Like many designers, Rebecca Minkoff has come to rely on the buzz brought on by New York Fashion Week and, having participated in it since 2009, decided to host a physical show this year—with a few key digital deviances.
While livestreaming shows on social media platforms has been done before, Minkoff’s collaborations with OnlyFans and Pinterest are certainly fashion-forward. Her OnlyFans account, which launched on Friday, offers fans free access to behind-the-scenes content from Minkoff’s YouTube channel, which boasts over a million views. Users have the option to pay $5-$25 to take part in an hour-long conversation with Minkoff and access other exclusive outtakes. OnlyFans was originally known as a platform for sex workers, the company is quickly expanding to include content creators of all categories like Michael B. Jordan and Cardi B. Indeed, OnlyFans usership increased more than 300% to more than 100 million in 2020.
Some of Minkoff’s products have been pinned to see more than 1 million views on Pinterest, making it an obvious partner as well. The platform curated a campaign especially for NYFW that featured exclusive images and videos from designers likd Anna Sui, Candice Cuoco, and Minkoff promoted on the Today Tab on its homepage. Minkoff rounded out her digital designs with a Clubhouse profile on February 8 where she will engage in weekly conversations with big names in the fashion business with the intention to use the channel to provide a guide on how to make it in the industry.
In terms of technology, Minkoff paired up with Verizon’s Yahoo Ryot Labs, an AR company (and the official innovation partner for IMG’s NYFW) to create an immersive augmented reality version of the brand’s NYFW for mobile viewing. Having launched see-now, buy-now back in 2016, it also makes sense that Minkoff leaned into direct selling via a new partnership with Klarna that allowed attendees of the show to scan a QR code to purchase items off the runway. There was also a Klarna-branded livestream of the show on both companies’ Instagram accounts, and a Klarna-branded email sent to Rebecca Minkoff’s customers from Klarna itself.
Due to the pandemic, fashion darlings were favored over regular consumers in terms of who was invited to the show. That in mind, it makes sense that Minkoff would want to ramp up more personalized efforts via digital content and conversations on platforms like OnlyFans. The designer has a history of taking special care to foster connections with consumers. Her active YouTube channel dates back eleven years and features diary-style “Day in the Life” and “Ask Me Anything” videos that see her getting up close and personal with the camera. The designer also swapped flashy digital ads for more personal messages in 2019. Sensing the shift in time spent online and streaming video, many retailers invested more in YouTube efforts in 2020 according to Gartner’s insight report on the topic, but given the show Minkoff put on last week, it’s clear the designer has been ahead of the fold long before the pandemic.