Fashion Week for Consumers: “Give Them Something They Can Buy” | Day 5
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At 2:15pm I threw on stilettos and sprinted out of my office for Lincoln Center, praying no train delays would thwart the good fortune (or is it guile?) that gave me a 2:30pm date with CZAR, the urban and graffiti inspired Spring 2014 collection of Project Runway contestant, Cesar Galindo.
The entire experience gave that distinct sense of exclusivity that’s become signature of Fashion Week–stepping through layer after layer of security, sipping complementary cocktails tinged with Sweet N Low, snapping street style photos with fashion bloggers.
But this wasn’t quite Fashion Week of yore. Stationed quietly on the arcade among the blow dry bars and Mercedes Benz display was a booth for eBay Now. eBay Now is a local delivery service that, for a $5 fee, promises if you shop at one of their participating stores, they can get your purchase to you via courier within an hour (guaranteed within 4). #VeryCool. But does eBay Now have to do with Fashion Week? Nothing right now, besides the thoughtful distribution of Fashion Week Survival Kits (nail polish, earbuds, bandaids for shoe blisters, protein bars, etc). It turns out, though, it may have everything to do with the customer-centric focus Fashion Week is heading towards in the future.
Earlier this week, I caught the Alexander Wang runway show on livestream. Completely inspired by unabashedly minimalist ’90s style, I hopped over to www.barneys.com to see if there were any seasons-old pieces available in my price range. Sure enough, there was. And just like that I had a Fashion Week souvenir (and new outfit ready for Corra’s pre-WWD event next week). Unfortunately though I have to wait until Monday for it to be delivered.
But if it was that easy to get me to make a purchase, why not try to get others, too? I’m thrilled to be able to take home a piece of the glamour of Fashion Week . I’m sure other customers would be too. And if brands have an opportunity to add to the thrill and garner brand loyalty by getting it to me in an hour rather than in days, why not do it?
And that’s probably why eBay Now was there. The truth is, the face of New York Fashion Week is changing. As Tommy Hilfiger (who’s shown his collection for nearly three decades) puts it
“in years past, a fashion show was really for editors and buyers,” Hilfiger says. “We really kept it as as exclusive as possible; [we did] not really want people, the public, [our] competitors to see styles till later on, after the show, or when clothes ended up in stores. It’s a different world today.”
And maybe that’s why eBay Now had a Fashion Week presence. A look into the future. Had my dress been available on the eBay platform I might have gotten my dress in an hour instead of having to wait until next Monday. For now I guess I’ll just ogle product images.