The article is long but very interesting. I want to talk about how the concept of “Fashion Week” has changed beyond recognition for the last 5 years. This phenomenal evolution occurred under the influence of social networks.
What was recently a series of closed meetings and parties for designers, buyers, fashionable media, models, stars and random onlookers in European capitals, today has become a global representation in real time for consumers? The days of waiting for the next issue of Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar have passed with details of the collections of the new season. And even photos on Style.com 48 hours after the show – in the past.
Today, the introduction of modern technology and the opening of fashionable events for the general public, such as Fashion’s Night Out, allow buyers to be as much a part of the Fashion Week as the fashion elite.
The competition in the fashionable media is tightening up
Social networks play a crucial role in how the Fashion Week will be reflected in the news. Before the advent of laptops, Wi-Fi, free blog hosting, as well as digital cameras in phones, the delay between showing and the appearance of information about it among buyers was very significant. As early as the beginning of the 21st century, there was no access to the Fashion Week news faster than the purchase of the Women’s Wear Daily magazine with photos of bows a few days after the collection was shown. Now it seems incredible.Everything began to change in 2005 and 2006 when a new generation of journalists calling themselves “fashion bloggers” began to make their way to the seats at the podium. One of the pioneers, Julie Fredrickson (Julie Fredrickson), the founder of Co torture fashion blog network (absorbed by Sugar Inc. in 2007), and now the manager of PR and Internet marketing departments at Ann Taylor, says: “Then fashion houses did not understand who fashion is bloggers, but were willing to reckon with them, while they were associated with at least some minor publications.
For example, Frederickson said she was able to register for her first Fashion Week in New York in February 2006 under the aegis of some left web magazine. At that time, she worked in the furniture salon to make ends meet, and made her way in all possible ways to fashion shows without invitations, with a laptop under her arm. Immediately after the shows, she ran to the library to upload the pictures to the network and write an overview many hours before the popular media did it.
“The very fact that you could see at least one photograph on the same day was news,” says Frederickson about the early success of fashion bloggers. “Coutorture has bet on showing the community photos as soon as possible. Style.com was still 1-2 days behind. As a result, we became monopolists on top fashion requests in all search engines. ”
“Fashion bloggers have also enormously improved the quality of articles about Fashion Week” – adds Fredrickson – “Moreover, blogs and the media have to compete for not only for the primacy of information but also to ensure the originality of reviews. Instead of the classic approach of 2 paragraphs of text per collection, you can find an infinite number of articles sucking event from all sides. Starting from where the person was sitting, to the music that was played during the show. Everyone writes about his “.
In our time “if you did not upload the video for 2 hours” – you’re late “continues Fredrickson. Beginning around 2008, most major players, like style.com, began to upload content as quickly as the army of fashion bloggers. “Traffic jumps were incredible – visits increased four, no, five times! But it passed when the competition became tougher. However, the wide dissemination of information does not mean that people began to read more. They focus on certain niches. “
Yuli Ziv, creator and CEO of the Style Coalition blog network, as well as the founder of the Fashion 2.0 Meetup social network, made similar conclusions: “If you want to be a successful blogger today, you need to choose your niche, for example, large sizes, denim ( jeans) or wine. And to form your own position, your own view of fashion. There is no point in competing with a professional editor in the review of the collection. Bloggers are valuable precisely because they can offer the public their own view of things. ” After all, visitors, reading a review, read both the person himself, his inner world, which is reflected in his articles, if, of course, they are sincere.
It’s not the first year, the so-called web 2.0 projects are extremely popular. Web two-zero is primarily a site, the interface of which is interactive and gives users the opportunity to actively participate in the life of the resource. The basic principle is that content is generated by users, not owners. Social networks allow you to quickly and easily share information, find friends and create interest groups. This allows people from anywhere in the world to communicate without barriers. Moreover, thematic social networks already initially unite people on a specific topic.
As you can see, bloggers write about the collection right during the show. Moreover, pay attention to the layout! In a gray dress – Anna Wintour – editor in chief of the magazine Vogue. And to her left, through one – Bryan Boy (bryanboy.typepad.com) – one of the most famous fashion bloggers. Drawing conclusions – Bryan Boy is almost as valuable as the editor of Vogue. Of course, I exaggerate, but there is something to think about.
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New opportunity for brands in fashion week
Fashion brands only benefit from the availability of more tools for promotion. This year more than 20 labels, including Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Vera Wang and Oscar de la Renta, organized live broadcasts on their sites, along with widgets (virtual gadget – a virtual device for displaying information from outside), allowing visitors to comment on bows on facebook and twitter or on the site in real time. The visibility of the clothes in the broadcast on the site was even better than in the back rows at the venue.
In addition to broadcasts, fashion houses release video and photo backstage (behind the scenes), which can be accessed directly from the site, through programs for mobile devices (for example, iPhone) or social networks (for example youtube channels). Many young brands are actively using this method to interest potential customers by showing them how everything works in the fashion world “from within”. This allows you to better convey the atmosphere within the company and the very purpose of its existence, as well as the idea of the collection.
It is very popular to maintain profiles and groups especially for fashion brands in social networks, for example, Facebook, as the reach of the audience is huge, and social networks have the ability to relay information, and one news can very quickly fly around all communities. Customers can communicate with employees of the company and see the real people who stand behind the collections. It is very close and inspires the confidence of the public.
Fashion Week is an opportunity for the brand to tell us about their vision of fashion for this season. After all, clothes are a whole story. Using photos, video clips, and articles, you can make the story much more complete, so that the client understands the message the company sends him.
Fashion houses actively use other modern technologies. Instead of exquisite paper invitations, the participants of the Week of Maud can now confirm their presence through the Internet, print a barcode, and on it get the number of seats directly at the entrance. This not only simplifies the process of allocating seats and allows you to avoid mistakes but also allows you to track visitors to fashion events to match visitors with their reviews in the media.
Moreover, fashion houses effectively use attention around the Fashion Week, doing e-commerce (e-commerce). Oscar de la Renta and Burberry posted their favorite models in the online store on the site immediately after the shows. This is months before they appear in retail stores. Burberry went further and invited customers to watch the broadcast of the new collection in 25 real stores around the world. Visitors could watch the show on the provided iPads and buy the things they liked right after the show through the program installed on them.
Alex Bolen, executive director of Oscar de la Renta, said that the limited-edition covers for the iPad had been shattered at such a speed that one could sell much more. “People want the goods here and now,” he says. By the spring Oscar de la Renta will offer buyers instantly to buy selected jewelry after the show. And this time the company will produce them more.
Perhaps the biggest step forward was made by the designer Prabal Gurung (Prabal Gurung), announcing the garments from the upcoming collection in the social network for creating onions Polyvore.com. For additional motivation, Polyvore arranged a competition where the winner will receive 2 tickets for the next Gurung show and a visit to his studio.
What does this mean for consumers?
Due to online broadcasts and crowdsourcing (crowdsourcing) – transfer of generation of content to users, Fashion Week becomes a public event, accessible to everyone
This trend is supported by international events such as Fashion’s Night Out, where consumers are invited to meet with designers and other personalities of the fashion industry to establish contact and allow customers to express their views.
The tendencies are such that the major information publications will transfer part of the publications and reviews of Fashion Week to visitors, giving them the opportunity to write their own reviews published on the websites of publications. And more and more brands will offer to order clothes before the official show.