Over The Top Fashion Week Invites

11 Mar

Designers showing at Paris Fashion Week took their creativity to new levels with fun and innovative fashion show invites this year.  One would think that the show itself would be the main attraction for something like this, but some of these invitations are grabbing attention too.  Susie Bubble (I told you about her last week, she’s the lucky fashionista who was live-tweeting from Dior’s runway show) posted about some of the over-the-top invites she received this year.  Check out the invites on Susie’s blog, like Stella McCartney’s which included sparklers!  Loewe’s invite came with a handcrafted paper purse, zippers and handles included. Margiela sent a mini torch, which when a button is pushed projects the show details lit-up on the wall.  Pretty creative if you ask me.  Especially when people would show up to these shows if the invitation were written on a piece of notebook paper.  So, what’s with all the hype?

Well, I think its smart of the designers to turn the whole experience, from the invite to the live runway show, into an event that the lucky attendees won’t forget.  The whole industry is about expressing your creativity, and I would expect nothing less than to the have the most influential designers sending out one-of-a-kind invitations.  I mean, if the invite is that eye-catching, imagine what the rest of the show will be like?  It makes the person receiving the invitation excited about what is to come at the show, and makes the whole event more special.  I know I wouldn’t mind opening up my mailbox to see a box full of sparklers inviting me to Stella McCartney’s runway show.

Photo Credit: Susie Bubble

Fashion Label “Live Pins” From Photo Shoot

9 Mar

Yet another high-end fashion label has found an innovative way to incorporate Pinterest into their social media plan.  This time it’s Calypso St. Barth who has actually hired the fourth-most followed pinterest user in the world and fashion blogger, Christine Martinez to “live pin” a photo shoot for the label’s summer 2012 look book.  And the best part for Martinez?  The photo shoot is on St. Barth, a beautiful island in the Caribbean!

Martinez, Chrisem on Pinterest, who has almost 1 million followers on Pinterest is pinning to her own page and Calypso’s as well.  Martinez’s page is full of boards that inspire her and show her fashion sense and they are bright and colorful.  Her newest boards are “Packing for St. Barth” and “Island Photoshoot”.  Calypso has found (or at least is testing out) a way to use Pinterest to draw more attention to their label, and formed a partnership that makes sense.  They are hoping that by teaming up with Martinez, who has such a big following on Pinterest, they will drive more people to visit their website as well.  ICED Media is the digital marketing agency representing Calypso.  ICED President Leslie Hall told Mashable, “The reason this program is primed for success is Christine is an actual Calypso shopper and her boards embody the Calypso aesthetic.”  By looking at Martinez’s page, you can tell how the Calypso brand fits in, and the partnership makes sense.

Calypso’s use of Pinterest to promote their new look book is authentic and not over-the-top advertising, I hope that companies don’t start cluttering the site with promotions.  It is inevitable that being paid to pin may be the next step for the fashion industry, and as long as companies are honest and transparent when partnering with Pinterest users then I don’t see a problem with it.  Calypso is the first to start “live pinning” but I can bet it won’t be long before others jump on board.

 

DiorMag Goes Live

6 Mar

Last week, just in time for the debut of their 2012 ready-to-wear collection at Paris Fashion Week, Dior launched their online magazine, DiorMag.  Christian Dior is no newcomer to the social media world, with over 7 million fans on Facebook, but the online magazine adds a new dimension to their online presence.  (On a side-note, I was a little disappointed when I visited their new Facebook Timeline, where brands are given the opportunity to showcase their rich fashion history to viewers and Dior has done nothing of the sort.  I wrote about the great opportunities Timeline provides for brands last week, and I think they could use the platform to take Dior lovers back to Paris in 1947 where the brand was established, and build a stronger connection with customers.)

Anyways, back to their online magazine.  It was went live last week with eight articles, and on Friday their fashion show was live-streamed for the first time.  At the same time, fashion blogger Susie Bubble was in charge of keeping everyone up-to-date on Twitter.  Dior plans to update the online magazine daily with background stories of the brand and it’s products, meant to entertain and inform readers.  I think it’s a great idea, and will build upon connections with customers they already have, as well as draw in new ones.

Fashion brands and designers are using social media as a way to let consumers around the world get closer to their brand and feel more of a connection.  It’s not so much a promotional tool, but a tool to open up a world that used to be reserved for a small group of people.  When used the right way, social media can do wonders for the fashion world.

Inside the World of Roberto Cavalli

4 Mar

Who ever thought you’d be able to experience the day-to-day life of world-renowned fashion designer Roberto Cavalli?  Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s possible!  Urbalicious introduced me to Cavalli’s blog, which is place of inspiration and insight into the designers life.  It truly is a treat for fashion lovers everywhere!  And it’s not because he’s giving us behind-the-scenes sneak peeks at what he’s coming out with, it’s because he is writing about his life (and oh, what a fascinating life he leads), his passions and what inspires him.  And it’s actually him!  Usually designers outsource all of their social media including blogs, Twitter and facebook, to a PR team.  But not Cavalli, he is updating his blog almost daily and currently has 39 posts.  Impressive, especially considering the fast-paced life he leads traveling around the world.

I think his blog is an amazing way for the designer to connect with his fans around the globe and make them feel a genuine connection to him.  His writing is honest and inviting, and makes you feel like he is an old friend catching you up on his life.  His most recent post starts, “I opened my eyes a few minutes ago. I shower, brush my teeth, and cream my face. This will make you smile but I take great care of my skin. I’m not afraid of dying, but I do not like to look vecchiooooooo! [ooooold!]”  And every post ends with, I LOVE YOU and his signature.  See what I mean, it’s like reading a letter from your best friend.  He posts about all of the beautiful places he goes around the world, and the events he attends, making you feel like you are right there with him.  A recent post about his night at an amfAR event (a charity helping children with AIDS in Africa), where he received an award for his devotion and support of the foundation, ended with, “An evening so special and important! I want to create some suspense and tell you every detail in the next posts. Forgive me, but I want you to live with me every last moment of this wonderful evening…”

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m hooked!  I don’t know if this approach would work as well for every designer, but Cavalli writes from his heart and from his posts you can feel his passion for what he does.  Fashion is his life, not just his job and I can’t wait to find out what he’s doing next!

Facebook Timeline is Good News for Fashion Brands

29 Feb

This past Wednesday, Facebook announced that Timeline is now live for certain organizations who use pages, and will be live for everyone March 30.  Pictured above is Kate Spade’s interactive new page.  We’re already used to Timeline on our own or friend’s pages which allows us to look back at our history on Facebook, but what does this change mean for brands?  Well, it could mean great things.

The layout of the page alone creates a much more visually pleasing look; with the opportunity for brands to use the cover photo as a place for logos, production promotions an all around creative way to capture people’s attention.  The old format of Facebook got boring, with just line after line of text.  The new Timeline has an improved layout, that to me is similar looking to Pinterest, featuring two columns scattered with pictures and posts chronicling your past.  Think about how insanely popular sites like Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest have become.  People would prefer to browse through photographs rather then text, and the pictures help create an image with which we remember a company.

This setup also lets people connect with the identity of the brand and learn about it’s history.  The new Timeline allows companies to enter in events that occurred before Facebook, even dating back to the founding of the company. Burberry’s Facebook Timeline dates back to 1856, when they opened their first store in Basingstoke, England.  Their cover photo is a black-and-white picture of the store opening way back then, making consumers feel more connected to Burberry and it’s history, (like I said in my last post, they really are an industry leader in using social media).  In addition, brands are able to highlight specific milestones or photos by starring the post, which expands it to fill both columns and drawing attention to it.  The opportunities are endless, and the whole experience of going on Facebook will be so much more engaging and personal for consumers.  It’s especially great for fashion brands since fashion is all about seeing the clothes, not necessarily reading about them.  Starting March 30, all pages will switch over to the new Timeline, so here’s two key strategies to help you prepare:

  1. Figure out what you want to use as your cover photo.  It’s the first thing that people see when they visit your page and Facebook has given it a lot of space.  You can change this photo often to keep your page interesting.  You can also use it as a way to promote new products or brand representatives.
  2. Go through your company’s history, back to its founding, and highlight which events you want on the Timeline.  The ability to do this creates a much more engaging experience for visitors to your page, so use it to your advantage.

I’m excited to see how brands use Timeline and it’s features.  What do you guys think?

 

Burberry Leads the Way in Social Media Use

26 Feb

Yet another innovative and creative way to incorporate social media into the world of fashion was unveiled last week at London Fashion Week.  Burberry, already a leader in using Twitter, took their game to a whole new level when they debuted their Spring/Summer 2012 line.  The brand shared looks from the runway show via Twitter to all of there followers, before the show even happened; bringing designer fashion events, usually reserved for the rich and famous, to a level the everyday consumer can participate in.  Some of the images were even in the form of animated GIFs (explained more here), which made them even more interactive.  Here’s a full set of the photos and animated GIFs from the Burberry fashion show…pretty cool, right?

Not only did Burberry grant their Twitter followers first-looks at their new designs, but the show was live-streamed via burberry.com, Facebook and on live screens set up at London’s Liverpool street station, Heathrow, Cromwell Road and LED screens outside Burberry stores in Beijing.  But they didn’t stop there, live streams were set up to be viewed on both the iPhone and iPad, as well as on Chinese social networks Sina Weibo and Youku.  While live-streaming and Tweeting from the show, Burberry also updated their Instagram with photos.

Burberry managed to turn what is usually a 20 minute runway show in London, into an event that was viewed all around the world.  High-end fashion used to be so unattainable to the majority of people, but brands who have used social media to bring runway shows to living rooms everywhere, have finally found a way to build stronger relationships with consumers.  For a week after the show, Burberry lovers were able to purchase the entire collection, along with beauty products and fragrances, on their website and at 25 Burberry stores around the world.  By providing full-access to the show and immediate access to the line, Burberry is leading the way in social media use and I expect to see other brands follow in their designer footsteps.

Photo Credit: Tobias Kankelborg

 

Fashion 2.0 Awards

26 Feb

Last week, on the tail-end of New York Fashion Week, 450 fashionistas met in New York for the 3rd Annual Fashion 2.0 Awards presented by Style Coalition.  Big names included social media innovators from DKNY, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs and Bergdorf Goodman.  The event was also available via livestream of course.  The Fashion 2.0 Awards are said by many to be one of the most important nights in fashion, recognizing designers and brands for their innovative and exceptional achievements using a wide-variety of digital media as communication strategies.  The nominees were chosen by a group of influential industry representatives and fans, winners were chosen by the public.

This award show demonstrates the undeniable importance of digital and social media, and the role it now plays in the fashion world.  Designers have found creative ways to connect with their customers and use social media to their advantage.  Style Coalition Founder and CEO Yuli Ziv told Fashionably Marketing Me, “The breadth of this year’s nominees and winners shows the importance fashion brands have placed on the medium…The Awards capture the spirit of social media and the ceremony brought together all of the talented people who are driving the innovation.”  Social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest seem to be tailor made for the fashion world.  They provide a ad-free and clutter-free inspirational place where customers and designers can learn from one another.

Big winners for the night included:

  • Best Twitter: @DKNY
  • Best Facebook: Bergdorf Goodman
  • Best Blog by a Fashion Brand: DKNY PR Girl
  • Best Website: Marc Jacobs
  • Best Mobile App: Tiffany & Co. Engagement Ring Finder
  • Top Innovator: Kate Spade
  • Fashion 2.0 Visionary Award: Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Co-founders, Gilt Groupe

And not surprisingly, the “Next Big Thing in Tech” was awarded to Instagram, which brands are quickly adopting as a part of their social marketing strategies.  I think it’s fantastic that these awards specifically honor designers who are using digital media in new and creative ways.  It’s clear that being tech-savvy and building connections with customers via social media is a vital part of any business, and these brands have proven that.  What’s your favorite brand using social media?

Photo Credit: Sunny Norton