Why This Designer Did The First-Ever Snapchat Fashion Show (With Us!)

Update: Misha Nonoo's innovative Snapchat fashion show went down yesterday. Didn't catch it on our Snapchat channel? Check out the below video:
This story was originally published on August 30, 2016.

For the past few seasons, the classic runway show as we know it has been on the outs: Show formats, business models, and production schedules have changed in all four major Fashion Weeks, but New York's calendar has perhaps shuffled the most. And on the NYFW roster, designer Misha Nonoo has been at the forefront of embracing what's new. Last September, she tinkered with a next-gen show format by presenting her spring 2016 collection on Instagram. Now, she has another sea change in store: Nonoo is presenting a current-season, fall 2016 collection on Refinery29's Snapchat channel.

It's Nonoo's inaugural "see now, buy now" collection. But it's also her first offering under her radically rebooted business model: As of last week, she switched over to a direct-to-consumer model, selling directly from her redesigned site (and ending her wholesale relationships).

"When I discovered Snapchat, I could see that it brought verve back into social media," Nonoo told Refinery29 of how she decided on her latest fresh show conceit. "I hope to bring the same experimental and innovative spirit into how I present my collection; to be the first fashion brand to experiment with Snapchat’s native functions to present a collection is very exciting."
Photographed by Shawn Brackbill, courtesy of Misha Nonoo.

Dubbed a "live lookbook," the first-ever Snapchat fashion show or presentation will go live at 10 a.m. EST on Wednesday, September 7. Par for the course on Snapchat, the show will be live for just 24 hours (though imagery will be used for PR and marketing purposes beyond that one-day timeframe). Nonoo crowdsourced a global, all-female trio of talents for the newfangled show concept via Instagram. The show is being creative directed by Barcelona- and NYC-based Isabel Martinez, illustrated by Brazil-based Ana Strumpf, and photographed by London-based Lara Jade.

So, how does a "live lookbook" work, exactly? First, the models will be prepped with hair and makeup, and styled in one of Nonoo's fall '16 looks; then, the look will be shot (both photos and video) by Jade on an iPad Pro. Next, the still images and video will be given to Strumpf, who will overlay artwork using an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Finally, the gussied-up image or video will be uploaded to the live Snapchat Story.

As for how a Snapchat show will differ, and perhaps improve upon, an "Insta-show," Nonoo points to the "clever and unexpected uses of Snapchat's native functions." Basically, there's more to work with in the medium. "It will be a new opportunity not to simply show photos, but also videos and the full capabilities of Snapchat’s functions," she said. "The 'live lookbook' will provide a wider audience the in-the-moment fashion experience without the industry-only barriers."

The masses truly will get the same experiences as the fashion editors and buyers that typically populate a traditional fashion show or presentation, especially because Nonoo won't have an in-person, physical component to the show this time around, as she did with her "Insta-show" last September.

Nonoo narrowed the lag time between a collection's unveiling and its arrival on shelves with her "Insta-show" last year, as designs were available for pre-order after appearing on the social platform. This time around, though, customers will be able to snap up pieces the moment they appear on Snapchat. "The modern working woman is never far from her mobile device, and I want to reach her from the very technology that enriches her on-the-go lifestyle," Nonoo explained. "Customers will be able to view the Snapchat Story live and immediately buy the pieces she loves, all from her mobile device."

So, can Snapchat be the as a newfangled, tech-y successor to the tents? Check out Nonoo's intriguing test-run in action on our Snapchat channel.

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