The last model hasn’t even strutted down the runway, but we’re already seeing some trends emerging from New York’s current Fashion Week. Perhaps the most important takeaway is the name itself: officially billed as “New York Fashion Week: The Shows,” inferring that these aren’t exclusively events for the press or buyers—they are “shows.” This is fashion-as-entertainment for everyone! Reimagined by entertainment and sports management powerhouse WME/IMG, and the investment firm Silver Lake Partners, the Fashion Week brand now reaches 13 countries and millions of fashionistas around the globe.
Digital media is giving consumers a front row seat, right next to sleekly styled editors and celebrities—but what does this mean for brands? We took a look at how technology, social media, and power influencers are disrupting the way brands can play in the new fashion economy.
NYFW – The App, The Network
The much-improved NYFW mobile app now includes live video streaming capabilities, show schedules, designer bios, news, maps, and push notifications to alert users to important news, events, and fashion facts. The free app allows consumers around the globe real-time access and gives brands insight into the emerging trends across the fashion, accessories, beauty, and hair categories. Taking the entertainment concept one step further, in October WME/IMG will launch Measure 2 Measure, an all-fashion channel, as part of an exclusive deal with Apple TV.
#NYFW on Instagram
If you’ve been scrolling through Instagram, it’s likely your feed had more than a few photos of models, clothing, shoes, and make-up officially tagged #NYFW. In fact, the #NYFW hashtag proved so popular during past NY Fashion Weeks that Instagram dedicated an entire section in its Discover area to the tag. As a point of reference, researchers tracked the six most-used Fashion Week hashtags and found that during the February 2015 New York Fashion Week shows, 340,000 photos were shared on Instagram resulting in over 20 million engagements during the weeklong event. This represents an increase of 193% over the Spring/Summer show in September and a gain of 268% from the prior year’s Fall/Winter show. This tremendous growth is a clear indicator that Instagram is a go-to social platform for fashion and beauty fans to engage with their favorite brands.
Influencing the Brand
Research shows that celebrity influencers are playing a more important role in the way consumers perceive brands and make shopping decisions. Recently, we’ve seen more brands collaborating with influencers to design capsule collections, banking on their credibility to increase awareness and introduce their brand to a new audience. This season’s launches include a line of footwear from Kanye West for Adidas and Lauren Conrad’s collection for Kohl’s. While celebrity and blogger collaborations aren’t new, the launch of lines alongside more well-established labels at Fashion Week signals that these brands are attempting to elevate their image and appeal to the fashion forward consumer.
It’s clear that consumers are increasingly invested in their favorite fashion brands and actively engaging with them across digital channels. How is your brand standing out in this competitive category? Contact Women’s Marketing to learn how to reach female consumers when, and where, they are most receptive to your message.