New York Fashion Week returns to the Big Apple on February 11 for a week of sartorial splendor and, unless you’re an editor, top fashion blogger, or North West, it’s unlikely you’ll score a front row seat. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a behind-the-scenes look at the New York Fashion Week shows. Women’s Marketing spoke to Jennifer Taylor, vice president of sales and brand management at IMG Fashion Events to learn how the new venues, social media, and brands are influencing what you’ll see on the runway.
Women’s Marketing: This is your second season in your new venues, Skylight at Moynihan Station and Skylight Studios, now that you’ve settled in, how do you think the new settings better suit NYFW both for designers and attendees?
Jennifer Taylor/IMG: The great thing about the new NYFW venues is that they are completely different from each other. Skylight at Moynihan Station is dark, sexy, and in a very historic NYC building, while Skylight Clarkson Square, while also historic, is lighter and very art-gallery like. This allows us to offer maximum versatility and truly transform the spaces so that designers and partners are able to choose the vibe that best fits their brand, show or activation. For the guests, that means that every time they walk in a venue they are literally transported into a new space that tells a unique story.
Women’s Marketing: How have influencers and social media changed the conversation at NYFW?
Jennifer Taylor/IMG: Bloggers, influencers, and social media have changed the way consumers process and digest information from not only New York Fashion Week, but the industry at large. Now, global fashion fans have a virtual front row seat by following their favorite influencers. That’s really exciting for designers; it instantly gives them millions of views and they are able to reach their ultimate consumer faster than ever and get them excited about the upcoming collection. The task now for designers is to make the conversation around their collections stay alive from the moment it hits the runway to the time it hits the retail floor.
Women’s Marketing: Beauty and other consumer brands have become a part of NYFW as sponsors, for example TRESemmé is the official hair sponsor, what are a few benefits for brands aligning themselves with NYFW?
Jennifer Taylor/IMG: Beauty is a very important part of any runway show. Backstage beauty teams add the final details that complete and perfect the designers’ vision. Brands like Maybelline and TRESemmé who are largely consumer friendly brands, also sponsor numerous fashion weeks globally. This gives them unique access to the creation of trends and solidifies their place as not only consumer facing powerhouses, but also as international trend-setters.
Women’s Marketing: There have been numerous articles discussing how NYFW has become more of a consumer-facing event, overstepping its original intent as an industry event for buyers and editors. Why do you think this happened and what do you foresee as the future of “Fashion Week” events across the globe?
Jennifer Taylor/IMG: Social media, celebrities, influencers, and technology have made the world slightly smaller and all areas of business, not just Fashion Week, are rethinking their customers and audience. While Fashion Week will always have a place for the industry, it’s inevitable that consumers will also have a larger spot. That can be digitally, or in the physical venue. Ultimately, Fashion Week is for designers to debut a collection and tell their brand story to their desired audience. For some brands, that might mean they will continue inviting an audience of industry insiders and sharing their content to the larger global community via digital channels, and for some it might mean doing a show that has consumers in the front row. It’s going to be up to the designers to identify what their business objectives are to ensure they are meeting them with their fashion week presentations.
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