It’s FRIDAY FASHION FACT! Right now is a very exciting time in fashion. All around the world, it’s Fashion Week season. New York and London Fashion Weeks recently wrapped up, Milan is well underway, and Paris begins next week. So it seems only fitting that today we should talk about the history of the fashion show.
The precise early history of the fashion show is a bit of a mystery. It developed slowly, therefore no one has yet been able to pinpoint when and where exactly the first true fashion show was held. Back in the mid-19th century, Parisian dressmakers would have their assistants wear their designs around their shop to exhibit the pieces. This trend was likely started by Charles Frederick Worth,and as I mentioned in my Worth post, he was also the one to come up with the idea of spring/summer and fall/winter seasons. Yet as technology changed, it became possible to mass-produce garments. This completely changed the fashion industry. Designers could now sell their clothes across the world, and a woman no longer had to pay for a fully custom dress, but could instead go to a department store and choose a design from a wide selection. As a result, designers needed to present their designs to buyers so they could be sold in stores far and wide.
These early fashion presentations were known as “fashion parades.” They were highly exclusive events. Only the most prestigious buyers were allowed to witness these fashion displays. At their core, they were not too different from shows today, except for the fact that they were much, much longer. A show today might take 15 minutes. A late 19th Century Fashion Parade could take several hours. The show would pause several times, as the buyers waited for the models to be carefully dressed between each time they walked. The show would be repeated for the next several days for different audiences of buyers.
In 1903, Ehrlich Brothers Department Store in New York City held the first fashion parade in the United States, and opened it to their customers. This was likely the first “modern” fashion show. It quickly spread to other department stores, and soon designers began to invite non-buyers to their personal shows.
In 1943, the Paris fashion industry, previously far and above the top in the world, floundered due to German occupation. The American fashion industry jumped in to fill the void. Fashion PR specialist Eleanor Lambert organized “Press Week,” an opportunity for the editors of fashion magazines’ to feature American designers. This was the very beginning of the idea of “Fashion Week.” Of course, throughout the decades, the increased media exposure has amplified Fashion Week and fashion shows to the extravagant events that they are today.
Want to learn more about the history of the fashion show? Check out these books:
The Mechanical Smile: Modernism and the First Fashion Shows in France and America, by Caroline Evans
Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity, and Deathliness, by Caroline Evans
Have a question about fashion history that you want answered in the next FRIDAY FASHION FACT? Just click the ASK button at the top of page!
Amazon is unveiling a new Echo device, called Echo Look, with a camera that lets users snap pictures using voice commands, The Verge reports. Users can upload pictures to a “lookbook” on the device’s app, which includes a Style Check feature that can review and rate two outfits using AI and fashion specialists.
Echo Look is an expansion of the current Echo device and will have all the same features and skills. Amazon has struggled so far to sell merchandise through its previous Echo devices, even though purchasing physical goods is one of the most common uses for voice payments, according to proprietary survey data from BI Intelligence.
The Echo Look will also provide customers with product recommendations based on their lookbooks, which could help Amazon increase its sales from Echo devices and build on its lead in online apparel. The retailer still faces challenges in the market for apparel, as many customers like to try on clothes before purchasing. Receiving product recommendations based on their own tastes may make customers more confident in purchasing clothes online. Additionally, Amazon may eventually be able to integrate augmented reality (AR) into the Style Check feature, allowing users to virtually try on their recommended products.
The rapid expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) offers payments companies an opportunity to expand beyond mobile phones, cards, and point-of-sale devices, to a broad and diverse ecosystem of internet-connected devices.
We forecast that there will be 24 billion connected devices installed globally by 2020, up from nearly 7 billion today. And over 5 billion will be consumer connected devices by 2020, representing a massive expansion of touchpoints that could eventually offer payments functionality.
BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report that dives into the budding industry of connected device payments, providing a rundown of the stakeholders driving innovation in wearables, connected cars, and connected home devices. It also gauges the impact of new payment devices on different payments companies, along with how these devices could shift consumer purchasing behavior.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
The Internet of Things is ushering in a new era for payments companies and manufacturers.The rapid expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) offers an opportunity to facilitate payments beyond mobile phones, cards, and point-of-sale terminals, on a broad and diverse ecosystem of internet-connected devices.
More transactions could eventually pass through connected devices than smartphones. We estimate there will be 24 billion of these devices by 2020, with 5 billion of them being consumer-facing. This represents a massive expansion of touchpoints where payments could be enabled.
Card networks have developed a basic framework to enable commerce in everyday devices. Visa and MasterCard are creating the underlying infrastructure to support the standardization of payments integration and stake themselves out as the key connected payments gatekeepers. Their payment platforms are universal, allowing digital payments to grow without being tied to the success of a particular manufacturer.
Consumer-facing IoT companies have much to gain from enabling payments in their devices, including improving the value of the device, being able to cross-sell products through the device, and laying the groundwork for future opportunities to earn incremental revenue. For payments companies, connected payments offer a new revenue stream and an opportunity to gain market share ahead of competitors.
Wearables, connected cars, and smart home devices will be the top connected payments product categories.
In full, the report:
Frames the opportunity for embedding commerce capabilities in new devices.
Explains how a device becomes commerce-enabled.
Discusses the potential for payment-enabled wearables, connected cars, and smart home devices.
Examines the impact of connected payments on key stakeholders.
To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:
Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT
The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of connected device payments.
Amazon today announced a new device for the Echo family: the Echo Look, a “style assistant” camera that helps catalog your outfits and rates your look based on “machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists.” Imagine it as a smart mirror of sorts — you can talk to the Echo Look to take full-length photos or short videos to check out your outfit from seldom-seen angles. The Echo Look first leaked as a “security camera” back in March, and the photo matches exactly with what Amazon has announced today. Amazon says it will continue to add Alexa skills for the Echo Look as well. Read more