A model presents a creation from the "YOUWEI" collection during Shanghai Fashion Week in Shanghai. Source: AFP

A model presents a creation from the “YOUWEI” collection during Shanghai Fashion Week in Shanghai. Source: AFP

Shanghai Fashion Week – quick thinking and latest tech sees show go on

It’s an exciting week ahead for fashion enthusiasts and trend-seekers as the esteemed Shanghai Fashion Week (SFW) will be hitting the runways this week.

This year, however, things will be a little different – for the first time, the entire event will take place digitally.

Many events around the world are postponing indefinitely or cancelling in the wake of the pandemic amid orders in place to maintain social distance – including iconic annual gatherings like the Met Gala and Cannes Film Festival.

But SFW hasn’t back away, choosing instead to tap into the potential of live-streaming, 5G technology, and the digital marketplace to bring the show to a larger audience than ever before.

Through a partnership with Alibaba‘s online marketplace Tmall and its live-streaming channel Taobao Live, SFW has been broadcasting its shows from March 24 – 30.

“We have integrated some of Alibaba’s most advanced technologies to bring a new and elevated experience to consumers,” said Mike Hu, Tmall’s General Manager of Fashion as reported by SCMP.

Organizers said that augmented reality technology has been utilized to present the best visuals during live shows. Viewers can also share comments in real-time, creating a more engaging viewing experience, despite not being there in person.

The quick manoeuvring of technology and partnerships could prove to be a commercial win for those involved.

More than 150 international and homegrown brands and designers are set to feature their collections on Alibaba’s platforms. Customers can view over 1,000 products and secure exclusive fashion items as the shows goes live on Tabao.

They can also get their orders delivered within just two hours via Shanghai Fashion Express. Hu added, “This partnership with SHFW allows us to leverage our experience in digitizing bricks-and-mortar retail stores and explore a new format for brands and product launches.”

Of course, 5G capabilities have been key in making this a success. Thanks to the quick launch of industrial 5G in major cities across China, industry players are able to overcome the disruption that the pandemic has caused.

Not to mention, by going digital, organizers are able to save operational costs and seize new markets as a larger base of consumers will be more available since most are home-bound. The shift will also contribute massively to the country’s digital economy.

According to SFW’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.”