When British fashion designer Henry Holland showed off his Spring / Summer 2016 looks this weekend at London Fashion Week, the show became an interactive experience for a few lucky VIPs. The designer crafted and distributed 10 NFC enabled rings. The rings were handmade to look like insects, matching the “Urban Safari” theme of collection and were preloaded with £500. Three of the models walked the runway with a special leaf-shaped brooch, which was a NFC receiver. After the show, the VIPs could walk up to one of the 3 different looks, hold their ring next to the model’s brooch, and purchase the look. They were then able to walk out the door with their purchase.
According to an interview with The Telegraph, Holland stated, “A really big thing for me was making the tech invisible, especially if I’m incorporating it into something as important as my show. From my point of view it was really about creating two items – the ring and the brooch – that were really desirable pieces that people would want to wear themselves, but just happened to have those capabilities.”
This year, increasing customer engagement at Fashion Week events has become a predominate theme. Social media is being used more and more as a tool by designers to engage a global audience, granting them instant access to see the newest looks. Holland has been pushing things even further; he also wants to allow people to immediately own the new looks instead of having to wait 6 months. While only 10 people had this ability during his SS16 show, at House Of Holland’s menswear show last spring, the entire collection was made available for purchase immediately. Earlier this year we posed the question of where Fashion Week events were headed – pushing towards consumer or towards trade. As New York and London Fashion Weeks wrap, it seems the momentum is clearly towards a consumer focus.