IMG, owner and producer of New York Fashion Week: The Shows is broadening the event’s scope by partnering with Alibaba Group’s Tmall to stream all its September shows and digital content from NYFW.com to China, beginning the week of Sept. 21.
All NYFW: The Shows content will be shared across Alibaba’s Youku video-streaming platform, Taobao and Tmall e-commerce platforms, which reach a combined audience of nearly 900 million Chinese viewers.
“Alibaba is the perfect partner to introduce American fashion brands to new consumer audiences in China and around the world,” said Jennifer Taylor, vice president, global consulting and business development with IMG’s fashion events and properties group. “Alibaba’s digital technology and e-commerce expertise will give all the designers participating in NYFW: The Shows the opportunity to accelerate their business growth by showcasing their collections to hundreds of millions of fashion consumers.”
This week’s show lineup featured such designers as Jason Wu, Cinq à Sept, Rebecca Minkoff, Jonathan Simkhai, Anna Sui, Alice + Olivia, Tanya Taylor, Christian Siriano, Chromat, Nicole Miller, Bibhu Mohapatra, Veronica Beard, Monse, Badgley Mischka, Collina Strada, Marina Moscone, and Cynthia Rowley, all of whom presented their collections through videos, look books or live shows in front of a small audience.
Taylor said it’s the first time they’ve taken NYFW: The Shows to China, and the collaboration evolved from the work they’ve been doing with Alibaba for the past several years. They began thinking of new ways to help the Chinese consumer make a really meaningful connection with American fashion and retail. She noted that some of the brands are already set up on Tmall with their own individual stores, and it’s up to each individual U.S. brand if they want to set up e-commerce on Tmall.
Asked what kind of response she’s received from their participating designers about a China collaboration, she said, “All of the work the industry has been doing in supporting American designers this season has been very well received.”
Tmall has worked with NYFW: The Shows regularly since 2017 on its multiseason Tmall: initiating China Cool, which brings both leading and emerging Chinese designers to NYFW; hosting consumer-focused, pop-up exhibitions in SoHo, and a dedicated NYFW shopping page on Tmall.
“Through this partnership, we aim to bring the energy and excitement of New York Fashion Week: The Shows to our viewers in China. Iconic and emerging American brands are already seeing great success in China through their flagships on Tmall and we look forward to working with even more American designers to help them expand their global footprint,” said James Lin, Alibaba’s group head of fashion for North America.
Alibaba will stream all the shows at Spring Studios in New York as well as all virtual runway shows, digital look books and video presentations from NYFW: The Shows. It hasn’t been decided yet whether the panel discussions will be translated for a Chinese audience.
Viewers will also have access to special video content produced by IMG, such as interviews with designers and behind-the-scenes footage from the shows. Shoppers in China will be able to click through to participating brands’ flagships on Alibaba’s various marketplace platforms, including Tmall, the largest online B2C marketplace in China. There are no plans for Tmall to show any other fashion capital’s shows at this time.
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