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Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Burberry Apple TV Us
Image source: Burberry

The most-liked Instagram post of 2015 featured Kendall Jenner lying on the floor with her hair shaped into hearts, wearing a lace gown by Zuhair Murad. In fact, much of Jenner’s success in cracking the fashion industry can be credited to the social media following she has amassed as part of a growing pack of ‘Insta-models.’

As our increasingly digitised society sees print media sales drop year after year, traditional advertising campaigns are falling flat, fast. Today’s fashion-hungry consumer digests everything through technology – be it by reading fashion blogs, shopping online, or monitoring Jenner’s style on Instagram. So how is this changing the way that fashion brands communicate?

On January 11, Burberry launched its own Apple TV channel by using the platform to stream its A/W 16-17 menswear show. For a brand that has famously embraced new technology, it’s an obvious next step. However, Burberry will not be offering in-app purchases – instead, the channel will be used for marketing purposes, live-streaming the heritage brand’s runway shows and giving fans access to beauty tutorials, archived runway footage and exclusive sessions with British musicians.

Last weekend, J.W. Anderson’s decision to exclusively live-stream his A/W 16-17 show on gay dating app Grindr raised a few eyebrows across the fashion community. Grindr users received a secret code on the day of the show to gain access, while those who missed it were able to watch an edited recording afterwards. The young British designer dubbed his decision to partner with the app a “no-brainer”, telling the New York Times: “I think fashion is a sexy platform as well, ultimately.”

This week also sees the announcement that Diesel, under the artistic direction of Nicola Formichetti, has also taken to dating apps to flaunt its wares. The Italian label will be advertising its new underwear range this spring on Grindr and Tinder, as well as websites Pornhub and YouPorn.

While J.W. Anderson may be the first to live-stream a runway show on Grindr, Diesel will become the first to advertise on the dating app. “I want to go where people are,” Formichetti told i-D magazine. “Tinder, Grindr and Pornhub might appear a little left field, but it’s Diesel – we can do it, we’re not scared of these places.” With Pornhub being the 64th most-visited website in the world and Tinder sitting at number 72 in the App Store’s top free app chart, Formichetti might be on to something – perhaps 2016 will be the year that fashion takes on dating apps.

Finally, of course, there’s Instagram, which was once dubbed by Eva Chen, the company’s head of fashion partnerships, as the “water cooler” of the fashion community. Brands like Michael Kors, designers like Olivier Rousteing and models like Gigi Hadid have built up huge followings on the social media platform – but it has also created a democratisation of fashion, giving new designers and tastemakers the potential to broadcast to anyone, anywhere.

Now, some brands are pushing Instagram’s potential even further, with exclusive fashion shows, ‘Insta-shoots’, and behind-the-scenes access from the likes of DKNY and Misha Nonoo. This week, Saint Laurent finally joined Instagram (@YSL). When a brand helmed by someone as elusive as Hedi Slimane jumps on the social media bandwagon, it’s certainly a sign of the times.

Reported by Grace Howard

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“You know that navy blazer, the really expensive one that you bought because fashion editors like me told you it was a for ever classic, that trends were over? Well, it’s no use this season. Sorry about that.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Instagram
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“Instagram is killing it, and it wants you to know so. The social network just said it now has 400 million people posting carefully plated food and pristine landscapes to its service every month.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Instagram

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Adrenaline Dress
Image source: Chromat

This is the first season that WME/IMG’s ownership of the ‘big four’ fashion weeks has truly come into play – but has that changed the way fashion shows work with tech? As New York Fashion Week comes to a close, we’ve analysed five of its best tech moments, from smart sportswear and phone-charging accessories to the use of social media as a customer engagement tool.

Chromat’s Clever Tech

Chromat collaborated with Intel – using the tech company’s Intel Curie Module which, according to Chromat, serves “as an extension of our sensory systems” – to create two garments that adapt to the wearer: the Adrenaline Dress and the Aeros Sports Bra.

The Adrenaline Dress responds to adrenalin levels; sudden spikes in the wearer’s adrenalin cause the 3D-printed, tech-powered framework to go into ‘fight or flight’ mode, forming an imposing shape around the wearer. Meanwhile, the mechanisms behind the Aeros Sports Bra are triggered by perspiration, respiration and body temperature. The responsive bra, which marks Chromat’s first foray into activewear, has air vents that open when the body starts overheating.

Hilfiger’s Halo

Tommy Hilfiger’s S/S 16 show was the first ever event to use Twitter’s new ‘Halo’ feature, which allows users to record 360-degree video footage with multi-camera devices. It wasn’t the first time Hilfiger had partnered with the social media site, though, as last season’s show made use of the ‘Twitter Mirror’ software.

The Instagram Takeover

Instagram offered a daily feature, The Best of Fashion Week, in its Explore section during NYFW, and fashion brands themselves also utilised the image-sharing app to engage customers.

DKNY’s newly appointed creative directors Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne decided to connect with the brand’s fans through Instagram. Using the new ‘Direct’ arrow on the app, users could send runway looks from the #DKNYSS16 hashtag to @DKNY in order to receive information about the story behind specific S/S 16 items.

Misha Nonoo, meanwhile, went a step further by foregoing the runway to stage her S/S 16 presentation on Instagram, uploading the whole shoot to an account called @mishanonoo_show. Speaking of her decision to use Instagram, the CFDA finalist said: “It’s so strange to me that [fashion] touches everyone, yet we have these location-specific events that touch just a rarefied few. To me, that doesn’t make sense; I love the inclusiveness of Instagram.”

Tumblr Goes Offline

For the past five years, Tumblr has been sending its most popular tastemakers to NYFW to document the shows. This September, however, the popular blogging platform decided to add an ‘offline’ element to the mix in the form of a pop-up shop and designated blogger meet-up space in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood. From September 11-13, it displayed a fashion line created by 10 Tumblr ‘artists’.

Rebecca Minkoff Loves the Apple Watch

A drone hovered over the Rebecca Minkoff runway last week, as the brand showcased an array of tech-enabled wallets and shoulder bags for S/S 16. Luxury bands for the Apple Watch also featured, meaning Minkoff has beaten Hermes to become the first designer label to sell Apple Watch bands.

The best thing about these thoroughly modern accessories? They’re all available to buy now. Uri Minkoff, CEO and co-founder of the brand, told TechCrunch: “Unlike the Hermes band, our [bands] are available to ship this month… with the new iPhone 6S coming out, women are wanting to buy their tech accessories now instead of waiting six months.”

Interested in who’s innovating at Fashion Week? Next month in New York, Decoded Fashion and W Magazine will launch the Fashion Futures Awards, celebrating talent across the fashion and technology industries. Find out more here.

Reported by Grace Howard

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“New York Fashion Week is still a week away, but on a recent weekday morning in Red Hook, Brooklyn, the camera flashes are already pulsing as models slip in and out of focus, wearing spring 2016 sample sizes. Assistants iron blouses, stylists sort through shoes and handbags, and photographers eye the cool September light streaming through the oversize windows at Pioneer Works, an arts center and events space that is playing host to designer Misha Nonoo and her team.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  NYFW x Instagram
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“Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez wanted to find a new way to tell the story of making a Proenza Schouler collection, and they’ve chosen Instagram as their medium. The digital project, which will give followers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of Proenza Schouler’s fall 2015 collection through a series of posted images, will begin rolling out today on the brand’s Instagram account, @proenzaschouler.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Proenza Schouler
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“In a move that will be a relief to all but the most nostalgic of holdouts, Instagram today reveals that it will now allow users to share portrait- and landscape-shaped images and videos, in addition to its signature square format.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Instagram
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“While H&M and Target have made headlines over the years for their hyped-up collaborations with big-name designers, the former’s sister brand & Other Stories has been rolling them out just as frequently, albeit with lesser known (but still cool) people like Rachel Antonoff, Clare Vivier and Lykke Li. Its latest collaborator may be its most under-the-radar yet: Ada Kokosar, a stylist who appears frequently in street style galleries, but otherwise is relatively unknown outside of the industry.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  & Other Stories

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Swipecast App
Image source: Swipecast

Social media and app culture are disrupting the traditional channels through which brands, photographers, stylists and designers book models, allowing for more freedom, flexibility, and individuality in the industry. Swipecast, a New York-based application launched for the iPhone, allows models to organise their own calendars and access new opportunities in real time, on the go. The app bypasses agency middlemen, and takes only a 10% cut.

The app comes at a time when controversy is circling three of London’s top modelling agencies, which have been accused of running a cartel to keep their prices fixed at a high rate, and eliminating the competition.

The Uber-like model, which features a similar two-way rating system, will offer more creative, flexible and ultimately accessible opportunities for independent clients, and those struggling to afford agency rates. It equally offers models the chance to maximise their time. So far, creatives using the app include New York-based photographer Ellen Von Unwerth and stylist Katie Burnett.

Similarly, social photo-sharing app Instagram has become one of the leading alternative ways for brands and agencies to find models. Marc Jacobs’ now defunct Marc by Marc Jacobs brand was the first to pick up on this, casting quirky, alternative models for a number of popular campaigns and inspiring others to do the same. International agency IMG Models launched the hashtag #WLYG – We Love Your Genes – on Instagram last December to scout new talent, signing 50 models as a result.

The traditional fashion hierarchies are crumbling, with younger, lesser-known models rising steadily in influence thanks to increasing exposure online. For the A/W 15-16 campaign season, a proliferation of new faces in high-profile shoots for Gucci and Louis Vuitton suggests brands are looking to re-energise their offerings and pull the focus off icons and celebrities.

Guest post Stylus.com by Lisa Payne

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“The modeling industry has evolved significantly over the past few decades—the days of Polaroids kept in a file have been replaced by the dominance of Instagram—but one thing that has remained relatively unchanged is the agency template. Since the twenties, models have signed with agencies who discover them in airports (à la Kate Moss), at Russian fruit stands (Natalia Vodianova), and in fast-food restaurants (Gisele Bündchen), going on to not only manage their careers and book them for jobs, but also investing significant amounts of time and money in “developing” them.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Swipecast
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