Virginia Woolf / Fairfax NZ
The September 2016 New York Fashion Week event lost a major fashion show contributor.
Karen Walker, one of New Zealand’s premier fashion designers and most successful fashion exporters, removed her collections for this prestigious New York event. Due to changes made to marketing the event, Walker felt the event was an ineffective advertising tool.
The industry event, held twice a year, continued for the first time in a decade without a Karen Walker jewellery and fashion collection included.
The designer based her decision on the change in the industry and consumers seeing the designs on social media, but unable to buy them for six months. In the early years of the show, fashion writers described the collections with sketches and photographs banned.
In an interview with The Weekend Australian, Walker said, “Today your end-consumer is seeing the looks on social media before the last girl has even left the runway.”
“As a marketing spend, it just doesn’t add up. The industry is very different to how it was 20 seasons ago. It’s very different to how it was 30 seconds ago. There is so much available in the marketing toolkit now.”
“Our focus now is on lots of different content and presenting ideas in lots of different ways, not just 33 girls walking down a runway and then telling our customers to not think about it for six months.”
The designer is placing her focus on online imagery with social media and is working on projects she sees as a good fit for her brand.
The Karen Walker collections and designs are found in 38 countries and include clothing, jewellery, handbags, and eye-wear.