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Fast, Faster…Fastest Fashion!

Fashion WeekIt’s Fashion Week in New York City, and I am very excited to see the spring 2013 collections. It was only a few years ago that I would have to wait a few months to see the collections in the print issues of Vogue, Bazaar, and Elle Magazines. Now, everyone can see the collections before, during, and immediately after the runway shows thanks to social media.

The fashion industry was a bit late in adopting social media. Guarding the secrecy of the collections was designers’ main priority. They relied on print magazines to show their items in elaborately conceived fashion spreads. In the late 2000’s, when print magazines saw ad revenues dropping and subscriber numbers dwindling, designers and magazines turned to social media to boost enthusiasm for fashion.

Social media: Prêt-a-porter

Social media has given the fashion industry a totally new look and feel. Designers can still keep the elements of secrecy and surprise by revealing tantalizing previews of their collections on their facebook and twitter accounts. Broadcasting runway shows gives fashionistas the world over an immediate look at the collections, and they can contact their personal shoppers to order their favorite items. Posting photos of the runway shows gives the fashion-loving public a chance to comment on items, retweet photos, and “pin” their favorite looks. Proof that the fashion industry is using social media to its advantage? Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Michael Kors are posting some of their largest profits ever because of their interactive websites and global fan bases. In less than 5 years, Fashion’s Night Out (September 6) has become an annual global event and raises millions of dollars for the Vogue/CFDA fund that supports young designers.

Customer Engagement: Always en vogue

Many companies are still reluctant to take advantage of what social media, interactive websites, and creative content can offer. The fashion industry provides us with many examples of companies who use social media to spread awareness of their brand, connect with loyal customers, and engage with new customers. Some examples are Burberry, Victoria Beckham, and J. Crew. Rather than hurt sales, engaging in social media has boosted sales and created new levels of customer loyalty.

What can the fashion industry’s use of social media teach us? Creativity and quality customer experiences are always in fashion.

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