Tweet with the official New York Fashion Week hashtag this week – #NYFW – and you might spot the pleasant surprise of a fashion-themed emoji to go with it. Twitter has released a total of seven custom designs, including a dress, high heel and leather jacket, which will change throughout the week.
That’s just one of several digital initiatives capturing our imagination for spring/summer 2016 so far. Numerous designers have also been turning to technology with everything from drones and wearables, to big partnerships on social media, making their events more connected than ever.
Here are 10 things to know about…
Zac Posen’s coded black dress
Zac Posen teamed up with Google’s Made With Code team to launch a little black dress “coded” by girls. The design, part of his ZAC Zac Posen line, features LED lights across it that display different moving patterns. It was created with the aim of inspiring young girls to try computer science, and worn by supermodel Coco Rocha at an opening event for NYFW earlier this week.
Rebecca Minkoff’s new “wearables”
Rebecca Minkoff is also thinking about wearables this season. She will introduce a series of leather goods in her show on Saturday, September 12, in collaboration with Casemate, who the designer previously worked with on a line of bracelets. The launch will include three products that serve as handbags, wallets and smartphone chargers combined – a $120 charging wristlet folio, a $100 Universal Fringe Crossbody and an $80 iPhone 6 Sleeve Crossbody. Drones will also capture aerial shots of guest arrivals and looks coming down the runway during the show.
Vogue and Karlie Kloss take over YouTube’s studios
Condé Nast Entertainment, Vogue and Teen Vogue have teamed up with supermodels Karlie Kloss and Lily Aldridge, and a number of YouTube fashion and beauty stars, to produce a series of original videos about trends from New York Fashion Week as they emerge. To do so, they’re taking over YouTube Space NY – a fully equipped studio for all aspects of video production. The aim is to empower the next generation of trendsetters, says Adam Relis, who heads up YouTube Space NY. Kloss announced the plans via a fun video featuring Anna Wintour and other big fashion names helping her make the move.
Tommy Hilfiger and Twitter’s 360-degree reveals
“Twitter Halo” gets its worldwide debut during New York Fashion Week, thanks to a tie-up backstage at Tommy Hilfiger. This is a multi-camera device that captures 360-degree videos that can be shared in real-time through Twitter. The brand is using it to premiere the first looks from its show, which takes place on Monday, September 14. Avery Baker, chief brand and marketing officer for Tommy Hilfiger, says: “Our work with Twitter this season builds on our shared pioneering spirit to introduce the ‘Twitter Halo’ during NYFW. As the retail landscape shifts and consumer expectations evolve, we’re focused on sharing our shows and new collections through the most innovative, original and exciting channels, and we look forward to continue building upon our passion for fusing fashion and technology.”
Periscope as the app of choice
Twitter’s live streaming app, Periscope, started gaining ground with the fashion set during both the menswear and resort shows earlier this summer. For this week, brands including both Ralph Lauren and Desigual are getting involved, while editors and bloggers are likely to be the ones grabbing the most attention as they head from one catwalk to the next. The team at Twitter are referring to the use of Periscope during fashion weeks as #fashionunfiltered. It’s about real access and no editing, which likely makes it one of the most authentic views of what it’s really like to attend. You can read more about Ralph Lauren and Desigual’s plans via this story.
Intel’s drones, MemoryMirrors and wearables
As sponsor of IMG Fashion Week and partner for MADE Fashion Week, Intel is introducing a variety of forward-thinking tech initiatives. The first includes multiple Yuneec Typhoon 4k drones flying overhead at certain venues to capture the arrivals at shows including Public School, Prabal Gurung, BCBG Max Azria and Monique Lhuillier. It has also installed MemoryMirrors (see this story about that same piece of kit in-store at Neiman Marcus) at NYFW’s headquarters, which allow users to try on different outfits and then compare them side by side based on the images it’s “remembered”. The same technology was demonstrated at yesterday’s Calia Athleisure presentation. Also look out for a wearables initiative launching during the Chromat show today thanks to Intel too.
Misha Nonoo’s Insta-show
Designer Misha Nonoo is forgoing a live presentation entirely this season in favor of what her team is referred to as an “insta-show”. You got it, a show unveiled exclusively on Instagram. The spring/summer 2016 collection will be revealed via @mishanonoo_show on Saturday, September 12 at 10am. At the same time, women including actress Meghan Markle, political consultant Audrey Gelman, and New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns, will also post images of themselves in pieces from the new collection on their personal accounts. Meanwhile, Zoe Jordan, has also stepped away from a traditional show and instead hosted a digital one in partnership with KCD Digital. It can be viewed via digitalfashionshows.com.
Michael Kors’ high quality live-stream
Michael Kors meanwhile is sticking with a traditional live-stream under the header of its new “Rush to the Runway” campaign, but is doing so this season using 6K Red Epic Dragon cameras at 120 frames per second, allowing for “dramatic super-high-resolution slow-motion shots”. Similar wire-cams are reportedly often used to record large-scale sporting events but have not previously been employed at NYFW. It will be viewable on mobile and tablet devices when the show takes place on Wednesday, September 16.
Tumblr’s pop-up collection launch
Tumblr is heading offline with the launch of its first fashion collection in a pop-up shop opened especially for fashion week. A total of 10 artists have been selected by Tumblr to have their designs printed on the ready-to-wear line of t-shirts, jumpsuits, track pants and more. “Our colorful and incredible community of artists, fashion bloggers and other creators have helped make Tumblr the most inspiring destination for years,” says Valentine Uhovski, Tumblr’s fashion evangelist. “With this capsule collection, we’re proud to bring NYFW program to the next level this season and to bring some amazing Tumblr work to life.” The pop-up will be at the Lightbox on 339 W 38th St from September 11-13.
Yigal Azrouël and Covet Fashion’s early preview
Yigal Azrouël partnered with styling app Covet Fashion to reveal select pieces from his collection (launching today, September 11) 24-hours in advance. Users of the app, referred to as gamers, and of which there are three million per month, were able to style, experiment and create looks from the collection. They will also be able to purchase select pieces from spring/summer 2016 exclusively through the app after fashion week. The brand previously used the game to launch its Cut25 collection. Doing so led to five million monthly impressions, and significant e-commerce traffic, according to the brand.