Fashion 2.0: Facebook and Victoria’s Secret Wings

November 19, 2010, 1:16 pm by

Fashion 2.0 is an ongoing series on how the fashion industry is evolving with social media and new technology. In this installment, we discuss Fashion on Facebook, and the recently launched Victoria’s Secret Wings! NYC campaign.

There’s something about fashion that makes its followers want to get involved. Perhaps it’s the glamor, beauty and sense of luxury so frequently associated with it, but people who value style, inevitably, want to be a part of it. They want to embody it. And now, with the help of Facebook, fashionistas can immerse themselves into the brands they admire most.

The most recent example, a Facebook photo promotion and virtual blessing for New York City women with dreams of being a Victoria’s Secret model, will launch today. Known for the extravagant, iconic wings worn by its models/”angels” on the runway, Victoria’s Secret will exhibit nine pairs of vintage wings in glass display cases between New York’s Houston and Prince streets near the retailer’s Soho store. Passersby and fans of the lingerie label will be able to pose and snap photos on platforms placed in front of the wings – once worn by the likes of Adriana Lima, Heidi Klum and Miranda Kerr – creating the illusion that they are wearing them. By texting the photos to ANGEL (26435), they’ll be uploaded to a special album on the Victoria’s Secret Facebook page titled, “Wings! NYC”.

Victoria’s Secret isn’t the first to use Facebook to grant the wishes of fashion fans. Luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo, for example, partnered with UGG for the Influential Stylist Competition. Members of the Jimmy Choo Facebook community were asked to style themselves in a pair of either UGG or Jimmy Choo boots and submit a photo. The winner, selected by Jimmy Choo Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Tamara Mellon, would win a new handbag “to complete the look.”

Gap took on similar initiatives when they asked their Facebook community, “Mind if we take a sneak peek at your fall wardrobe?” The question was an invitation for Gap fans to send a captioned photo of their favorite autumn denim styles, a select few of which were featured on Gap’s 1969 Stream, a Web site and iPad app used to explore and purchase the latest Gap denim products.

The GUESS Facebook community was also asked to submit photos of outfits composed entirely of GUESS clothing, shoes and accessories. The top picks, identified as GUESS’s “Best Facebook Friends,” were later featured in the GUESS online magazine and a Flickr album devoted to the promotion. When not running special contests, however, GUESS keeps admirers involved with such participatory posts and updates as, “‘Like’ this if you’re wearing Guess today!”

Though the fashion industry has taken steps to be more inclusive of its loyal followers, it has simultaneously and successfully maintained a certain level of exclusivity. Certain brands and designers, including Michael Kors, Juicy Couture and Betsey Johnson, have made unique discounts and collection previews available only to those who follow them through various social media channels, especially Facebook. The message is clear, however, and even the most highbrow brands are appreciative of their customers and are unabashedly adapting to ever-shifting methods of both reaching out and thanking them. To those brands, I also say “Thank you.”  Thank you on behalf of all those with a dual obsession – style and social media – for providing a way for us to flaunt and facilitate our love for the marriage of these two concepts.  To them, I say, “Amanda Zantal-Wiener “Likes” this.”

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