While stylish snappers’ daily Tumblr self-portraits were garnering thousands of fans, creative shoppers were crafting elaborate Pinterest moodboards and bloggers were blagging prime places in the FROW, the fashion houses trailed behind, throwing freebies and show tickets at the grassroots gurus in an attempt to steal a little of their social shine.
But this week, as London Fashion Week (#LFW) takes the stage (after a blistering seven days of NYC fabulousness), we will see just how much things have changed. Social media is now big fashion business, and every label worth its salt has a strategy, a livestream or a surprise up their sleeve to include the public in a hitherto exclusive experience.
So what is proving really exciting? We keep a particularly close eye on social and fashion trends in 1000heads, not just because we have a disproportionate number of beauty and style bloggers in our midst (peplums, headpieces, great clunking flatforms… we’ve seen it all in this office), but because we love bringing fashion week and social together for clients such as Nokia, Canon and Miele.
So here are is our roundup of 5 key social trends either seen in NYC or tipped to dominate London…
1. Next gen tech
Serious technology became part of every aspect of the NYC shows. Diane von Furstenberg’s S/S collection used models wearing Google Glass, the company’s newly developed AR-enhanced eyewear, to take photos of outfits for DVF’s Google+ Page and to produce a short behind the scenes film. As for the pieces themselves, Rebecca Minkoff’s Stelle Jungle Green Audio Clutch was imbued with tech, functioning as a wireless stereo that can be controlled by any bluetooth-enabled device within 33 feet, and Alexander Wang showcased innovative fabrics, cuts and processes used to achieve its signature precise, monochrome minimalism. Smart fabrics – and smart ways of showing them off – are definitely on the rise.
Everyone has an interactive, shoppable livestream nowadays – but in New York, Oscar de la Renta and Marc Jacobs added value by offering new pre-show previews exclusive for their online fans. In London, the British Fashion Council are offering livestreams of 47 shows this year, with in-house commentary and a Pinterest board showing highlights of the latest live looks. No question – you don’t have to be sandwiched between a pair of spike fashion elbows to take part.
Twitter has become a ubiquitous tool for show updates, commentary and photostreaming. But London’s Burberry have always made sure to build and nurture their microblogging community all year round, and after last year’s tweetwalk they’ve become famed for taking risks first. This year’s invite was as lovely as expected, so sit back on your sofa, enjoy @Burberry‘s pre-walk snaps, and learn from the best.
For the month leading up to New York Fashion Week, voting design platform CutOnYourBias invited designers Carlos Campos, Christian Cota, Timo Weiland and Suzanne Rae to submit sketches which were then voted on by fans for inclusion in their shows. With this kind of crowd support model making big waves in the book publishing industry, it can’t be long before more designers take the leap.
5. Social entertainment
Staple London label Topshop Unique created a spot of ‘social entertainment‘ with its show on Sunday – what Justin Cooke, chief marketing officer, dubbed “social, commerce and entertainment all rolled into one.”
As Facebook fans watched the show on livestream, they were able to click on a specially developed button to capture and share details they love, not to mention pre-order the clothes, the models’ makeup and even the show soundtrack. Over two million people from 100 countries joined the party – that’s one serious win. Social media no longer has to choose between being fun or functional – it has to do both.
Finally, for an idea of how all this innovation is going down online, Whispr Group has already produced an infographic on the winners of the NYC Fashion Week social race. Keep tuned to see how London fares.
No doubt we will see plenty more social wins as the days unfold.
Molly Flatt is social business director @1000heads.