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Fashion Week transformed by Social Media

Posted by: Nasreen


The nature and delivery of Fashion Week coverage has been transformed due to Social media platforms broadening and increasing its immediacy to meet a growing demand for step by step coverage of shows and events online.

These effects are felt by users of social media such as Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram as they receive real time information about the large scale events and every activity from the runway to behind the scene make up that takes place during Fashion Week.

Ray Alex Smith who has been covering fashion week in New York and abroad for the The Wall Street Journal since 2005 has noticed the change in Fashion Week and how it is being covered on a whole new level.

“In the past we had stories written in advance to run during Fashion Week, and then we’d go to shows, but we didn’t write about the collections until closer to the season. Now we’re writing of the moment, and not just on the runway, but things spotted beyond the runway too.” Smith explains.

The thing that intrigues audiences is what goes on behind the scenes, from the plastering of makeup to hair stylists perfecting the look and even the silly squabbles between the models. Audiences are particularly hungry for backstage coverage, notes Simone Oliver, a senior fashion producer at The New York Times.

“People love backstage, even if it’s just a 20-second video of some new technique for putting on eye makeup, people will retweet it. Readers want what they can’t get.” Oliver says.

Eva Chen, beauty director at Teen Vogue notes that “What you see on the runway or on the website Teenvogue is very produced, whereas what you see on Twitter and Tumblr are raw.

Before she began using Twitter a year and a half ago, Chen would record hundreds of backstage beauty tips with her notepad and tape recorder. For every 100 tips she gathered only one would get printed in the magazine and five would appear online.

Now, everything Chen can’t use formally goes on Twitter or shared on Tumblr  or Instogram.

However, producing this live content and coverage for such an exquisite show presents challenges for reporters and journalists. Reporters have to now multitask using different devices. For example a recorder is needed for backstage interviews, a cellphone to keep up with emails and Twitter, video camera for recording the show and other shots behind the runway, and a camera to shoot the show and create an Instagram.

The demand to capture and express the ‘moments’ in real-time makes show coverage more difficult. Journalists need to balance recording the show with absorbing the show in order for them to not miss any pivotal moments.

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