social media
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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

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Sean Q&A
Image source: Sean Rad

When it comes to true connectivity, fashion retail could learn a thing or two from Sean Rad – founder and CEO of one of our era’s most defining phone apps. Since launching in 2012, Tinder has gone from strength to strength, making 8 billion matches worldwide in just three years. But in an increasingly crowded dating app marketplace, what is Tinder doing differently? We spoke to Rad about creating connections, keeping things simple and why data isn’t necessarily enough.

How did you come to found Tinder? Could you connect the dots between previous roles on your CV, and how they led to your current one?

I’ve always had a deep curiosity for how people communicate and connect with each other. My first venture, Orgoo, a unified communications platform, aimed to improve the underlying tools we use to communicate. Next, I started Ad.ly, which was the largest celebrity endorsement platform for social media at the time and dealt with the challenges brands had with reaching their respective audiences on Twitter and other social media platforms.

Tinder is designed to break down the physical and emotional barriers that exist when trying to meet new people. Tinder seamlessly connects you to new people around you – whether you are looking for friends or a date – who are also interested in getting to know you, too.

You’ve previously described Tinder, on the surface level, as a “fun, light experience”. How important do you think this is when it comes to creating successful mobile technology – not only in dating apps, but also in other areas like fashion?

Solving a real problem for your user base, in any industry, can be a big challenge, but the user experience shouldn’t be. Keeping things simple and easy is the best way for users to find value in your product.

How is Tinder keeping ahead of the dating app crowd? Apps like Happn and Hinge are just some names experiencing growth in 2015.

We really don’t keep tabs on other companies. We’re focused on our own mission and let our users guide what we focus on. We listen to our users and work hard to build the best experience for them. In just three years we have users in every country around the world and have made 8 billion matches. Twenty-six million matches happen each day – and our user base is still growing. We are creating connections that otherwise would never have existed if it wasn’t for Tinder, and in that sense we feel like we are truly making an impact on the world.

One of the big topics at the NY summit will be how retailers can learn from their consumers through data. How has Tinder’s development been informed by user preference and behaviour?

We learn a lot about our users with every swipe they take. We use data to deliver a better experience via better recommendation, and also to inform the decisions we make internally. The more we understand about our users and what within the app is resonating with them, the better we can determine which changes to the app will have the most significant impact. That said, data can only take you so far. It’s important to also seek a qualitative understanding.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from the creation and marketing of Tinder?

We can’t live without human connection.

To hear more from Sean Rad, book your ticket for the Decoded Fashion NYC Summit on October 28-29.

Reported by Claire Healy

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“Understanding your customer has been key to business success since day dot. But where those customers were once happy to put up and shut up with what was on offer, they’ve now been given a voice by the internet – and aren’t afraid to use it.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Social Media
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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

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Louboutinize
Image source: Christian Louboutin

French luxury footwear label Christian Louboutin is bringing its famously glamorous ethos direct to social media with the launch of a free smartphone app that adds Louboutin-inspired filters to user’s images before sharing them on social media. Dubbed Louboutinize, the app (developed in-house) works in a similar way to popular photo-sharing platform Instagram, which now has more than 300 million users worldwide.

Users can take photographs directly in-app, or select an existing image from their smartphone library, and apply one of three filters conceived to denote the brand’s aesthetic. ‘Rouge’ adds a red tint in a nod to the signature red soles of Louboutin shoes, while a whimsical ‘Legs’ filter superimposes a pair of pins over the image, such as a burlesque dancer, a circus performer or an equestrian. Finally, ‘Crystallise’ imbues the photo with a slightly warped, cut-glass effect to “add sparkle”.

Post-editing, users can press a lighting bolt icon at the bottom of the screen to share the image directly to social media networks Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, accompanied by the automatically generated hashtag #Louboutinize, plus the name of the filter used. Before sharing, users can also press a question mark icon for further information on the inspiration behind each filter.

Additional filters, including one devised specifically for men, will be revealed in September 2015.

Louboutin isn’t the only brand issuing its own filters. At German designer Karl Lagerfeld’s concept store in Amsterdam, the changing rooms are equipped with touchscreen photo booths that let shoppers snap their outfits, apply ‘Karl-inspired’ filters and share via social media or e-mail.

Guest post Stylus.com by Samantha Fox & Katie Baron

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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

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Shoppable Content
Image source: odd pears

With Pinterest and Instagram set to roll out ‘buy’ buttons and shoppable video tech disrupting your YouTube transmissions, the question isn’t so much whether truly shoppable content is possible – it’s whether it’s a good choice for the future of your brand.

What’s the real conversion rate of this technology? While there’s convincing evidence of real ROI on certain shoppable content in use today, brands also need to consider whether consumers might want to keep their engagement with Pinterest and Instagram free from retail. At Decoded Fashion’s New York Summit, an expert panel will weigh in on the shoppable content debate – but for now, let’s take a look at the current state of play.

With fashionable consumers spending long periods of time browsing personally curated content on their Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr accounts, the reasons why brands would want to engage with those sites are obvious. The desire to make the world more shoppable has disrupted the world of video, with platforms like Wirewax allowing any brand to make interactive videos. No doubt attracted by an average click-through rate of 18.8%, Lacoste, Pepe Jeans and Coach are just some of the big names to have used the service. And if you’ve been dreaming of digitised wardrobes ever since Cher in Clueless got dressed for her school day, then you’ll appreciate the new trending smartphone tools for curated closet displays. Smartphone apps like Closetspace replace racks and hangers through geo-tagging and customised styling suggestions.

But there’s certainly a case against making anything shoppable just for the sake of it – by making it all about instant purchasing, you could risk reducing brand loyalty by putting off devotees. As a result, certain brands are pursuing an alternative kind of user engagement that taps into their tendency to browse for inspiration in a different way. After all, Pinterest and Instagram are about displaying a certain lifestyle that goes against the digital: vintage magazine scans, interiors inspiration and slow-cook recipes.

On Aesop’s website, for example, branded content doesn’t mean getting people to buy soap – instead, the company produces an online bi-monthly literary magazine, The Fabulist, which features fiction, non-fiction and interviews from emerging writers. It’s a tactic that takes a leaf out of Prada’s book: the brand’s global writing contest is in its third year, and its new Wes Anderson-designed café, Bar Luce, has been designed with Instagram suitability firmly in mind.

While shoppable content is here to stay, the world of branded content doesn’t need to end there. For some brands, conversion rates might be harder to track – but brand loyalty will stick like glue.

You can book your ticket to the NYC Summit here.

Reported by Claire Healy

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“Twitter’s standalone app for live-streaming video, Periscope, now has nearly two million daily active users watching 40 years of broadcasts a day.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Twitter x Periscope
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