Fashion designers go digital to reach broadest audience

Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:29am EST
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hundreds of fashion designers are showing their fall and winter 2013 collections at New York Fashion Week, but not all of them are on the runway.

The semi-annual event, which is followed by fashion weeks in London, Paris and Milan, includes up to 500 fashion shows around New York and attracts about 232,000 people, from buyers to foreign press and wealthy customers.

Top name designers at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, which runs at Manhattan's Lincoln Center through February 14, have been streaming their runway shows online for the past three or four years.

Now, many lesser-known names, up-and coming-fashion stars and established designers who want to reach a wider, younger audience are going digital.

"This season it is really prevalent," said Stacy Roman of the New York fashion and publicity firm Factory PR. "There has definitely been an increase in this type of platform."

In addition to reaching a wider audience, going digital lets designers give fashionistas a behind-the-scenes look at the show and presentations, taking them backstage and through make-up and even fittings.

It is also far less expensive than staging a runway show, which can run upwards of $100,000 depending on the venue, models, makeup artists, stylists and disc jockeys for the show.


(L-R) Easy Denim paired with a Graphic Knit Top and Reversible Overcoat accented with Bold Black Diamond Jewelry by Kelly Wearstler, Opulent Green Blue Textured Gown by Rachel Roy, and Silk and Hand Beaded Kaftan by Radhika Perera-Hernandez for Lois London. REUTERS/Handout/Combination