NYFW: Highlights & Trends
New York Fashion week is upon us, and the upcoming autumn/winter 2018 trends are being set. Here are some of the highlights:
Technology & Fashion Getting More Connected
The fashion industry is incorporating technology more into all aspects of the textile industry workflow from design to engaging with the customer. Today, retailers and brands are already experimenting with artificial intelligence as a communication method to bring the relationship with customers from transactional to conversational, including in offline events such as NYFW. This year, Nicole Miller, worked with RevelGlam, to predict the next wave of fashion trends, and Badgley Mischka Fall 2018 show got attendees to use an app to mark if they like or love an outfit shown. The feedback helped inform decisions are inventory investment and production, and to jumpstart production on the items that receive the best feedback.
The Rise of Social Media
Consumers don’t want to wait, so the exclusivity of NYFW doesn’t appeal to the younger consumer, which wants immediate, but quality fashion. With the rise of social media influencers, brands need to look for new ways to connect and get to this younger market in real-time. The debut of See-Now-Buy Now fashion, last year allowed for consumers to buy pieces immediately from the runway, with pop up events. This year, social media is taking a larger role, with brands showcasing live fashion shows on Instagram to reach broader audiences.
Eva Chen, fashion icon and head of fashion partnerships at Instagram, reported last year that “What the audience wants isn’t super produced,” she said. “We find that people like that raw, “I am sitting right there’ feeling.” One example is Lela Rose, who skipped the traditional show in favor of an Instagram “show” casting 10 of her favorite influencers and bloggers to model one look from the Fall 2018 collection. This allowed them to engage directly with millions of potential customers who follow those influencers, something that may not have been possible in a traditional “exclusive” show.
Current Affairs Hits the Runway
With the rise of the #MeToo movement throughout the whole entertainment industry, it seemed inevitable that it would reach the fashion world too. Inspired by a social media campaign aimed at exposing widespread sexual misconduct, a fashion show with a #MeToo took place featuring models who shared their stories on the runway.
Merging politics and fashion isn’t new. Celebrities and stars turned up dressed in black at the 75th Golden Globes Award ceremony. Instantly the media was in frenzy over what they dubbed “political fashion statements on the red carpet.” Accountability in the supply chain has led to an initiative to map and index every factory in Bangladesh to increase transparency in the world’s second-largest garment manufacturing capital.
The End of the Runway as we Know it?
For Autumn/Winter 2018, even more designers are choosing to abandon the traditional schedule. What is the future of NYFW and in-person fashion shows as more designers choose to showcase collections beyond the traditional runway? Alexander Wang announced he is moving to a June/December schedule as opposed to February/September, a move that will eliminate the need for four collections per year, but also leave room for collaborations and partnerships. Changing the production strategy will also allow for consumers to get more stuff, more often – a huge win in today’s fashion era of the consumer.
“As our brand is evolving, we felt the need to connect with consumers in a different way,” Rose says. “I love this roster of talented women and look forward to seeing them in Lela Rose styled their own way, for their own audience, providing a new lens into how we wear and show our clothing.”