Archives for posts with tag: mobile fashion

Imagine this: instead of hovering around the big white tents at Fashion Week, hoping that someone More Important Than You drops their badge so you can sneak into a show, you actually walk in and choose an available seat. And three of your friends can come too.

And instead of whispering your preferences to the person perched on the uncomfortable chair next to you, you can whip out your mobile phone and order the outfit right from the runway. Spring for quick shipping, and you can be wearing the (shockingly) affordable styles in a few days, instead of the usual two-season turnaround for couture.

fashion-walker-mobile-fashionSound fantastic? These accessible, mobile fashion shows are well within the realm of reality, and will probably be coming to the US soon. Already the rage in Japan, the Tokyo Girls Collection has shown in Paris, and will travel to China this year. Often held in stadiums or other large venues that can accommodate upwards of 20,000 fashion fans, these shows feature what one article calls ” ‘real clothes’ – functional, everyday apparel,” as opposed to the often outrageous, semi-wearable clothing that struts down the runway at more well-known design houses’  fashion shows.

To place an order during the show, fashionistas simply send a text message or click through to the show’s host, fashionwalker.com, which is designed to be accessible via mobile phone or computer. The mastermind of the show, Tokyo-based startup Xavel, Inc. also runs the online fashion magazine girlwalker.com, which showcases designers and looks that end up on the runways.

Let’s just hope that these stadiums have really, really fast Wi-Fi.

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For most of us, fashion shows inspire rather than stock our wardrobes. The clothes are too darn expensive, first off, and then there’s the long, long wait until what you spot on the runway makes it into the stores.

That is, unless you live in Japan.

Twice a year, the Tokyo Girls Fashion Show features the hottest and (this being Japan) most adorable fashions, all available for purchase via cell phone.

This particular intersection of fashion and commerce has been on our wish list for awhile, but Japan has beat Europe and the United States to the punch.

It seems like a marketing gimme. Why wouldn’t retailers, especially ones who target gadget- and fashion-obsessed youth, make it easy for consumers to snap up their goods at the touch of the button?

Part of the reason is because of the way Europeans and Americans use cell phones.

Japanese use their phones for anything and everything: reading email, blogging and yes, shopping. Enough cell phones sell in Japan each year to give a new one to half the population.

The Japanese want their phones packed with features that seem like science fiction to Americans: motion sensors for Wii-like games, ecommerce apps that let you pay for food and subway fare, and yes, the ability to shop right from your phone. When it comes right down to it, folks in the US and UK would just as soon use their phones to text – or even, God forbid, make a phone call.

All of this has made it quite a challenge for retailers to adapt mobile ecommerce for the western market. One idea, semicode bars, popped up in H&M ads in the UK in 2007. The idea was consumers would spot a belt or a blouse or a bangle they craved, snap a picture of the bar code, and beam the info to H&M headquarters, where the elves of fast fashion would assemble their purchase.

Sounds great to us, but as the internets are curiously silent about the campaign from 2008 on, it’s probably safe to say it didn’t take off. And you still can’t buy H&M duds from their website.

Save us, Japan!