Shushu/Tong Fall 2019 runway show backstage

Technology is enabling China to overcome its mass gathering ban while keeping business afloat, from the shop floor to the upcoming Shanghai Fashion Week.

Some 150 brands will broadcast from March 24 to 30 via a special portal on Alibaba’s Tmall, with brands ranging from Diane von Furstenberg, Pinko, Miss Sixty, Converse, Anta, Icicle, Lily and Le Fame to homegrown designers such as Feng Chen Wang, Chen Peng and Yirantian.

The schedule also includes live-streaming slots for retailers including Labelhood, Lane Crawford, Net-a-porter and The Balancing.

Screenshots of Shanghai Fashion Week online announcement, and QR code portal to access Shanghai Fashion Week live streaming content.

Screenshots of Shanghai Fashion Week online announcement, and QR code portal to access Shanghai Fashion Week live streaming content.  Screenshot/ Shanghai Fashion Week

Tmall assigned top live-streamer Viya as the ambassador of the cloud fashion week. She helped Kim Kardashian sell 6,000 bottles of KKW perfume in 30 seconds.

Alibaba said the fall 2020 edition of Shanghai Fashion Week will “likely be the world’s first fashion week event to live-stream its entire roster of runway shows,”  and the participants will have access to its 800 million monthly active users. Around 2,000 people watched the online schedule announcement on Wednesday.

Lv Xiaolei, vice secretary of Shanghai Fashion Week, said: “China’s fashion industry and market have matured through the years and entered into a new age of creative energy and boundless opportunities. It would be a great regret if the coronavirus outbreak posed a challenge for these aspiring brands and talents, limiting what they could accomplish. As a platform long dedicated to supporting Chinese creative talents, we must take action.”

It was revealed less than three weeks ago that Shanghai Fashion Week planned to move online, reversing its initial decision to postpone the event, first reported by WWD. The organization quickly reached out to brands to get everyone on board.

On top of showcasing new collections, Alibaba said brands can “make use of the new Tmall Flagship 2.0 format to personalize their virtual stores. For example, brands can leverage augmented-reality applications or ‘store lofts,’ which are special pages of multimedia content users can access by dragging down the screen on their phones.”

Mike Hu, head of Tmall Fashion, Luxury and FMCG, said this “cloud launch” format shakes up the traditional product-launch method.

“Instead of a two-hour press conference, brands can interact with consumers across an extended timeline, from warm-up previews to the live broadcast and post-event interviews, in front of an audience of potentially thousands or millions instead of just a few hundred people. It breaks down the physical limitations of time and geography for brands to engage their consumers,” Hu added.

Some 50 brands will also work with property developer Xintiandi, and SF Express to deliver orders within two hours in Shanghai when consumers shop from the Xintiandi online pop-up shop.

While online fashion events bring Chinsese brands to millions of consumers, buyers will still be able to place orders in person. Showrooms with a high concentration of quality designer brands, such as Tube, Not and DFO, will open physical showrooms by the end of March, on top of live-stream or conference call appointments. 

Shanghai Fashion Week Fall 2020 online schedule

Shanghai Fashion Week Fall 2020 online schedule  Courtesy Photo

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