The runway app is powered by ML and beacon technology.

“Visceral experience” is the aim of runway apps such as those touted on Saturday at Christian Siriano’s New York Fashion Week show. The event featured a live voting runway app done in partnership with SAP technology.

During the show, which was held at the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Plaza, attendees and remote viewers could utilize the “Runway by SAP” app on their phones, gaining real-time notifications as well as the option to “like” and “love” looks.

The SAP runway app allows options to “like” and “love” looks.  Kaley Roshitsh/WWD

Be it Ashley Graham in a sheer banded gem-encrusted dress and fitted hood or one of many peplum-flounced looks that appeared on the runway, the collaboration with SAP technology follows a previous iteration with Badgley Mischka in February and offers insights into how the runway and fashion week continues to be further democratized.

The app is powered by beacon technology and machine-learning. New this year is a feature that allows remote viewers to access the live-stream version of the runway, consuming rich design details such as fabric and inspirations behind the designs.

In the process leading up to the show, the Christian Siriano design team loaded stock images of each look into the app so that the ML technology could identify looks regardless of show order changes, with hundreds of images stitched together powering the app’s back-end design.

Noting the value in creating an “accurate and flexible experience for the designer,” the app allows for greater “democratization of fashion, bringing fashion closer to the people,” said Peter Akbar, SAP’s global vice president for fashion to WWD.

The runway’s fashion technology evolution can be witnessed here.

In-app camera access allows for quick snaps of favorite looks and live access to clothing product information. Users can show applause by “liking” or “loving” looks as models make their way down the runway. But there are postshow benefits, too.

Real-time show analytics — feedback from buyers, influencers and other stakeholders — fosters a more collaborative design process. And serving as “preemptive customer data,” the runway feedback can be used for upcoming design plan consideration to key into popular looks, which can bolster sales, sell-throughs and margins — and it can also be used for prioritizing certain looks during photo shoots and campaigns.

The SAP runway app is being piloted through collaborations with designers such as Christian Siriano, and previously Badgley Mischka, with further rollout aimed at September fashion shows.

Democratizing the design and editorial process, the buildout offered a uniquely interactive real-time consumer experience at the show. For consumers, it helps to create a more direct connection with the designer.

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