AW13 Fashion Week: Leveraging Digital, Social Media, and Strategic Partnerships

AW13 Fashion Week: Leveraging Digital, Social Media, and Strategic Partnerships

These days we’re seeing that it isn’t enough for big fashion brands to create a collection, cast top models, and have them strut down the runway.  It also isn’t enough for fashion blogs to simply report on trends and street style.  People want more.  Increasingly, we’re noticing a demand for digital, innovative coverage.  To satisfy this need, more and more traditional fashion labels are putting a spin on fashion reporting by emphasizing the digital developments.  This year brands are stepping their tech game up and are coming up with clever, new ways to engage fashion week enthusiasts in and out of the tents. And we like it. Case and point: Kenneth Cole, Burberry, Topshop, Carolina Herrera, Moncler, just to name a few.

Here’s some of the digital highlights we loved during NYFW and what we’ve seen thus far at LFW.

Kenneth Cole Uses Social Media For A Cause

He’s back after a 7-year hiatus and is finding power in social media to benefit the less fortunate. Kenneth’s show included livestreams on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, and…well, you get the point. But it wasn’t just for the sake of social buzz; for every Kenneth Cole follower who tweeted using the hashtag #KCRUNWAY, KC donated $1 to amFAR, a foundation dedicated to AIDS research and education. Talk about a tweet that goes a long way!

Moncler Uses Special Effects To Blow Our Parkas Off

We couldn’t leave this off the list simply because it was so visually spectacular. In their show, the outerwear apparel company featured 370 models wearing a collection that just so happened to be green. With a mirrored ceiling, and bursts of flashing strobe lights, and loud music, the special effects were certainly awe-inspiring and absolutely worth a mention.

Tory Burch Livestreams Its Show On Facebook

We all know that livestream is now mainstream, but Tory decided she’d stream her delicious collection on her Facebook events page. There, guests were able to “go” to the event, which was hosted from the comfort of their own Facebook profile. Genius?  Or would it have been better to livestream from their website? (The did just that for their Spring 2012’s show.)

Topshop Unique and Google Partner On The Runway

Following the success of DVF last season, Google paired up with Topshop for a social takeover. Dubbing their show “The Future of the Fashion Show,” Topshop Unique’s goal was to bring consumers even closer to the action than ever before. They did this by providing wearable, hi-def micro-cameras.  Plus they used Google platforms such as Youtube and Goggle+ Hangouts, and allowed the models, guest celebrities, retail buyers, and the designers to be creative in ways to give consumers access to all parts of the fashion show.


Belstaff Livestreamed Via Their Mobile App

The British fashion house built their own app for NYFW available for download from its e-commerce site. Beyond sharing the runway show, Belstaff had well-known blogger, Bryanboy, host a pre-show, taking viewers backstage in the IAC headquarters to see the collection and preparations before it hit the runway. They even created a hashtag aggregate, #BelstaffLive, on the desktop version, allowing viewers to comment on the show and engage with others.

Carolina Herrera Allows You To Shop Her Collection Through ShopBazaar 

Sticking to the industry’s new promise of shopping fashion just after it appears on the runway, Carolina Herrera teamed up with ShopBazaar to offer her Spring 2013 designs right off the catwalk. As the designer’s collection made its way down the runway at Lincoln Center, five looks styled by Harper’s Bazaar editors were available for purchase online.

Burberry Livestreams Activity Online AND Offline

Being digital leaders in the luxury space, Burberry took it one step further this season, streaming all activity online and in stores. The brand’s Regent Street store had 3-D livestreaming hubs installed and an in-and-out satellite link so in-store customers can see Burberry shows anywhere in the world as they happen, and concurrently, the world can see shows that happen in-store. In addition, there are screens that stretched from floor to ceiling and wrapped the entire location, morphing the London store into an immersive video experience. RFID chips were attached to numerous products generating content that informed consumers on a number of looks, including information on how that fashion was made and how they were developed.

Todd Snyder Turns to Hipstamatic for Digital Prints

Having attended the Todd Snyder presentation a couple of weeks ago, we couldn’t help but notice the big metal prints near the entrance of the show. Turns out, Hipstimatic collaborated with the ex-J.Crew menswear designer to bring some edgy portraits to the surface. Not only did they partner up with this startup, they also collaborated with Songza to curate a “Todd Snyder playlist” which you can still jam out to here.


So now that NYFW is over, we want to know: What are your thoughts? Did this season exceed last season’s digital trends? What do you hope to see happen next year? Share your thoughts with us through Twitter, @3rdwavefashion.

Cyndi Ramirez was Third Wave Fashion’s Brand & Business Development Manager. Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave.  Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.