As live streaming, Snapchatting, and Instagramming runway shows becomes routine, brands are looking at another avenue for holding the attention of consumers: runway commerce. Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and Tommy Hilfiger all made pieces from their Fall/Winter 2016 collections available immediately. Rebecca Minkoff showed again her Spring 2016 collection, which is already available in stores. Burberry – which in the previous years had made certain accessories available immediately post-show – announced it was abandoning the fashion calendar altogether. Beginning September, the brand will be showing men’s and women’s collections together in a buy now, wear now format. Tory Burch made a few sportswear pieces and jewelry items available on its site after the live stream, and Michael Kors offered seven ready-to-wear pieces, six accessories, and two bag styles on its Madison Ave. store. Rebecca Minkoff garnered publicity by encouraging posts of the freshly acquired items with the tag #seebuywear.
These decisions are driven by the changing nature of Fashion Week. Previously, the point was to show buyers and press the collections and generate interest and orders for an upcoming season. Now, it has an almost inverse effect. Shoppers can view and share live streams and Instagrams about a show, but they can’t purchase any of the items no matter how excited they are about the collection. In a world of sensory overload, the likelihood that the excitement will still be there next season (when the collections make it to stores) is extremely low.
L2’s latest Intelligence Report on Social Platforms finds the Fashion and Retail categories to be two of the most active categories on social media channels, it makes sense to bring Fashion Week buzz closer to commerce.