A great example of interactive communication with customers is Burberry's "Art of the Trench" campaign where people were encouraged to upload images of themselves wearing Burberry's signature item-their trenchcoat. The photographer and blogger of The Sartorialist took pictures of people on streets wearing trenchcoats. This allowed them to communicate and connect with customers at a new and real level.
Social media has opened doors to new and emerging designers with small budgets to push their creativity and contribute to the fashion world by actively staying plugged-in. Designers and fashion brands now market themselves directly to clients through the social media and gradually build brand loyalty because of the user-friendly and accessible nature of social media. Recently, Masaba Gupta and Oscar De La Renta live streamed their fashion shows on Instagram and Pinterest. Designer Misha Nonoo used Instagram to showcase her full spring/summer collections 2016.
There was a time when a designer's inspiration came from his/her travels or maybe sometimes a muse. Now, a designer prefers to make a quick trip through some online sites, with the followers being their travelling buddies. As Clare Waight Keller of Chloe observed: "A mood board that would have taken a few weeks of solid research can now be assembled in an afternoon on Instagram. The fashion industry's pace today has made it hard to find time for travel beyond the virtual kind, with exploratory trips and gallery visits increasingly difficult to squeeze into the dizzying demand for collections."
Blogs and fashion
Blogs are personal websites, "usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video, where entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order." At present, there are millions of fashion blogs worldwide that are updated regularly with new fashion trends. The blog's effectiveness is due to its strong individual, personal, popular, and elitist point of view. Its engaging experience offers readers the opportunity to voice opinions and challenge fashion critics.
Updates by fashion bloggers these days also encourage the involvement of readers in the fashion making process as they impact consumer purchasing decisions. A positive review from these influential individuals is something that an advertising agency also cannot buy. Commenting on the widespread blogger noise, blogger BryanBoy says, "If I send a tweet, within a few seconds readers will be responding and it engages them with the designer."
Live streaming of fashion shows
As more brands and designers offer live streaming and online replays of their shows, the average person can both appreciate and enjoy the whole experience. Instagram and Facebook updates posted by the spectators straight from the runway, help people relate and engage themselves just like the ones sitting and enjoying the shows live. This way everyone has the same access to the fashion domain, changing the nature of the fashion weeks. Of course, an online stream can never replace the grand experience and marvel of watching a fashion show live but it definitely gives designers and brands much greater exposure. And since the internet has become such an indispensable part of our lives these days, we say Go Digital!