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Fashion show brings catwalk on 'cloud'

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-03-24 09:28

From classes to night clubs, many industries have turned to livestreaming since the coronavirus outbreak. The "cloud" list gains another player this week that will excite fashion lovers around the world -- Shanghai Fashion Week (SHFW).

SHFW has teamed up with Alibaba's online marketplace Tmall to broadcast its entire roster of runway shows online from March 24 to 30 on Taobao Live, Alibaba’s livestreaming channel, making it the first fashion week event to go fully digital.

As one of the industry’s most anticipated events of the year, with more than 100 brands and 100 designers from around the world, including rising independent Chinese designers, SHFW will showcase their latest autumn-winter collections digitally.

Besides the catwalk shows, viewers can purchase items online while they watch, giving them the change to get the exclusive autumn-winter designs in advance. The organizers will set up a green screen and use augmented reality technology to boost the visual effect. In addition, media outlets and viewers will be able to make comments during the livestreaming sessions.

The epidemic has forced the cancellation and rescheduling of many global fashion events. To support independent designers and brands, the e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba is offering a variety of digital avenues to ensure SHFW can go on without a hitch.

"We have integrated some of Alibaba’s most advanced technologies to bring a new and elevated experience to consumers," said Mike Hu, general manager of Tmall Fashion and FMCG. "This partnership with SHFW allows us to leverage our experience in digitizing brick-and-mortar retail stores and explore a new format for brand and product launches," Hu added.

Compared with traditional fashion shows, the cloud catwalk is hugely innovative, said an industry insider. "This 'cloud show' avoids the convergence of people and saves costs of venue and labor," said the insider. "As the 5G technology matures, many shows will be trying to get closer to young people through livestreaming."

The partnership drew a lot of attention from the online community, with many saying that "they look forward to the first cloud fashion show." "Bring more fashion weeks to Taobao Live please," read a typical comment. 

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