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The real winners of New York Fashion Week F/W 2016

As New York Fashion Week Fashion Week F/W ’16 draws to a close and the fashion pack hits the streets of London, here at Prohibition HQ we’ve been looking into not only the newest trends on the catwalk, but also the newest trends in the use of social media at one of fashion’s biggest calendar events.

It seems that as well as showcasing their new pieces on the runway to the style elite, brands are also trying to expose their wares to the wider world of social media. Many designers are now perceiving likes, shares, re-grams and re-Tweets as the digital equivalent of attendance at catwalk shows and footfall in their exclusive boutiques.

Creating buzz and aligning their products to significant influencers in the industry are just some of the benefits associated with properly utilising social channels during the most prolific event in the fashion calendar. We’ve investigated some of the brands that have really won at New York Fashion Week in terms of digital.

Tommy Hilfiger

The 31 year old brand has never been shy when it comes to trialling new and innovative ideas regarding social media. With past social initiatives at Fashion Weeks such as the InstaMeet or the Vine 360 Booth being well received, the brand is always looking for ground-breaking ways to allow people to engage with it online.gfklkl;

This season was no exception, with the brand opting to create an InstaPit – a photography pit made up of top bloggers and YouTube stars dedicated solely to taking snaps for their Instagram accounts, and for the guys at Tommy to upload live updates from their show to the official Instagram account @TommyHilfiger giving fans and followers real-time access to the collection.

Twitter

Believe it or not, one of the real winners of NYFW F/W 16 was the social network itself, Twitter. Along with the hashtag #NYFW, another has emerged to track conversation around the event – #fashionflock.

Twitter’s head of fashion and film partnerships, Rachel Dodes said they wanted to ‘invite many of the top influencers and form an exclusive group’, and that, they did. The group was made up of 50 celebrities, designers and bloggers from Marc Jacobs to Kanye West, all of whom are incredibly influential on the social network.

As well as providing the avid NYFW followers with a list of influencers to follow during the event, Twitter saw its opportunity to take on a sponsorship angle with specialist battery pack brand, Mophie, by giving away a customised juice pack case for the iPhone 6 to all members, which can now be purchased via Twitter’s ‘Buy it Now’ capability – social sponsorship at its best.

Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff is another designer who challenges the ordinary when it comes to showcasing her wares at high profile events such as New York Fashion Week. Last season, Rebecca herself stated that ‘the current fashion show system isn’t working’ and is trying to change the way it works with a new model for her shows.fgdsgfds

The brand aims to make the runway a ‘fully immersive fashion show experience’ aimed at both influencers and consumers, with the focus on instant gratification that is so popular in the fashion industry. The Minkoff brand partnered with technology giant, GoPro to livestream its show on Friday, granting access to not only the world’s best fashionistas, but to style enthusiasts worldwide.

The guys at Rebecca Minkoff also employed virtual-reality technology consisting of two cameras with three dozen separate lenses filming the show, to create a true virtual-reality experience that will be released in a few months. Come spring, the show will be available to watch through Jaunt’s app on Google Play (for Android phones), on Samsung’s Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and on the Google Cardboard platform for iOS.

Ralph Lauren

Fashion heavyweight Ralph Lauren isn’t one to be left behind when it comes to social media, leading the way with innovative ways to gain awareness of its new collections. The label decided to invite a whole host of celebrities and influential bloggers to its debut its Purple Label men’s and women’s Polo range on Thursday. The collection managed to garner 165 million impressions in the first 24 hours following the event – all thanks to high profile attendees such as Ciara, model du jour Bella Hadid and Tyson Beckford.

Although Lauren has scaled back the efforts from last season, where he decided to live-stream the new collection via recently developed channel, Periscope to the heart of London. The brand hasn’t underestimated the effects of social media, inviting all of the stars to a special breakfast and collection presentation dinner and encouraging them all to share on their own channels, generating buzz and chatter amongst the brand’s younger target demographic.

Snapchat

If you’ve read our recent blog post on how brands are using Snapchat, you’ll know that using the photo and video-based platform has become a recent trend amongst some of the world’s biggest brands. New York Fashion Week is no exception, with stories such as ‘This Is FASHION’ and ‘NY Fashion Week Finale’ sweeping the world, the social network newcomer is committed to delivering the latest images and videos direct from the catwalk, to its followers whose invite didn’t quite extend to the front row!

With brands like Michael Kors, Marchesa and DKNY all showcasing their latest pieces both on the runway and behind the scenes, along with candid shots of models in action, the ‘stories’ are delivered straight to our Snapchat accounts without even having to search for the latest updates.

Who do you think did NYFW best? Let us know your thoughts below!

Five ways Snapchat can benefit brands…

Launched in 2011, Snapchat is one of the relatively new kids on the block when it comes to social media platforms, although this does not mean it is any less popular. The channel sees 100 million daily active users all across the world, meaning that an average 8.8 photos are shared on Snapchat every single second.

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Although it started out as a somewhat obscure digital experiment, it has now captured the attention of countless international brands and rival social media platforms, even attracting interest from social media magnate, Facebook, which reportedly offered to buy the up-and-coming channel for the hefty sum of $3 billion.

Facebook isn’t the only conglomerate to see the perks of Snapchat though; countless brands are now beginning to use the channel to reach a large and varied audience. And it seems to be working, with the majority of its user database being connected, not only to their friends, but also to their favourite brands and corporations. More and more people are beginning to use Snapchat to follow their favourite designers, teams and manufacturers in order to keep up to date on their day to day lives and important updates.

Discover

In addition to this, in January 2015, Snapchat launched its ‘Discover’ capability to enablemaxresdefault its users to catch up on the latest news and developments from popular channels such as Sky News and the Mail Online. Snapchat claims it is the ‘result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first.’ Basically, it’s a new way of exploring ‘Stories’ from different perspectives and editorial teams all combined into the same channel – a great way of experiencing different viewpoints in a more relaxed and informal way.

How can brands use Snapchat?

There’s a variety of ways that brands can use Snapchat profiles to increase engagement from their target community, in addition to their existing social platforms, in order to achieve general brand awareness and resonance with the company. Some of our favourites are listed below.

  1. Providing access to live events is one of the key ways in which brands are captivating audiences around the world. Making people feel as though they are a part of a major event is a great way of engaging audiences through offering them an insight in a different, more authentic way. Events like the Victoria Secret fashion show, Bastille Day in Paris and NFL games are always popular, and allow the average Joe the opportunity to see what goes on at occasions they’d only be able to dream of attending, causing high volumes of engagement in addition to on and offline buzz.
  1. Delivering ‘private content’ is another way of engaging with audiences and gives them access to special content that they wouldn’t ordinarily receive on other platforms. An excellent example of this is when very highly esteemed fashion designers, like Michael Kors and Burberry, choose to debut their new collections to the world via Snapchat. This allows their audience to feel valued and included in such an exclusive event, making them more likely to engage with the brand – through a variety of channels.
  1. As with other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, offers and competitions are a sure fire way of boosting engagement and awareness of a brand. An extremely clever example of this was seen through GrubHub in the US. GrubHub was the first ever brand to successfully execute a Snapchat scavenger hunt – asking their followers to reply with a snap to GrubHub’s new Story, which was posted every day. This campaign was the perfect example of creating two-way communication between the brand and its consumers, allowing it to capture user-generated content, whilst increasing loyalty through an innovative idea.
  1. Another way that brands could use Snapchat to their full potential is by showing them behind the scenes of their company. This type of pared-down content really appeals to the self-confessed nosy parker (which happens to be more of us than you’d think) and causes the audience to want to know more about the brand and what happens behind its’ closed doors. McDonald’s is a brand that uses the behind the scenes element to its advantage, by posting pictures and videos of its adverts being filmed, as well as well-known celebrities.
  2. A simple way of making the most of your presence on Snapchat is to partner with influencers on social media. Just as with YouTube and Instagram, the perks of teaming up with a well-known face are phenomenal, (just like some of the costs!) If you have the budget, working with an influential figure on social can bring endless benefits to your business, providing they are on-brand and convey your key messages appropriately. Some of our favourite top influencers are Jenna Marbles of YouTube fame and Fuck Jerry – the notorious Instagram account, which has turned its influence to the world of Snapchat.

What are your thoughts on using Snapchat as a brand? Do you believe in the benefits, or is it just a passing craze that will fade away in time? We’d love to know what you think!