What's the hottest trend at this week's New York Fashion Week? We'll give you a hint: it has nothing to do with fashion.
It's no secret that fashion is a hyper-competitive industry with plenty of talent and a reputation for being "cut-throat." Enter social media, and we now have journalists, fashion aficionados, retail lovers and people who simply take an interest in fashion, weighing in on an industry that has been notorious for shutting its doors to anyone who was not considered the cream of the fashion crop.
The average, non-runway-strutting human might envision Fashion Week to be all about this:
The fact is, however, that thanks to social media, the once exclusive world of high fashion has become more accessible to the every-day fashionista.
Fashion goes digital
Before the arrival of social media, fashion, just like many other industries, depended on classic marketing strategies like print and TV. Although these are still powerful tools, why not leverage the fact that we live in an era dominated by Internet consumers? Oh, and did we also mention that it's cheaper, more efficient and immediate?
In addition to having a quality product, successful fashion brands must be able to resonate with consumers. This means that a good digital media campaign doesn't just blast consumers with thousands of pictures of "haute couture" models that nobody can a) identify with or b) relate to; it means creating a brand story that strikes a chord with consumers.
This is especially important for small and up-and-coming brands, which can use platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to demonstrate the essence of their brands using highly visual content.
The rise of digital-only shows
Designer Misha Nonoo has decided to forgo the traditional live runway show altogether and opt for an "Insta-Show" instead; a show unveiled exclusively on Instagram. All you have to do is turn your device horizontally for a front-row seat to her show.
Why is social media important to fashion brands?
There are three primary reasons:
- It's visual, which is what fashion is all about.
- It's fast, allowing users to get sneak peeks, information about new products and discount codes instantly.
- It acts as a connector, providing brands with the opportunity to engage with consumers in a way that print and TV ads cannot.
Many brands cross-promote content across multiple social media platforms, and invite followers on one platform to watch videos on another, or participate in a campaign on a third.
Bradley Quinn, Creative Director of trend consultancy, Stylus Fashion, was quoted in Advertising Age as saying:
"Fashion is all about being seen, and the digital world is all about images, so the interface between the two is all about heightening visibility."
A word on Periscope
Another great tool worth mentioning is Periscope, Twitter's live streaming tool launched earlier this year. Twitter has used the hashtag #fashionunfiltered during this week's fashion shows to refer to content created using Periscope.
“It means a wonderful inclusion and access to what was [once] truly exclusive—it’s a step closer to the action.” – Caroline Issa, Fashion Director of Tank and Because magazines
What are you waiting for? Get online for your very own front-row seat to New York Fashion Week!