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Technology remains part of how brands are showing up at NYFW, from simple shoppable codes to robot-made content.
It started with rudimentaly: 11 Honoré’s Shopify-supplied QR codes, which were presented in a distributed lookbook and enabled showgoers to shop runway looks on the spot. On a more gimmicky level, there was Rag & Bone’s AI machine, featured at the star-studded dinner party the brand held in lieu of a show: Positioned as a special guest, the machine picked up on the mannerisms and conversations of attendees, including Emma Roberts and Justin Theroux, who were all wearing the new Rag & Bone collection. Tomorrow, the brand will release a video of the dinner shot by a human and edited by the machine. The purpose, according to the brand’s website: to show the combination of both visions and to create a unique piece of content. The video’s soundtrack will be an original, unreleased track by Thom Yorke.
This morning, Rebecca Minkoff made tech a central component of her spring 2019 runway show at Spring Studios. Images inspired by Minkoff’s “I Am Many” female empowerment campaign and created by digital collage artist Rosanna Webster were worked into two on-site activations created with social sharing in mind: Through a partnership with Hypno, a selfie camera called an Eye was passed around by front-row guests, who could capture their own image to have it worked into a mini-video incorporating Rebecca Minkoff branding and Webster’s collage. A second tech company created a filter featuring the collage that could be picked up across platforms at the show and the brand’s stores.
Minkoff, who stepped away from NYFW for all of 2018, has become known as an early adopter of new concepts and technologies, in-store, online and in runway shows. (“Not only is she a talented fashion designer and entrepreneur, but she’s a pioneer in technology,” said Leslie Russo, executive vice president of IMG Fashion, when asked about Minkoff’s return to NYFW.)
“I think [NYFW] is really about participating in the industry, and it’s for our consumers, and it’s being part of a cultural zeitgeist of what goes on during New York Fashion Week,” said Minkoff. “While digital components and activations are part of it, I think the magic is when you have both.”
She called brand awareness and ROI the goals for her show, which featured immediately shoppable styles. (Minkoff has hosted a see-now-buy-now runway from day one.) “Today, the [fashion] landscape isn’t about commerce; it’s about experience and standing for what you believe in; consumers want to be in a tribe,” said Minkoff. “So at the show, it’s not just, ‘Oh my God, did someone post?’ It’s also, ‘Did the consumer embrace it? Did she get something from the collection and have a good feeling about the brand? Did she want to support it?”
3 Questions With Seth Weisser, co-Founder and CEO of What Goes Around Comes Around
You opened your second [luxury resale] store in NYC this weekend, during NYFW and a trek from most shows in the Upper East Side. Why now?
Fashion week is a time when there’s additional press and a lot of our clients come to town. We never thought about not opening during fashion week, because we want to make a statement. We’re up against the other fashion brands, and even though we’re not the classic brand, we know we’re a brand that’s in the conversation.
How many influencers are you dressing this week?
Thirty to 40. We have a VIP styling suite in the basement of our SoHo store with our archives, and we invite influencers to come in and shop it. We started doing this two seasons ago. Everyone is looking for incredible pieces, and we’re known for that. Our relationship with so many influencers and celebrities is one of the amazing parts of our business. We want to create ways for them to connect to our brand, to represent our brand. As opposed to many brands that have to pay these people, we don’t have to.
Are you paying attention to what’s being shown on the runway?
We’ve always tried to represent what we see happening on the runways, from a pre-owned/vintage perspective. We lead [trends] to the runway, and vice versa. Like right now, ’90s glam is a clear trend, and that’s one of the areas we love. And fringe and a western vibe are key spring trends. Our ability to react to trends is unlike any brand’s, because we have no rules. If we see something, we’re able to get it to market quick.
Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine Cohen and influencer Babba Rivera tip-toeing around empty champaign bottles at the Rosetta Getty presentation. The designer, who is celebrating her brand’s 5-year birthday, set up a post-party scene, complete with deflated balloons and broken chandeliers.
Influencers including Vanessa Hong (@thehautepursuit) and Paola Alberdi (@blankitinerary) walking the Rebecca Minkoff runway.
Monday at 4 p.m., all eyes will be on the runway of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, who will be presenting their first main-season collection for Proenza Schouler since buying back the company in November.
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