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Technology set fashion free

And made it more accessible to everyone

Technology set fashion free And made it more accessible to everyone
Gucci's snapchat

There was a time when fashion was a far, inaccessible world, a reality similar to a fairy tale rather than a business. Then the situation changed.

The factors which revolutionised the accessibility to fashion shows are numerous, but a decisive role is to find in the new communication technologies. Some people have welcomed this change and some other have prefered to turn up their nose at this new accessibility, regretting old, austere times. What is certain is that the way collections are presented involves the audience more and more.

How and why have we reached this point? In 2010 London fashion week was the first to allow the streaming of its shows. Since then a sequence of media events, technological innovations and viral advertisements to involve the public in the shows began. 

There is the case of JW Anderson men's collection FW16 streamed on Grindr and Gucci that launched its collection exclusively on SnapchatTom Ford's choice to show his womenswear collection through a videoclip starring Lady Gaga or Givenchy's New York show open to the public upon online reservation. 

Gucci's snapchat

The last case doesn't concern technological innovations, but marks a turning point anyway: is fashion getting democratic? My answer is yes. Retracing the steps that took us here, it seems clear that fashion shows are now just a click away. Anyone can see the latest Valentino's show sitting comfortably on the sofa of his home.

Also the brands benefit from this phenomenon: considering that the organisation of a fashion show costs no less than 400 thousand euros, the introduction of new social applications amortises the prices earning in visibility and free advertising. So, brands are constantly looking for marketing strategies more and more viral and innovative.

Not only the fruition of the show has changed, but also the idea the public has about it. As I said at the beginning, fashion has overthrown the barrier between itself and its public, becoming a more accessible reality. Its mystery and exclusivity are just a distant memory: the wait to see the new collection corresponds now to the time to upload the streaming. But, above all, we are there, we are present at the show, even if only virtually.

Everyone seems to gain from this situation: brands which increase their visibility and the public which can watch fashion shows live and have the feeling to be part of the front row.

However, the price to pay to obtain these advantages is high, for example the frenetic pace of fashion shows and the risk of the excesses to produce spectacular presentations, making them look tasteless. In fact, there is a minority that goes against trends and would like to go back to the good old habits. This is not about snobbery, but selection: they wish to close the doors again to make shows more intimate, for few experts only. 

So, is a radical change possible? I don't think so. We have become so used to an instant, accessible fashion that the idea to go back to exclusivity seems crazy. And maybe it is for the best, because fashion is a social, popular phenomenon so why should we restrict it to a selection of few people?