Instagram Live Makes Fashion Week Debut
Instagram head of fashion partnerships Eva Chen shares how to win at live video during fashion week, plus which designers are getting it right.
Fashion loves shiny new toys, and Instagram has dutifully followed suit with a spate of rapid-fire launches and updates that keep the fashion crowd snapping and sharing.
The latest is Instagram Live, which will be making its fashion week appearance for the first time this season.
READ ALSO: PRIME: SIX TYPES OF SHOES MEN MUST HAVE
The video-sharing feature became available on Instagram Stories in November, and lets users share live videos up to an hour. Those viewing can add comments and “likes,” and the content disappears after it airs.
“What the audience wants isn’t super produced,” said Instagram head of fashion partnerships Eva Chen. “We find that people like that raw, ‘I am sitting right there’ feeling. I think Instagram Live will be really huge this season.”
Instagram has a tradition of introducing new features before fashion week. It added Instagram Stories, which disappear after 24 hours, before fashion week last August, and the platform got its start before the shows in October 2010. With Stories, Chen said the fashion flock has already reached a comfort level — and many designers and brands have already gotten in the habit of adding in “Live.”
Designer Prabal Gurung, she said, for example, regularly goes live in the evening in the taxi on his way home, answering questions from followers. This sort of consistency, she said, is key to nailing the feature, because it almost conditions the audience to tune in. “the more you go live, the more your audience gets used to you going live and comes to expect it,” she said.
When Facebook, which owns Instagram, added Facebook Live in April last year, company chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg said it was like “having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world. When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way. This is a big shift in how we communicate, and it’s going to create new opportunities for people to come together.”
Chen had a number of tips for how to master sharing live videos, which embraces the “authentic” aspect that social media audiences tend to prefer. Models, for example, share workouts or photoshoot sets, bloggers show their closets and some brands do “first reveals.”
She encouraged those who share at fashion week to go live for at least 10 or more minutes, as the content is only viewable in the moment that it is being shared. She said it takes a few minutes to “hit critical mass” from an audience perspective.
Then, she said, followers really like it when designers or celebrities interact with them by responding to comments that people can leave during the live video.
And a celebrity cameo never hurts — she said fans “freaked out” when Nicole Kidman made a brief appearance recently in Reese Witherspoon’s live video.
For designers, she said, it’s a “no-brainer. You could do a presentation from 2 to 4 p.m. on a Tuesday and from 4 to 4:15 you could do a separate fashion presentation for followers.” She added that the fact that it’s ephemeral means it’s relatively “low-risk” to share casual and relaxed content.
For now, Instagram Stories, which has 100 million daily active users, are becoming “the new standard,” Chen said.
Here are the top accounts to follow this fashion week, based on the top producers from the shows last September, according to Instagram.
Designers with the most interactions during New York Fashion Week
- Michael Kors (@michaelkors)
- Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham)
- Tommy Hilfiger (@tommyhilfiger)
- Kendall + Kylie (@kendallandkylie)
- Ralph Lauren (@ralphlauren)
- Marc Jacobs (@marcjacobs)
- Tom Ford (@tomford)
- Calvin Klein (@calvinklein)
- Alexander Wang (@alexanderwangny)
- Hugo Boss (@hugoboss)Designers with the most interactions during Milan Fashion Week
- Gucci (@gucci)
- Dolce & Gabbana (@dolcegabbana)
- Moschino (@moschino)
- Fendi (@fendi)
- Prada (@prada)
- Versace (@versace_official)
- Armani (@armani)
- Roberto Cavalli (@roberto_cavalli)
- Donatella Versace (@donatella_versace)
- Jeremy Scott (@itsjeremyscott)
Designers with the most interactions during Paris Fashion Week
- Dior (@dior)
- Louis Vuitton (@louisvuitton)
- Chanel (@chanelofficial)
- Balmain (@balmain)
- Oliver Rousteing (@olivier_rousteing)
- Chloé (@chloe)
- Valentino (@maisonvalentino)
- Givenchy (@givenchyofficial)
- Elie Saab (@eliesaabworld)
- Armani (@armani)