Monochrome! Yeezy! Intergalactica!
Whatever fashion trends are forecasted for next spring, we can be certain that throughout the “Fashion Month” of September, the technology trends that emerged at New York Fashion Week will last far longer than the latest lookbook.
Here are the tech trends that caught our eye:
The Democratization of Fashion Shows
Gone are the days of closed doors. In a contemporary move, bloggers have been added to the front row invitee list, alongside editors, buyers and media, and of course the occasional celebrity “friend”, compensated in clothing or payment for their marketing influence at the shows. Subsequently, this move has normalized social media at shows, and we can now view collections via periscope, twitter and Instagram before the catwalk is complete.
But whereas social media and drones keep “regular people” at a distance, the final frontier of democratization is to allow the public to attend the shows. Givenchy came to New York with a bang and opened 820 tickets to the public via this site, including 280 tickets for local fashion students and 100 for locals.
Rag & Bone partnered with Uber to provide show tickets to one lucky Uber rider. Rag & Bone managing partner David Neville said that this season, they wanted to go “one step further” than Livestream. “In partnering with Uber, we are exploring experiential marketing in a cool way to connect with our customers and give them an authentic feel for what the brand is about.” Both Rag & Bone and Givenchy have turned the once exclusive Fashion. A week into an all-access community, connecting the dots between fashion, the public and the media.
Live Streaming is the new normal. Designer Jeremy Scott hosted a #remotecontrolcam stream on Periscope during his star-studded SS16 event and Kanye, being Kanye, simultaneously broadcasted his “Season 2” show in select movie theaters around the world. In addition to full access, consumers are no longer waiting for editorial content to get a glimpse into fashion week, and the norm of instant gratification has caused some designers to allow consumers to shop directly from the runway.
The Power of Insta in Tech Trends
Instagram still reigns queen as the industry’s preferred social media platform. This season, the hashtag of #NYFW grossed over 140MM likes & comments in the mere course of seven days. Designer Misha Nonoo hosted an “instashow” to debut her SS16 collection. “A fashion show is so location-specific and for a rarefied group. I wanted to be more global and more inclusive by inviting the consumer to watch at the same time as press and buyers,” she says. Additionally, models are now selected for shows based on algorithms tied to their influence. Researchers at USC stated that their “analysis suggests that Instagram is as important as being cast by a top agency in terms of its ability to predict success on the runway.”
Industry heavyweight Eva Chen recently noted that “Instagram has become the water cooler of the fashion community.” No longer a consumer platform, brands are capitalizing and measuring their success via Instagram.
As #NYFW comes to a close and influencers start heading to London Fashion Week, we are keeping a close eye on the brands that consistently commit to employing new tech trends. Leading the pack, Burberry has partnered up with Snapchat to reveal the collection ahead of the runway and they’ve officially launched a dedicated channel on Apple Music. Louis Vuitton is hosting an exhibition to the public.
We predict that the lines will continue to blur between the exclusive fashion elite and the general public, especially as more fashion brands embrace tech trends. It will be exciting to see how designers push their digital boundaries even further in upcoming seasons.