Are catwalk shows still worth the investment?

Dior SS18 Catwalk
Dior SS18

Launchmetrics has teamed up with the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) on a new report – Front Row to Catwalk – which examines the relevance and value presented by fashion catwalks in today’s fast moving market.

Technology and data provider for the fashion, luxury and beauty industries, Launchmetrics has developed a unique proprietary audience-driven “Media Impact” algorithm to accompany the report, which studied nearly 400 runway shows and presentations in New York, London, Paris and Milan.

The report highlights eight designers who successfully represent the activations of the “new voices” of the shows’ audiences, including Media, Influencers, Owned Media and Consumers, to leverage their events as a global marketing platform. While the designers in questions produced their shows in New York, the data speaks to trends occurring worldwide, said Launchmetrics.

The role of the catwalk has changed dramatically in recent times. Conceived as a trade-only event for select buyers and press the catwalk has increasingly been transformed into a consumer facing event, serving as “an important cultural moment”. The power of their effectiveness in today’s market often lies with the audience and how a brand capitalises on it.

“After analysing over 400 shows in New York, London, Paris and Milan, we see that today’s modern fashion show has helped brands transform their narrative from a product focused story into one that leverages four key voices to drive their brand equity to reach audiences in new ways,” said Michael Jais, Chief Executive Officer at Launchmetrics.

CFDA president and CEO Stephen Kolb acknowledged that many designers were looking at other methods to present their collections, but said the report shows that the catwalks remain highly effective: “The fashion landscape continues to evolve. To help the industry navigate this change, the CFDA worked with Launchmetrics to identify and evaluate the impact the show audiences have. Although many designers are choosing new ways to show, fashion week remains one of the most effective ways for them to bring their collections to market,” he said.

Through a team of data experts, Launchmetrics observed that some brands received 800% more mentions in the online and social channels during these fashion weeks than in the entire year, reinforcing the value of the global events. With the emphasis of the shows being more consumer-focused, some markets saw that 42% of the total Media Impact Value was made up by this group, which Launchmetrics said proved the power of the consumers’ share of voice.

As a result of the growing importance these voices represent, Launchmetrics has released its audience-driven, Media Impact Value (MIV) algorithm to provide the industry with a measurement tool to respond to today’s changing media landscape. The final formula of the algorithm has been fine-tuned for the unique needs of the industry. Through both quantitative and qualitative data, the result is said to be a highly accurate method that allows brands to assess media performance as a whole – across different voices, channels, media types, time periods, products, regions and more.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded here.