With one of the most robust and engaged social media followings in fashion, it is only fitting that Oscar de la Renta would tap into its online audience to recuit for a focus group as the company prepares to launch a yet-to-be-announced new product. Immediately following the brand’s pre-fall runway show on Monday evening, Erika Bearman, ODLR’s senior vice president of global communications, tweeted out to almost 168,000 fans “beauties, help me with something? I need a focus group made up of my followers,” and linked to a Tumblr post that called for volunteers to tweet back explaining why they would be perfect for the project. The message was also sent to the brand’s Instagram and Facebook communities and briefly took over the homepage of oscardelarenta.com.

Bearman says that the “top-secret product” the company is working on will be geared specifically for their digital audience, so it makes the most sense to garner insights from that target. So far, more than 1,000 applicants have responded via Twitter and Bearman’s team will narrow it down to 12 for the focus group meeting on December 18. The company is looking for a sample that most represents their social media following. Although the 24 hour application window has now passed, Oscar de la Renta devotees who missed their chance need not worry. “It’s the first time we’re doing anything like this but my feeling is that it’s going to be extremely valuable insight.” Bearman told WWD, adding that it could be something they implement into their long-term digital strategy.

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