Let’s face it: The whole concept of fashion week seems very 1990s Naomi Campbell-George Michael video. After all, our stateside love affair with fashion and luxury brands has taken a nosedive since the economic downturn of the past three years. And nobody really cares about fashion or supermodels anymore – unless it’s something you can get on the sale rack or watch on reality TV.
Adding to our collective shrug is the fact that big brands are being bought out and smaller lines are disappearing altogether. Designers and publicists knew they had to do something to pique our interest again. And that something was, of course, social media. This year’s events at New York’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week have pulled out all the social media stops.
For example, watchmaker Swatch employed Twitter to help undress a model at a glittering party last week at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. The Swatch Girl came covered in the branded signature watches – 107 of them, to be exact. The watches were from Swatch’s new Gent and Lady Collections. Party guests could have free watches straight from the model’s dress for sending tweets with a #swatchgirl hashtag. By 1:30 a.m., the dress was deconstructed. The model was left with little more than a sheer shift while the happy folks at Swatch reached nearly 400,000 Twitter followers from attendees’ tweets alone.
Also reaping the benefits of Twitter were nearly every big fashion publication and New York-based designer. The New York Times Magazine once again has leaned on a network of tweeters to chirp the latest headlines straight from the runways. All of The New York Times’ fashion writers have been tweeting backstage all week to give fans the inside dish on what’s coming down the runways. And, for the first time ever, the Times is publishing live blogging from up-and-coming designers via Twitter.
After-parties and promotional events also are experiencing a bump in attendance thanks to New York tweeps who’ve been blabbing about gift bags and celebrity attendees in 140 characters or less.
All of this Twitter-fueled buss is good news for fashion events and the fashion industry as a whole. It’s also an interesting business model, using Twitter and other social media channels to promote events that promote products. Pretty stylish stuff, if you ask us.