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Fashion forward: New York brands take on social media

Dallas Shaw for DKNY
Dallas Shaw for DKNY
(CBS/What's Trending) - Did you miss #Fashion140, one of the premiere digital fashion events of the year? The must-go-to conference for brands who are ready to embrace the digital age focused on social media strategies to help target that 21st century customer. "Social media is an invaluable tool for fashion brands and retailers," says Rachel Strugatz, the online editor for Women's Wear Daily. "Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, blogs or branded editorial content, maintaining a dialogue with fans and consumers through authentic and engaging content is paramount in achieving success within the digital realm." Here's a recap of who was taking names with their innovative social media techniques. These ideas are sure to change the way the fashion world reaches their audience and markets their looks. Donna Karan, creating digital love stories via social networks DKNY, known as @DKNY (DKNY PR Girl) in the social sphere, has become the New York City darling when it comes to fashion brands to emulate in social media. Honored for the second year in a row at the Fashion 2.0 awards, DKNY is creating digital love stories with their customers via social channels. From simple fan engagement on Facebook and Twitter to hosting fashioncasts on BigLive, DKNY's strategy is socially flawless. Most recently, DKNY PR GIRL hosted an intimate scavenger hunt in both their New York and London stores where clues were announced via Twitter. "We're always focused on ways to make our social media presence more innovative and interactive. By bringing a small group of my Twitter friends into our stores in New York and London to search for hidden chocolate eggs, we were able to use social media in a fun way that makes them feel even more connected to our brand. We got a great response, as hundreds of my followers guessed the clues along with the players, creating a real sense of community around our brand," says Twitter personality DKNY PR Girl. Tumblr creates fashion brand ecstasy Tumblr, the visually stimulating, content rich microblogging platform has become a favorite of the fashion industry. Tumblr's swank fashion director, Rich Tong, points to Kate Spade and Oscar de la Renta as two of the strongest examples of fashion brands leveraging Tumblr to its fullest potential. "Oscar PR Girl uses an approachable tone of voice like a friend and Kate Spade NY utilizes its extraordinary design and content. Each brand creates original content that is specific to their Tumblr audiences." Digital New York sample sales reign supreme Gilt Groupe founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson has proven that online shoppers are not growing weary of apparel and accessories at 40, 50, or even 70 percent off. In fact, they want more! Gilt launched its own fashion version of Groupon called "City Unlisted." It provides local deals and affordable luxury travel services from Jetsetter. With its ever diversifying list of sites, Gilt has chosen not to use social media for customer acquisition but to utilize it to engage with their passionate community and site members. Want to know the secret to their "gilty" success? The social sale site (which launched with no formal business plan) sends out 428 million emails every day, personalized based on customer shopping patterns. Another brand, Hautelook, a popular flash sale site recently acquired by Nordstrom, reports that it does 60 percent of business during peak sale times. On the mobile commerce side, Hautelook is getting over 20 percent of their sales from mobile apps and m-commerce, which is a large jump from last year where numbers were only around five percent of total sales. Currently, HauteLook is looking to become a brand collaborator by evolving the flash sale model into more of a co-promotion. The partnership model is yielding big revenue, especially when it comes to Facebook commerce. How to drive online traffic to offline stores -- and vice versa Lifestyle brand Diesel, perhaps a bit infamous for its "Be Stupid" campaign, continues to pioneer its integrated social media strategies. Heavily focusing on Twitter, Diesel is using social communications to drive followers into brick and mortar stores for music events, sales, cocktails and socializing. Designer Norma Kamali is using the same model in reverse. Kamali has added QR codes to her store windows so that customers can shop from the street when the store is closed. When viewers scan the bar codes in the windows, they're taken directly to the product page on NormalKamali.com where they can purchase the item via their mobile device. Actor/Rocker Jon Bon Jovi specifically visited the store to purchase via bar codes on his phone.