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Digitization, an industry game changer at the China Fashion Week

Fashion's digitization is unfolding and it's been accelerated by the pandemic. This year, China Fashion Week is collaborating with Douyin E-commerce (China's Tik Tok) to present the latest and fashion to audiences both online through live stream and offline. The biannual fashion event has morphed into a public digital spectacle.


Now more than ever, live streams and digital videos have become a new normal for the fashion industry. While virtual runways has made exclusive events more accessible to the public, it has also created more possibilities for Chinese designers and Western brands to interact with their consumers. YouCi is a rising star in China's accessory scene, and the brand is making good use of doing live streaming platforms to expand its reach.


china fashion week online live stream

"Taking part in this year's event, both on and offline. During the day, we present our products and the designer hub showroom, and at night we turn to live streams on Douyin. Since we are a relatively new brand and this is our first attempt live streaming on Douyin, it helps more consumers on Douyin to learn about us."


For the more established labels joining the fashion weeks, live streaming broadcasts is an unconventional way for them to share their creative visions. The founder of Each Way, a homegrown Chinese brand, says learning how to verbalize her design concepts is important during these online presentations.


"When I present my works on the catwalk, people's focus is on the clothes, but when it's delivered online, it's more about the stories in designing them. So through livestreaming, we share with consumers the visions we hold for our designs."


While livestreaming is a growing trend in fashion, there's still room for creative use of the medium. Looking back at the relatively short history of virtual fashion shows, Celine and Prada are noted for their strong digital competencies. Celine and Prada, these two brands that didn't just do live streaming for sales, they did for branding. They had conversations, panel discussions of talents, fashion designers, photographers and also younger generation people. So that kind of livestreaming is more interactive.


While livestreaming has opened up new possibilities for fashion events, Peter Xu and many other industry professionals alike believe it's necessary to take a step back from the consumer retail focused events to reflect on what the purpose of virtual fashion show is and what more digital technology can do to revive fashion's fortune as a recovers from the COVID.