Runway 2.0 Re-Designs Fashion, Social Media

Audience members were encouraged to use their phones and tablets during the Kenneth Cole Fall 2013 Runway Show Live from New York Fashion Week.

“During the @kennethcole runway show, out of respect for other members of the audience please make sure your phones and tablets are switched ON. This show will embrace the intrusive nature of social media.“

Kenneth Cole and his PR team made a progressive move in the fashion industry. Traditionally, looks on the runway are reserved exclusively for attendees of the industry event. At the Kenneth Cole runway show, social media fans shared a front row seat along with fashion directors and designers.

The outcome is a 2.0 runway experience. According to, Kenneth Cole’s PR team took this direction because:

“The world is consuming fashion in a totally different way.”

Kenneth Cole pledged a $1 donation for every #KCRUNWAY tweet and gave Facebook and Twitter fans access to the runway show live.

Kenneth Cole Fall 2013 Runway Show Live from New York Fashion Week

The models closed the show with a runway walk snapping pictures of the audience with camera phones to share on Instagram.

Kenneth Cole Fall 2013 Runway Show Live from New York Fashion Week

Kenneth Cole Fall 2013 Runway Show Live from New York Fashion Week

Twitter Mirror, a Twitter magazine with live streams of fashion, tweeted the event and a photo booth backstage gave Facebook fans a behind-the-scenes look of the show online.

Kenneth Cole Fall 2013 Runway Show Live from New York Fashion Week

Kenneth Cole Fall 2013 Runway Show Live from New York Fashion Week

For a limited time, the show is available to view on Kenneth Cole’s website. Users can “snap a photo” or screen shot of the runway and tweet about their thoughts to win a $500 gift card and a styling session.

Kenneth Cole Fall 2013 Runway Show Live from New York Fashion Week

Kenneth Cole Fall 2013 Runway Show Live from New York Fashion Week

Kenneth Cole Fall 2013 Runway Show Live from New York Fashion Week

Kenneth Cole Fall 2013 Runway Show Live from New York Fashion Week

How do you perceive merging social media and fashion? Does broadcasting the show live enhance the industry event or does the designer lose credibility? Will the tribe following Kenneth Cole appreciate opening the exclusive experience to all? Does the inside access give Kenneth Cole an advantage in the industry?


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7 Responses to Runway 2.0 Re-Designs Fashion, Social Media

  1. Morgan Theys says:

    I would definitely agree with the statement that the world is consuming fashion in a different way. Today, you find more designers posting their live runway fashion shows on the Internet for the whole world to see. It allows the average person to be hypnotized by the world of fashion. Not everyone can become a model or high-end designer, however they can become a part of the fashion world. By using social media, Kenneth Cole has been able to reach and attract the attention of the masses. Everyone is able to take part in his world and creativity.

  2. Montserrat Camacho De Anda says:

    I think this is great idea that every fashion designer should apply. Kenneth Cole definitely branded himself as the most friendly/customer-oriented designer by doing this. I think that having events broadcast live through social media is a great thing and also gives people that can’t go to the live fashion shows and those in other parts of the world an opportunity to see what is going on and keep up with the newest trends. It also gives Kenneth Cole a tool to connect with customers. It definitely gives the industry an advantage to share what’s new with their audience and reach out to places and people they have never reached before. As for the exclusive experience, I think it should cause no problem. I mean being there and experiencing it right next to the runway is still an opportunity that only a few can have and it feels totally different.

  3. Jessica Choi says:

    With social media and the consumers’ need to get up-to-date information in an instant, I think merging social media and fashion is a great idea. Social media has become immersed in our culture that not using it in any industry — or in everyday life — is unheard of. Often times, the general public is looking for the next big thing. With fashion and broadcasting a designer’s show live, that will allow the public to get a glimpse of something deemed “exclusive.” I think it actually enhances a designer’s credibility for him or her to remain transparent and share his/her artwork with the public as soon as it is revealed. Furthermore, the designer’s willingness to embrace social media and incorporate it into the fashion industry shows how our society is evolving.

    I think the tribe following Kenneth Cole would show some hesitation about the company opening the exclusive experience to all because it will change the status quo. But, because Kenneth Cole was the first company to start the social media on the catwalk initiative, I think the company could potentially attract many more fans and followers. The general public loves being a part of clubs or getting inside access. It makes them feel special. Because Kenneth Cole used a variety of social media platforms to encourage and engage consumers, I think it did give them an advantage in the industry. More consumers and fans will share the company’s information and content way farther in advance than its competitors.

  4. Rachael McBride says:

    I think the Kenneth Cole Runway 2.0 idea is brilliant. With the ever-increasing prevalence of smartphones and tablets, it’s almost impossible to keep this completely exclusive without any leaks to the public — so the PR pros sidestepped the obstacle by flipping 180 degrees. By not just allowing, but encouraging photos and social media uploads of the event, they received more buzz than the traditional event would have. Even better, it gives Tweeters the added emotional connection of a charitable donation.

    I’m sure that devoted brand fans appreciate the gesture as well, and not just because it allowed them unprecedented access to a previously private event. This move is a statement from Kenneth Cole, acknowledging that his fans and consumers are just as deserving and important to the company as the A-listers in the fashion show’s front row.

  5. Minda Elliott says:

    I think this is an incredibly smart move by the Kenneth Cole PR Team. It’s innovative, it’s new, it’s hip, it’s modern and it’s getting talked about on multiple wave lengths throughout the public. It wouldn’t surprise me if this was “the next big thing” in the fashion world. Social media is huge among all facets of American culture. I’m honestly surprised it’s taken this long to infiltrate the fashion world.

    The other smart move made by the Kenneth Cole PR Team was turning their publicity into a fundraiser. By donating a dollar to AIDS research for every tweet that includes #KCRUNWAY, not only are they encouraging the public to promote their fashion line, they’re also raising money for an important cause.

    Bravo Kenneth Cole … this is a huge move for your company and your new line!

  6. Clare Hahne says:

    What an interesting way to combine the 21st century with the fashion world! I think this is a fascinating way to use technology as an inspiration for clothing. I think Kenneth Cole is just the start with this kind of inspiration. It will be interesting to see how other designers pick up on the trend.

  7. Alexa Chrisbacher says:

    I don’t think Kenneth Cole will experience any loss of credibility for bringing social media into a runway show.

    First, in many ways fashion leads the charge in progressive trends and styles, so why not networking as well? Second, it is a great way to create conversations about both the line and the brand. The social media aspect of the show was groundbreaking, and now everyone can see it immediately. KC built in a lot of opportunity and incentive for follower interaction, as well, which I believe contributed to the team’s success.

    I think this move reflects a growing acceptance of social media by the business world. It’s clear that to ignore it or brush it aside as a silly fad would prove fatal in nearly any industry, especially fashion.

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