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Google Makes Major Investment in Fashion Week Coverage With Help From Kate Lanphear

Brands will post images and text directly to Google throughout the upcoming fashion weeks.
Google "fashion week" and you'll see something like this. Screengrab: Google

Google "fashion week" and you'll see something like this. Screengrab: Google

Could Google become your main resource for Fashion Week updates? It certainly wants to, it seems.

On Thursday, the company announced a new, specially designed and curated fashion week search carousel and, according to the New York Times and WWD, it was produced in consultation with none other than former Maxim editor Kate Lanphear. (WWD also reports that she joined Editorialist as a contributing editor in August, so now we have a better idea of what she's been up to since leaving the men's magazine back in October.) 

Throughout the month, Google users searching for designers and fashion weeks on mobile or desktop will encounter a box at the top of the search page filled with sliding entries. The posts contain embedded videos and images, custom text, or can lead to other sites' content. It's a way for designers and brands to speak directly to users, without them necessarily having to go to another website (or a social media platform). 

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The fashion week carousel will have images from the runway, backstage and the front row (provided by BFA and firstVIEW), video, social media posts and a calendar of events; in addition, invited brands — who don't pay to participate, according to the Times — can create their own posts in Google. Google is also tapping into the see-now-buy-now trend with a shopping feature, through which people can shop runway looks by participating brands. Lanphear has enlisted over 50 brands to take part, reports the Times, including Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Christopher Kane, Prada and Hermès. Burberry, which partnered with Google on an in-store interactive video experience in November, is also on board. The product will evolve and expand throughout the upcoming fashion weeks.

Google describes the special search function as the “ticket” to fashion week, a digital front row view that most consumers use social media to access. "Ms. Lanphear is Google’s answer to Ms. [Eva] Chen," writes the Times. (Chen is Instagram's head of fashion partnerships.) With Google Search's ability to mix different types of media, there's certainly potential to invade Instagram's fashion coverage turf.

Homepage photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

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