As social media platforms are becoming video-watching services and fashion week is becoming more consumer-centric, Michael Kors is sitting squarely at the crossroads.
The brand’s New York Fashion Week show will be the first fashion show to be streamed live on Twitter, and follows in the footsteps of live events such as National Football League games and red carpet events.
The Kors live experience is different than other past live-streams of fashion shows, through platforms such as Periscope, in that it is Twitter’s new offering that aims to merge the “first screen” experience of a live event — which is typically highly produced — with the “second-screen” functionality of Twitter. Thus the show will be broadcast alongside tweets related to the events in real-time.
“A live runway show is the ultimate combination of fashion and theater, two of my favorite things,” said Michael Kors. “To be able to share that with people everywhere, and give them a front-row seat wherever they are and however they want to watch, whether at home, at their desk or on the go, is fantastic.”
The Kors Collection fall show will stream live on Twitter on Feb. 15 at 10 a.m., in addition to on the Michael Kors web site and on YouTube. It will air again on Feb. 16 and Feb. 17.
The partnership is part of Kors’ “Runway Anywhere and Everywhere” initiative this New York Fashion Week, which includes a mini-webisode series, “Kors Commute” in the three days leading up to the show. It is a mini-web series highlighting Kors in a limo talking with various industry insiders as he prepares for fashion week. In the first of three videos, Kors shares a backseat cocktail with Viera-Newton. The second video is an early morning ride with Taylor Hill and the third is a trip with his friend, Nina Garcia. The series starts today on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Other features that Kors will use this season include:
*Ready-to-Wear, Ready to Go: For the third time, Kors is offering a group of just-off-the-runway styles for his customers to purchase on the day of the show. The capsule includes ready-to-wear, handbags and shoes, and the items will be available for purchase on michaelkors.com in the U.S., at the brand’s stores at 790 Madison Ave. and 384 Bleecker St. in Manhattan, and for the time time, on Instagram.
*Shoppable Street Style: Kors and Instagram are joining forces with some fashion influencers to launch the industry’s first Shoppable Street Style collaboration. Customers will be able to shop the spring 2017 looks worn to the show by Harley Viera-Newton, Gala Gonzalez, Sistine Stallone and Yoyo Cao directly from Instagam. After the show, customers can also see the looks and shop them on the designer’s web site.
*Behind-the-Scenes and Front Row Snapchat Stories: This will focus on backstage happenings that will be viewable on Snapchat. Consumers can get a glimpse of the action backstage. There will be chats with top models, commentary from Kors. Viera-Newton will take over Kors’ Snapchat account when she arrives at Spring Studios. Guests can snap with a Michaek Kors NYFW Geofilter.
As for the live stream, Twitter declined to offer specifics about the financials related to the partnership, but did offer that there would not be ads shown during the live-stream. In December, it said that it would stream the Golden Globes red carpet, and would offer what it described as “comprehensive advertising packages.”
Attracting popular events to the platform is a key way to attract new Twitter fans, but viewers do not need to have a Twitter account or to be logged in to view the content. And Kors is known for being popular among online fans.
During September’s New York Fashion Week, the designer came in first for its social media engagement rates. The ListenFirst Digital Engagement Ratings, which measure customer engagement across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia, in addition to organic conversation volume, owned post engagements such as a like or a retweet and general searches, found that Kors had 9.6 million engagements between Sept. 7 and Sept. 15.
Twitter did not disclose numbers on the most popular live-event stream to date.
“Twitter has always been a key platform to connect with our fans for real-time, in-the-moment conversations during New York Fashion Week,” said Kors senior vice president of global communications and marketing Lisa Pomerantz.
While this approach is a first, there have been more than 100 fashion shows streamed live through Twitter-owned Periscope. Last month, Louis Vuitton streamed a live 360-degree fashion show, which was a first for a fashion brand.