How New York & Company Pulled Off See Now, Buy Now Fashion Week Show

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How New York & Company Pulled Off See Now, Buy Now Fashion Week Show

When preparing for New York Fashion Week, New York & Company vice president of digital & e-commerce creative Paul Carroll wanted to bring the experience of the runway to customers in a whole new way. Through "see now, buy now" content, he and his team delivered a rich digital experience to users featuring not only the runway show but the collection as well. Bringing this instant shoppability to customers was challenging at first but, in the end, highly successful.  He shared how he did it in the following interview.

Q: What motivated you and your team to seek out this see now, buy now opportunity?

A: As a brand with New York in the name, we always flirted with the idea of showing at fashion week, but we could never come up with the right execution or collection to show. But Eva Mendes' collection for fall/winter 2016 was so strong that we thought it was the perfect collection to not only put on a real runway show but also video it, put it live on our website and let customers shop it immediately.

Q. In your opinion, why are real-time events important for retailers?

A. See now, buy now content was definitely a trend in the marketplace for Fashion Week. Rather than show collections that weren't going to be shoppable for three or four months, we wanted the looks that our customers see coming down the runway to be instantly available to them. We wanted to leverage that trend.

Q. What were your goals going into the show?

A. Really, just that it would go smoothly. Within three hours of the start of the show, there had to be a shoppable experience live on the site. And since we were sending an email promoting the experience to over 3 million customers at 9 p.m. that night, we were on a tight schedule.

Q. So what were some of the challenges around creating this sort of experience?

A. Well, obviously there were the logistics of putting on a live show — selecting the 37 looks and the 15 models — but there were also challenges around capturing the show. We had three cameras filming the runway and multiple fashion photographers capturing images as well. And, we only had three hours to pull it off. We had never done it before, and there was no dry run.

Q. From start to finish, what was the process like?

A. We started with pre-show prep about a week prior to the live event, building a landing page that would house the shoppable video and clickable images featuring the looks. The day of the show, the models walked the runway at 6:30 p.m. The show lasted about 25 minutes, during which our cameramen and photographers were capturing everything. At 7:30 p.m., I received the edited images from the photographers and uploaded them to the experience. The film crew needed at least an hour and a half to edit down the footage, so it was really down to the wire. I had 20 minutes to upload to YouTube and then link to Zmags Creator, the tool we use to build our experiences. By the time the content was pushed live to the website, we had three minutes to spare — and the email at 9 p.m. went out perfectly.

Q. Excellent. And what were the results of your campaign?

A. Within 24 hours, the experience had more than 60,000 views. That's almost triple what some experiences get in a week. And the looks started selling out within days. But beyond the metrics, New York & Company had established itself as an industry leader and reinforced that we are an innovative and on-trend brand. And like I said, we are a New York-based company, so it was great to be a part of New York Fashion Week and even better to show that we can go beyond a traditional runway show. Our online shoppers were excited to be able to interact with us and the event.

Q. What made this campaign successful?

A. It was a great collection; the fashion was fantastic. The live show was great. And the digital experience was rich and shoppable. It really all came together.

Paul Carroll has spent his career in the fashion specialty retail landscape. Since June 2014, he has been the vice president of digital and e-commerce creative for New York & Company. From 2006-2014, he was the director and lead creative for He began his career back in 1998 with United Retail Group, Inc. and the plus-size women's brand, Avenue.