Daily Report: Digital Access to Runway Fashion

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Fashion Week, which wrapped up last week in New York and moved on to London and to Milan this week, used to be an insular industry event. Buyers and editors attended and made calls as to what their customers would want months from now.

But that has changed. Fashion houses in recent years started to sidestep the middleman by giving the public a front-row seat via webcam video. While that was more of a marketing tool at first, live streaming — and other ways to give consumers digital access to runway fashion — is now being seen as a research opportunity, reports Stephanie Clifford of The New York Times.

As more brands offer live videos of the shows, regular viewers see exactly what the buyers and editors are seeing, and influence what will be made by pausing on an outfit or posting Twitter messages about a particular style.

On retail fashion Web sites like Lyst and Moda Operandi, designers are allowed to track consumers’ early orders to gauge demand before they make clothes. And a handful of brands, like Burberry, are allowing regular customers to order runway clothes as the shows are live streamed.

Increasingly, the public is weighing in on fashion — and designers are listening. “It’s creating a commercial opportunity around an event that was previously an industry event,” said Aslaug Magnusdottir, the chief executive of Moda Operandi.

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