New York Fashion Week, which is the kickoff to a month of global fashion shows, saw incredible fashion labels take to the runway to promote their new collections and brands. Eager fashion lovers, high-end buyers and the global media watched carefully to see the epic creativity and latest trends, and look ahead at what next season and the one after holds.

While runway shows still hold a large, important place in the world of fashion, we are living in a time where it is not the only way for a fashion brand to make a splash. In fact, a few prominent brands such as Calvin Klein and Pyer Moss did not show this year for solid reasons. The difference now? It is not company suicide to skip a show.

Designer Matthew Adams Dolan told NowFashion, “I suppose it’s what any industry is like. There is always going to be this creative side, but at the end of the day, it is a business. As much as you want to consider it a craft or romanticize the process, it is also a product.” Similar to the need for elaborate pop-up stores, speciality retailers must look closely at the impact and ROI of a fashion show. Here are three questions to ask yourself.

Are you delivering on the dream?

 A fashion show is an aspirational dream. If Fashion Week is your hook to get consumers and buyers interested and in the door, do you have the structure, experience, service and stock to impress them and keep them as loyal customers? Your brand is the substance – make sure it’s ready.

 Is it worth the expense?

Racked once reported that the expense for a show starts around $100,000: “As a result, NYFW’s schedule is increasingly filled with designers who have already established themselves abroad, including those from China flying in to participate in the American market,” a Racked article said. For an up-and-coming designer, or smaller brand, are there other opportunities to make an impact? A partnership with a larger brand? A party? Or even a presence an alternative event such as Harlem Fashion Week or Nolcha?

 What data or learnings are you gaining?

 At a time when we are seeing so many companies focusing on how to better serve their customers and deliver on their brand, specialty retailers have a big opportunity in the form of data and technology. Are you creating synergy between Fashion Week and your brand? Should you post your collection on Instagram? Monitoring social media impressions and buzz is one way to garner the impact of your show. Last year, for instance, according to Synthesio’s Social Reputation Score, Alexander Wang drove the most conversations with 73.42 % of all online mentions around NYFW. Marc Jacobs came in a very distant second with 17.86 %. Alexander Wang clearly dominated the online conversations around NYFW.

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“If, for the moment, the future of NYFW remains unclear, what doesn’t is its need to adapt and change, which will unquestionably take it to new heights,” Robin Torres wrote for NowFashion. “If there is another certainty that can be inferred from observing the changes that took place during this fall season, it’s that the digital era is here to stay, and having an understanding of what it means and how to hone it will make a big difference – regardless of how large or small the brand is,” she said.

Original article can be found here: Luxury Daily