As a growing number of international fashion designers look to find ways to connect with Chinese fans, designer Vivienne Tam will be tapping into the power of China’s most popular mobile messaging app when her new collections hit the New York Fashion Week runway this weekend.
The China-born, New York-based designer recently announced a partnership with WeChat, which will allow fans to add the designer as a contact in order to participate in real-time group chat during the show and receive photos and voice messages from Tam as it takes place. In addition, Tam has designed four sets of chat wallpapers for fans to download, and will be gifting guests with a limited-edition iPhone 5/5S case at her Februrary 9 show. WeChat fans are also eligible to enter a contest to win front-row seating, backstage access, and a chance to model in the show itself.
“We are always looking for innovative ways to grow with technology and WeChat lets me bring the fashion week experience from a designer’s lens to a wider audience,” said Tam.
Previously, many global fashion designers have developed innovative ways to bring fashion shows to a Chinese audience. In addition to the frequent practice of holding off-season special events in China, like Hugo Boss and Valentino have recently done, Burberry has adopted the strategy of live-streaming its show online and promoting it on Chinese social media.
This is not Tam’s first collaboration aimed at the China market. In 2012, she teamed up with Hilton as part of its Hilton Huanying program providing special amenities for Chinese visitors, designing a pair of special-edition slippers that were offered to guests. She has also teamed up with Hong-Kong based jewelry company Tse Sui Luen to design a special-edition jewelry collection based on the five elements in Chinese cosmology.