The fashion industry is setting the trend
How high couture uses Fashion Live Streaming to Boost Global Sales
With competing fashion weeks emerging all over the globe during the last decade, the fashion establishment of Paris, New York, London and Milan are resorting to live streaming cleverly combined innovative technologies which enable impulse buying while the catwalk is streamed live.
Previously, it took weeks before the critical acclaim of high couture turned into actual sales. Not for Burberry though. Dating back to 1856, they are well ahead of the curve and combined fashion Live streaming and instant shopping in 2010.
In 2017 Autumn not only streamed its bi-annual London Fashion Week show live – on a multicast to its own site, YouTube and Facebook – but also made the entire collection fully available for purchase online and in flagship stores immediately after the show.
This could – according to Billboard magazine, “completely transform the way fashion has been shown and sold since the birth of ready-to-wear”. Billboard reported that “The industry — plus some millions of fans tuning into the live stream across the globe — was watching and Burberry pulled out all of the stops for the occasion. As well as the live stream and instant shopping, Burberry also launched on Facebook Messenger offering live customer service facilities for eager buyers.
There is perhaps no other retail sector where being bang up to date is more important than fashion, and no surprise that designers and retailers were the among the first to grasp the benefits of live stream technology.
2009 was the year that really moved the needle. Louis Vuitton streamed its fall show to Facebook and then Alexander McQueen streamed its landmark spring/summer 2010 show from Paris. The following year Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, and Burberry all followed suit. In 2011, London Fashion Week became the first fashion week host to allow viewing of its shows through live streaming.
Last September, Ralph Lauren became the first New York Fashion Week label to take its live stream on to Periscope and added to the excitement by also screening the show live on giant billboards in Piccadilly, giving London fashion fans a front row seat at the New York shows. Familiar with Ralph Lauren’s innovative approach to the digital space, Twitter had approached the company directly.
David Lauren, executive VP of global advertising, marketing and corporate communications, said, “One of the most compelling and engaging elements of social media is the ‘shared experience,’ knowing that someone in Japan is seeing the same thing as someone as London or New York at the same time actually makes the world seem a more intimate place.” In New York this Autumn, Desigual took the live stream experience one step further, arming one of its models with a Periscope stream in hand as she walked down the catwalk.
The question of access is critical. According to Kelly Cutrone, founder of PR firm People’s Revolution Fashion, Fashion has always been a closed, elitist industry, and shows used to be for a very small percentage of people. “But eventually people realised it didn’t make sense to not include the public more. Brands realised they had to open their French doors and say hello to the world.” As the Huffington Post mentioned when announcing it would be live streaming directly from London Fashion Week this year, “No ticket, no problem!”. Once exclusive events, accessible only to A-list celebs and the fashion elite, are now open to all.
Marc Jacobs was another early adopter. Daniel Plenge, the company’s director of social media said: “The stream is totally worth it to us. We’re trying to bottle up all of Marc’s magic into one night, so having an asset that lives on past the show is really helpful. A lot of the views come weeks after the show because we throw a loop of it up on our site. Streaming has been valuable to us in so many different ways.”
In 2014, Launchmetrics predicted that, just as the internet and 24/7 news cycle have been laying waste to weekly news magazines and daily newspapers, the hyper-networked fashion world is also set for a shake-up, with any given Fashion Week transformed into a worldwide industry event lasting 365 days a year.
Global participation in local events is just the first step. Add on the impact of a social media component and the picture gets bigger still. Take a fashion show being viewed, live, around the world – San Francisco loves it, but New York is “ho-hum at best.” Launchmetrics says the retail implications for the brand presenting that product—and understanding the buzz both quantitatively and qualitatively—could make or break the product launch.
It’s a view echoed by Russell Quy, president of B Live. “It’s about the entertainment, but it’s also a way to collect different business intelligence.” Email addresses are collected through the live streams’ access portals and social media widgets are utilised so viewers can share images on their social feeds. Quy added: “We collect data, like which colours and looks were most popular by region, which looks were most popular in which countries, which performed the best, and bring that all back to the brands.”
According to IMG’s Matt Edelman, streaming gives designers “remarkable reach to audiences and helps build trust. It also generates a unique way to excite them beyond in-person experiences.” Edelman believes all brands will eventually stream their shows: “At this point, they’d be missing out. It’s turned into a remarkably well-produced luxury experience, and they are
And it’s not just couture leaders that are getting in on the action. In March, Amazon.com launched its first live television show, focusing on the latest trends in fashion and beauty. As viewers watch the 30-minute “Style Code Live” show (which also offers interactive features such as live chat for viewers), they can shop online. It’s the retail giant’s first foray into live television and part of a broader effort to become a fashion brand.
For fashion fans and followers, the lure of live streaming is more than understandable. “Periscope is like a teleportation device, it can take us into another world,” says Georgina Parnell who heads up Twitter UK’s fashion department. “It’s all about giving people a view or an experience they’ve never had before.”
Live streaming has transformed the fashion industry by expanding its reach and creating a more inclusive ‘shared experience’. However, the scope of live streaming does not stop there. Fashion is leading the trend, but other industries are likely to follow suit if they haven’t already done so.
At Volcano City, we offer a variety of live streaming solutions to help you increase fan engagement across the globe. If you’d like to find out more about how live streaming can benefit your business, then contact Volcano City for a friendly chat today!