Last week, fashion PR power house KCD listed a digital coordinator job on our careers page and we thought, 'Hmm...is KCD beefing up their digital side?' Indeed they are--and the ground-breaking fashion show platform they're launching might revolutionize the way fashion is seen (or at least make our lives easier).
The company, who were quick to embrace digital (a rarity in the digi-phobic fashion industry), are introducing Digital Fashion Shows, a platform to deliver online-only fashion shows to buyers and members of the press, which will launch during New York Fashion Week with Prabal Gurung's inaugural lCB collection for Onward Kashiyama on Febuary 15. It's an ambitious project and offers way more than just a show livestream.
The shows will be pre-taped, then scheduled to air online at a specific time (though we can watch them any time after), viewable via computer, iPad, or iPhone, to anyone with a username and password. They're also embeddable, so we can show them to you, too. And to make our lives even easier, run of show information appears alongside each look and you can select favorites, type notes and view front, back and detail shots. They also provide a video in which the designer discusses inspiration, a bio, credit information, beauty details, images and transcripts.
It solves just about every fashion week dilemma we've ever encountered--from conflicting show times, to getting a bad seat, to not being able to get images to show you guys. No, this won't have the same feel as a real fashion show, but it's only meant to be an additional service to the industry, not a replacement for the longstanding runway show format.
We reached out to KCD about the new initiative and co-president Ed Filipowski was nice enough to answer our questions:
How long has this been in the works? This has been in development for six months with a substantial investment from our agency. Will videos of your traditional live runway shows ever be put on the site? Either as a livestream or after the show? This platform has been designed to host online-only fashion shows created exclusively for press and buyers. That is the beauty of it. Is it meant to be more cost-effective than a live runway show? It can be, depending on the production level of the pre-taped show. How many shows will be on it other than Prabal's ICB collection? The platform will launch exclusively with ICB, a new collection by Prabal Gurung, during NYFW. Our intention is to have multiple shows within the year.
Could this be the way of the future? With the growing problem of scheduling conflicts--a problem that can only get worse as fashion week gets bigger--online fashion shows are a viable alternative to live runway shows and presentations. The fashion industry can be slow to adapt to change, but it's only a matter of time before that change becomes necessary. And with a PR company as powerful as KCD embracing it--even if they are starting small--the rest of the industry can't be too far behind.