At 9pm, UK time last night when I turned on my phone I was alerted to a new Google notification. Did I want to know what was going on at NYFW?
Hey, why not?
I clicked and instantly the first page of Google search results was flooded with Victoria Beckham, Tory Burch, Tom Ford, Yeezy and um Grace Coddington. It was a live feed of New York Fashion Week ‘content’ – from a Grace Coddington book-signing alert at the Bookmarc store to a Yeezy feature on Vogue.com. As I refreshed over the next hour or so, there was a Victoria Beckham Instagram GIF, an exclusive Marc Jacobs AW16 YouTube clip, plus some shoppy stuff from Tom Ford, Tory Burch and Tommy Hilfiger.
Here’s some example…
Kinda cool. And yet, ugh, who needs more Fashion Week content? Oops that’s my inner jaded fashion editor rearing its head. Yeah, I’m overwhelmed with see-now-buy-now already and the season (do we even call this a season?) has only just begun!
But the Google real-time stream of fashion content could actually be really useful if executed well. It’s an aggregation of Fashion Week happenings that is curated by veteran fashion editor Kate Lanphear (formerly of U.S Elle and Maxim). Brands don’t pay to be included but if they are included it’s a pretty cushy number for them. They get Google real-time visibility, plus – potentially – the added benefits of Google maps, shop now functionality, SEO juice, YouTube views, traffic to their social and everything else that a brand might conceivably want from its not insignificant investment in Fashion Week.
Over the next few weeks we’ll see more content as Fashion Month ramps up. According to the New York Times, there are more than 50 brands signed up for this Google search initiative, including Burberry, Hermès and Prada. Clearly, those that have post-show buy it now capability stand to gain from instant sales.
I use Google Now on my (whisper it) Android phone, which gives me content based on my behaviour and preferences. So if I interact with Google’s Fashion Week content carousels, I’m guessing it could deliver relevant, targeted real-time results. That could be very useful.
So I’m going to suspend my cynicism for now and keep an eye on it for the next few days. I’ll add an update here.
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
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