“Sweet Mother of Jesus, how come no one thought of it sooner?”
Disclaimer: I’m not one to be “blown away” on a frequent basis, but once every couple of fashion seasons, an early adopter comes along and sweeps me off my feet. So, when I uttered the above words (with a face that was the human representation of the “flushed” emoji) it was the S/S 2016 Fashion Week and designer Misha Nonoo wasn’t feeling very “traditional”.
Her train of thought must ‘ve gone down like
Ugh don’t wanna go and present tomorrow, it’s too cold outside, it will be *so* crowded, everyone will be hooked on their phones anyway, if only I could find a way to skip all that.. Oh I know!
Probably minutes later, the account @mishanonoo_show saw the light of the day. There, the entire S/S 2016 collection was presented as an Insta-Show through the account feed, an experience that felt much like the unfolding of a really fashionable “digital papyrus.”
The bold move didn’t go unnoticed, as it secured the designer the Fashion Futures Award For Best Beyond The Runway Experience. Not too shabby, right?
Come to think of it, I shouldn’t have been so surprised – being a Fashion Week rebel is a big deal, and it takes guts to break the norm. Heck, even Tom Ford was uncertain of hosting his A/W ’15 collection in LA, and did it anyway. But Nonoo trained her brand, and its audience, to tech-savvy little shenanigans from the very beginning.
Back in 2015, she recruited an army of Instagram’s elite to model her S/S ’15 collection. Platform influencers like Lena Dunham, Olivia Palermo, Linda Rodin, and Eva Chen (now Instagram‘s Head of Fashion Partnerships) gave the designer the seal of approval, by being the female power symbols of her lookbook. A lookbook that was exclusively reserved for Instagram, of course.
Fast forward to this year. The fashion pioneer switches it up, and foregoes her favourite social platform, to partner with Refinery29. Tapping into millennials’ short attention span with modern elegance, she takes over R29’s Snapchat channel (later uploaded on Instagram as well) and gives us yet again a new perspective on the possibilities of the “Fashion x Social Media” duet.
Being an early adopter is easier said than done, even within an industry that’s almost mandatorily synonymous to innovation. But take it from the expert:
The runway has worked for decades and I think it continues to work very well for certain designers but with digital, there are so many new opportunities that do not have any geographical limitations, timing conflicts or seating restrictions. And that’s what I am motivated by.
And that’s what we all should be motivated by. Ready to bend some rules?