New York Fashion Week hearts digital

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A behind the scenes report from KAMANO

Desigual brought Snapchat filters live as make-up.


Fashion weeks used to be all about setting new fashion trends, celebrities’ outfits, an exclusive and invitation-only atmosphere… however, as the first shows in New York began, everybody seemed to be equally interested in the digital trends that are accompanying this season’s shows. Many brands started to break the rules of the fashion business bit by bit by lifting their curtains for true outside-the-box-thinking. All this is due to the fashion industry undergoing major structural changes in general, from how they deliver new collections, promote them and connect with their consumers, the entire value chain is affected by digitalization. It shortened the time lag between fashion week shows and items reaching the brick-and-mortar stores significantly. Brands hence compete on who wins the rat race from studio to customers’ shopping bags in the most innovative way. It even caught Google’s attention, experimenting with its search engine algorithm and letting brands communicate with their followers more directly by allowing them to manage search results themselves – thereby basically manipulating Google’s „independent“ search algorithm to their own advantage.


Brands make collections available instantly

The biggest trend we could identify: see now, shop now. Shoppers become more demanding and impatient with brands starting to accept and follow suit. Many brands therefore make their new collections available immediately just as they appear on the runway. How they do it, however, is where they differentiate. But not only fashion brands, even wholesale brands are participating in the initiative, where they show live-streams, shoppable videos and real-time coverage and allow users to buy the latest collections immediately (Mytheresa, HSN…).

Social media as always was a big part of the fashion week – though with brands this time trying to outdo each other more than ever. Most of the brands were announcing their events on all possible platforms, showing their collections live via the Facebook Live feature (some more successful than others), showing backstage stories via Snapchat, take-overs of brands’ accounts by celebrities and a flood of Instagram images. Desigual went a step further, having brought Snapchat filters live as make-up (see image on page 1), which showed to be very innovative and definitely created the much needed buzz to stand out.

This is only one case, showing how much Snapchat rose from a millennial playground to a marketing channel – although Instagram has been a fashion week’s favorite platform for years, this season Snapchat overtook that (even though Instagram Stories were launched beforehand). New York designer Misha Nonoo revealed the whole collection via Snapchat and each snap was additionally touched-up by an illustrator in the app’s own feature – in addition the entire collection was immediately available for purchase via the brand’s website. Just 2-3 years ago this would have been gravity defied in the laws of fashion industry!

Misha Nonoo revealed the whole collection via Snapchat and each snap was additionally touched-up by illustrations.


Entertaining and innovative on various digital channels: Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger threw a huge two-day circus-themed event at South Street Seaport’s Pier 16, that hosted celebrities and “mortals”, where the presented collection was instantly available to shop online and at some stores around the globe. Yes, that is similar to not few other brands, but the brand additionally equipped the event with digital touch-screen shopping walls, that allowed guests to purchase every single item from the collection (with complimentary shipping costs). Furthermore, the brand is pointed out also because of its very well assembled shoppable live stream via Facebook (multiple cameras, zooming in and out, showing attendees and the venue, runway from different angles, very entertaining from the beginning until the end). As entertaining that it was even broadcasted on Times Square, on and on the websites of 175 partners – showing that brands increasingly go direct not only in sales but also media channels.

The brand initiated a conversational commerce game and launched a personalized Facebook messenger chatbox named TMY.GIRL, which reminded us of a concierge with its scalable conversation that came with pleasant surprises – it asked us a couple of questions with multiple-choice answers and gave us detailed information on all looks we were interested in (without us having to leave the chatbox to look for the information on our own, unless we wanted to buy it); it was even responsive when we asked questions that were off-script. By using this program, the brand captures customer data and tries to predict their habits, context and provide the right information in a very engaging way. Tommy Hilfiger also exploited Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat, with backstage images, that were a part of the entire story, and connected the followers to a shoppable grid. Thommy Hilfiger thereby created a truly seamless experience across on- and off-line platforms.


Shoppable movie directed by Guy Richie

Another example of out-of the box thinking is Ted Baker, who launched a new campaign with shoppable movies, that were directed by Guy Ritchie. Movies called Mission Impeccable come with a catchy tagline: “Spy it. Click it. Buy it. perfectly bringing to the point what fashion is about today.  While watching, users are able to click on looks to save them into a “vault”. From there, they can then look back at individual pieces, without having to interrupt the film throughout. The movie was announced on all social media platforms beforehand to raise anticipation. Additionally, the brand partnered with Google to run a contest “in the real world”. Based on voice search, the brand invites users to speak coded phrases they see in store windows to gain access to rewards collectible inside. The whole experience is made even more entertaining due to the designers well known attitude – the contest is namely geolocated and time-stamped; if users are at the bus stop outside at 2am, the app will tell them to rather go home and put their PJs on.

Ted Baker launched a new campaign with shoppable movies directed by Guy Ritchie. Ted Baker launched a new campaign with shoppable movies directed by Guy Ritchie.


Interactive and personalized Vogue livestream

But not only fashion brands, also media brands are trying to keep up with the Kardashians. Vogue launched Vogue Runway last September to cover fashion-weeks live via Facebook Live. While they are interviewing designers, models or celebrities during New York Fashion Week, they are pulling questions from the comments sections thereby making it interactive and personalized, which resulted in booming views. The videos are then repacked for the use on Vogue’s social media accounts and cater to its 6 million followers across different platforms. 1:1 for Anna again.

Vogue launched Vogue Runway last September to cover fashion-weeks live via Facebook Live Vogue launched Vogue Runway last September to cover fashion-weeks live via Facebook Live


Virtual reality live broadcast by selected brands

Some brands made the most out of available “as is” technology and brought events home to their fans in immersive quality with Virtual Reality. Dell and IMG partnered with selected brands (Erin Fetherston, Noon by Noor, Lisa N. Hoang, Dan Liu, Namilia, Marissa Webb, Band of Outsiders, Irina Vitjaz, Supima, Misha Collection, Prabal Gurung and Telfar) – to live-broadcast runway shows in full stereoscopic virtual reality. The technology creates a natural viewing environment, transporting viewers from their couches to the runway. Furthermore some brands are even integrating technology into their wearables by blending aesthetics and gathering consumer insights and much more, (our next blog entry will cover more details on that).

It seems that out-of-this-world designs, special venue locations and A-list guest aren’t enough anymore to attract consumers’ attention. Brands are trying to reach all potential customers wherever they are and no matter on which device and timezone. Ongoing street style circus, access for everyone, see-now-buy-now, virtual reality are just some of the trends that caught our attention and it remains yet to be seen how and if it will help catapult new stars into fashion Olympus.


For further information on how your brand could profit from digitalization please contact:

Marlon Damm
Director Strategy & Fashion Enthusiast

Lucka Lucy Nemes
Associate Strategist & Fashion Enthusiast

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