Tag Archives: #NYFW

Forget Instagram: what has happened to fashion week commentary on Twitter?

28 Feb

This post first appeared on Fashionista.com

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Is it just me or has Twitter become much less inspiring during fashion week season? I say that as an avid user – both personally and profesionally. I peruse posts day to day, and particularly once the shows hit London, Milan and Paris, when I’m watching via livestream from New York. I scroll through my own feed, I consume via social dashboards attached to designers’ websites, and I go back and search using hashtags and brand names afterwards, too.

What I’ve always enjoyed is the live commentary that you gather from those in the front row, but there seems to have been very little of it for the past couple of seasons, and I for one really miss it. Not the tweets that tell me what show they’re waiting for, the fact the first model has appeared/the last model has walked out, or even what color they’re seeing. Those still exist, and I can gather all that from home.

No, what I really want back, is actual commentary. I want to hear from the editors –- the experts no less — about the 1930s theme emerging at Prada and the influence Miuccia drew from film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, or the details of the new Bloomsbury-inspired, hand-painted florals at Burberry Prorsum. I want to know what is sashaying down that runway that, from my own 13-inch screen, I can’t quite see.

The images that are posted can be nice, of course, and on occasion insightful (if not blurry, but that’s another issue). But what happened to a wonderfully descriptive annotation along with it? Or better yet a real-time opinion, a review-on-the-spot even? Here are some of the highlights from the Lanvin show Thursday:

Lots of pictures naturally, but did you gather much about the line really? Navy, white and feathers. It’s a start.

Now it’s not that everyone has put their smartphones back in their handbags to focus on the clothes as they come out of course. So what’s going on?

First up, quite obviously: Instagram. During London Fashion Week there were a total of 266,767 mentions on Twitter, and 316,359 posts on Instagram, according to Bell Pottinger, a British public relations and marketing firm. So arguably, much more time is being spent there.

It goes without saying there’s huge benefit in that space of course. But when someone is at at home watching a livestream, or has access to high-res images in near real-time — not to mention backstage ones from the brand themselves — Instagram shots from the front row don’t necessarily offer all that much. They’re a nice-to-have, and for a feel of fashion week in general, a fantastic stream to follow. But for those really wanting to know about the collections themselves, there’s still a gap — an information gap.

The skill of an editor who has worked in the industry for 10 or more years is to be able to quickly deduce what a collection is about, to analyze its importance for trends, to bring contextual knowledge of its applicability to the commercial market and to offer a clear understanding of the technical side (i.e., garment construction and fabrications).

Portraying that over Twitter is no mean feat. I attempted it as a guest Tweeter on behalf of my employer, WGSN, for the @mbfashionweek account during New York at a number of shows and it’s entirely consuming.

But I don’t think the fact few editors or publications seem to be offering anything like this anymore comes down to just not having the time. With social media now reaching maturity, there’s inevitably becoming a greater push in terms of strategy for organizations and individuals alike on what to do and what not to do to achieve audience engagement.

So here’s my question: Is this lack of Twitter commentary as simple as editors just becoming more obsessed with Instagram? Or is there actually a direct decision being made not to give away too much there and then? (The knowledge of these men and women is a valuable commodity — why hand it out on a free platform, when you can rather store it up and post it on your own site for traffic generation later?)

Then again, maybe it’s just as simple as the fact we’re also all just a little bit over it. Or overwhelmed. Or lazy. Still, I’d like it back.

Digital snippets: Michael Kors, Rebecca Minkoff, Vivienne Tam, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen

17 Feb

From New York to London, and everything in between, here’s a mega round-up of all the latest stories surrounding fashion and tech…

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  • Rebecca Minkoff gives inside look at fashion week with Keek app [Mashable]
  • Vivienne Tam’s WeChat partnership delivers NYFW front-row access [Jing Daily]
  • Marc Jacobs opens fashion week pop-up that accepts Tweets as payment (as pictured) [Fashionista]
  • Zac Posen curated a Spotify playlist for his new lookbook [Styleite]
  • Alexander Wang showed colour-changing clothes during fashion week [Technical.ly]
  • Warby Parker tops list of top 10 retail innovators [Fast Company]
  • London Fashion Week: Nokia and Fyodor Golan create ‘world’s first’ smart skirt [Marketing]
  • Net-a-Porter puts its fashion sense on paper in new print magazine [BrandChannel]
  • Miu Miu unveils ‘Spark and Light’ short film [WWD]
  • Sass & Bide launches 360-degree shoppable ad [PSFK]
  • Bloomingdale’s hosts live-styling event on Instagram to drive interaction [Luxury Daily]
  • The new Moda Operandi app is like Tinder for designer clothes [NY Observer]
  • Instagram is shaping up to be the world’s most powerful selling tool [Forbes]
  • Seven ways retailers are embracing tech, from body scanning to digital wallets [AdAge]
  • What’s so alluring about a woman known as Man Repeller? [NY Mag]

Tommy Hilfiger opens ‘social concierge’ service to 8 million+ followers for #NYFW

9 Feb

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Tommy Hilfiger is opening up its social concierge initiative to its online following this fashion week season. First launched at its spring/summer 2014 show in September, this service enables users to request bespoke assets – pictures through to collection information – in real-time.

The aim is to provide immediate customised access to the collection and the show, in order to enable social media storytelling.

This was only offered to media and influencers physically in attendance in September, but Monday’s show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, will invite any of Tommy Hilfiger’s eight million followers on Facebook, 473,000 on Twitter and 155,000 on Instagram, as well as global media, to participate.

A staff of roughly 100 photographers – up from 30 in September – will be on hand to fulfil the personalised requests. They will be both on- and off-site, receiving requests via email and Twitter, and working to respond as quickly as possible.

“Efficiency is a top priority,” a spokesperson at the company told me. “Blink and the moment is over – media and consumers don’t want to wait to see coverage, and the social concierge facilitates that process.”

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While there’s no automation involved, it is perhaps inevitable many of the requests will be similar or the same, like a backstage make-up shot, or a picture of Tommy himself, maybe one of the model opening the show (last season Jourdan Dunn), or a detailed view of one of the pieces – therefore easing the load.

An image bank will be created accordingly for the team to draw from throughout the event, but they are also willing to gather more specific assets both backstage and front of house. Fans are actively encouraged to be as creative and original with their requests as they like. Last season saw bespoke deliveries ranging from a personal handwritten message from certain models to an image of Tommy with his thumbs up.

Avery Baker, CMO of the Tommy Hilfiger group, said: “This ‘beat-the-clock’ mentality is an important component of amplifying our brand message in the new digital age of fashion where coverage and commentary are happening in-the- moment before it’s on to the next!”

Tommy Hilfiger is also hosting a runway “Instameet”, inviting 20 local Instagrammers to join onsite on show day and receive a guided tour of the set, including backstage. The initiative is in collaboration with Brian Difeo (@bridif) and Anthony Danielle (@takinyerphoto), both influential New York Instagram users. The hashtags to follow include #tommyfall14 and #nyfwinstameet.

2013: a designer meets digital year in review

23 Dec

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What a busy year it’s been…

From 3D printing taking its first trip down the New York Fashion Week catwalk, to the launch of Vine and Instagram videos, not to mention the continuing debate about the role of bloggers as influencers, the increased focus on the potential market size of wearables, and Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year as ‘selfie’one thing after another has rapidly impacted the role of innovation in this niche fashion x digital space.

Below then, are 10 of the posts you loved the most on F&M this year. It’s an interesting collection, nodding to familiar ideas like storytelling and crowdsourcing, as well as higher quality content, and a general reassessment of what it is that actually works in this space. Video content does of course also have its place, as does the continuing power of celebrity.

Thank you for reading and see you in 2014!

Key fashion week trend: social media quality

16 Oct

There’s a lot to be said for the level of quality our industry is producing over social media these days, and rightly so for a world that prides itself on luxury. Whatever it is – better cameras, bigger teams, more budget – it’s working.

Take a look at some of the content highlights from the most recent round of fashion weeks:

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In order: Burberry, Tory Burch, Chloé, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana (as highlighted individually last season), all with beautiful executions across multiple platforms.

In terms of cameras, partnerships with tech companies for Burberry and Tory Burch have undoubtedly helped. The former, as reported at the time, teamed up with Apple (ahead of the news this week of CEO Angela Ahrendt’s move to become Apple’s senior vice president of retail and online stores) to exclusively capture its social media content using the new iPhone 5S iSight camera. This meant incredibly high res images, not to mention benefits including auto image stabilisation, a new ‘burst’ mode that allows users to shoot 10 photos per second, as well as an option for slow-motion.

Tory Burch on the other hand partnered with Sony to shoot its show using the F55 professional 4K camera, resulting in content with four times the resolution of standard high definition video. A detailed view of each and every look was hosted at runway.toryburch.com.

Meanwhile, we’re also seeing those in attendance at the shows sharing higher quality imagery too. Yes there are still blurry runway shots, but better smartphone cameras are of course at the root of this improving. That said, there are two other factors helping this along too:

The first is down to designers increasingly creating scenes for the crowd to want to capture. As Elizabeth Holmes of the WSJ reported: “Designers have a few tricks – falling under the heading ‘Instabait’ – to create moments that even hard-to-impress fashion week veterans can’t help but click and post.” These vary from elaborate set designs and props, to celebrity showcases.

The BoF covered this during the menswear shows in July too, writing: “In recent seasons, it’s become increasingly common for fashion shows to end with a tableau of models, perfectly positioned to be snapped and shared on social media. But at the most recent round of Paris menswear and couture shows, the staging of these instantly sharable moments rose to a whole new level of sophistication.”

A second factor that might begin shaping this lean towards quality all that much further, was hinted at by Tommy Hilfiger this season. As previously covered, it offered up a service that delivered assets – pictures through to collection information – upon request to showgoers over email in real-time. The aim was to “allow the industry to curate and share a new layer of exclusive, customised content on their own digital platforms for their followers during the show”. Doing so however cleverly put Tommy Hilfiger back in charge of the look and feel of its brand in the social space, ensuring its quality was as on-brand as possible throughout.

It might be a week for talking about technology, innovation and where the two cross with fashion thanks to that news from Burberry and Apple, but it’s important to ensure nailing content and quality likewise gets the attention it deserves. Overall the result is undoubtedly a better experience for the consumer so long may it continue. And for once, long may other industries be inspired by just how well (and by that we mean beautifully) ours can do digital.

Digital snippets: #NYFW round-up special

15 Sep

All manner of social initiatives took place during New York Fashion Week last week, ranging from a digital concierge at Tommy Hilfiger to the use of Snapchat at Rebecca Minkoff. Here’s a round-up of it all:

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  • Over 630,000 viewers watched New York Fashion Week online, but designers still fail to live up to their European counterparts [Mashable]
  • #NYFW digital highlight: Tommy Hilfiger’s social concierge [Fashion&Mash]
  • Rebecca Minkoff to debut runway looks on Snapchat [Mashable]
  • Kenneth Cole unveils Vine mosaic during #NYFW show [Fashion&Mash]
  • Revlon provides collection sneak peek over Pinterest during #NYFW [Fashion&Mash]
  • Pinterest entices huge brands in special fashion week pages [Venture Beat]
  • Giant digital installation anchors Phillip Lim for Target NYFW event [Fashion&Mash]
  • Models to carry Moto X on NYFW runway [AdAge]
  • How designers make the moments when fashion clicks [WSJ]
  • A look at how Instagram is changing New York Fashion Week [Fashionista]
  • This interactive fashion feature from The New York Times is also worth checking out, it showcases seven big shows in a series of expandable visual sliders, as well as what it calls ‘fashion fingerprints’ – a digital breakdown of the key colours for the new season.

You might also like:

Live-streaming fashion week: what’s the point?

London amps digital to make fashion week more public than ever

Kenneth Cole unveils Vine mosaic during #NYFW show

14 Sep

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Over 120 Vine videos were released in real-time during last weekend’s Kenneth Cole presentation at New York Fashion Week, tied to the theme “Your point of view depends on your points of view” and the hashtag #kcviewpoints.

As the brand’s new spring/summer 2014 collection was unveiled, videographers including Meagan Cignoli, Jesse Hlebo, Jodi Jones and Jason Mante posted six-second clips of everything from the materials used, to the behind-the-scenes preparations for the show. Live footage was also captured as the models walked down the runway and posed alongside their counterparts on two stages opposite each other (casually using their own smartphones as they did so).

On-site plasma displays behind them showcased the various clips to those in attendance, but it was online where the real action took place. At Kennethcole.com/viewpoints a mosaic of Vines was revealed much like a live-streamed show would be.

“The live-stream Vine mosaic takes a single event in New York City and transforms it into an engaging global experience in an entirely new way,” said Rei Inamoto, CCO/VP of ad agency AKQA, which was behind the initiative.

A series of one-liners also feature on the site, tied to the use of Vine. “Allow us to share our POV (patterns on Vine),” reads one. “We have no second thoughts, just six-second thoughts,” reads another.

The clips also include designer interviews and a series of slow-motion shots thanks to the use of Academy Award-winning technology from the Phantom 65 Gold camera, which shoots up to 1500 frames per second.

Some highlight videos are embedded below…

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#NYFW digital highlight: Tommy Hilfiger’s social concierge

10 Sep

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Tommy Hilfiger brought a sense of digital personalisation to those in attendance at his California-themed New York Fashion Week show this season; offering up a service that delivered assets – pictures through to collection information – upon request in real-time.

The “social concierge”, as it was called, saw a dedicated team of 30 responding to emails sent in from showgoers – either providing them with what they were after from a cloud-based library, or directing a team member on-site to capture the request directly. Mashable experimented with this 30-minutes in advance to see what was possible, asking for an image of the designer with a model doing a thumbs up, and got the exact shot back just before the show began, as shown above.

Meanwhile, I requested one of the first looks, a finale shot and an image from behind-the-scenes while the collection walk was in action, all of which I received within 15 minutes of it ending. Mine (included below) were evidently shot on an iPhone, though the service did also incorporate higher quality photography and reportedly a team of digital technicians to instantly edit the shots.

The concept is of course tied to social media sharing. Said the company: “[It] allows the industry to curate and share a new layer of exclusive, customized content on their own digital platforms for their followers during the show.” It added that the aim was to further “emphasise the approachable and inclusive DNA of the brand”.

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That access to exclusive content for attendees also continued with the brand’s “Runway Newsroom”, an online portal that opened immediately following the show, once again intended largely for press and buyers. This included everything from a full collection statement to high res images of the line, behind-the-scenes activities and even set design. So too were there sketches from the designer and detailed photographs of the fabrics.

As Avery Baker, CMO at Tommy, told WWD: “There is increased pressure on media and influencers to communicate immediately to their followers. We felt this program would help facilitate and streamline the process for them.”

Two further pieces of digital content were also created for the season:

The first was the result of the brand providing bloggers including Scott Schuman and Susie Bubble with Lytro cameras. These light field cameras allow photos to be refocused after they are taken. In other words, viewers can focus in on the model in the foreground or switch to the crowd behind her just by tapping the screen (see below).

And secondly, it partnered with artist Meagan Cignoli to capture moments in the lead-up to and during its show using Vine and Instagram video (see this one for instance). A separate series of 30-second videos were created by the brand focused on details like the beauty looks, the accessories in the collection and its beach-themed set up.

As with last season, “The Conversation” of the show was captured on a live social media feed displayed in the entrance-way to the venue on 90ft screens.

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Eva Chen wearing Google Glass at #NYFW

7 Sep

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It turns out Nina Garcia isn’t the only one sporting Google Glass to #NYFW. Eva Chen, incumbent editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine, was spotted wearing a pair inbetween shows in the city today, teamed with a cropped Mickey Mouse tee.

“Ok Glass, take a video,” she said, following which she looked around the crowd in front of her, of which Samantha Aldenton from WGSN, was one. “These are the street photographers”, Chen explained, seemingly to her device.

A tweet on August 28 from Chen announced she would be wearing them:

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Photo credit: Samantha Aldenton

Giant digital installation anchors Phillip Lim for Target NYFW event

6 Sep

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Target hosted an event at New York Fashion Week last night to celebrate the forthcoming launch (September 15) of its 3.1 Phillip Lim line.

Hosted at the new Spring Studios, the party centred around an enormous digital installation – the Stylescape, which is the longest-ever created cinemagraph in fact, comprised of multiple interactive components.

You could blow on a pin-wheel to make a gust of wind breeze across various components on the screen, pull on a cord to see fireworks light up the sky or a string of fairy lights illuminate, and even jump on a spot to get Phillip Lim to turn round from a park bench and smile for your picture. Other sections saw the crowd dancing with one of the virtual models, or giggling as a dog appeared behind a counter.

The initiative took over four months to produce, Refinery29 reported. It was created across six cities, representing a full day-to-night span from one end to the other. It kickstarts with early morning in LA, crossing through Dallas, Toronto, Chicago, and Miami, and wrapping up with a 5am cab in NYC.

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