New York Fashion Week (NYFW) combines two of my favorite sports: fashion and social media. I imagine Fashion Week conjures the same feeling for me as the first week of NFL football does for an adoring fan. I gush for hours about my favorite teams (Lanvin, Proenza, Zoe), discuss the players like we’re old yoga pals (“Diane, all that glitters is NOT gold.” “Oh, she’s just being Coco.” ) and stay up late playing out fantasy games—what would happen if Jenna Lyons jumped the good ship J. Crew for Alexander McQueen??
So when I got a whiff of NYFW 2013 plans, I did my little touchdown dance (Watch out Ochocinco). NYFW on Pinterest? Channukah came early this year, friends. In the prophetic words of the Devil Wears Prada’s Nigel, Stanley Tucci, “Give me a full ballerina skirt with a hint of saloon and I’m on board!”
Now we’re officially two days into this year’s shows and I’m decidedly underwhelmend. Like fall’s namesake trend, the crop top, I’m left wondering—is this navel-grazing stunt a social media winner or just another barely-there fashion ruse?
As a fashion writer (full disclosure: I also write for Refinery29), I get it. No matter how many looks designers send down the runways this season, the only trend that never goes out of style is NYFW’s legacy of exclusivity. Couture for the masses is a great idea in theory, but how many of the masses can cough up $4,000 for a studded Balmain moto jacket? Precisely. As long as A-listers, socialites, and fashion elite (for argument’s sake, let’s include celebrated bloggers like Leandra from Man Repeller and Scott Schuman from Sartorialist here) jockey for front-row show tickets, social media will always be a few rows behind (Extra: Brand Channel wrote an enlightened piece about social media & fashion week). With NYFW’s Pinterest deal, we get a peak of the good stuff—that’s all well and fair—but it’s still on our own terms. No grand swag bags or double-cheek air kisses here.
Mashable’s Rachel Arthur wrote a great piece about livestreaming NYFW and ROI. With data mining and customer engagement road blocks—does livestreaming shows fetch a substantial ROI? Arthur concludes fashion week should be business first. As a strategist I echo the same sentiment with NYFW on Pinterest—what’s the point? What sort of return do you see from users on Pinterest? If it’s data collection, data mining, or accessible e-commerce customer entry points, you’re out of luck.
In my perfect NYFW fantasy world, I would trade the static Pinterest playbook for a one-stop micro-site. I’d rig up a user experience driven by top-notch content—how-to tutorials, behind-the-scenes access, Casey Neistat-style Day in the Life raw Vines and Instagram videos. More is always more and I’d build in an unparalleled e-commerce plug in, tracking user cookies and suggesting unique, fresh off the runway looks for each visitor.
Maybe next year, NYFW? Maybe next year.