Did The Row’s no-phone policy at Paris Fashion Week flop in China?

    Guests were banned from taking photos and videos at The Row’s Paris Fashion Week show, reducing the level of social media coverage and impacting Chinese netizen discussion.
    The Row’s London store. Photo: The Row
      Published   in Fashion

    On February 28 in Paris, The Row transported the industry back to an era when fashion shows were exclusive events reserved solely for the eyes of guests, when editors clutched their notepads to plan their show reports.

    Banning photos and videos, the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen-owned brand told Fall 2024 attendees, “We kindly ask that you refrain from capturing or sharing any content during your experience.”

    That means that until The Row released an official lookbook of the collection, fans had no idea what it looked like. Despite this, it still succeeded in winning over non-attendee praise with its presentation of luxuriously crafted, timelessly classic pieces.

    The “anti-social” approach made headlines at every major fashion title, sparking a debate over whether it was indeed a clever marketing move.

    Looks from The Row Fall 2024. Photo: The Row
    Looks from The Row Fall 2024. Photo: The Row

    Chinese netizens, however, reflected that the lack of social media content might have dampened the reception of the new collection. Due to the brand’s lack of dedicated Chinese social media accounts, content from attendees has a greater impact than it does in the West.

    On China’s Gen Z-dominated answer to Instagram, Xiaohongshu, #therow2024 only has 852 views at the time of writing, despite #therow having 135.4 million reads. On Weibo, where #therow has 1.9 million reads, there are significantly more posts about the Pre-Fall 2024 collection, showcased in September, than there are about the latest no-phone event.

    As a private corporation, the Olsen twin brand does not disclose figures in China or elsewhere, making it difficult to judge its overall sales success. Currently, it only has stores in London, New York, and Los Angeles. Additionally, the online flagship store does not ship to mainland China, despite offering shipping to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other Asian markets.

    The “quiet luxury” trend for which The Row is known is taking off worldwide, leading to the label’s debut on the Lyst Fashion Index of Q4 2023. Referred to as the “old money style” (中式老钱风) in China, the hashtag has garnered millions of views on Xiaohongshu and Weibo. While the brand does have a Chinese fanbase, it does not seem to be the company’s main focus at the moment.

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