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Published: 13 Jan 2016

Menswear 16 Shows: Sex-Centric Marketing Channels

J.W. Anderson X Grindr

Besides showcasing the work of 170 designers, the London edition of the A/W 16-17 menswear shows are providing some fascinating new angles on fashion communication – notably by embracing sex-centric marketing channels. 

  • J.W. Anderson x Grindr: British fashion designer J.W. Anderson live-streamed his collection exclusively on gay dating app Grindr. An edited version of the show, on loop for 24 hours, was accessible only to those who subscribed to the app and used a special code, enabling the brand to monitor users.

    The video has already been streamed 100,000 times, proving the platform to be a valid media channel – especially considering the total number of users currently sits at around 7 million, with more than a million active users worldwide every minute. Its reach is comparatively small in comparison to other streaming platforms (Periscope has 10 million users, while Snapchat has 100 million). However, the more niche focus potentially provides a more interesting proposition capable of generating plenty of additional brand buzz.

    Qualifying his decision to use Grindr alone, Anderson told the New York Times: “I think fashion is a sexy platform as well, ultimately. We’re all humans, so we all have to be somewhat sexually attractive to someone. That’s the name of the game, with clothing.” 
  • Diesel x Grindr & Tinder + Pornhub & Youporn: At the launch of its Decoded by Diesel collection, Italian label Diesel jumped into the debate on the fashion industry’s use of new sex media. It announced plans to roll out the main campaign for its 2016 underwear collection on dating apps Grindr and Tinder and, more provocatively, adult entertainment websites Pornhub and Youporn.

    The campaigns, featuring models Grace Mahary and Trevor Signorino, also use distinctly saucy emoji specifically created for the brand itself (four people holding hands, and a Diesel camera). See also Best Brand Reinventions and Millennials: Does Sex Sell?
  • Burberry x Apple TV: While not exhibiting an especially sexually charged angle, Burberry also embraced a new marketing channel: Apple TV. The first luxury label to use the platform, the show was live-streamed on the Apple TV app, granting a VIP window onto the runway looks and a live performance from British musician Benjamin Clementine.

    Users could also access a curated selection of Burberry Acoustic films from emerging British musicians, as well as previous runway highlights and branded beauty tutorials, with additional exclusive content to follow throughout the year. See also Music Meets Retail

For more on the men’s shows, see A/W 16-17 Menswear: London City Edit. For more on communications sprung from the catwalks, see S/S 16 Catwalks: Digital Innovations and Catwalk to Closet. For more on the power of social media, see Social Media Week London 2015, The Social Media Sell, 2015 and Measuring Success in Social Media.