For his second collection with It girl Gigi Hadid, Tommy Hilfiger ditched the snowy streets of New York for the sunny Venice Beach in LA. Amongst celebs and industry heavyweights, the designer presented his AW17 line, bringing sporty vibes and beach spirit to the runway.
This also marked the second collection Hilfiger is showcasing as see-now-buy-now, meaning as soon as the last model walked off Tommyland the 70s vibe t-shirts, skirts & dresses were available to buy in store and online. As this showed the company’s ongoing commitment to the runway-to-retail approach, we look back to see how the label shifted its entire operating model.
Back in December Avery Baker, Tommy Hilfiger’s chief brand officer, gave a talk at Business of Fashion’s VOICES, discussing the challenges, processes and key learnings while creating the #TommyNow model.
Baker advised brands to think entrepreneurial and embrace the risk, explaining that when the label announced it was going to do a see-now-buy-now show, no one had the process in place. But the fashion house quickly jumped on its feet and started collaborating across different departments more than ever before. Recognise that ideas can come from anywhere when there’s trust across teams and silos are eliminated.
One of the key success factors was also bringing retail partners early on. Baker shared that it took the company a mere 6 weeks to get the products from the factory to the shop floors, which wouldn’t have been possible if retailers weren’t on board.
And of course, we can’t ignore the Gigi factor. ‘She represents the new woman that demands social immediacy,’ said Baker, explaining that when Hilfiger and Gigi started collaborating the model had 3 million Instagram followers, whereas by the end of last season’s show that number had reached 20 million. Aligning the Hilfiger brand with Hadid’s social power ensured the company wasn’t only talking about being relevant, but it genuinely was resonating with younger consumers.
This is no longer a fashion show. It's a media and content platform built around the customer.
For Tommy Hilfiger, the important bit wasn’t simply to have a see-now-buy-now show. It was about translating this notion of immediacy and interactivity into the brand’s all digital channels, to ensure continuous engagement with customers. This meant including a shoppable livestream for fans, creating interactive screens at the show venue and launching a Facebook chatbot, where people could talk about the new collection. Baker share that 80% of people who chatted with the bot returned back for more, while the average engagement was 5 minutes.
The result of all these efforts? The Tommy Now show in New York resulted in a 60% increase in sell-through and 900% jump in website traffic, 70% of which came from people who had never visited the site before.
“This is no longer a runway show”, concluded Baker. “It’s a media and content platform built around the consumer.”
Watch the Avery Baker's full talk below:
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