The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) is launching a new digital platform to help American designers showcase their collections amid continued disruption to the industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
When New York Fashion Week takes place Sept. 14-16, it will coincide with the launch of CFDA’s new Runway360 digital platform. Powered in partnership with digital B2B wholesale solution NuOrder, Runway360 aims to translate every aspect of a collection launch into a virtual experience, from product presentations to consumer activations.
Designers who are on the CFDA’s official NYFW schedule will gain access to a modular, customizable page through which to showcase their collections. The portal will support experiential functions like AR/VR, 360-degree capabilities, live video streams, e-commerce extensions, consumer shopping features and social media integrations. In this way, brands will be able to interact with buyers, press and consumers all within one platform.
The platform is being developed by New York-based multidisciplinary design studio DE-YAN and its launch will coincide with the start of New York Fashion Week in September.
The CFDA describes it as a “seasonless” platform that will “serve as a permanent fixture and main destination at any time of the year for consumers, press, trade, and retailers from around the world to explore and engage with collections from American fashion designers”.
“This transformational time in fashion requires innovative business tools,” Steven Kolb, president and CEO of the CFDA, said in a statement. “The CFDA is proud to launch Runway360 and champion the talent of our members and our industry.
“Runway360 is more than a response to social distancing and restricted travel. The digital platform will help designers faced with short term needs caused by Covid-19 and support future market weeks including live fashion shows.”
Through the partnership with NuOrder, designers presenting through Runway360 can also take advantage of the platform’s virtual showroom technology. The company is focusing on both supporting emerging and established designers, with spotlights on rising talent and designers of color, and so is extending its virtual sales showroom in service of that.
In addition to the virtual showroom, designers will be able to engage in a fully supported digital market process. NuOrder is known for its wholesale business, and brands participating in Runway360 will gain access to the company’s digital linesheets, catalog capabilities and order management software.
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