Fashion Week remains relevant in the digital era
Launchmetrics and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) have released a report analyzing the relationship between social media and Fashion Weeks, finding that some brands received significantly more online attention during the events.
The study, entitled “Front Row to Consumer: The Voices Driving Fashion Week in Today's Digital Era” and powered by Launchmetrics’ proprietary audience-driven Media Impact Value (MIV) algorithm, analyzed more than 400 shows in New York, London, Paris and Milan.
Some brands involved in the report were found to receive 800% more mentions on online and social channels during Fashion Week than they did in the entire rest of the year.
Much of this peak in online attention was driven by consumers, who contributed 42% to the total Media Impact Value. The increased involvement of this group in Fashion Weeks, thanks in part to the fact that many runway shows have been repositioning themselves as more consumer-focused events, can therefore be seen as an essential development in the evolving marketing landscape.
President and CEO of the CFDA Steven Kolb explained, “the CFDA worked with Launchmetrics to identify and evaluate the impact the show audiences have. Although many designers are choosing new ways to show, fashion week remains one of the most effective ways for them to bring their collections to market."
Recent additions to the list of designers opting for alternatives to traditional runway presentations include Vivienne Westwood, who chose to replace her show at London Fashion Week Men’s with a digital presentation this January, and Rodarte’s Mulleavy sisters, who decided to exhibit their fall/winter 2018 collection by appointment at their new Paris showroom during the city’s Couture Week.
These decisions are only part of a more general shake-up taking place around Fashion Weeks, with a number of brands – including, most recently Alexander Wang – choosing to show their collections off calendar as they attempt to adapt to changing industry rhythms and customer demand.
Certainly, social media-based influencers have revolutionized the way in which fashion marketing works, multiplying the sources of style authority and accelerating the transmission of information, a fact which would seem to undermine the rigidly maintained season calendar and the Fashion Weeks that mark its divisions.
However, the report released by Launchmetrics and the CFDA appears to suggest that the Fashion Week’s days are far from numbered, underlining its value as a global marketing opportunity with the potential to make waves on digital media. The future therefore seems to lie less with a complete rejection of the traditional runway calendar, and more with a repositioning of presentations as events that acknowledge and incorporate influencers and consumers in a more engaging fashion; events in the spirit of Dolce & Gabbana’s recent digital-media-savvy menswear presentation in Milan, for example, where influencers were very much front and center.
Launchmetrics works with over 1,000 brands and a number of other industry partners to provide technology, data and tools for influencer identification in the fashion, luxury and cosmetics sectors.
The company’s proprietary MIV algorithm uses both qualitative and quantitative data to measure a brand’s overall media performance, analyzing different channels, media types, time periods and products. The study carried out with the CFDA also used the Influence Funnel concept, which breaks down the different stages of influence and the value of each.
The full "Front Row to Consumer: The Voices Driving Fashion Week in Today's Digital Era” report is available to download on Launchmetrics’ website.
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