New York Fashion Week Goes DigitalLiving
For the first time in its history, the iconic New York Fashion Week is going digital for the Spring-Summer 2021 edition.
Amidst the ongoing health pandemic and social distancing measures that have immensely affected the fashion industry, creators are pushed to rethink everything with advanced technologies, including how to host one of the most awaited runway shows in the world, virtually and without any audience.
Held from September 14th to the 16th, the shortened show will still host few physical events; however, the majority will be showcased through a new digital platform designed and built especially for this occasion.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) is preparing to launch RUNWAY 360; the digital platform that will make this online event possible.
"The groundbreaking portal incorporates key aspects of the designer business, from show to press, sales, and consumer activations, to help drive sales while providing the industry with a simple tool to experience the best of American fashion creativity," CFDA said in a statement.
Thanks to RUNWAY 360, designers will be able to present their collections, providing each participating brand with a modular, customizable page for their storytelling and digital activations.
The portal supports augmented and virtual realities (AR/VR), 360-degree capabilities, live video streams, e-commerce extensions, consumer shopping features, and social media integrations.
The hub also allows designers to host virtual press conferences, and present press kits and product images, for example.
"The 360-degree platform is seasonless and will serve as a permanent fixture and main destination at any time of the year for consumers, press, trade, and retailers from around the world to explore and engage with collections from American fashion designers," according to CFDA.
An Innovative Business Tool
"We’re not going to have content that is an interview between Marc Jacobs and a muse about his new house upstate. It’s not a panel discussion with three models talking about trends," said Steven Kolb, the CFDA’s president and CEO, during a Zoom presentation of the new concept.
"It’s really more of a business tool; Virtual showrooms will allow buyers to place orders, and while e-commerce is not part of the offering, emerging designers could take pre-orders that would help them cover their costs of production, and they could also gain useful data about what’s being watched and liked."
"Just like you have at New York Fashion Week there’s a collective energy and vibe. It’s the same approach here, bringing it all together in one place," Kolb continued.
The platform is developed by NY-based design studio DE-YAN to offer American fashion designers a "one-stop-shop" option for showcasing their collections as the pandemic continues to sweep the globe. It is set to launch in line with September’s shortened show schedule.
"Whether you’re doing a video or a photoshoot or VR—or whatever it is your budget or your ability creatively to produce is—our platform is meant to be plug-in," Kolb added.