NEW YORK — A new fashion era is looming on the online horizon.
Bridging the gap from virtual runway to commercial reality, America Online and Teen Peoplelaunching “Back to School Cool” on Aug. 12, available only to AOL subscribers. According to AOL, it’s the first online fashion show that serves up video runway sequences and interactive still shots — enabling viewers to check out styles in motion or up close — and the option to purchase those styles with the click of a mouse.
The virtual fashion show will run through Sept. 12, as will the offer of apparel featured, from brands such as Old Navy, American Eagle Outfitters, Guess, JLo by Jennifer Lopez, Delia’s, Amici Accessories and All the Rage Online. Taped at Iona Prep in New Rochelle, N.Y., five New York-area high schoolers each model three outfits portraying the themes: “First Day Back,” “Hangin’ With the Girls” and “Impress My Crush.” Fashion styles range from rocker and urban — reflecting style icons Avril Lavigne and Eve, respectively — to eclectic, with nods to Kate Hudson and Drew Barrymore, to ultrafeminine, recalling Reese Witherspoon and Mandy Moore. A fifth trendsetting sensibility claims Sarah Jessica Parker as its avatar.
Although the fashion show facilitates purchasing, the joint venture between AOL and Teen People (also owned by AOL Time Warner) is mostly about offering interactive entertainment, in contrast to the everyday tasks like e-mailing that still dominate Internet use, said Patrick Gates, AOL’s senior vice president of e-commerce. “The emphasis is on entertainment, rather than the thought we have to sell x amount of merchandise,” Gates noted. Additional elements of the site will include an online poll on the styles shown and a link to Teen People’s message board.
Of course, with the proliferation of proprietary content online, like the School Cool show and related information, e-merchants like Gates expect synergistic online purchasing to gain momentum. He pointed to a recent Limp Bizkit concert carried only on AOL, in tandem with an offer of relevant CDs and DVDs, as another such vehicle.
To that end, Gates has been meeting weekly with executives at AOL sister Time Inc. to find other ways to tie its media content and brands to AOL’s e-commerce.“We’ve long known instinctively that contextual merchandising is key,” Gates related. However, the slow speed of most users’ Internet connections and their continued hesitance about online transactions have slowed the widely anticipated convergence of content, community and e-commerce. “Back to School Cool” seeks to sidestep such challenges, Gates noted, by presenting a Flash experience for narrowband users and kicking it up a notch for the broadband crowd. The fashion show is the cornerstone of AOL’s “Back to School Ready Guide,” which offers such aids as homework help, learning activities and assessment tools, and a stress-busting recess area.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)