In my quest to find good applications for my look book publishing platform Qrtd I am constantly browsing the web in search of good and inspiring Instagram content. So far I had been pitching fashion brands to publish their Qrtd look book without much success. Then I stumbled across this article in the Huffington Post: 60 instagram accounts to follow during Fashion Week Spring 2015
The web is packed with these must-follow lists for the simple fact that there is a great demand for it! Fashion week events are super hectic and cause an eruption of excellent style and fashion content on Instagram. By making use of my curation algorithms I can easily set up a dynamic look book that covers it all. In doing so, the app becomes much more than just a look book, it becomes a news tool and a visual magazine. I realized that in my previous Qrtd efforts I emphasized the branding aspect too much. I hardly played the curation card in pitching my publication platform. Qrtd [curated] is the name of my platform after all!
I came up with a cool name, designed a logo and that is how the Fashion Week Observer was born! Next I tested my idea by addressing LinkedIn contacts. I posted my contacts that I was looking for an Editor in Chief for the FWO. The response was enormous! I've always used LinkedIn as my pitch platform. Digital strategist Lindsey C. Holmes - who also happens to be a devoted Fashion Week New York attender - really loved the idea. With her expertise in PR and entrepreneurship, I had found my co-founder and the FWO became a startup. Lindsey's observation was that the FWO also needed to cover the iPhone and not just the iPad. Apparently all fashionistas at the fashion runways today moved from iPad mini to iPhone Plus, the ideal handbag companion (the one and only "Fab"-lette :-). I rushed to get the FWO on iPad out for release during New York Fashion Week and started development for iPhone which will be out next Fashion Week season.
It is a test case for using my Instagram curation platform. It is the first time I use it to cover live events. I am very, very happy with the turn out! Although the system wasn't intended to cover events it turned out that it is very effective in doing so. I've got lots of new insights now and this will result in enhancements to our curation server, algorithms and procedures.
We rushed the release for NYFW so we missed the opportunity to make promotion before the start of the FW season. Informing the review sites, editorials and - even more important - the fashion blogs is essential for turning a release into a download peak. Currently it's mainly word to mouth and slow but steady growth. We are halfway the FW tour and after London it's up to the early adopters from Milan and Paris to discover us!
UPDATE: We received a wonderful review on the blog of Belguim's leading fashion blog Belmodo. The team of super fashionista Tiany Kiriloff really embraced the FWO as must have fashion week tool!
UPDATE: the Fashion Week Observer is universal now! Bringing the FWO to iPhone has been our main focus in the last months. We are happy to announce the FWO for iPhone. Just in time cover the September 2015 Fashion Weeks!