Tech Steals the Show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
The tents even look more “tech” – Bryant Park’s white tents from 2010 were traded for a mirrored glass pop-up structure at Lincoln Center. With guards in black suits and earpieces, and guests flashing QR codes from their Fashion GPS app, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) has come along way from its old-school index card ticketing methods. Self-serve kiosks for seating reservations, charging stations galore, and walls covered with LED screens flashed the latest in designer fashions – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has gone tech, all the way.
This digital invasion of the MBFW backdrop seems very reasonable, especially as tech becomes infused into the fashion industry. Some attendees are nostalgic, but most like the controlled chaos that tech provides. Below, I present four ways that tech and fashion are coming together at MBFW.
1. Fashion GPS – While the kinks of the app are still being worked out, the concept of an app that provides show schedules, QR codes for scanning at the on-site kiosks, and a digital lookbook is increasingly necessary. This year the team added the capability to order samples from the app, helping MBFW become an all-inclusive fashion extravaganza and trade show experience.
2. Coat Chex by AMEX: The guests arrived at one of six kiosks and handed over their coats to Coat Chex staff. Guests input their phone number and initials into a digital kiosk while the kiosk took a photo of them. The QR code on the coat hanger was encoded with a custom ID code, tied to each guests’ phone number and initials, and then stored on the back-of-house rack. When guests returned to pick up their coats, they simply input their phone number, the staff confirmed that the photo matched, and the coat ID code appeared, instructing the staff which coat to retrieve.
It was the sexiest and most efficient coat check ever!
3. Digital Lounges – There were a number of digital lounges this year provided by the sponsors of MBFW. AMEX provided a SkyBox experience outfitted with information on this year’s digital goods. Samsung’s lounge was outfitted with Galaxy Note 2′s, the new Android Camera, and Brand Ambassador Cesar to help you tackle it all. Guests could also borrow tech devices for the day of the show, or fully charged batteries if they already had their own. Very smart indeed.
4. The iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad Mini – The iPad made a special appearance this year. The devices were not provided by MBFW, but the guests made sure they were in tow. A fully-charged iPad can last through a few days of show mayhem and take fabulous pictures and video with little effort. Yes, it did get annoying, as they are kind of large and can easily obstruct one’s view, but attendees developed a code of “iPad View Obstruction Etiquette,” mindfully holding our pads on a slant, and we were one in digital solidarity.