Success in social depends on your ability to be seen, be heard, and grab people's attention—all things deeply embedded in the fashion industry's DNA. That's why its leaders, both major players and boutiques, are also producing some of the smartest campaigns in business. "The industry's very nature is social," says Yuli Ziv, founder of Style Coalition and the Fashion 2.0 Social Media Awards. "Brands know their consumers, so it's no surprise they know how to talk to them." Here's a look at some recent, winning campaigns.
Social style: Parties
The self-proclaimed style expert hosts "Tweet This!" parties at his Luxe Laboratory, a glammed-out New York loft that serves as a party-venue-meets-showroom. Populated with celebrities and fashion notables eager to chat up their favorite products, the party is live-streamed to at-home enthusiasts who tweet, to Verdi, about their favorite featured items, earning the chance to win everything seen on the show.
Social style: Chitchat
June marked the inaugural Armani Tweet Talks, a dialogue between fashion experts and fans on Twitter. To build excitement for Armani's runway show in Beijing, the first talk was dubbed "China, the New Fashion Superpower." A panel of fashion bigwigs including Vogue China editor Angelica Cheung and photographer Tommy Ton debated the subject with each other and fans during the hour-long discussion. Comments came in from both hemispheres.
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Social style: Influence
This retro-inspired online boutique now stocks its digital shelves according to consumers' choices. Its "Be the Buyer" contest lets shoppers vote for pieces they'd like to see the brand produce and sell. "Name It & Win It" solicits names for a featured product, which the winning entrant receives for free. And this spring, the "Make the Cut" design contest collected 1,900 dress-design entries. Modcloth's 592,000 Facebook fans selected their favorites, and a 12-piece collection was born.
A version of this article appeared in the September 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.