Things are set to change in the front row. Once an exclusive invite-only affair restricted to the fashion world’s inner circle, fashion shows are becoming more accessible to the public. “Eventually it will no longer be about the press,” says British designer Henry Holland. “Givenchy invited 1200 members of the public to their spring show. Marc Jacobs paraded his models down a red carpet in public.
We invited about 100 of our customers to our show. There’s a movement, you can see the change.”A consensus has been reached across the industry that while the fashion show is hugely important, the concept has to evolve to include the consumer. Although designers are still creating seasonal collections, a growing number are beginning to cave in to the demands of the Instagram and instant gratification generation, making their collections available on the same day as their shows.
“The moment the first look comes down the runway, it’s on Instagram,” Holland says, explaining that it’s not good for sales to tell consumers the garments won’t be available in-store. “It doesn’t fit into the way we consume things these days. If you’re not able to facilitate that need or desire for the product then you’re probably going to lose the sale.” Wearable tech will start making purchasing easier for the consumer. But if Holland and other designers have any say in the matter – which they undoubtedly will – wearable smart devices need to become a whole lot more wearable before they find their place in fashion.“It needs to be about creating pieces that are desirable in their own right,” says Holland. “Innovations are really important; it’s part of staying at the forefront and nurturing new ideas, which is what fashion’s all about.”
Up-and-coming designer Misha Nonoo became the first designer to showcase a collection exclusively on Instagram.
Using virtual reality, Tommy Hilfiger has given customers access to the front row of his shows, while Dior Eyes transports wearers backstage.
Soon you’ll be able to tap your clothing to send a text as Google and Levi’s have teamed up to create smart fibres.
MasterCard plans to extend payment technology to our wardrobes and has paired with designer Adam Selman to make prototype dresses.
An increasing number of fashion designers are turning to 3D printing technology to create garments, handbags and jewellery for the runway.
IBM and 360Fashion Network recently hosted the inaugural Startup Runway & Innovation Awards to showcase fashion/ tech innovations.
SHOP THE RUNWAY
Henry Holland teamed up with Visa to create a ring that allowed attendees at his recent Spring/Summer show to shop from the front row.
ANYONE’S A MODEL
Marc Jacobs has used Instagram to cast models in ad campaigns and W Magazine partnered with IMG for its first social media model search.