New York Fashion Week’s Instagram Innovation: The “Insta-Pit”

During February, the international fashion community’s eyes are drawn to New York, with the biannual New York Fashion Week event commanding fashion press. Over 60 designers capitalise on the world’s attention over the 7-8 day period, with each season seeing increasing involvement in social media. This Fall/Winter 2016 event will be no exception, as multiple social media focused exclusives have been announced that offer a more personal consumer experience.

For the last few seasons, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has been driven by demand for social media broadcasting. As a result of this push, Men’s Fashion Week will be working with both Snapchat and Tumblr to provide coverage to a wider public. Tumblr will feature content from five fashion bloggers, and Snapchat will host a live story to cover the event.

This is not the first time Snapchat has held a major role in promoting fashion content to a wider audience. Burberry’s September’s Spring/Summer collection was debuted through the platform as a live story. Snapchat allows for a ready made international audience, and has the appeal of exclusivity through the 24 hour time period of the streams.

However, snapchat is not the starring social media platform of this season. Instagram is being picked up by designers and models alike and used to give the public exclusive insight to show production and model personalities. Here at Fashion Industry Broadcast, this is far from new information. Instagram “It” girls Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner boosted audiences for November’s Victoria’s Secret show through their collective 48 million followers.

The “Instagram Pit”

During this season’s event, the most innovative use of Instagram does not go to an “It” girl. Tommy Hilfiger has been experimenting with Instagram as a significant platform for spotlighting new season’s work over a period of time. The Spring 2016 collection featured a “Twitter Halo.” Gigi Hadid, among other big-names involved, filmed interactive 360-degree videos that were featured on the company twitter feed in real-time.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: Craig Mcginlay, Lucky Blue Smith, Eric Underwood, Jack Fox, Josh Ludlow, David Furnish, Tommy Hilfiger, Johannes Huebl, Oliver Cheshire, Robert Konjic, Jack Guinness, Paul Sculfor and Andre Velencoso attend a dinner hosted by Tommy Hilfiger and Dylan Jones to celebrate The London Collections Men AW16 at Mortons on January 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Darren Gerrish/WireImage) *** Local Caption *** Craig Mcginlay; Lucky Blue Smith; Eric Underwood; Jack Fox; Josh Ludlow; David Furnish; Tommy Hilfiger; Johannes Huebl; Oliver Cheshire; Robert Konjic; Jack Guinness; Paul Sculfor; Andre Velencoso
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 10 (Photo by Darren Gerrish/WireImage)


“Each season we use digital technology in innovative ways that transform the show setting and open the experience to everyone — from guests in New York to our global fan base watching via live-stream and on social media,” Hilfiger told WWD.

This season’s social media innovation will take place at the February 15th Hilfiger show with the inclusion of an “Insta-pit.” This will be a section of the audience where exclusive guests will take photos exclusively for social media, opening up the run-way experience to a wider public audience. The lucky Instagram content creators have yet to be disclosed, but will very likely come with ample social media following.

Tommy Hilfiger "No Hilfiger adventure would be complete without a selfie! -TH #TommySpring16 #NYFW" September 2015. Instagram.
Tommy Hilfiger “No Hilfiger adventure would be complete without a selfie! -TH #TommySpring16 #NYFW” September 2015. Instagram.


A statement from Avery Baker, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer for Tommy Hilfiger, explains the role of social media in the brand’s ethos. “Our Fall 2016 ‘InstaPit’ concept embraces our pioneering spirit to break conventions and inspire audiences through unique digital initiatives at our runway show,” 

“…It’s a contemporary, creative and relevant approach to fashion photography.”

Turn your eyes to Instagram on February 15th to see the result of Hilfiger’s Instagram innovation.