Look for more designers and retailers to jump into social media in an effort to connect with customers, generate feedback and boost sales.
Oscar de la Renta, Rachel Roy and Cynthia Rowley are among the many brands that are bolstering their online presence by tweeting, blogging and updating their profiles. How this near-constant communication will pay off in terms of profits remains unclear, but some see the branding component as invaluable, especially for lesser-known designers.
“It means faster brand and name recognition,” said Prabal Gurung, who launched a signature collection in February. “People become familiar with my work and name, which results eventually in sales.”
He should know. After Demi Moore tweeted a picture of herself wearing a feathered dress designed by Gurung, some of her estimated 1.3 million Twitter followers immediately wanted to know who she was wearing. The actress complied, describing Gurung in another tweet as “a wonderful young designer to look out for.”
Traffic at Gurung’s Web site, Prabalgurung.com, doubled, as did the number of his Twitter followers and visitors to his Facebook fan page. “In a sea full of new designers and established ones, how is a designer to get any kind of exposure?” he said. “Thus, when a celebrity like Demi compliments me directly via Twitter, it changes the whole perception and attracts a different kind of audience.”
Although social media has enormous potential, designers and retailers are still figuring out how best to use it. For the most part, large companies appear to be “pretty sophisticated” about using Twitter, blogs and other Internet tools to connect with consumers, particularly compared with first-time entrepreneurs, said Syl Tang, a trend tracker in fashion and travel whose hipguide.com has been running for 10 years.
“You would think smaller designers would be attuned to getting publicity,” Tang said. “But larger companies have a breadth of knowledge about marketing.” She added that the smarter ones are hiring established writers to put their fashion posts in context.
Brands are moving beyond e-mail blasts, online advertising and sampling to try “anything local, trackable or that would turn into actual sales,” she said. They are also catching on to the fact that influential consumers such as bloggers with loyal followings can sway shoppers as effectively — or even more effectively — as celebrities.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews