3 Things Every Business Can Learn From New York Fashion Week

There is much more to New York Fashion Week than meets the eye. Delightfully entangled in the endless array of designer shows, buzzy parties and celebrity sightings are nuggets of wisdom for fashion firms across the world. Sure, there’s the usual “what’s hot and what’s not” rigmarole, but there are also lots of helpful tips for businesses and entrepreneurs outside of the common chatter on product trends.

Here are three things businesses can learn from NYFW.

Manage Celebrity Endorsements Wisely, Tides Will Turn

After three arguably successful — and if nothing else, crowd-pleasing — NYFW week showings, this year’s Kanye West Yeezy Season 4 show was met with a barrage of criticism and even outrage. Headlines — referencing scorching heat, fainting models and unimaginative fashion — dogged the hip-hop artist and designer last week, solidifying the fickle nature of fan adoration in the world of fashion.

There a variety of reasons fashion influencers and editors believe the show fell flat — among them, the off-the-beaten-path locale (Roosevelt Island’s new Four Freedoms Park), which made attendees sit through a 30-minute-plus bus ride.

Still, fashion industry crowds are tough to please, and consumers at-large can she shifty in their preferences from season to season.

While there is a good chance West will recover from a disappointing fashion-week showing, his experience sheds light on the importance of limiting the amount a stake a company places in a particular celebrity, fashion line or show.

Why You Need to Think Outside of the Box

Some might say the goal of NYFW is to delight, inspire and confuse audiences with over-the-top styles and crazy looks. And that’s probably true.

Ahead of their fashion-week showings, it seems designers are double dared — no, double-dog dared — to come up with their most outrageous designs ever.

And, while some of it is simply about fanfare and headlines, there is something reinvigorating about being forced to think outside of the box. This year, Hood By Air’s Shayne Oliver used an edgy NYFW show to prove that he is one of the industry’s most fascinating disrupters. Meanwhile, designer Chloe Gosselin channeled Las Vegas showgirl vibes by staging a lineup of models behind a velvet-curtained wall, showing only their crisscrossed legs and feet perched on mirrored cubes.

Chloe Gosselin Spring 2017 Collection
Chloe Gosselin’s spring ’17 presentation.

In the world of fashion, the honors belong to those who push the envelope, and perhaps the same could be said of any kind of business.

Another Way Social Media Is Changing the Game

The new culture birthed by social media is taking the fashion industry by storm.

For example, any editor working the fashion-week red carpets can tell you: Celebrities are mixing high-end with moderate- to-low-priced fashions more than ever before. The reason: In order to maintain relevance on social media, celebrities are making fashion choices to please fans who scour social media in search of trends they can replicate. Gone are the days when fans want to admire celebrities and their style choices from a distance — now, it’s all about accessibility.

If a celebrity is outfitted in a luxury brand from head to toe, many social media users may become disinterested because they can’t get their hands on similar merchandise. In order to stay relevant, some celebrities are ditching super high-end labels in favor of more affordable brands that they can endorse on their Instagram or Snapchat accounts, which gives them something in common with their fans.

The lesson here: Social media can have a major impact on your business, so take it seriously.


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