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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!

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

Pinterest: The Hottest Website of 2012?

24 Feb

It’s true, according to CNN who has predicted that Pinterest will be the website to watch in 2012.  And, the Wall Street Journal recently named it the “hottest startup in Silicon Valley.”  If you’re not already on Pinterest, you should definitely take some time (and by time I mean clear out a few hours, it can be addicting) to check out the site.  If you don’t have a few hours free right now, I’ll give you a quick overview of what it is.

Pinterest was launched almost two years ago, and since then has reached almost instant popularity.  The site is a visual social network featuring mood boards where users post photographs of things they like, and others can then repin them onto their own boards.  Last month Pinterest surpassed 11 million unique page views, more than double the the number who visited the site in November; according to TechCrunch, “crossing the 10 million mark faster than any other standalone site in history.”  The site hosts a wide-variety of users, including fashion editors and designers, and companies like General Electric.  Roughly 68% of users are women between the ages of 18 and 35.  The instant widespread popularity of Pinterest has caught the eyes of retailers, who are using the site to help draw attention to their products.  However, Pinterest etiquette urges users, “don’t use Pinterest as purely a self-promotion tool.”

Companies are catching on to the craze, and using Pinterest to share products with consumers, create an inspirational atmosphere to connect with customers and as an easy way to drive traffic to their site.  Lands End found an innovative way to be the first company to incorporate a contest into their Pinterest account.  All users had to do was create a Lands End mood board, and pin some of their favorite Lands End items onto their boards.  After they emailed in the links to their boards (increasing email subscribers) they were qualified to win $2500 in gift cards…it was as easy as that!  Lands End increased traffic and time spent on their site, which increased sales and upped their email subscribers.  What a smart idea!  Here’s a few ways how brands could benefit from the wonderfully simple Pinterest:

  • Running a contest through Pinterest is much simpler than Facebook, which has a lot of complicated rules for how you’re allowed to use their site for promotion.
  • Many companies are saying that Pinterest is already bringing in as much, if not more site traffic, than Facebook and Twitter.   When users click on a picture they like, it will take them directly to your webpage!
  • Pinterest is all visual, so it’s a great way for fashion brands to share with consumers what their new looks are.
  • The site creates an inspirational atmosphere, where users can get a better idea of a brand’s personality and feel more connected to it.
  • Not only will your brand gain more notoriety, you will be able to see which looks are most popular and resonate with consumers.

And, it’s fun!!  Pinterest is a great way to see what inspires other people, and is free and easy to use.  So if you’re not already on Pinterest, I would definitely go check it out.

 

Twitter-holics. They’re Everywhere.

15 Feb

Do you know any?  Are you one?  Or maybe you are, and you don’t even know.  Ragan’s PR Daily recently posted an article discussing a study conducted at the University of Chicago, which reported that the desire to use social media is harder to resist than the urge to drink or smoke.  The study measured the actions of 205 participants, ages 18-25, over a span of seven days.  They were asked seven times a day, over a 14 hour period, what their desire to use social media was.  Of the 10,588 responses, 7,827 reported they felt a ‘strong desire.’  All of this meaning that the desire to tweet or use email, is stronger than the desire to drink, smoke or drink coffee.

Now personally, I don’t find this all that surprising.  I definitely know some twitter-holics, and can be sure they exist everywhere.  But what’s so wrong with being addicted to tweeting?  Well on a personal level, it may loose you some followers or annoy your friends, but you probably won’t do much damage.  However, I feel that on a professional level, over-tweeting can have a negative effect on your reputation as a professional or as a company.  As far as tweeting from your own account as a professional, you don’t want to bombard people constantly with messages or else they will seem less-important and people won’t pay attention anymore.  Tweet when you have something important to say or to add to a conversation.  You need to find a balance, to make sure your presence is known and you can build a reputation, but you don’t want to annoy people and make them loose interest in you.

Learning to tweet responsibly is an important skill to learn.  If you want to use social media to further your career and make connections, then using it properly is key.  Remembering to make comments thoughtful and relevant to any conversation, instead of constantly bombarding people with messages.  It will make you stand out that much more, in a sea of tweet-aholics.

Photo Credit: Vectorportal