Today, BigCommerce is proud to announce our partnership with celebrity designer LaQuan Smith in launching the first-ever immediately shoppable Fall/Winter 2016 collection. For his New York Fashion Week presentation, Smith has collaborated with the BigCommerce team to specifically tailor his new line to online consumers around the world, following a "see now, buy now" approach, often referred to in the fashion industry as a consumer-facing show. Items debuted during his exclusive presentation on Feb. 14 and streamed via Periscope by BigCommerce will be made immediately available for purchase online.
This video will be replaced with the live stream Periscope video on Sunday, Feb. 14. Follow the #SuccessIsArt hashtag to stay up to date.
New lines presented during fashion weeks are often available only to celebrities and high-end clientele for an extended time, until the goods are made more widely available to the public through branded brick-and-mortars or wholesale partnerships with luxury department stores and marketplaces like Neiman Marcus or Net-a-Porter.
This Sunday, however, LaQuan Smith and BigCommerce will forever alter the traditional fashion show playbill and sales cycle with a consumer-facing show immediately allowing consumers to buy the new items they are viewing through his online store. Models will be wearing the new collection and holding tablets that allow show attendees to purchase items the moment they’re inspired by the look.
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The idea of such a show has been a hot topic of conversation in the fashion industry for the last year, with the Council of Fashion Designers of America retaining the Boston Consulting Group to evaluate the future of fashion shows in New York in 2015. Boston Consulting Group met with and interviewed luxury designers and brands to gain consensus on the changing high-end fashion landscape. Final results are pending, but interview answers have been released, proving that yes, there is a disruption occurring. It was left unclear, however, on how designers and brands felt about altering fashion show cadence and audience to better serve a ready-to-buy consumer.
While most designers are slow to embrace this inevitable shift, Smith’s foresight and deep understanding of his customers have put him at the forefront of this impactful change. Of course, Smith’s willingness to take risks has always been one of his greatest strengths.
"It is the wave of the future," Smith explained to ELLE in a recent interview, "and I want to be at the forefront. When I unveil my new collection, my customers will be able to see the clothes in person [at the show] and purchase them at the same time."
Crafting a Unifying Experience
Ahead of his New York Fashion Week presentation, Smith worked closely with BigCommerce and our new themes to build out a site which delivers an enhanced customer experience through modern merchandising and brand storytelling. The goal was simple: provide a unified experience from the Fashion Week presentation to his online store.
“One of the features I’m most excited to bring to the online store is a very easy, simplistic way of shopping –– a very smooth transition from my brand to the online store,” Smith told BigCommerce.
READ MORE: Success. It's an art.
The bridging of offline and online shopping experiences, however, is truly an art. Complexities confront those brands working to maintain only a single customer touchpoint for a new line launch. Smith is effectively launching his new line in all available channels for his customers: exclusively through his event and publically through his online storefront and his social accounts (which will push back to the website). This is no easy task, which is why Smith’s team looked to BigCommerce’s platform to help solve for site design quality and functionality. Working with Pixel Union designers, Smith was able to customize every inch of his site using cutting-edge content blocks, product pages and secure, PayPal One Touch checkout.
“It was important to me to be on a business-focused platform,” said Smith. “Having the opportunity to design my own store, I couldn’t have asked for anything greater. BigCommerce is going to allow me to communicate the mood and the feeling of the LaQuan Smith brand without any limitations.”
This announcement comes only a short period before BigCommerce releases a completely new theme marketplace to the ecommerce industry. Smith and team were part of an early access group allowed to view and customize themes before their official launch. Ease of use was especially important in Smith’s instance, with such a quick turnaround period between new line presentation and online shoppability.
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His new store has yet to launch, though you can shop his previous collections on his current store right now. Tune in with us on Sunday, February 14, to get front row access to Smith’s fashion week presentation and get a first glimpse at his new line and new online store.
With Sunday’s show, the commerce silos will have officially been removed. Modern, digitally-savvy consumers have been demanding instant access to the luxury, custom fashion world. Slow heels and hesitation have held other brands back, but Smith refuses to be anywhere other than the cutting-edge in the fashion world.
“This is gonna be big, this is gonna be huge, and I’m so excited by it,” said Smith.