By and and  on April 12, 2010

The late Alexander McQueen may have been responsible for a lot of fashion trends, but one of his last also could be his most lasting. In October, McQueen broke fashion barriers by live-streaming his spring collection via Nick Knight’s SHOW studio.com site, allowing hundreds of thousands of fashion fanatics to view the collection in real time.

Fast-forward some five months, and live-stream becomes the buzzword of the fall collections, with a long list of designers offering hundreds of thousands of devotees the ability to see next season’s clothes the second each model makes her exit. Prada, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Gucci, Alexander Wang and Calvin Klein were just a few that offered a feed. Dolce & Gabbana live-streamed its main line and D&G runways on the Apple iPhone, and Burberry broke fashion ground when it took a cue from Avatar and live-streamed its show from London in 3-D, with viewing parties in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Dubai and Los Angeles.

The phenomenon is one of many ways designers are reaching their end customers faster and more directly via Internet technology. They’re immersing themselves in social media to reach a wider audience and export fashion fever with a few clicks of the mouse. Some used Facebook to talk about their show preparations, while others, like Marc Jacobs’ business partner, Robert Duffy, tweeted up a storm in the run-up to their presentation, revealing a behind-thescenes look into the collections. “Any ideas for a stage set for our fashion show?” Duffy tweeted before the show. “It’s at the armory on 27th Street. I’m stuck. No idea. Something minimal please? I have one week!”

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