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NEW YORK — Nicole Miller’s social media efforts are multifaceted. Throughout her company, she is known to personally respond to Facebook, tweet away, and she regularly posts photos on Instagram (shoes being her latest favorite).
Miller will add another dimension when she becomes the first fashion designer on VYou, a question-and-answer site that allows personalities to record video responses to posed questions using their mobile phones or Web cams.
“It puts you in touch with the consumer more directly,” Miller said. “I am always answering questions on Facebook and this way, people will feel that they can really connect with you. They really feel they get the personal attention.”
That is VYou’s goal. Officially launched in January by founder and chief executive officer Steve Spurgat, the site already has a high-profile roster of users, including Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Bob Vila, Sen. Chuck Grassley from Iowa, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes. Companies like VH1, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly are also using the site.
While most social media platforms can’t guarantee the personalities themselves are behind tweets or posts — many have writers to do it for them — VYou’s video nature eliminates the uncertainty.
“For someone like Oprah, it’s a way to have a more direct conversation with her audience,” Spurgat explained. “People know she is sitting there and talking to them.”
It could prove particularly relevant for fashion designers, “because people in fashion are so highly revered, as they should be, but that makes them feel less approachable,” Spurgat noted. “Someone like Nicole Miller is getting a certain accessibility to her audience that didn’t exist before.”
Miller plans to answer a hand-picked selection of questions on an ongoing, weekly basis. The designer hopes she will learn as much in the process as those posing the questions. It reminds her of how she once donated a showroom luncheon for charity — first fretting the prospect of lunching with a group of strangers, but in hindsight, gaining many insights from the experience. “This will be a similar kind of thing, only no food,” she said, adding with a chuckle, “Maybe we’ll send some take-out to their address.”