At one time access into the tents for fashion week was like a golden ticket for the fashion world. For those who did not attend the shows, there was the Vogue September and March issues, which were considered gold to fashion addicts. It was at this time that the spring and fall, respectively, trends were unveiled with a taste of what is to come. Now, with the rise in social media the dynamics to fashion week and designer shows are changing, and have been for the past couple of years.
With the help of social media, the increased speed of the internet, and a push from PR professionals, fashionistas no longer have to wait for the March and September issues to know what to expect in six months. The New York Times covers fashion week and always features slide shows of the events in New York, London, Paris, and Milan. The New York Mercedes Benz fashion week has a whole website devoted to coverage of the shows posting them as the week progresses. I have to admit though, I often times find that the Mercedes Benz website doesn’t always work properly and I usually just head directly over to the New York Times to take a look at all the fabulous garment creations. One thing I personally like about going to the New York Times website is that I can zoom in on the garments and really take a look at them. The site does an excellent job at getting pretty close, able to see the texture on the garment or even the tattoo on the model’s foot. YouTube, however, has one-uped both the New York Times and the MB Fashion week website by streaming live. However, not all the designers have agreed to stream their work live, resulting in the unattended needing to wait in antici….pation (sorry guys, had to, it’s Halloween!, even if unrelated) to see their latest creations. By streaming live, the viewer who was unable to attend can now sit at home in their pajamas and watch at the same time as everyone else. I must admit though, there is a special feeling about being present at a fashion show, no matter how big or small, that you can’t get from a laptop screen, but when all else fails, live streaming is another great alternative.
As with all fields, there will always be the people who propel ahead and utilize all the new technological tools to their advantage which in turn helps to satisfy consumers wants. In our book, Think, Public Relations, they discuss in detail the different ways the internet and social media can help organizations and companies alike throughout chapter 11. There is the feeling of being interactive. In this case, that you are able to see the shows just like any buyer in the industry, thanks to the PR pro’s helping to advocate the usage of live streaming. The cost can also be scaled down when a designer decides to show their smaller lines only online. Chapter 11 also outlines social media and all the positive uses that can be achieved through proper use.
One dynamic that I absolutely love about Alexander McQueen‘s facebook page is with the men’s collection. The designer is able to communicate, the third step as outlined in our book in chapter 7, with the public about the design inspirations. In this way the public is able to better understand the background of the designs and ultimately give the line more meaning.
Diane Von Furstenberg is a big advocate in the use of social media. Her facebook page would make all three smile, that is the PR, marketing, and advertising teams. Her page shows a variety of things that she is involved in with the community, her new items, a wrap of the month, etc. She also shares many pictures and videos, making her fan-base feel a part of her world. On her twitter page, she is constantly updating where she is at, what she is doing, which helps to create the fact that she is just like anyone else. On her main website, one can also feel that she is a down to earth person. This was reinforced by the picture selections, the greeting at the top, “Hello, You”, as well as her tweets that are continually showing at the bottom. As a PR professional, it is the details that count that help to create the warmth that allows the public to feel comfortable to talk back.
With all of the advances in bringing the fashion shows and designers to you, the magazines are no longer the coveted gold that they used to be. They too, have had to redesign. Elle, another big magazine that showcases the different trends has been doing just that. By bringing in technology and gadgets it has helped to set Elle apart from the rest of their competition.
With all of the advances, there is no telling where it will stop, if stopping is even possible. Some designers may be sticks in the mud, like myself. But like me, they too will learn the benefits of social media, probably from a nudge, push, or even shove (if need be) from their own PR team. Who knew all the positive ways PR and social media can really move and advance the world?