As fashion week participants create shows that are increasingly geared towards consumers, all sorts of technology is being used to make sure the designers and their creations reach as broad an audience as possible. While in the past the fashion shows were more of an insider affair, now many design houses are trying to reach out to a broader demographic and, of course, trying to boost sales. More and more, clothes are being offered for sale there and then, with some fashion houses offering a full brand range in a see-now, buy-now capacity – everything from the make-up to the accessories to the shoes. Technology now plays a huge role in all our lives and nowhere is this more evident than at the fashion weeks, where technology really stole the show, in some ways at least.
While most of the see-now, buy-now options were offered through each house’s existing e-commerce site and their physical stores, while Temperly London paired up with social app Vero to allow consumers to buy three of their fashion week looks right now.
Snapchat and Instagram Stories
While which of these will win their ‘format war’ remains to be seen, both were used fairly extensively at Fashion weeks. Misha Nonoo used Snapchat to slowly unveil her collection, while J Mendel documented his entire collection with Instagram Stories. Industry experts seem to think that Instagram Stories is the perfect medium for sharing fashion week with the fans.
Chatbots Taking Over
Shopability was a big thing this season and both Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger introduced AI run chatbots as a new user interface. With chatbots taking over our fashion shopping experiences, we better hope that they do not develop artificial intelligence that becomes smarter than we are!
Virtual, Mixed and Augmented Reality
Even the excitement of the shows themselves was not enough, it seems. Many shows had an element of alternative reality to them. For example, in New York fashion week, Intel worked with several designers to broadcast their shows in virtual reality, powered by Voke’s GearVR app, so viewers could feel as though they were right on the front row. Rebecca Minkoff worked with augmented reality, working with shopping app Zeekit to allow customers to upload a picture of themselves and see what they would look like in their favourite outfit from the show. Meanwhile, real innovation came in the form of mixed reality space, where an audience could wear Microsoft Hololens headsets to see an extra layer over reality. Soon, perhaps people all over the world could be watching a fashion show in their own living room and feel as though they are really right there.
One thing is certain, technological change is swift and fashion is not going to want to be left behind.