they could get their hands on to bring fashion to the masses.
Some interesting recent examples
This affordable and popular British brand built some significant buzz in the days leading up to their Spring/Summer 2012 Unique show, which was streamed online, with more than 2 million people from 100 countries watching it live. The brand promised consumers a personalized experience, allowing them to click on accessories and clothes to browse through numerous color options and create videos to share instantly via social media.
This well-known brand is about to open a new digitally-inegrated store, which will feature full-length screens throughout the store, displaying live-streams and pre-recorded audiovisual content. Models will occasionally walk between the screens, referring to Burberry’s staged experience in Taipei (see video below), in a way. Furthermore, certain clothes will have specific RFID chips attached to them, so that when a visitor will approach one of the screens, specific information will be revealed in the form of a video, explaining everything in detail. Quite futuristic and even a little geeky, isn’t it?
Diane von Furstenberg
This luxurious haute-couture designer managed to do something that’s never been done before. DVF fully integrated Google Goggles in her show and even recorded the event, thus making the world’s first documentary (see video below) shot with Google Goggles. Now that’s one impressive (and uhm… geeky digital catwalk right there).
Backstage to the masses
New York Fashion Week and other high fashion events have never been open to public. However, thanks to Instagram, this time everybody could follow their favorite (and unaffordable) brands and designers during their preparation for the event, as well as during the event itself. Never before was haute-couture and everything behind it so exposed and transparent. Fans could witness the life backstage with a simple click on Instagram’s news feed. Burberry can be considered a pioneer in this case, since they were one of the first brands to immerse themselves in Instagram, connecting to their consumers that way. However, brands, such as Badgley Mischka, Nanette Lepore, and Tadashi Shoji, to name a few, followed in Burberry’s footsteps and managed to significantly increase the number of fans that way.
Different cultures, shared interests
Could be, but that’s beside the point. First of all, it is clear that fashion industry has finally realized the importance of digital media. They came into peace with the fact that consumers are changing, and that it’s necessary to utilize digital media in order to reach them. Of course, the world’s first Google Goggle(d) catwalk is probably geekier than some fashionistas would like it to be, but that’s the thing: younger consumers are digital-savvy and perhaps at least a little geeky, but a lot of them are also into fashion, which basically begs for a connection between the two cultures. And it’s happening, right now!