7 Things We Learnt from New York Fashion Week
After over 100 runway shows and 100,000 attendees, New York Fashion Week 2018 is drawing to a close. Despite the absence of many of the usual designers showcasing their work on the catwalk, there was still much to be celebrated and discussed in the wake of one of the biggest events in the fashion calendar. Seventy7 have a longstanding history of working side by side with fashion's biggest players, so naturally we're invested in the innovations on show every year.
1. New Balance used AI to find unfashionable people
Sportswear giant New Balance set up cameras on the streets of New York to spot people whose fashion style was considered to be an ‘exception’, and then reward them by presenting them with an on-the-spot pair of free New Balance trainers. The cameras used artificial intelligence and were trained to scan people as they walked by. The technology was able to identify what clothes people were wearing, and whether or not they were the latest fashion trends. The process was called "real time exception spotting" and was part of a marketing campaign called "Be The Exception". The aim of the campaign was to celebrate those who looked different to the norm.
2. Stella Artois encouraged people to put their phones away
In the run up to fashion week, Stella Artois released a playful 47-second satirical video to encourage those attending the shows to put their phones away. The video was part of the beer brand’s ‘Joie de Bière’ recent campaign which highlights how life can be enjoyed so much more when you savour the moment. It featured a fictional runway collection of garments created with innovative ‘Haute Pockets’ for people to store their phones away in order to be more present in reality. Whilst the video took aim at those at fashion week, Stella Artois’ message is no more relevant than now with Scroll-free September in full swing and rising concerns about how long young people are spending on their phones. The irony that this advertorial was reaching those young people on those very phones wasn't lost on us, however.
3. Alexander Wang was noticeably absent from the runway
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises at this year’s fashion week was the absence of Alexander Wang. Wang decided not to partake in the shows as they didn’t align with his brand’s release schedule. Instead, Wang will present his work in New York in June and December as it will be closer to the actual release dates of his collections. This new system has been implemented to give customers “more relevant and consistent merchandise throughout the year.” This is yet another example of the designer experimenting with his brand’s image. Wang’s brand’s recent shows have drawn criticism for their derelict and unconventional locations. We eagerly await the effect this disruption to traditional scheduling might have on the fashion retail landscape.
4. The Council of Fashion Designers of America used vacant storefronts and geo-targeted mobile ads to advertise for NYFW
The CFDA released a new campaign to promote NYFW by installing geo-targeted mobile ads set up in vacant shop windows. The storefronts were converted to billboard-like advertisements using technology that detects if someone walking by looks at the ad, their gender and if the ad leaves then happy, confused or uninterested. These digital ads, named “VisuWall” ads, are set to remain for a month in New York and make a change from NYFW’s traditional advertising methods.
5. Visa unveiled contactless “Vending Machines” featuring limited-edition items from your favourite designers
Visa was named the official payment technology partner of NYFW, and lieu of this, the company ran contactless “vending machines,” which contained limited-edition items from the following designers: Rebecca Minkoff, Vanessa Arizaga and Neely & Chloe. The proceeds from these “vending machines” were put towards Women’s World Banking, a non-profit organisation supporting low-income women entrepreneurs.
6. Model diversity has improved but NYFW still has a long way to go
2018 was a big year for New York Fashion Week in terms of diversity. There was an increase, albeit miniscule, in plus-size models and transgender models. There were also more racially diverse models walking the runway, with four of the top eleven models who appeared in the most shows being of colour. Perhaps the most astonishing model to grace the catwalk was Marian Avila, a 21 year old model from Spain with Down’s Syndrome. Marian has become the third model to walk the runway with Down’s Syndrome.
7. The launch of the A.Human is encouraging people to change their body instead of their clothes
New York Fashion Week 2018 had a large ensemble of weird and wonderful shows, but perhaps none more so than emerging brand A.Human’s body modification exhibition. Founded by Simon Huck as “a progressive new fashion brand,” and endorsed by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigan, the sci-fi collection drew a lot of attention in the last week. Huck spoke about his collection by stating, “The ethos here is if you could change your body as quick as you change your clothing, would you?” The futuristic immersive experience featured real life models adorned in nature-inspired and animalistic body modifications that bordered between gory and fascinating.
What were the standout moments of New York Fashion Week 2018 for you?