At New York Fashion Week last February, designer Rebecca Minkoff installed a large screen at the end of the runway, which displayed any and all tweets using the dedicated hashtag #RMFall. It was a fun, friendly idea — fans could interact with the brand, and showgoers might have something to talk about while they waited for the models and clothes.
But when a group of Twitter pranksters (many of the same people who successfully campaigned to send Pitbull to a Walmart in Alaska) realized they could post whatever they wanted and mess with a captive audience that included fashion editors and celebrities, the screen was quickly filled with absurdist tweets and the internet-famous photo known as "piggy poop balls."
It probably wasn't what the designer's PR team had planned, but it was at least newsworthy, and kind of hilarious in the midst of a week sometimes shrouded in seriousness.
Seven months later, Rebecca Minkoff is not shunning potentially lewd social media — instead, the brand is embracing a social network known for being lewd: Snapchat.
A few days ago, Minkoff announced that if you added the label on Snapchat, you could receive photos of runway looks before they hit the runway.
In an interview with Mashable, Minkoff's CEO said the stunt was, again, about connecting to the customer through social media: "We believe the consumer is part of [fashion week], and that their inclusion is going to grow. The consumer has a voice and say in [our] brand, they should get special perks even if they can't attend the show."
Unfortunately, I never received my Snapchat after adding Minkoff as a friend this morning, though it appears others did:
I sent them a snap this morning, which was successfully delivered, but has not yet been opened. So while the brand is interacting with fans, it appears to be a one-way street for now — I guess they learned that the hard way last season. I reached out to ask the company about the whole initiative (and about my sadly missing snap!), but haven't heard back yet.
At the show itself on Friday afternoon, there was little talk of Snapchat. The focus, instead, was on the live performance by Janelle Monae, and the bright, fun, totally wearable clothes on the runway — both of which iPhone-wielding show attendees gladly Instagrammed.