In an industry that prides itself on its creativity, self expression, and its forward-thinking, it's quite peculiar that the fashion world has generally been slower to adopt digital initiatives than other industries. But now, in 2012, it seems like brands are finally catching on — it only makes sense that fashion and digital join forces, changing the way we explore and shop immensely and irreversibly.
From flash sale sites, to size scanning technologies, to trend curation, and beyond, a larger wave of the fashion world is now finally using apps, websites, and social media to refine traditional business models.
But what took so long?
In an article posted on The Genteel last week, Laura Zapata, a digital strategist, a consultant for brands such as Calvin Klein and Mikimoto, and founder of fashiondigitaldaily.com, noted, “The general tech space was clearly lacking representation from the fashion and beauty industries… it was only last summer that [some] major fashion brands were still considering Tumblr! Fashion and beauty brands are all about identity, and they're rightfully protective of that. It's part of the reason why some are often stubborn, and have come so late into the game.”
And as digital fashion movement progresses, a brand's effort to maintain identity is of the utmost importance.
“Brands are looking to connect with audiences in real-time,” says Peter Chun, CEO and co-founder of Swaag, an app that allows users to hunt for trends by building profiles, in The Genteel article. “On the flip side, consumers can discover new trends… the notion of expressing yourself [though different channels] is essential to interconnectivity.” Starting off with a cultivated community “trendsetters” or “influencers” kickstarts this process of aggregating fashion digitally, and furthermore draws attention to the digital platform, drawing interest from advertisers and investors.
Seth Porges, founder and CEO of Cloth, an app that lets you organise and share outfits, agreed that fashion and digital fit together organically, and was also quoted: “Fashion is a social passion. People who like clothes like to share their clothes with others, and social media has popped up as sort of the perfect tool for this. It doesn't hurt that people who are really into fashion tend to be a bit more tech savvy than the average person.”
So if fashion (overall, in a general sense) is moving toward more digitally-savvy marketing, how does the fashion blogger fit into the mix?
Recently, New York Fashion Week had a plethora of fashion bloggers involved with fashion brand digital initiatives, one included Juicy Couture teaming up with Aimee Song of Song of Style. According to their press release, Song live Instagrammed the video presentation outside of the tents at Lincoln Center to her 300k plus followers in a “digitally focused and guerrilla marketing moment” to bring attention to the brand.
Then there was also a significant buzz surrounding the Man Repeller, as she hosted the Marc Jacobs live stream (and admitted it was her first ever Marc Jacobs show, let alone first time hosting a major designer's live stream).