First-ever, livestream-only Digital Fashion Week could democratize fashion
May 22, 2012 by Terence LEE
This October, Singapore will play host to the first-ever Digital Fashion Week (DFW), a fashion show that sets itself apart by being livestream-only — a first in fashion history, touts the organizers.
This means that you won’t see any front row VIPs scrutinizing the models up close. Yes, no Anna Wintour-type tastemakers or wealthy celebrities.
In addition, this fashion week will let live viewers pre-order their favorite looks immediately after they spot it on the runway, and have it delivered to their doorstep within weeks. The show will feature the Spring/Summer 2013 collections from Singapore’s distinguished designers, as well as an unannounced guest designer.
DFW is a company set up by Keyis Ng and Charina Widjaja, and both used to work under Singapore celebrity singer Dick Lee in the advertising industry. Keyis also runs STORM Creative Events Agency, a public relations company.
In addition to the live coverage of the show and the backstage buzz, DFW will interview designers, models, hair and makeup artists, as well as performers from fringe events, feature live commentaries by key fashion figures and pre-show performances by international artistes.
Fashionistas can also download a mobile app to check out the livestreams, videos, photos, and even shop for items.
Fashion designers will be able to receive immediate feedback, both good and bad, from viewers. Pre-orders made by customers will give fashion entrepreneurs quick market insights about the pieces that sell.
In conjunction with the fashion show, an online B2B platform called DFW Digital Showroom will also be launched. Designers will be able to display lookbook images and pre-recorded videos on the platform, which is targeted at the press, buyers, and retailers.
Keyis is aiming for seven million viewers for this inaugural show, and he plans to announce DFW for other major cities soon. This is not the first time he has live streamed a fashion event.
His previous project, Fashforward.com, gave users virtual front-row seats to traditional fashion events. In May 2011, he and his team garnered some 500,000 visitors from 90 countries within a week.
“We aim to harness technology and creativity to promote home-grown designers in each city to the global audiences by capitalizing on the hype generated from the fashion shows. The buzz created will then be directly converted into sales and sync the fashion communication cycle with its retail cycle,” he says.
While there’s no telling how DFW will perform — so much depends on execution — an event like this is a refreshing take on an elitist industry that is dependent on upper echelon tastemakers to set the tone for an entire season.
For example, critically acclaimed documentary The September Issue shows that a single woman, Anna Wintour, who is the authoritative editor-in-chief of American Vogue, can singlehandedly decide what will be trendy in a US$300B global industry. Young designers anointed by Anna are put on a fast track to success.
However, ground-up initiatives like the DFW turn the industry upside down by giving independent designers more visibility, and letting ordinary consumers be the tastemakers for once.
Is seven million viewers an attainable goal? Maybe not. But props to them for aiming high.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE