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'See now, buy now' gets the tech touch

(Originally published on the UMd Journal, 15th September 2016)
The biannual Fashion Week season is in full swing. While many designers stick to the status quo, there are many more who are questioning the established rules of the industry.
Whereas brands would traditionally send the following year’s Spring/Summer styles down the runway during the autumn fashion weeks, this year we've seen several designers departing from the standard fashion calendar and opting to sell ‘in season’. It’s a move that takes them a step closer to their customers - to connect with them and cater to their needs - and it's been interesting to see the different ways that brands have used technology to present and complement their 'see now, buy now' offerings during New York Fashion Week.
Tom Ford's NYFW show took the form of a dinner party at the Four Seasons restaurant which, whilst exclusive in itself, was inclusive in that the event was live-streamed via 22 cameras which captured every angle of the show. Rather than all eyes being on the runway, the models were given cameras to stream backstage scenes, whilst other lenses captured reaction shots from the star-studded audience. The streams were seamlessly edited together by award-ceremony pros, and in a final coup de grâce, the entire collection could be shopped immediately online and in Tom Ford's Madison Avenue store, and magically appeared on-sale in stores around the world the following morning.
Who knows, maybe it won’t work. But I think it will work for the consumer - Tom Ford
Tommy Hilfiger went a step further and invited his customers to the show. Tommy Pier, a two day carnival of fashion, took over South Street Seaport's Pier 16, and of the 2,000 free tickets, half were made available to the public (they were snapped up within an hour). Fairground rides and fast food stands accompanied a famous front-row and a runway show fronted by Gigi Hadid, to launch the Tommy x Gigi collection. As with Tom Ford's collection, everything was available to shop immediately - in this case via huge touch-screen panels on location at Tommy Pier - and online and at 300 Tommy Hilfiger stores worldwide. 
It’s about delivering on the instant gratification that consumers are really seeking, closing that gap between the visibility of a fashion show and the moment of purchase - Avery Barker, Chief Marketing and Brand Officer, Tommy Hilfiger
It was a big hit with the Instagram generation, with over 26k uses of the #tommyxgigi hashtag. Tommy Hilfiger also harnessed the power of social media in reaching the brand's global fans,  simultaneously launching a friendly Facebook chatbot, TMY.GRL, which walks fans through the collection, dispensing Gigi 'fun facts' along the way.
Misha Nonoo ditched the show format altogether, joining forces with Refinery29 to stage the first ever Snapchat fashion show. Having already showed her SS16 collection on Instagram last year, it made sense that she'd pick the latest platform-du-jour to showcase her AW16 collection. The 'live lookbook' was shot and edited using an iPad Pro, before each 'look' was uploaded to Snapchat.
The 'live lookbook' will provide a wider audience the in-the-moment fashion experience without the industry-only barriers. Misha Nonoo
This was also the first collection of her new direct-to-consumer approach, having recently made the decision to end all of her wholesale relationships and sell exclusively via her own e-commerce site, and in true 'see now, buy now' style, everything was available to buy immediately.With London Fashion Week kicking off tomorrow, we're looking forward to seeing what the British brands have up their sleeves...


Jess Fawcett

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  • Sales & Marketing Manager at Donna Wilson Ltd

Project Tags

  • unmade
  • fashion
  • technology
  • new york fashion week

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