Designer Adam Lippes Offers A See-Now, Buy-Now Video This Fashion Week – Forbes

Designer Adam Lippes. Photo by Caroline Owens.

Designer Adam Lippes. Photo by Caroline Owens.

“We’re definitely in a new era,” says designer Adam Lippes. He’s talking about fashion, and the marketing of it, specifically.

As fashion month kicked off in New York on Wednesday, Lippes is participating in this new era of which he speaks as the latest designer to jump on the see-now, buy-now trend. See-now, buy-now is a new concept where the consumer “sees” the clothes come down the runway and can purchase them immediately after. As such, one look from Lippes’ eponymous line will be available immediately for purchase after his Fashion Week presentation tomorrow via a video in collaboration with the e-commerce site, Farfetch. The video will be distributed across the designer’s digital and social platforms, and will also be promoted by the site’s social platforms. A second video will be released later in the season and will offer the entire collection once it hits stores.

This concept of buying clothes right off the runway was spurred by designers seeing the impracticality of a fashion system that shows a collection four months before it’s available to buy. Which is especially bothersome to consumers in the age of digital, where instant gratification rules supreme, leaving them bored of the collections before they even became available in stores. Brands like Burberry began to experiment with see-now, buy-now and then came Tom Ford. Shortly after, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren followed suit.

According to fashion industry website, Business of Fashion, last season’s Tom Ford initiative resulted in the biggest sales day for the brand at Bergdorf Goodman. Both Topshop and Burberry sold out of certain items from their see-now, buy-now offerings. Ralph Lauren had less luck, although higher ticket items like a $14,998 Western-inspired suede coat sold out all but one immediately following their show. All in all, increased searches for these brands on e-commerce sites went as high as 75% for Tom Ford, to 20% for Tommy Hilfiger, signaling that see-now, buy now results in heightened consumer interest.

Designer Adam Lippes with his CEO, Michelle Gaster Wasserman. Photo by Caroline Owens.

Designer Adam Lippes with his CEO, Michelle Gaster Wasserman. Photo by Caroline Owens.

For Lippes, who gained notoriety during the near-decade he spent as the Global Creative Director for Oscar de la Renta, growth is his primary goal leading him to follow suit with the Burberry’s and Tom Ford’s of the world. While his 4-year old label has seen high double-digit growth every year and has expanded to 100 doors in 20 nations, he is acutely aware of how fast the consumer landscape is shifting. “Even with our growth, we always have to find brand new ways to communicate with the customer,” he tells me during an interview in his Washington Square Park townhouse.

See-now, buy-now is just one of many tactics the brand is employing to help grow the business digitally, according to Lippes new CEO, Michelle Gaster Wasserman. Wasserman, who formerly ran the North American e-commerce business for Coach, says, “Digital sales were up 35% last month as a result of refinements we made to our strategy, some of which were as simple as better investments into areas like art direction.”

But for a young brand like Lippes’ without retail stores, the benefits of a see-now, buy-now video are twofold. In addition to the instant gratification it gives to consumers, there is a significant brand positioning opportunity that arises. “Without having retail stores, you lose the chance to tell the story in context. Your brand story doesn’t live on Net-a-Porter, and you don’t see it in Bergdorf Goodman where you are on a rack amongst other designers,” adds Wasserman. “Videos like this allow us to communicate our story.”

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