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.
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
“The new ad units, called ‘sponsored video posts,’ arrive just a week after Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced during the company’s third-quarter earnings presentation that Tumblr is projected to generate $100 million in 2015.”
- Tommy Hilfiger Calls Upon Local Instagrammers to Document Fashion Week Show
For New York Fashion Week, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger will be introducing the first ever runway show InstaMeet, a way for locals to meet up and hang out with fellow Instagrammers in their area.
- Guerlain Fuses Heritage with Current Campaigns on New Tumblr
France’s Guerlain is aiming to increase its exposure among young consumers who may be unfamiliar with the LVMH-owned beauty brand’s heritage and products by creating a Tumblr account.
Fitness Trackers are Useless Without Real-Time, Personalized Analysis
No one has arms long enough to wear all of the activity-tracking wristbands currently on sale or awaiting release. These devices count your steps, measure your sleep and some even monitor your heart rate.
- Technology Industries Tries to Balance Fashion, Function in ‘Wearables’
Gadget lovers are slipping on fitness bands that track movement and buckling on smartwatches that let them check phone messages.
On Feb. 2-3, Decoded Fashion held the world’s first Fashion Hackathon, a 24-hour event where 550 registered participants and 78 teams competed to build a technology that helps American fashion designers.
About 300 developers, designers and entrepreneurs—40 percent women—worked on a variety of projects, from B2B software for production and merchandising to analytics for social media and e-commerce. Many projects were inspired by the Fashion Brief, a conversation with designer Rachel Roy, DKNY’s Aliza Licht, Rebecca Minkoff’s Uri Minkoff, Michael Kors’ Farryn Weiner, and the CFDA’s Kelly McCauley and Sideways’ Nathaniel Catanio, on what areas of the fashion industry could utilize technology to increase efficiency and drive business.
Five finalist teams were chosen to compete for the top prize—$10,000 and the chance to have its app launched by the CFDA. They will pitch live on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week during the Decoded Fashion Forum, to a panel of fashion judges including the CFDA’s Steven Kolb, Style.com’s Dirk Standen, Zac Posen, Rebecca Minkoff’s Uri Minkoff, and Gilt Groupe’s Susan Lyne.
42 personalizes the brick-and-mortar experience by using the best intelligence of online commerce. Founders: Cathy Han, Sarah Hum, Lucas Lemanowicz, Nicolas Porter
Avant-Garde remakes targeting marketing by matching customers with products by visually analyzing products and social media streams to understand exactly what customers want right now. Founders: Vladimir Dedov, Ajay Mantha, Carrie Mantha
Coveted is a 1-click platform for brands to sell their products through shareable tumblr images. Founders: Ian Culley, Michael Dizon, Jason Fertel
Fashion Dashboard optimizes commerce through competitive social media and merchandising analysis. Founder: Stephan Alber
SWATCHit is a peer-to-peer platform connecting global designers with emerging market artisans and overseas producers. Founders: Ramzi Abdoch, Jagjeet Gill, Jackson Lin, Henrika Makilya, Paul Yun
Coco Rocha is a role model for social media, but also a teacher, leading classes on social media best practices for other fashion models. She shares her top three tips with us, lessons that work for tech founders, fashion designers, retailers and individuals who love and work with style, fashion and e-commerce.
- Don’t have just anyone run your social media. I think it’s insane when brands or celebrities relegate their social media to an intern or someone who does not know them well. Personally, even though I have a great PR team, no one except my husband and I touch any of my 10 social media accounts. It’s a lot of work, but I know that my brand, my image and my voice are authentic to me.
- Be consistent. Your audience wants to hear from you regularly but not too regularly. Don’t over share. People have no problem clicking “unfollow” if they feel you’re over saturating their feed. For 3 years now, I have seen people use Tumblr the way they should be using Pinterest. I also see people copying content far too much. Be original and invent content, don’t just copy and paste it.
- If you’re going to post pictures, be really selective about it. If I’m capturing a sunset I’ll take at least 10 pictures, I’ll then filter them using other apps, enhance them, then I really pick the best image of perhaps 30. No one wants to follow someone who does not take pride in composing an aesthetically beautiful picture. No random snap shots–treat every upload as if it was a work of art.