Last week I read an article called “Fashion and Social Media: Power to the People or the Publisher?” And I must say this article has furthered my quest of exploring the depths of fashion in the PR World. Author Vanessa DiMauro speaks on how social media is used in the fashion world, or more-so how it wasn’t used as much as she would have expected during the annual New York Fashion Week. She explains how there was plenty of tweeting and related articles, but that she was expecting much more “digital innovation” than actually was present. However, I must say that I disagree. One of my best friends, Kate Troedsson of Option Model Management, walked in both shows for Portland’s second annual Fashion’s Night Out (the kickoff event for New York Fashion week that happens in all major US cities) and invited me to come watch.
So, on September 8th 2011 I stopped by Banana Republic to pick up a new outfit for the evening, and then drove myself and another friend to Portland, Oregon. Before I left though, I made sure to check out the buzz on the event. I searched the main site for Fashion’s Night Out, I “liked” them & hit attend on the event on facebook, “followed” them on twitter, and searched the blogosphere for some user generated content. In fact, for Portland’s event you even had to register yourself and a +1 on the website to receive your “official” invitation to the event. All of these online “social” resources generated a V.I.P feel to the event and reached audiences (such as me in Eugene for the summer) who probably wouldn’t have heard about it if it wasn’t circulating the web. Even in Nordstrom, the main hub of the event, there were contests and drawings happening solely based off of the 10-15 ipads they had dispersed around the store, thus even furthering the technological and social aspects of Fashion Week.
As far as New York Fashion Week goes, tons of shows were posted on youtube immediately after they happened (example shown below) and some were even live-streamed by popular fashion websites such as Refinery29. I understand DiMauro’s stance on how more user generated “digital innovation” would have helped, such as more user generated content on Voguepedia or fashion applications for iphones. But in my opinion, social media was all over Fashion Week. It helped drive the force behind it and keep it at a steady pace. Social media can, and in this case did, bring New York Fashion Week to everyone, even if they couldn’t make it to The Big Apple. And bringing something that is usually “untouchable” to mass amounts of people, I’d say that is success at its finest.