The virtual world took center stage this season, as designers embraced technology and brought some glitz to cyberspace. Versace launched its own Facebook and Twitter accounts just in time for Milan Fashion Week. Visitors were able to view the Versace runway show live and the Versus debut presentation while getting minute-to-minute updates about Versace events via Twitter. “Just arriving at our show: Roger Federer & wife Mirka, Anna Wintour, Mario Testino, & Alessia Marcuzzi” was one of Donatella Versace’s missives.
This story first appeared in the November 9, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
At Dolce & Gabbana’s runway show, a video called “Pre Show Diaries” was aired on large screens and online at dolcegabbana.com, offering glimpses of the designers at work on the spring collection. The Italian label followed this by streaming its runway show via the Dolce & Gabbana Channel, which generated 16 million hits.
Emporio Armani successfully followed suit and beamed its show around the globe on its Web site, emporioarmani.com.
In Paris, Louis Vuitton, which launched a Facebook page in July, streamed its spring runway show live on the site. “A fashion show usually gets 1,000 happy few invited. This time, we sent over 700,000 invitations!” marveled Antoine Arnault, communication director for Louis Vuitton. “Live comments were incredibly positive (‘I feel like I’m a VIP,’ ‘I love being front row!’), and we increased our ‘fan base’ by 30 percent in a few days.”
Alexander McQueen, meanwhile, also marched the digital route, collaborating with Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio.com. McQueen beamed his otherworldly collection via the Web site alexandermcqueen.com. Leading up to the show, McQueen kept his Twitter followers abreast of preparations: “One day to go…back-to-back fittings…dragging my sorry arse through the bush!”