From Twitter feeds, video streams, promotional trucks on the move, or models landing contracts via YouTube, Social media is redefining New York Fashion Week.
This year, moments before looks hit the runway, Burberry posted their looks on Twitter from its Spring/Summer 2012 show. The brand was one of the first to do it back in 2009, when it was a breakthrough idea. Rebecca Minkoff utilized the same Twitter look debut 30 minutes before her looks hit the runway this fashion week. Twitter updates are hardly news anymore, just a fast way to break it.
Marc Jacobs and Tommy Hilfiger followed suit and live-streamed their shows over their web sites. Marc Jacobs mimicked Burberry’s shoppable runway and began offering a pre-order reserve on the items just previously viewed on the runway on his site.
Diane Von Furstenburg is leading the pack, utilizing new iPhone video app Viddy to send out 15 to 30 second videos of the looks backstage. Viddy delivers quick frames directly to social media outlets while allowing users to polish up their clips and add production value by including music soundtracks and video effects. Von Furstenberg’s clips on her Facebook and Twitter page include interviews with the designer and her team, and hair and makeup run-throughs. The short videos are meant to give a Twitter type feel to the posts; the app is often referred to as “The Instagram of Video.” Kate Sroczynski, senior director of digital at DVF, admits to being inspired by Burberry’s live feeds of previous years.
Further fashion week promotion ideas include the usage of twitter hash tags. #FashionWheels offers fashion week attendees a ride to and from shows as sponsored by The Promotion Factory. Editors, bloggers and buyers are able to track the vehicles and catch a ride stocked and sponsored with items such as Zoya nail polish and Six Scents perfumes. #FashionWeekProblems send K-mart concierge girls providing items such as lights, band-aids, lip balm, and mineral water. The K-Mart campaign has received wide notoriety for this move and is currently in its third season running. Both campaigns attract the industry first movers and influencers as they share their experience with the masses.
Models are also increasingly finding social media to be a powerful tool. While many models consider walking in New York Fashion Week to be a necessity to forming their brand, one model, Kate Upton, has taken her career to heights most models can’t dream of. A year ago, Upton posted a video of herself doing “The Dougie” (a trendy dance made popular in hip hop), and has since landed the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue, an honor she shares with names such as Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum. The infamous “Dougie Video” caught the attention of IMG Models- the same company responsible for Gisele Bundchen. Kate has become an internet sensation, currently trending on Twitter (with hundreds of thousands of followers), and a YouTube video with over 3 million views. While most models are seen but not heard, Upton is becoming a household name by being seen, heard, followed, and seen dancing “The Dougie.”
Fashion, an industry that lives and breathes based on being “in the moment” thrives in social media, where the consumers are ready and waiting to see what’s next. Designers are now challenged to do more than blow people away with their clothes. The right bloggers in attendance are as vital as the top press. If you aren’t involved in the conversation now, while the social outlets are buzzing, good luck competing with the designers who have every fashionista talking, and feeling as though they were back stage for the show.
What’s next for the fashion industry? Do you think social strategy will outweigh designing talent?