Feb 16, 2015

New York Fashion Week, Brands Focus on Social Media's ROI

“Each fashion week we’re seeing more and more activity on Twitter, and it’s gotten to the point where if you’re not participating in the conversation, you’re missing out,” said Rachel Dodes, head of fashion partnerships at Twitter. “It’s not just about being on Twitter anymore — it’s about how you’re tweeting.”

Tommy Hilfiger, for instance, will take the live tweet a step further at its show this morning. The brand is going to tweet out one 30th anniversary look from its forthcoming collection and users can add additional graphics and text using Twitter’s Mirror technology. While the technology hasn’t been used in this way before, the real newness is that the brand is letting followers see its fashions before showgoers.

For the past few seasons Calvin Klein has sought to get its brand message out globally by working with influencers such as Brazil’s Helena Bordon, Hong Kong-based stylist Tina Leung and recent L.A. transplant by way of Milan, Chiara Ferragni. This has worked well in terms of building global resonance and delivering a brand experience with varying points of view, but Calvin Klein is also seeking a return on its digital investments.

“Retailers are social media entities in their own right,” Goldie said. “Now retailers are important image partners for us. How can we take into account what stores have online and available now, and also cover what’s going down the runway? You can have millions and millions of eyeballs, but if there’s no real conversation it’s nothing but a bunch of eyeballs.”

This season, the brand is giving retailers the blogger treatment and partners such as Net-a-porter, MyTheresa and Opening Ceremony will be sharing from the front row.

“Whether it’s the Justin Bieber campaign or the fashion shows, we really want to show that we are getting a return on our investment that is beyond just brand awareness and buzz. That is the next phase of digital,” Goldie said. “Robust digital programs balance the overall brand experience, which can include print, but digital gives us a greater opportunity to measure and quantify the return.”

Ralph Lauren’s men’s Purple Label and men’s and women’s Polo presentation last Thursday garnered 165 million impressions in the 24 hours following the event, the result of celebrities and bloggers like Cody Simpson, Ciara, Emma Roberts, Bella Hadid, Tyson Beckford, Hanneli Mustaparta, Bryan Grey-Yambao and Shea Marie attending and socially sharing everything from a breakfast at Ralph’s Coffee to the collection presentation to a dinner that evening at The Polo Bar.