Wearable technology is taking the fashion industry by storm as designers like Ralph Lauren, Rebecca Minkoff and Tory Burch are leading their brands into the fast-evolving world of technology. Wearable technology started with products like Apple’s iWatch and Google Glass, and the trend has quickly, and perhaps unexpectedly, converged with the fashion world. Many high-end brands have added “smart accessories” to their collections, a move that seems to be leading the industry in a new direction. This season’s month-long series of Fashion Week shows has shown that attention was as much on the clothes as it was on the wearable accessories that were unveiled on the catwalk. Fashion designers have clearly taken smart accessories seriously as something that is not only fashionable and functional, but also revolutionary.
Ralph Lauren launched a line of biometric smart shirts for athletes that enable the wearer to track his or her breathing, heart rate, and number of steps through the silver-coated thread lining. Rebecca Minkoff has set the trend of attractive yet functional accessories with the release of a leather bracelet that also serves as a USB cable to charge your phone. Minkoff also debuted a gold chain-link studded bracelet that notifies the wearer of texts and calls via Bluetooth pairing with his/her phone. Tory Burch has partnered with Fitbit to release a line of accessories that are compatible with the Fitbit fitness tracking device.
In addition to these designers, high-end retailer Barneys New York has announced its collaboration with Opening Ceremony to launch a collection of smart bracelets in the near future. Nike has also released new editions of the Nike Fuel Band, a black rubber bracelet that consumers can choose to adorn with a pure gold, silver, or rose gold clasp.
Technology is becoming more and more embedded in all spheres of our lives, and fashion brands are no exception. Designers are continually adapting their collections to the ever-growing demand for technology. Brands have employed various public relations approaches in order to announce the release of smart accessories, whether via invitation, such as Apple’s release of the iWatch, a reveal on the catwalk, or a press release to inform the public of what’s to come. Although the wearable technology trend has infiltrated high-end fashion brands, it will be ever-exciting to see what other smart accessories designers are preparing in their collections, as well as how public relations teams will navigate the future of fashion and tech.
Written by Shannon Toobi
For many students, internships can be slow and tedious. When there aren’t any projects to work on, interns are usually asked to organize, file, or run errands. It may seem like a bore sometimes, but at every internship, especially ones in public relations, there are always ways to maximize your experience. Here are some ways to make sure you are getting the most out of your internship:
1. Sit down with your supervisor on your first day of work. This will help you out in the long run because your boss can outline what you should be doing on a daily basis. Sitting down with your supervisors allows you to get to know them better and it will make you more comfortable asking for assistance or advice. Finally, when you have this initial conversation, you can tell your boss what you want to accomplish during your internship. This way, he or she will know what kinds of projects you are interested in. I’ve found that this is the most important part of an internship because your supervisor is who you are working with for the duration of your time at the company, so it is important to understand your responsibilities and establish a healthy relationship.
2. Try and get to know other people in your department. Connections are everything, and setting up informational interviews with the people who work with you is key. Everyone loves to talk about themselves, so ask some coworkers out for coffee. In an informational interview, you can ask how people got to where they are today, how they like their job, and what advice they might have for you. If you have a strong connection with a coworker, you can contact them for any future opportunities. Besides, you get to know the people you are working with!
3. Always ask if there is anything else your supervisor wants you to work on. If you have a lull in work, there is probably something else you can be doing. Just ask your supervisor! Sometimes it can be intimidating if your boss is busy, but they love when interns take initiative. Asking for more work makes you stand out because it shows you are motivated, hardworking, and not afraid to take on more responsibility.
4. Lastly, ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS. I know that sometimes this can seem a bit redundant, but it couldn’t be truer. If you want to maximize your experience at any public relations internship, you need to ask questions. Supervisors know that you are there to learn, and what better way than to observe and clarify? If you are unsure about anything or want to know more about something, just ask. Your coworkers will love you for it!
Wondering what qualities make the perfect post? Last week, I was lucky enough to attend Inbound, Hubspot’s annual marketing conference, and all the speakers taught me the best tactics for social media success.
First, find people who love your brand and love them back – this is how you make someone advocate for you.
In order to be successful, your content needs to:
- Be valuable: provide information, assistance, entertainment or analysis.
- Be one of a kind: think of what your company can offer that no one else can.
- Be warm and personable: make them believe you are a friend.
Specific tactics you can use:
- Be brief: use an active voice, and bulleted and numbered lists to make it easier to read.
- Add visuals: every single post should have a picture or video – you’ll get 75% more traction and be pinned more often.
- Embrace hashtags: on Facebook and Twitter use one or two. On Instagram, you can use as many as you want, but separate them into comments.
- Schedule and spread out: use Tweetdeck, Buffer, or Sprout Social.
- Use advantageous timing: retweets spike everyday around 4-5PM.
- Link placement: when you are adding a link, place it 25% of the way through the text for maximum click rate.
There are certain habits brands have to change now, and into the future. Brands need to stop intruding in issues where they don’t belong (learn from Digiorno pizza!). They need to learn that intrusive, interruptive and self-centered marketing no longer works. Finally, brands need to learn that they will ultimately need to lose all control and embrace social media. Need to prove social media is valuable? Try it out, test response, and track public opinion. That’ll show ‘em.
Paris Fashion Week wrapped up last Tuesday, marking the end of the Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week season. Over the past four weeks some pretty wild things happened in New York, London, and Paris: Miley Cyrus displayed her curated collection of neon arts and crafts during Jeremy Scott’s show, and Opening Ceremony staged a play written by Spike Jonze and Jonah Hill. North West, arguably the world’s most famous baby, sat front row at Givenchy in Paris and, of course, we (once again)witnessed Betsey Johnson’s infamous cartwheel finale. But the most innovative and exciting thing we saw over the Fashion Week season was the industry’s embracement of e-commerce and social media. With many big-name stores and designers such as Topshop, Burberry, and Rebecca Minkoff going digital, the historically ultra-exclusive Fashion Week experience was democratized and far more people experienced the events via screens than did those actually in attendance. New shoppable social media features, live streaming, and behind-the-scenes footage rebranded Fashion Week season into a digital event in which the masses could participate.
Topshop lived up to its reputation of bringing runway styles to the high street by partnering with Facebook to create “Topshop Unique Live.” The feature streamed the LFW show in real-time and allowed users to shop and customize clothes and accessories as they appeared on the catwalk. Another social media component allowed users to snip and share their favorite looks and moments from the show. Justin Cooke, Topshop’s CMO, commented on the platform saying, “it’s social, it’s commerce, and it’s entertainment all rolled into one.”
Fellow British brand Burberry also participated in the digital push by live-streaming the LFW show both online and in London’s Picadilly Circus. Burberry also teamed up with Twitter for its new “buy now” feature that allowed digitally savvy US shoppers to purchase nail polishes featured in the show.
Stateside, the growing use of technology manifested both in design and in a whole bunch of social media gold. Rebecca Minkoff’s models donned 3D glasses and the designer introduced her new Bluetooth-capable smart bracelets that double as lightning cables for USB connection. Michael Kors connected with fans via #AllAccessKors and #KorsLive, a social media campaign first introduced in Feburary 2014 that allows fashionistas to connect with each other and the brand, and get glimpses of behind-the-scenes footage from the show. It’s no wonder the brand chose to use the #hashtags again. According to the New York Times, Michael Kors was the most-tweeted-about designer of NYFW, followed by Ralph Lauren and Alexander Wang.
With the rise of wearable technology and the growing influence of social media, the question is not if the fashion industry will become increasingly digital, but how it will leverage technology to connect with consumers and in what ways this shift will change Fashion Week, and the industry itself, forever.
Written by Katy Phinick