We are in an era where fashion week is not just about the glamor and splendor of the clothes. Undoubtedly, there is much more going on these days. Big fashion houses are trying their best to keep up with the growing demand of its consumers in a bid to outshine one another with innovative digital marketing.
Previously, fashion week was an event of prestige and exclusivity where magazine editors were mostly seen in the front row but now, it is not possible without the influence of bloggers and digital-savvy celebrities to increase social media exposure about the collections. Not so long ago, fashion week was conducted 6 months in advance before the clothes would actually hit the stores but nowadays, many brands have realized the importance of engaging with their target audiences in an instant manner. It is this element of imminence that will bring the direct-to-consumer strategy in place.
Social media channels and live streaming have enabled fashion houses and brands to connect and interact directly with their huge consumer audiences. Consumers engage with their favorite brands via a two-way experience through digital marketing and this new strategy needs to be implemented into whatever a brand is trying to achieve at fashion week. The fashion industry is seen to be embracing technology more and more in a quest to move towards a direct-to-consumer model. Earlier this year, London Fashion Week fully incorporated technological innovation in a series of lives shows, underlining the importance of digital experiences at live fashion events and reinforcing London as a world-leader in the fashion industry.
Last year, for its SS15 show, Topshop created the “most socially accessible fashion show” where its fan base was able to watch the whole show being streamed directly into its stores showcasing the new collection. Burberry provides yet another example of a designer label who is always striving to maximize the use of technology in its digital marketing campaign. The brand was one of the first to use Twitter’s ‘Buy Now’ button for its SS15 show where online viewers were able to purchase nail varnish straight from the fashion show. Burberry has, thus, managed to build a strong brand image by demonstrating clever usage of digital technology into its show season after season. “The changes we are making will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience that we create with our runway shows and the moment when people can physically explore the collections for themselves. Our shows have been evolving to close this gap for some time. From live-streaming to ordering straight from the runway, to live social media campaigns, this is the latest step in a creative process that will continue to evolve,” said Burberry chief creative and chief executive officer, Christopher Bailey.
The CFDA’s report in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group outlines various opportunities and challenges around what the whole direct-to-consumer business model might look like. While there has been no common decision taken so far, a number of brands have been trying to take things up and give it a go in their own differing ways during the fashion weeks this season. Brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff, Martine Jarlgaard and many others are well on the way to fully adopt the “see-now, buy-now” concept by making some innovative uses of social media while adding their own personal touches and distinctiveness in their shows.
For any event organizer, at the moment, technology is actually the real thing in order to pull off a totally different experience based on the desire to step away from the traditional. It is great to see its extensive use throughout the fashion week offering experiences to the wider public which was never possible before. Its integration has therefore brought a mass audience into a previously exclusive world, which is obviously beneficial for every fashion fanatics and especially for designers who can now share their key collections to a global audience.