The fashion industry has come a long way in digital innovation when it comes to New York Fashion Week. We watched as the livestreaming of runway shows turned an exclusive industry into a democratized one, giving outsiders a peek into the ready-to-wear world of high fashion. Now, as New York Fashion Week gets more integrated, both technologically and socially, there is no longer just a desire to connect industry players and loyal clients to the information they so longingly desire at the tips of their freshly manicured fingers. Instead, it has become a necessity. This demand of connectedness requires brands find new ways to serve not only the industry, but their consumer as well. There are a few players that have made a splash in the market and are changing the way we can digitally experience new collections from sought-after designers of the season.
Rachel Zoe and Moda Operandi
The consumer knows what they want and they want it yesterday. The demand for immediacy pushes brands like Rachel Zoe to make her collection available just days after her first runway showing. The stylist-turned-designer teamed up with pioneering e-commerce platform, Moda Operandi to allow loyal fans to shop pieces exclusive to the new collection, in which all the A/W 12 looks were styled by Taylor Tomasi Hill, M’O’s Artistic Director. The pairing was fortified by the social power behind both companies that gave audiences behind the scenes access into the entire process in real-time, complete with photos and details on Tumblr.
The platform that robustly proclaims they are “churning out the culture” is doing precisely that. Milk Made has positioned themselves to be the strongest player in the digital Fashion Week space, providing interviews with designers, show reviews, photos from the most talented photographers on the rise, backstage access, and beauty and party reports from the shows and presentations that are pulsating at Made Fashion Week. Introducing the new Made Fashion Week iPhone and iPad application this season made it easier for show goers and fans to have access to photos as they came down the runway, and use the application’s social and note-taking functionalities. And still, the most fun to be had on the Milk Made platform is the Live Uploads, in which show goers can send in candid photos to be uploaded onto the website for everyone to see what really happens during New York Fashion Week.
KCD’s Digital Fashion Shows
The more accommodations made for editors, buyers and stylists during the Fashion Week madness, the better. They need every moment of clarity between the show venue shuffle, long days, longer nights, and all the cameras flashing in between. With over 300 shows and presentations produced during New York Fashion Week, it is physically impossible to see everything. KCD’s newly launched Digital Fashion Shows solves this problem by allowing editors and buyers to watch pre-taped fashion shows, designer videos explaining influences of the season, transcripts and additional collection information that finally allows insiders to be omnipresent.
The Good Ol’ Fashion Blog
The eldest form of fashion week coverage on the web has been the fashion blog. It is still is one of the most reliable ways to retrieve information about the designer du jour’s runway show or presentation. From news sites like WWD and Style.com to personal blogs like A Shaded View on Fashion and From Me To You, runway images are being published more quickly than ever after a show has wrapped. The race to the photo publishing finish line has made designer’s shows more readily available and more desirable to the consumer.
Finally, with all the efficient ways to interact digitally with product and information during New York Fashion Week, there becomes less of a demand to be physically present at Lincoln Center, Milk Studios and the plethora of other off-site venues. Brands and publishers implementing new technologies, content strategy and effective social media practices are working together in making an inclusive experience for the devoted fan and the devout insider. But, in the same way that it is a different experience to view art online than in a gallery, there is nothing like seeing a collection up close and personal.
Photo credits: Photo by Maria Malsava, courtesy of MilkMade.com