The idea of the so-called “democratization” of fashion week isn’t entirely novel — live-streams, vlogger recreations and street style trends being what they are — but access to the actual shows, as in “normal people” being able to physically experience them in person, might just be the final frontier. This season, that frontier is being colonized.
Today, transportation service Uber and Rag & Bone have revealed that they have partnered to provide free tickets to Rag & Bone’s Monday night fashion show. A favorite of the fashion community, Uber found that trips in New York increased 26 percent during last September’s fashion week, and that 1,569 of the people who used it for New York’s fall fashion week also used it during the shows in Paris. Its mission is to provide a personal driver to the masses, so providing elusive fashion week access to its riders isn’t quite a stretch.
Rag & Bone managing partner David Neville said that this season, they wanted to go “one step further” than livestream. “In partnering with Uber, we are exploring experiential marketing in a cool way to connect with our customer and give them an authentic feel for what the brand is about.”
This is already being touted as the first season that the general public has been openly invited inside the tents. Givenchy today will open up 1,200 seats to its first show at New York Fashion Week to “normal people.” For those not based in New York, Ralph Lauren is live-streaming its show on Periscope, and Intel’s drones will be capturing arrivals at shows such as Monique Lhuillier.
The Uber promotion goes live on Monday at 5:30 p.m., giving riders a two-hour window to make it to the 8 p.m. show in Brooklyn. To enter to win tickets, riders must enter “RBSS16” under “promotions” in their profile, and select the “Runway” option when selecting the type of ride. The promotion only works for riders in Manhattan, in Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Fort Greene, Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
The ride will be gratis, and includes a guest and drinks and appetizers before the show. Rag & Bone has declined to share exactly how many tickets it will give away, but the tickets will be general seating.
Although this is the first fashion week ticket partnership from Uber, the app has previously given away surprise tickets to riders to events like a Kygo concert in Chicago and a screening of “Kingsman” in L.A.
This might not be Uber’s last foray into fashion. The company, estimated to be worth $50 billion, is rumored to be testing a delivery service for high-end retailers in New York and San Francisco.