I’m speaking in Las Vegas at the Magic conference, which in this case is the name of the fashion world’s twice-annual event (and not the card game, nor the Penn & Teller kind). I’m going on behalf of my friends at OPENForum by American Express. What’s funniest about this is that I’m the least fashionable person I know. What’s going to be great about this is that I believe in magic.
Social media and social networks and all these online tools that have been my life for over a decade are a wonderful potential tool set for the fashion world. Not sure on that one? Here’s one area.
Months ago, I’d never heard of haul videos, but Mitch Joel and Julien told me about them. Essentially, people (most often teen and 20s-ish girls) go buy things and then shoot YouTube videos showing off their purchases (example, example). It’s really lighting up the memes space on the web.
Fashion is so ephemeral. There are classic “rules,” and then there’s everything else. Are the primaries in? Is it back to pastel? Which previous decade’s bad fashion are we reimagining next? Using social tools to source new fashion trends as they happen. Use collaborative crowd-sourced experiences to see quickly what’s going to capture attention and what’s going to glance off the modern buyer without a glimpse.
On the other side (say, to textile creators) social tools are a very inexpensive way to extend out your presence, to get more attention before, during, and after you’ve found potential buyers, and so this becomes a way to be picked up as a source to buyers, once you’ve connected with them in the online space.
Ultimately, social media tools do two things really well: speed up business, and humanize business (when executed properly and consistently, at least). What I’ll tell them at Magic, on behalf of OPENForum, is that business velocity and human business are two traits that the fashion business world needs to work on to shift into this new mode of business, especially in the current economic conditions. The message is simple: it costs less in dollars, more in time, and it’s a little slower in duration, but the results and potential loyalty and sustainability of business earned through social experiences offsets the downsides.
And between you and me, what I’m most wondering is, what am I going to wear? These are the fashion elite. I just rediscovered Levi’s jeans and Jack Purcell Converse. I mean, yikes. ; )
I write for weekly American Express OPENForum. Swing by, if you’re a small business type.