Make Fashion for All Reality

  • Technology
  • China

How Shanghai Fashion Week showed the world that virtual experiences could turn isolation into connection.

Model wearing a long dress in an outer space atmosphere

In February 2020, the pandemic’s spread rattled the world, forcing all industries to confront their survival and resilience. Shanghai Fashion Week was just days away and the Chinese retail industry was already in full preparation for its biggest event of the season. After postponing to March, planners organized quickly, leveraging program scheduling knowledge to make the show go on.

Planners partnered with innovative leaders to create a livestream runway experience unlike any fashion event before. Together, technologists, designers, models, and program managers thought through every detail of the transition to keep this project on track and within reasonable budget.

With each person contributing ideas and giving their all to their tasks, the seven-day engagement came to life quickly. Meanwhile, new technology ensured the event preserved engaging and captivating features for all attendees as they watched from the comfort of their homes. An AR-fueled app allowed fashion enthusiasts to comment, ask questions, and feel like part of an in-person community gathering. With 3D tours of virtual concept stores, attendees could purchase standout fashion pieces with the click of a button. 

During a time of financial uncertainty, the world’s first cloud fashion week brought in more than 452 million yuan—or 70 million USD in sales—and offered hope to industries that revenue generation was possible.

By courageously pairing fashion with technology, Shanghai Fashion Week laid the foundation for future shows across the globe, with the organizers of London, Milan and Paris following in its footsteps.  It also democratized fashion, opening the event to everyone via the internet and proving that conventions could be adapted. In doing so, it generated 11 million viewers, 600 times more viewers than usually attend in-person. Couture, glamour and vogue are now something we can all participate in, even while at home in sweatpants.

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