Shanghai Fashion Week, one of the industry’s most anticipated events of the year, saw it take advantage of Alibaba Group's Tmall retail site this year, to engage with its global audience.
The weeklong show, originally scheduled for March 24, became the first fashion week event to present all its runway shows online, with live video streaming on Tmall and Taobao Live, Alibaba’s live streaming channel, from March 24 to 30.
More than 150 participants, from international brands such as Diane von Furstenberg to rising Chinese independent designers including Shushu/Tong and Angel Chen, showcased their autumn-winter collections via the digital platforms, with viewers also able to place orders directly. Domestic and global names in retail are also participating, including Lane Crawford, IT, Net-A-Porter, Xintiandi and Thebalancing.
Pop-up stores were also set up in the Xintiandi area of Shanghai, and niche fashion products are available to order. During the show, Shanghai residents could shop from Taobao and receive orders within two hours.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on fashion enterprises, and has forced the cancelation and rescheduling of many global fashion events, including Milan Fashion Week originally scheduled for February. The Shanghai Fashion Week committee worked on a new approach to enable the event to go ahead and help brands and designers amid the crisis.
“China’s fashion industry and market have matured through the years and entered a new age of creative energy and boundless opportunities,” said Lu Xiaolei, the committee’s vice secretary-general. “It would be a great regret if the coronavirus outbreak posed a challenge for these aspiring brands and talent, limiting what they could accomplish. As a platform long dedicated to supporting Chinese creative talent, we must take action.”
Mike Hu, head of Tmall Fashion, Luxury and FMCG, said: “For this special edition of Shanghai Fashion Week, we have integrated some of Alibaba’s most-advanced technologies to bring a new and elevated experience to consumers.
“This partnership allows us to leverage our experience in digitizing brick-and-mortar retail stores and explore a new format for brand and product launches, which brings together technologies like live video streaming, short-form videos, DingTalk and Tmall Flagship 2.0 in a full-chain solution,” Hu said.