They came, they saw, they hashtagged.
The annual Fashion 2.0 Awards (basically the Oscars of fashion social media) celebrates the most popular brand stars on the Web–all of whom congregated at SVA Theatre last night. Now in its fourth year, the award show presents accolades to fashion brands and their social media channels including Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, among others, voted by the general public.
“It literally began at a bar four years ago during a storm,” the evening’s organizer, Founder and CEO of Style Coalition Yuli Ziv said. “And now we’ve expanded so much and have this auditorium to show at.”
Hosted by stylist Robert Verdi, the keynote address came from Barneys’s own Simon Doonan who poked fun at social media as a whole.
“Firstly, let’s talk about dog shit–no really,” he said. “Because yes, because of social media, many people are walking down the street in a distracted fashion and as a result they are treading in dog poop. This is a good thing–a very good thing. Why? Because it makes me laugh. It’s also good for shoe sales at Barneys.”
Jokes aside, the big winners of the night were Marc Jacobs and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The former won two awards: Best Facebook and Top Innovator, while the luxury retail chain took home Best Blog by a Fashion Brand and Best Website.
“We don’t feel like an exclusive brand should be so exclusive where it excludes people,” said Daniel Plenge who heads Marc Jacobs’s social media efforts alongside Reese Pozgay.
“We want to thank our fans not only for purchasing but for posting and being personal,” Pozgay added. “We want to make it personal and not so corporate.”
Has Jacobs himself commented or disapproved any content online?
“Without getting too explicit, he has expressed his feelings on what he says and we take that into account, and we learn from that and we move forward.”
Winner of Best Twitter for her fourth year was Aliza Licht, VP of global communications at DKNY and the face behind the handle DKNY PR Girl.
“Thank you for tweeting with me, sometimes 60 times in a day,” Licht said onstage after winning the award.
“I’m really passionate about Twitter specifically,” she said to us after the award show concluded. “It’s my most favorite platform to be on. I didn’t expect to win but it feels so good to.”
Licht says the secret to growing a brand’s Twitter is to listen before engaging.
“Find people with common interests and really start listening and asking them questions before pushing your own content,” she advised.
The night’s Visionary Award went to Rent the Runway founders Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss.
“You have to be a little crazy to do this,” Jennifer Hyman said while receiving her award onstage. Her biggest advice for start ups and entrepreneurs?
“We always say that ‘no’ doesn’t mean ‘no’–it means ‘no’ for now,” she said. “What that means is that, instead of hearing ‘no,’ listen to the reasons why someone may not want to support you. You have to take feedback… you have to be willing to change. You have to be humble enough to realize that people aren’t always going to be cheerleaders for you. By taking that understanding, you can modify your business and grow and change and make it into the business it’s supposed to be.”
Full list of winners of the 2013 Fashion 2.0 Awards:
Best Twitter: @DKNY
Best Facebook: Marc Jacobs
Best Pinterest (new category): Anthropologie
Best Blog by a Fashion Brand: Saks POV
Best Website: Saks Fifth Avenue
Best Mobile App: Gilt on the Go
Best Online Video: DVF [Through the Glass]
Best Fashion Startup: Of a Kind
Top Innovator: Marc Jacobs