Style Coalition Founder/CEO Yuli Ziv (pictured far left) recently moderated a panel of Fashion Experts discussing the latest digital innovations and integrations surrounding New York Fashion Week and the Spring 2013 show season. The panel featured: Michelle Horowitz, (above right) EVP, Marketing and Communications, Diane von Furstenberg; Amy Odell, (above middle) Editor of BuzzFeed SHIFT; Rachel Arthur, Editor, Media and Marketing, WGSN (far right); and Jill Meltz, Director of Sales, FashionGPS (near right).
Amy Odell, Editor of BuzzFeed SHIFT, talked about the “overwhelming” amount of information a journalist must consume across a multitude of channels. She also discussed her recent hot-button story, “The Top 5 Ways Social Media Has Completely Tainted Fashion Week” and the proliferation of people trying to enhance their profile by wearing outlandish outfits or doing things to get attention. She feels it has detracted from the experience. "I want to think about the clothes, but it’s getting harder to do.” On innovation in the fashion industry Amy said “The most innovative gets the most attention.”
Michelle Horowitz, EVP, Marketing and Communications, Diane von Furstenberg, presented “DVF Through Glass”, the brand’s collaboration with Google designed to show the fashion week experience through the eyes of the people who make it happen. She also detailed ways the brand utilizes social media to share their perspective and ideas, as well as described how they innovate as a result of technology, not just through the use of it. “One of Diane’s favorite quotes right now is ‘vision without action is hallucination' " said Michelle.
Jill Meltz, Director of Sales, FashionGPS, explained the evolution and streamlining of the show process via the company’s “Radar” technology, which allows the global community of press and retailers to manage their events, RSVP’s, etc. through a centralized system. It also gives brands the ability to manage seating in real-time and offers them detailed analytics. FashionGPS partnered with Style.com to offer editors the ability to access images and directly request samples, alleviating the need for note-taking during shows.
Rachel Arthur, Editor, Media and Marketing, WGSN, discussed the pros and cons of the democratization of fashion suggesting, “Fashion week is about branding, it has never been about selling.” She highlighted video, and more specifically Viddy, as an important, growing platform. “People are tired of text; they want site, sound and motion.” She cited Burberry and TopShop as two of the top innovators of the season for their shoppable runway initiatives. “Innovation", said Rachel, " is about answering what consumers don’t even know they want!”
On the topic of bloggers, the panel agreed on their continued influence and power, recognizing that they are entrepreneurs running businesses and therefore going to accept partnership opportunities to monetize. They also recognized a “needle shift” in social media, where the marketplace has become much more competitive now that traditional media editors and journalists have been successful in building their own online profiles.
Pinterest was cited as the most exciting platform to watch for both fashion and beauty. Odell stated that BuzzFeed gets more traffic from Pinterest than Twitter. The panel also noted that Pinterest users spend more money and have a higher conversion rate than any other platform.
(Thanks to Communiqué PR release for the article and photo)