“Fashion is my life. It’s my art. It’s what wakes me up in the morning and puts me to bed at night. It’s my happy place.” Rachel Zoe
Rachel Zoe, a girl after my own heart. I love a good dress, a crisp new pair of heels. I love the trends, the colors and the creativeness. All around the world people are celebrating fashion, and more often than not, I find myself not being able to join in. Sadly, I am just a sort of ordinary Joe, or Josephine, you might say. As an ordinary Josephine, I’m not able to attend many of these lavish fashion shows and events. I’ll never be able to meet Oscar de la Renta, and I’m still saving up for my first pair of Jimmy Choo shoes.
The go-to source for Cape Town Fashion Week was African Fashion International. What AFI did was transport its users, myself included, to Cape Town, by incorporating a multitude of digital assets. AFI did an excellent job utilizing digital trends, and here’s why:
What they are doing right
- First and foremost, African Fashion International provided live streaming video coverage online of Cape Town Fashion Week. Through this live streaming coverage, available on their website, AFI was literally able to transport its viewers to Cape Town, immersing them in the South African culture, as well as all aspects of the fashion shows. With the announcement of CNN’s app for iPhone and iPad, live streaming media is a digital communication trend that is becoming more and more prevalent. Personally, I believe this trend will become the wave of the future, especially in the fashion industry. Even though AFI is not at the point of utilizing a live streaming app, they are on their way to taking this step.
- In addition to streaming coverage, AFI was live tweeting, and utilizing a Cape Town Fashion Week hashtag, #CTFW. The tweets were also streaming alongside the home page of AFI’s website. At events like these, utilizing a hashtag is key. By doing so, they were able to engage conversation, highlight participants, endorse their website’s content, promote the fashion shows, as well as provide updates on live coverage, designer recaps and visual representation of each line. On top of live tweeting, they engaged users to utilize their hashtag, allowing for streaming tweets live at the fashion shows, as well as the after-parties. This is a great way to spark interest and conversation with followers, in addition to giving them the opportunity to have a few seconds of fame; who doesn’t want that?
- AFI also did a great job updating their website with new posts each day, including a recap of each designer’s line and vivid pictures. While simultaneously providing video coverage of each fashion line for content on their YouTube channel, AFI also worked to engage their audience on Facebook, providing invites to fashion show after-parties, as well as pictures of the various events. AFI really left no stone unturned, taking advantage of reaching every audience and cross marketing on all their current social media outlets. Their extensive visual presentations, including pictures and streaming video, highlight the Cape Town Fashion Week and allow for viewers to “partake” in the Cape Town Fashion Week experience.
Where do they go from here?
- AFI did a great job utilizing many different aspects of digital communication. However, there are a few outlets where they could have dug a little deeper. One suggestion that I would make to AFI is the addition of live blogging, not just live tweeting. It would be great to get more opinions on the lines and trends at the fashion shows, rather than just reiterating everything that is being presented. Even though I feel that visual presentation is the number one priority in regards to the fashion shows, I also think that people are interested in getting other opinions on predicted trends.
- I would also suggest more integration of videos through their Facebook page; as of now, they have no videos on Facebook. I think the more cross marketing AFI does, the better; even if the videos are on YouTube, they should be on Facebook as well, allowing for double exposure. Another suggestion for video content spans from research I gathered by looking at other fashion week’s digital communication strategies. I noticed that New York Fashion Week’s Facebook provides quite a few videos that are interviews from designers, celebrities, and other onlookers. As a fashion lover, I always enjoy interviews from the designers, models, celebrities or other personalities; this allows me, as a viewer, to see things I wouldn’t normally be able to see, besides the show itself.
- Finally, I would suggest pictures, pictures, pictures. Fashion is all about visual representation. AFI did a good job with photo representation, but I believe that you really can’t have enough pictures, especially in a fashion setting. By utilizing a social media tool, possibly like Flickr, AFI could provide a forum for behind the scene shots, after-party photos and celebrity presence. By adding more photos, AFI would bolster their digital content, and help expand the experience of transporting viewers to Cape Town Fashion Week, as well as brush up on predicted trends.
Overall, African Fashion International did an amazing job transporting myself and other individuals to Cape Town Fashion Week via digital communication. As a fashion lover, these strides in digital presentation are very exciting, and I look forward to seeing what the future has to offer.