Posted: 01 Oct 2016 Contributor: Therese Palmere
New York City Fashion Week Innovation Recap
Welcome to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of runways, white tents and designer labels. That’s right, the New York Fashion Week of 2016 has come to a close and left the city marked with new trends for bloggers and fashionistas alike to make their own. This season focused heavily on a minimalistic street style with off the shoulder shirts and a sneak peak into the less than groundbreaking, but still exciting, floral patterns for spring. But one of the most important things New York fashion giants understand each year is the importance of dominating the catwalk and the media. Let’s take a look at what designers did this NYCFW to leverage their unique styles and increase their brand awareness.
Hashtags are in Fashion
This year Coach deviated away from its usual style and went rocker-babe. Leather jackets, fringe, and studded shoes with appearances by Elvis Presley on their merchandise made their show an all-American rebel paradise. Their hashtag #CoachSpring2017 made their tough look easy to access across all social media channels. Twitter blew up in adoration for their new line of rock-and-roll inspired bags.
Another designer leveraging the use of hashtags in her show was Rebecca Minkoff. She opted out of the confines of a runway and traded it in for New York’s historic cobblestone streets. The show ended with a stream of models and Minkoff herself strutting down the pavement in their “artwork-as-outerwear” leather jackets. As they met the crowd, her message this season #ComeTogether couldn’t have been any clearer. She reported the jackets would be auctioned off and all proceeds would go towards an international relief and humanitarian organization based in the United States called “Not on our watch”.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “model”? The traditional answer would usually include a tall woman with strong facial features who is of course, paper-thin. However, this NYCFW Christian Siriano decided to change that image and combat one of the biggest issues facing the fashion industry by enlisting five plus sized models to strut down the runway. His statement took the press and social media by storm as everyone applauded him for his message on inclusiveness. The fashion industry time and time again has had to defend itself for the promotion of a body image unsuitable for the average woman to achieve and, with his show; Siriano was able to shed light on a very sensitive issue revolving women today. As you can see, with Minkoff and Siriano’s shows, social responsibility is becoming a larger part of how brands decide to identify themselves in a consumer world more conscious of humanitarianism and environmental sustainability.
Changing The Meaning
Another designer, Maryam Nassir Zadeh decided to break the mold and enlisted her girlfriends to appear as models for her collection. New York once again sent a rift into the status quo with these personable, down to earth women who are more than just a pretty face. Her friends Susan Cianciolo, Camilla Deterre, Mari Giudicelli, and Ana Kras served as inspirations for her collections and for girls everywhere as a representation of real women being placed in the spotlight.
Technology as a Trend
The release of Pokémon Go this summer put the virtual and augmented reality movement on the spot. Designer Rebecca Minkoff has a history with integrating technology into her show and this year brought a 360° live experience to those who aren’t A-list celebs but still wanted to sit in the coveted front row. Minkoff also used an augmented reality app called Zeekit that allowed fans to shop their favorite finds from the runway. In the past, eager fashion heads had to wait months to get their hands on a new collection but this season if they wanted a piece they could buy it immediately, thanks to the advanced technology present at the shows this fall.
3D printing technology has been around for while but made its first debut in the fashion world at NYCFW this fall. The 3-D printing company Stratasys collaborated with Travis Fitch to create two dresses for their fall collection, Biomimicry. What made this collaboration so appealing to fans was the intersection of science, fashion, and technology. The first dress (named Harmonograph) was inspired by the Fibonacci sequence, which is a pattern that shows up in different areas of nature. The second dress (named Pangolin) was inspired by an Asian anteater and features a scale like design circling around the dress. The unexpected allies drew in a new crowd of fans because this was the first application of this type of tech in fashion.
Recapturing the Runway
Brand awareness, creativity, and innovation, the 2016 New York Fashion week did not disappoint. And even with all the glitz and glamour, these big time designers managed to utilize some of our favorite age-old marketing tactics to resonate with their audience and broaden their reach with a well-integrated new-world consumer approach. The takeaway?
- Hashtags help your audience interact with your brand
- Be part of the world, listen to the issues and take responsibility
- Define your industry, don’t let your industry define you
- Enhance user experience with technology advancements
- Collaborate! Because the results could bring you a new audience