This is a guest post by Mandy Miller. Follow her on Twitter at@MandyMayM.
No, it’s not a tarmac full of juiced-up jets or a platform where models walk in spacesuits. After New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week and now Milan Fashion Week, all the talk has been of the social future of fashion. Soon, designers and buyers won’t have to dress up to go out. They can just kick it in some (high-dollar) fashionable sweats and view shows from the comfort of their own homes.
Currently, we’re all aware of the streaming Twitter feeds and communities raving about the trends, colors, patterns, etc. out of the fashion shows. Consumers are more involved in the runway, and we’re sharing and exchanging information on trends and topics faster than ever. However, before we know it, you will be able to view all angles of the show (perhaps even behind the scenes?), getting an experience like never before.
TIME recently reported that KCD introduced the first of its online-only shows with designer Prabal Gurung’s collaboration with Japanese retailer ICB label. The shows are translated into different languages for overseas editors and have been designed for over-booked editors and buyers by invite-only (I knew there was a catch!). Editors get a pre-taped runway show with online-embedding capabilities, high-resolution photos, interviews of the designer and behind-the-scenes footage of hair and makeup.
While still in its infancy, I believe platforms like this will be the future of fashion. Let’s admit it, editors and buyers are dealing with volumes of information they never have before, as are consumers. On top of that, budgets are tight, especially for travel. While the ‘modeling’ part of the runway won’t cease to exist, the pressures to coordinate shows and attend/view them on time are on their way out. Fashion will literally be tailored (pun intended) to you. You can view what you want, at many angles, when you want and interact with the show in so many more ways than at an ‘old school’ fashion show.
I also see this beginning to mold in with the trends we are seeing very broadly with eCommerce and more specifically with eRetailing. As consumers, we drive retailers and their decisions, especially online. Although we are shopping more online, that doesn’t eliminate our demand for the best shopping and customer service experience. There is still a presentation pressure that we place on retailers – urging them to provide the best shopping experience, even out of the bricks and mortar store. Situations such as the Target’s release of the Missoni line and resulting lack of store inventory and crashed server is a prime example of a shopping experience gone wrong. As our apparel industry becomes more digital and online, we will be able to not only exchange information at high-speed levels, but we will also be able to track it much faster. Not to worry, though – models will still appear to be terrifying with their hairsprayed craniums and funeral makeup (or a barcode on their forehead).
What other trends are you seeing for the future of fashion? How do you think this will integrate in with eCommerce and eRetailing?