In recent months, fashion has taken to the streets on more than one occasion. It walked Cuba’s Paseo del Prado. It glided over the water of Rome’s Trevi Fountain. On Saturday, September 10 at noon EST, it will parade across downtown Manhattan’s Greene Street.
Rebecca Minkoff, who made headlines — and a 200 percent increase in year-over-year sales — this February thanks to her immediately shoppable NYFW runway show is taking her #seebuywear strategy one step further.
“Because we had this phenomenal retail performance after the last show, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had a runway show outside of our own store?'” chief executive officer Uri Minkoff told Business of Fashion.
Even though it took a “Herculean” amount of effort (endless spreadsheets, charts and permits were needed to rope off the busy SoHo thruway), if the brand can reproduce those staggering sales results in this chilly retail market, it will all be worth it in their books.
Much like her peers at Tommy Pier, Minkoff is giving consumers (along with industry regulars) the opportunity to partake in the #RunwaytoRetail experience. About half of the 750 invitees will be regular ol’ customers. Protip: the designer is currently hosting a sweepstakes on her site, offering five pairs of friends the chance to win VIP access to the September 10 event.
Because we live in the age of Instagram (we’re looking at you, Forbes highest-earning models list), social media influencers will walk Minkoff’s Spring 2017 runway. Some of their followers will even be invited to watch, the assumption, we suspect, being that if these people draw styling inspiration from So-and-So, they’ll probably want to snatch up whatever So-and-So has just worn on the runway. That, or Minkoff wants to make fashion outsiders feel included in Fashion Week’s new, improved, less exclusive model. Or both.
[ Related: Inside Rebecca Minkoff’s Closet Makeover ]
While there will be no cotton candy or Ferris Wheel rides to be had, the majority of the catwalk looks will be available for in-store purchase right after the show wraps and Minkoff herself will be there to shake hands and chitchat. The rest of the collection will hit the market within two months.
While it does seem a bit literal (and calculating) to have a fashion show right outside a store, the whole out-of-sight, out-of-mind effect is very real and we do love when our need for instant gratification is fed. As Business of Fashion points out, along with Rebecca Minkoff and Tommy Hilfiger (whose NYFW wares will also be available the second they hit the runway), Kate Spade, Courrèges, Prada, Altuzarra, Jason Wu, Michael Kors and more designers are catching on to the see-now, buy-now formula, despite the fact that it allows less time for production, modification and powwowing with buyers. As Courrèges artistic directors Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer put it, the move is “a common sense decision…We aren’t talking about ready to wear, but ready to live.”