cfdaFashion Week used to be a ultra-exclusive event reserved for the fashion elite. The public had to wait for the print publications before they could see the coverage, images and commentary related to the year’s premier fashion event.

However, with the arrival of the digital age, the fashion industry as a whole, and Fashion Week, has been democratized. Fashion bloggers now have front row seats at the the top shows, and fashion lovers around the country consume every moment of Fashion Week via live streaming, Twitter, blogs, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and more.

The Fashion industry has a whole has always been on cutting edge of new technologies – with the top brands frequently becoming the firsts to embrace social and digital platforms and trends. In fact, many fashion brands were among the first to start using Instagram as a marketing platform (read “Instagram and the Fashion Industry”).

Putting fashion week on display using digital channels is certainly not new this year, but with platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and Twitter gaining more and more recognition as traditional marketing channels, 2013 saw an explosion of digital and social activity surrounding the major event.

This year’s Fashion Week was full of live streaming, Tweeting, hashtag campaigns, social and digital lounges, interesting digital promotions with many designers vying to use the most cutting edge technology to leverage multiple platforms and maximize their reach, engagement and impact from the event.

Social Hubs, Hashtags and Curation at Fashion Week

Hashtags have come a long way since Chris Messina invented them in 2007 as a way to improve the Twitter communication experience. Now hashtags are ubiquitous on the Web, and even elsewhere, like in magazines, commercials and TV shows.

Hashtags have become the go-to way for brands to not only tap into a larger audience, but also to create buzz around their own campaigns, and aggregate and curate user-generated content for their own marketing efforts, so it is no surprise that hashtag use is prevalent at New York Fashion Week.

CFDA

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 11.30.12 AMThe CFDA, a nonprofit fashion council, used Postano to aggregate social content centered around this year’s new york fashion week, and then showcased the social hub of content on their website. The CFDA used Postano’s curation feature to select color-coordinated content, giving it the appearance of mini-branded campaigns with consumer-generated content.

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Tresemme

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 11.23.20 AMTresemme used Postano for Events to create billboard animation display posts from Instagram content featuring the #tresmbfw hashtag. The hair products brand featured two screens that projected curated social content at the top of their booth at their Fashion Week Salon Lounge.

Cole Haan

At last year’s Fashion Week, for example, shoe brand Cole Haan launched a hashtag campaign the week before Fashion Week began called #DontGoHome.

The first part of the campaign involved using closed storefront gates  to project cheeky sayings like “You can sleep when you’re dead” and “You’re fair drag mother says don’t go home” along with the Cole Haan logo and the hashtag #DontGoHome.

The result was people noticing the messages and then taking pictures of the sayings and uploading it with the hashtag to Instagram and Twitter.

Rebecca Minkoff

fw_headerIn addition to livestreaming her fashion show at Fashion Week last spring, designer Rebecca Minkoff also display a live wall of tweets and social content (powered by Postano Events) before her runway show – allowing people in the audience to connect with the online audience and vice versa.

Elie Tahari

Fashion brand Elie Tahari has also been using hashtags and multiple social platforms in an effort to capitalize off Fashion Week.

Elie Tahari revealed via Skype the winner of his New York Fashion Week competition last month, during which entrants had to “like” the brand’s Facebook page and post a comment with the hashtag #ElieTahari40.

The brand then took this a step further: The conversation was recorded and broadcast across Elie Tahari’s social channels so followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram could watch the announcement. Tahari received more than 2,500 entries for the contest.

How Social Platforms are Partnering with Fashion Brands

In fact, this year some brands have partnered directly with technology companies and influencers on Tumblr, Instagram, Google Glass, Vine and Pinterest. As live streaming and social media demystify the shows themselves, social media companies themselves are also attempting to capitalize on the event by launching programs to give users virtual backstage passes behind the scenes at New York’s Lincoln Center.

Here’s a look at how some of the major social platforms are allowing audiences to tune into Fashion Week:

Tumblr

Tumblr understands the importance of fashion to many of their users, and has gone a step further in order to nurture their relationship with both brands presenting at Fashion Week and the fashion bloggers who use their platform.

So why would Tumblr roll out a program aimed to capture the Fashion Week audience and brands? Well, at stake is a highly interactive community—one of brands, bloggers and celebrity designers. And, as Tumblr looks to possibly introduce advertising after their acquisition by Yahoo!, the effort to attract more fashion brands and influencers could be a play to court potential advertisers on the platform in the future.

Pinterest

Since the beginning, Pinterest has been a fashion-centric platform online. With retail activity and referrals from the site at high levels, especially compared to other social platforms, the site has long been the perfect place for fashion brands and bloggers to show off content.

The week before New York Fashion Week kicked off, Pinterest launched a Fashion Week hub , which featured boards from magazines, designers, beauty companies and models. The images are a combination of professional shots and behind-the-scenes snaps. The hub was designed to give audiences a well-curated and aggregated place on the site to find and re-pin images – expanding the viral reach and engagement with both media and brand content on the platform.

Google Glass

MBFW Spring 2013 - Official Coverage - Best Of Runway Day 4While Google may not have a reputation of being the most chic of the technology companies, even the internet search giant has been finding ways to cater to the fashion industry – especially with the introduction of Google Glass.

At this year’s NYFW, fashion insiders given early models of Google Glass are using th technology to give viewers a first-hand look at the behind-the-scenes action of Fashion Week. This follows last year’s Google Glass debut at Fashion Week, when top designer Diane von Furstenberg, wore a pair and put them on her models last year.

This also comes on the heels of the annouoncement of a new Google Glass app called Glashion, which aims to link retail sales directly with the technology. The app allows Google Glass wearers to buy fashion items that they spot in life totally on the go.

It works by letting users snap a photo of a fashion item you see on a bypasser or in a store, and then the app queries the ShopStyle API for similar matches. You simply tell Glass when you see a product, “Ok glass, I want this!” and you’ll be matched.

Instagram

Since not every makeup artist, designer, and editor is going to be wearing Google Glass, Instagram was the go-to way to experience Fashion Week from the inside. By simply viewing every photo marked with the #NYFW hashtag (or a few other iterations like #MBFW, #SS14), you’ll instantly have access to a plethora of great content.

Many brands are also using the platform to capture, share and inspire engagement with users during Fashion Week. Here’s a look at some of the top brands using Instagram during Fashion Week:

  • Rachel Zoe: As the style guru for celebrities and a woman running her own fashion brand, Rachel Zoe can be guaranteed to attend the who’s who of designers, and always snaps killer pics from the front row. The Zoe Report, on Rachel Zoe’s website, also used Instagram and other social platforms to promote a sweepstakes for last spring’s Fashion Week. The brand used Postano to aggregate, curate and display all of the social entries on a page on their website.
  • Bergdorf Goodman: Bergdorf’s is using Instagram to give users a front-row view of must see runway collections such as Altuzarra and Alexander Wang.
  • Nine West: The shoe brand is Instagramming away during Fashion Week, and is even aggregating, curating and displaying the best of the social activity. The social hub page, which is powered by Postano, displays some of the best Fashion Week shots.

Want to find out more about how Postano can help elevate your next campaign?

From real-time photo streams from the runway, to carefully curated moments behind-the-scenes or special in-store events, here at Postano, we work with prominent luxury and retail brands to help them take their social engagement to the next level.

Postano Event Displays and Social Hubs have allowed Rebecca Minkoff fans to experience the beat of her runway show live, invited shoe fanatics to showcase their personal style across vivid digital displays at the Nine West flagship store, and assisted Lacoste, Juicy Couture, and Kenneth Cole in driving deeper engagement by adding a depth of color and texture to their social media content.