NEW YORK, United States—Last season, the fashion flock embraced Twitter like never before, giving fashion consumers a captivating play-by-play from front rows and afterparties at fashion weeks from New York to Paris. Indeed, for a few days, New York Fashion Week became the 4th biggest trend on Twitter.
Now, capitalizing on this momentum, a San Francisco-based publishing and advertising network has launched a website called FashionTweek that today began aggregating tweets about New York Fashion Week from all over the Twitterverse, promising "realtime reaction to the shows, parties and people of Fashion Week NYC" at a single destination.
Launched by Halogen Network, an alliance of over 75 "mid-tail" publishers including The Daily Beast and Snooth.com, FashionTweek uses hashtags and keywords to gather and republish realtime tweets from a curated collection of "front row" fashion week attendees, like twittering celebrities and established fashion bloggers. It also allows users to filter incoming tweets to find those containing links to images and those mentioning specific labels or models.
CEO and Founder of Halogen Network, Greg Shove, calls FashionTweek a "digital brand application" that seeks to offer affluent fashion consumers valuable entertainment and utility in return for their eyeballs, which Halogen sells to sponsor brands like Anna Sui for Target and W hotels, who have placed paid advertising on the site.
A former executive at America Online, Mr. Shove has been involved in digital media since its inception and emphasizes that successful online advertising "must engage consumers, not interrupt them." But for the moment, FashionTweek seems to follow a traditional model of interruption, with banner ads for sponsor brands appearing next to the realtime fashion content people have presumably come for.
What’s less apparent are Mr. Shove's plans to mine conversations on his platform for insights that might be useful to Halogen's clients. "We are already working on FashionTweek Version 2.0, which will include expanded ability to search, sort and analyze trends from all the tweets coming out of Fashion Week."
But what's perhaps most interesting about FashionTweek is the way it aggregates what people are tweeting, not just in realtime, but in the context of a realworld event like New York Fashion Week. Twitter, with its short bursts of realtime information, is often described as creating "co-presence" and FashionTweek's "event-based" approach aims to give consumers a sense that they are there, attending fashion week, amongst the editors, models and celebrities. Indeed, as he extends the focus of his platform from fashion weeks to other events like conferences and film festivals, it seems like Mr. Shove might be onto something. Stay tuned.
Vikram Alexei Kansara is a digital strategist and writer based in New York.