Fashion Week Reinvents: ‘See Now, Buy Now’ Spin-Off Concepts
Once industry-only events, the Fashion Week shows are morphing into an increasingly consumer-oriented spectacle primed for the fast-paced, instant access digital generation – and causing major ripples right across the industry (see also The New Fashion Landscape andFashion in Flux).
We reflect on the digital pioneers and spotlight the spin-off concepts from London (LFW) and New York (NYFW), illustrating how brands at all levels of the market are taking a bite of the direct-to-consumer commerce apple.
Trendsetters: Full Release
- Luxury British label Burberry continues to lead the revolution, showing a ‘September’ collection – eschewing the conventional Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer seasons – that was entirely shoppable. The collection was released immediately post-show via its website, all its stores and a selected number of stockists. It also used a Facebook Messenger chatbot accessed on the brand’s Facebook page (see Concierge Commerce and Personalising E-Tail) via which users could discuss and buy items directly while watching the live stream. See also Monetising Social Media, 2016. On the day of Burberry’s show, searches for the brand on fashion e-commerce platform Lyst increased 400% compared to the daily average for the previous week (Business of Fashion, 2016).
- US brand Rebecca Minkoff made its entire collection available online and in stores immediately after its show in a bid to repeat the 200% sales increase it enjoyed when it deployed the same tactic with its previous show in February 2016 (The Business of Fashion, 2016).
Capsule Collections Harness Celeb Glow
- US brand Tommy Hilfiger staged a consumer-facing carnival dubbed Tommy Pier and made similar, more accessible versions of its Tommy X Gigi collection (created with US model Gigi Hadid) globally available via stores, e-commerce and social commerce channels the moment they hit the runway.
All show attendees – a combined industry and consumer audience of 2,000, 50% of whom were competition winners or loyalty club members – could shop either at on-site pop-ups and digital touchscreens, via a live stream on the brand’s website or via a chatbot on its social commerce channels Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger and Pinterest. See also NYFW: Brand Activations. Searches for the brand on Lyst increased by 20% (Business of Fashion, 2016).
- US high street brand Banana Republic collaborated with American socialite Olivia Palermo on an exclusive 12-piece selection of its S/S 17 collection (unusually sticking with seasonality), ready for purchase immediately after the show via its e-commerce and NY Flatiron store.
Partial Purchase, Full Show Buzz
- American brands Club Monaco and Ralph Lauren created exclusive ‘September’ collections, which were made available online and in selected stores following the shows. Ralph Lauren’s collection was shown together with its new wholesale line to a mixed audience of industry professionals and the public outside its NY flagship – allowing consumers to at least experience the show’s buzz, even if only the limited collection was shoppable. Similarly, Coach and Michael Kors made a handful of items available in limited quantities, both online and in selected stores.
- Doubling up on retail exposure, British menswear designer Oliver Spencer collaborated with British men’s style magazine GQ and social media app Vero on its selected ‘See Now, Buy Now’ debut during LFW. An instantly shoppable edit was shown to an audience that included members of the public, who were allocated seats upon request through GQ on a first come, first served basis. Guests could make purchases via Oliver Spencer’s profile on Vero – using its ‘buy-now’ feature – or on GQ’s website.
See Now, Buy Now Extras: Collaborative ‘Add-Ons’
- US brand Alexander Wang surprised its mainline catwalk audience with an additional presentation of its Adidas X Wang capsule collection via a short video within the show’s finale. The brand duo subsequently hosted a series of pop-up truck events, selling nine different items in New York City the following day, closely followed by London and Tokyo. The rest of the collection hits in Spring 2017.
- Besides making her entire collection shoppable, Rebecca Minkoff also collaborated with US beauty giant Maybelline on two instantly shoppable make-up products. Limited stock of the lipstick and eyeshadow was made available via Amazon.com after the show.
Look out for our full round-up of digital strategy and communications innovations from all four cities in October 2016.