By Mia Lazzarini
The world of fashion is expected to be forward, innovative, creative, groundbreaking. It is a business, a creative-oriented industry. Yet they have been left behind in the digital revolution, dawdling behind other industries that have jumped on the cyber bandwagon. It’s time for them to catch up.
The undeniable sluggishness of the fashion industry has set them back; their influence waning with every day that they snub joining the digital era. And so the rise of the blogger began. Generation Y, also termed the ‘Facebook Generation’ and ‘Net Generation’, turned to a type of fashion elite that were different; learned in the art of modern technology. The modern fashion blogger is personal, lacking brand sponsors (at least initially), enabling them to proclaim their personal preferences. Fashion bloggers have arguably risen to the guise of trendsetters and opinion leaders. This is what the traditional fashion industry is now set to compete with. And to successfully compete with such a group, the fashion industry needs to develop and change.
The fashion industry has attempted to reproduce itself digitally, but this is not enough. It needs to evolve into digital form. Magazines must start distributing digitally; fashion journalists’ must accept bloggers as a new type of writer; and brands need to use the technologies at their fingertips. So far, leading fashion brands have limited themselves to online stores and video footage of their seasonal shows. Basic, outdated, boring stuff really. This is expected of them, and we need more.
We need them to get creative, to get imaginative. We need them to get technical.
French Connection Australia is embracing the technological era, demonstrated by the video on the online store, showcasing the various items you are currently viewing. Simple, but brilliant. French Connection UK have also started the embrace, beginning their own blog which is linked to the main FCUK website. London Fashion Week 2012 saw an unprecedented digital presence, with the catwalk shows being streamed live, in conjunction with live interviews and shoots. Designer brands have also started introducing live online sales direct from the runways, creating high consumer interaction with the brand.
It is inevitable that the fashion industry will be forced to go digital. Yet, they still have a choice, a choice in how they do this. The digital fashion industry could remain limited as it largely is now, being a mere digital replica of its normative form… or it could choose to evolve and become something magnificent. It could choose to take advantage of the technology available, to take advantage of those that are tech-savvy and create something amazing. It could choose to avoid being left behind.